Sunday, August 15, 2010

Cooking for Real

A furrow of concentration around the brow as I focus on caramelizing the onions to perfection, while the pressure cooker startles me with its shrill whistle, the new potatoes roasting in the oven and letting out an amazing aroma…yet it isn’t this harmonious every time…there are times when the tea boils over, the curry just doesn’t taste right and I just got battle scars aka blisters and burn marks galore…the marks of a Chef in Training.
The past 3 months has been a revelation to me…till K2 had his Aunty, his food habits were set – Breakfast was 2 organic fruits stewed and mixed with barley cereal, Parathas (whole wheat flat breads filled with grated broccoli and carrots) or Khichidi (Brown Rice with Moong Dal cooked with zucchini and carrots, a touch of ghee), a dinner of Quinoa and Sweet Potato pudding . The focus was on getting him to eat healthy foods…in the past 3 months all learned food habits have been set aside – K2 gets to experiment with food – Let me give you a rundown of some of his new food experiences in the past 10 days –
  • Duck Foie gras with mini toasts

  • Butter Chicken with Jeera Rice

  • Spiced Kheema Matar (Chicken Mince with Peas) and Rice

  • Flan

  • Rice and Spiced Mexican Black Beans ( with Red Onions and Bell Peppers)

  • Pinto Beans cooked Indian style with Roasted Mushrooms

  • Falafel & Babaganoush

  • Fish Cakes

  • Baked Salmon

  • Healthy Egg Chowmein ( homemade with tons of vegetables)

  • Mac & Cheese (tons of vegetables)

  • Vegetable Frittata
And if I am totally honest with myself, some of the dishes he absolutely adores, the others not so much…for the days when I don’t have the time to cook , I do have healthy alternatives in the fridge and freezer –
  • Amy’s - Cheese and bean Burittos, Vegetable Lasagna, Spinach Pizza

  • Trader Joes - Turkey Bolognese Sauce

  • Aidells – Teriyaki & Pineapple Chicken Meatballs, Chicken and Apple Sausage

  • Alexa’s Sweet Potato Fries

  • Monterey Company – Spinach and Mushroom Tortellini, Tomato and Gorgonzola Pasta Sauce

  • Red Pepper Babaganoush (from Sinbad’s), Sabra’s Pinenut Hummus

  • Scones and Pumpkin Bread ( Beckmann’s)
I just packed and froze a couple lunch boxes for K2 for his lunch box for the week (did I mention I am gone to the Big Apple for next week)…I have roasted some new potatoes, cooked some green Moong beans for K1….now it’s all about Cooking for Real…no longer a whimsical mood based thing but a realization that my cooking is what my family is eating. Life is exciting…
I am looking forward to watching Next Food Network Star today and am hoping Aarti wins…

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