Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Good Eats

During the big stuff shuffle, we got into the bad habit of eating alot of take-out and instant crap. In an effort to regain control of my family's health, I've been making more of an effort to cook good, nutritious meals at home. In addition to being better for you, home cooking is also considerably cheaper. We are not big meat eaters, so I try to come up with at least a couple of vegetarian meals each week using things like lentils and beans creatively. The kids are somewhat picky about seasonings so it makes it a challenge to come up with something that everyone will eat without too many complaints.

One of the great recipes I found this week is here. The best thing about this recipe is how many different ways you can make it, depending on what ingredients you have. I altered it by using brown lentils and mung beans instead of split peas. I also cooked the carrot in the pot with the onion (frying them in vegie oil with a bit of ghee) and added potato and garlic to the other vegies. I added about 1/2 cup of water during cooking and forgot about the sesame oil. As far as seasoning goes, I added some allspice and K. and I dressed up our portions with some red chili sambal sauce. If you aren't cooking for kids, go ahead and add the chili during cooking. I served it with basmati rice and pappadums. Really, you could make this with any combination of beans/lentils and just about any vegies. It made a huge amount and was so good for dinner and also the next day for lunch.

On the meat side of things, last night I made the most awesome honey garlic chicken legs. I used this sauce recipe and about 10 skinless drumsticks. I tossed the chicken with a mix of 1/4 cup flour, salt, pepper, ginger powder, and paprika and baked at 350 until brown. Then I mixed the warm chicken with the warm sauce freakin' good! The only thing I did differently with the sauce was to use just water instead of broth. This makes alot of sauce..enough for probably 15 pieces of chicken. But it was so good that I wanted to just pour it into a bowl and drink it like soup! I served it with cheese tortellini, grilled zucchini, and fresh baked biscuits, but it would be excellent with fried rice or home-made chow mein. I can also see this working for pork. The girls loved it so much that they wanted to put the sauce on everything!

Tonight I am going back to vegetarian with a recipe from the Moosewood Cookbook for polenta pizza. Its basically sliced tomatoes and grilled vegies on top of a crispy cornmeal crust and topped with cheese. Yum.

The pictures, by the way, are some of the artwork from my youngest. You might notice that she is very detail-oriented, LOL.

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