23 August 2012

Cooking without Nuts. Or Margarine. Or Bell Peppers.

I've been quite the cook lately, if I do say myself. Last week I made cookies and whole wheat bread from scratch, and a few days ago I made pizza and strawberry shortcake from scratch, for the first time in my life. If this keeps up I'll be making pies and canning jam pretty soon.

Only I don't eat pies or jam. And I have a very strict rule about not making food that I don't eat. That's why it was imperative that I not marry a man who loved lasagna.

This cooking streak is very unusual. I think it may be a semi-conscious effort to feed Angel lots and lots of good food before I start attending cosmetology school and therefore have significantly less time to create elaborate dinners.

I've written before about my blatant disregard for following recipes with any measure of exactness. I mean, I use my measuring cups and spoons when they are appropriate to the situation, but I don't go overboard. I have noticed lately that there's a pretty distinct pattern to the ingredients that I completely ignore in recipes and what I tend to replace them with.

For example, I never use margarine. I wasn't sure why, until recently, when I had to eat margarine on something, and it was gross. It's real butter for me, every time.

If a cookie or bread recipe calls for nuts, I just keep on reading, because to me that line in the recipe simply doesn't exist.

Half and half. I come across this in quite a few of my frequently used recipes. Cream of broccolli soup and chicken curry for example. I never use it, not that I have anything against half and half itself, but because I never happen to have any in my refrigerator. It just doesn't occur to me to buy it. Normal milk works pretty good as a replacement.

And I don't understand why people suggest adding bell peppers to recipes. Onions are a perfect substitution for these.

In fact, onions are a pretty great add-in for every thing. I always have onions on hand because I buy them off the street in huge bags for a dollar. Black market onions? They're great in enchilada soup, brocolli soup, taco meat, hashbrowns, breakfast casserole, birthday cake, you get the picture.

Angel's favorite food is onions. I learned long ago to just add onions to all of our dinners, regardless of whether I'd ever seen the dish made with onions before, and that extra ingredient would guarantee his appreciation of the meal.

Yeah, I work the system.

Anyways, if you want a Rachel-style recipe, here's my favorite vegetable in the whole world, cooked my favorite way: Stir-fry baby bok choy with however much or little you want of garlic, salt, pepper, chili powder, tumeric, and cayenne pepper. Feel free to add any other spices that you desire.

It looks like this before you cook it:

And It looks like this afterwards:

Okay, that doesn't look terribly appetizing, but let's not kid ourselves...when do vegetables look appetizing? Still, they're delicious!
Rhiannon said...

Ha, you sound like me! I skip over ingredients so often because I either don't have them or don't care for them. Definitely butter over margarine too. Margarine tastes...fake?

Cassandra Too said...

I think this is good because I love veggies like that! :D I just had some of this and your pictures just make me want more! Noooooo! :D

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Ugochi said...

Veggies never look interesting, but they must haves I agree, lol! But these look good enough to eat!
Thanks for sharing!

The Management said...

kudos to you for working the onion system. My dude is the same with mushrooms- if I put mushrooms in it, he will magically like it.

works like a charm.

Kristina said...

What, no onions in your bok choy??

Chelsea Melrose said...

Actually, I think it looks good!

I follow recipes. Or I try...I must have ADD because I always mess something in the recipe up. Pretty sure it's from lack of concentration.

Jennifer Hanson @ Wuthering Iris said...

I love bok choy too! And reading right over nuts in a recipe...I'm guilty of that one as well.

Thanks for stopping by my blog and leaving a comment!

Have a great week!


Chiwei @ One Dog Woof said...

Oh yeah, you're my girl. I love my home-grown bok choy cooked up with nothing but garlic, salt and oil. And no recipes either, because really, "1 onion, chopped" can be half a cup or 2 cups, depending on the onion.