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The Recipe

Way back when, when I was first learning to cook, one obstacle to cooking healthy foods from scratch, for me, was “the recipe.”  As someone with perfectionist tendencies (though you’d never know it by looking at my house), following a recipe can be quite a challenge.  Making sure to get all the exact ingredients listed, stressing out if there is only 3/4 cup of diced onion rather than the 1 cup that is called for, or if the store only has green peppers and the recipe called for red peppers….that kind of thing.

 

So, in an effort to prevent myself from loathing the act of cooking, I broke free of my dependence on The Recipe and learned to cook with a little lot more freedom.  I use recipes as a sort of suggested guideline these days.  I get ideas and then change things up according to my needs.  This has become a really helpful habit in recent years for me, having discovered many food sensitivities that I have and my daughters food sensitivities as well.  I have found that as long as I keep proportions the same, I can switch out ingredients pretty successfully in most things I try.

 

My cooking method does present some challenges.

  • Difficult to replicate.  When someone likes a dish I make and asks for the recipe I can’t often give them what they want because I don’t remember exactly how I made it.  My measurements are “a scoop”, “a splash”, “a sprinkle”, as you can see in my description of how to make hummus in a previous post.
  • Difficult to teach.  My daughter, the budding chef, loves to be in the kitchen with me.  I love to teach her and encourage her, but she is often frustrated with mommy’s way of cooking.  I tell her just to estimate and taste while spicing up a sauce.  She wants to know “how much, mom?” “Just put in what you think will be good and see how it tastes,” I say.  Probably not the best method of teaching someone to cook.  I’m working on it.
  • Difficult to write.  In planning which recipes I love and want to share here on my blog, I am a little stumped about how to write them out since I don’t exactly know how it’s done without actually doing it.  In the near future I am going to be attempting to document my recipes as best I can which means I will have to (gasp) do some measuring.  Can I do it?  Is it going to decimate my love for cooking?  I think I’ll survive and it will serve a higher purpose by helping me to be a better cooking teacher to my children too.

 

Chicken and Veggie Stir Fry on Rice

 

So here is my first attempt, documenting one of my super easy 20 minute meals.  By using chicken left over from a previous meal of roasted chicken and rice that I cooked ahead of time, this dish was completed in under 20 minutes.

 

Ingredients
3 TBS expeller pressed coconut oil
1 onion
3 carrots
3 stalks of celery
1 stalk broccoli
1/2 head of cauliflower
2 cups cooked chicken, diced
Fish Sauce, to taste
Salt and pepper, to taste
2 to 3 cups of cooked brown rice

 

Method
Wash and chop vegetables and dice or shred cooked chicken (10 minutes)
Heat the oil in a wok or large frying pan.
Add onions and carrots to the hot wok/pan and cook on med-high for 2 minutes (2 minutes)
Add broccoli, celery, cauliflower and chicken and continue to cook for 5-7 minutes, until vegetables reach desired tenderness.  (5-7 minutes)
Add rice and toss.  Season with fish sauce, salt and pepper.
Note on rice:  I use brown rice, cook it in large batches and freeze in serving sized portions.  Cooking it in homemade chicken stock (recipe coming soon) instead of water adds nutrients as well as delicious flavor.

 

Total time from beginning to plate–17 minutes!  Very fast, made from scratch using all fresh ingredients.  Not too shabby.

 

Head over to Raising Homemakers to check out this week’s Homemaking Link-up.  You’ll find this post there along with so many great ideas from other bloggers.  Have fun!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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