Monday, 19 December 2011

New Year's Recipe Resolution

My cooking has been quite sporadic since I got back to uni this year. At the start of term it was going well - my meal planner meant I was cooking something new most days and I managed to get ahead with my freezer stash. That's a good thing since I somehow stopped cooking about half way through the term. It was a combination of work piling up, choir taking over and time feeling more stretched that meant I mostly fell back on pasta and sauce, and whatever I had in the freezer - mostly pasta sauce, oddly.
I was still eating healthily, which I put down to the advance cooking I did. I'll definitely be doing that again next term, because there's no reason to assume I'll be any less busy and quite a lot of reason to assume I'll be more so.

Last night I was planning out some recipes I want to try. It was useful having frozen meals but they were mostly either Quorn pie, or tomato sauce. I'd like to have a proper cooking blitz to get a variety of meals in there. The criteria for recipes are quite simple: they have to be freezable without detriment to their texture, they have to be fairly easy to cook, and they have to be things I'll actually want to eat.

So far the list looks like this:
  • Potato and courgette pancakes (no idea whether these will freeze well but I expect so)
  • Cheesy lentil dip
  • Spaghetti bolognese
  • Spinach and mushroom lasagne - a Jamie Oliver recipe but I can no longer find the source
  • Macaroni cheese - still looking for a good recipe for this
  • Soup of varying kinds, I'm going off canned soup although it is quite convenient
  • Curry, or what I would call curry, which is really just vegetables in curry sauce
  • Quorn, pea and leek pie - I wasn't madly keen on this when it was fresh but freezing it actually improved the texture
  • Vegetable Charlotte
  • Chilli
  • Fruit crumble, frozen in portions so I actually get round to using up the stewed fruit
My New Year's Resolution is to track down and try out a new recipe at least once a fortnight. I think that is a fairly realistic goal; more often and I would quickly fall off the horse, less often and I'd probably forget. Hopefully I'll find a few gems to add to my still fairly limited repertoire. I'm also going to try and be a bit more adventurous with the recipes I cook all the time - different forms of risotto, for example. I was reading Laurel's Kitchen last night, which is a very 1970s hippy vegetarian cookbook. Most of the recipes are quite unappealing to me, they focus very heavily on wheatgerm and obscure proteins, but the prose about finding more nutritious ways of eating and about exploring cooking as more than just a way to stay alive was very inspiring.

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