Friday, May 3, 2013

Cooking in our Household- sharing some recipes

The last few weeks have seen a few winner recipes- some new, some old favourites.

One challenge with trying to cook sustainably and healthily is that my tastebuds are not what you would called refined. I'm simple. I like good chocolate. I like good coffee. I like good bread. The rest is negotiable. (For the record, I don't think there's anything wrong with chocolate and coffee and bread.)

My transformation towards really enjoying fruit and vegetables has been gradual and is certainly not complete, but I've been discovering that making something from scratch really opens up a whole new world of tastes, and just a few new recipes can change the way I view a vegetable.

In the from-scratch world, this is the first year I've made various kinds of jam, canned tomatoes, ketchup/tomato sauce and hot sweet sauce to get us through the winter. It's been a revelation.

Zucchini fritters continues as a major breakfast hit with the kids, as are sourdough pancakes with my dad's honey. I've started a new sourdough starter and gone back to sourdough loaves- in addition to being pretty healthy and full of wonderful flavours, baking with sourdough here in South Africa saves you around R3/loaf in yeast packets, because of the absurd single serving yeast packets here. But the time without a starter was good for me, because I started to bake dinner rolls. Rather than feel I always needed to know ahead of time when we would need bread, these are very quick - almost as quick as a run to the store. And they turn out fine with brown bread flour, too.

Eug has started to make creamy Korean beef broth (Seolleongtang) and as we are heading into winter, this has quickly become a part of our lives, with rice and maybe some strips of beef. On the subject of beef, sirloin lasts three weeks (well, three meals) rather than one if you slice it up into bulgogi. Having bulgogi marinated and frozen has allowed us to have bibimbap on quinoa or millet instead of rice without a lot of work. I sprout mung beans and we've just been having them fresh on the bibimbap, but it's also pretty simple to make sookju namul.  It's pumpkin season here, so life has been full of pumpkin- roasted as a pasta sauce, seeds as a snack, pumpkin humus. Eggplant/brinjal is in season and we've been cooking a variation of this river cottage favourite almost every week. We've found that anything with tomato sauce and cheese is a hit with the kids, including cauliflower pizza.  We've also tried and enjoyed amarula creme brulee, graham crackers, and pomegranate white chocolate chip cookies.

Whew! That was a little breathless, but thanks for bearing with me. Do you have recipes that you'd like to share?


Unknown said...

Oooh, pumpkin hummus! Chickpea doesn't agree very well with me, so I have got to try this out :)

I made feijoa jam last week, from a kg of feijoa fruit from the overproductive tree in our backyard. Came with the house, and what a pleasure it's been to enjoy fresh fruit picked from our garden every day :) It's also stunningly easy to make jam, and it should last us through winter easily.

Unknown said...

Doh, I see it's pumpkin and chickpea hummus, but maybe I'll try make it and see how it goes.

Possibly the extra stuff they throw into the commercial hummus disagrees with me.

Concrete Gardener said...

Thanks Linda. Let me know how it goes. It was pretty smooth and tasty!

I had never heard of Feijoa before and had to look it up!! what does it taste like??