Tip #1: Make a large vegetable soup each week.
Tip #2: Have ready to eat whole grains/legumes/proteins in the fridge.
I try to make a large pot of soup early each week. This is always a great way to have easy to grab, ready made healthy food. This week I also happened to cook a batch of chickpeas in the pressure cooker. It only took 20 minutes and we’ve been snacking on them all week. I plan to use the last of it to make hummus for the weekend. I also had left-over brown rice as well as quinoa from the last two suppers. So my lunch today consisted of rice, quinoa and chickpeas in a bowl, topped with a hot vegetable soup. I only had to warm up the pot of soup and knew that the rest would be warmed up by the soup. The meal was warming, nurturing, and filling.
Yesterday I had less time than today to have supper all ready to go before I had to pick up the kids. So I quickly sautéed onions, garlic and ginger. I added soy sauce. I chopped mushrooms and added them as well. Next came chopped zucchinis and red cabbage. I had to chop fast, but while the onions, ginger and garlic were being cooked I prepped the rest. I also put on a pot of quinoa and added a handful of cooked chickpeas to the veggies before they were done. When it came to actually eating supper I ate this meal and then I decided to finish the bowl of soup (leftover from the other day) my daughter didn’t finish. I wasn’t sure the flavours would go well together, but I decided to add the quinoa and veggie sauté to the soup. I’m not sure exactly why, but this combination made each of the dishes so much tastier than when they were separate.
So, for today’s supper I decided to bake whole roasted yams and potatoes. This saved me the time peeling and chopping would have taken. Keep in mind that the baking takes longer, so you do need to have an hour or two before the food must be ready if you want to keep your potatoes whole. I had 2 hours to work before picking up my kids, so sticking something in the over for all that time was better for my time than spending the time chopping. Otherwise you can always slice the potatoes in half, or even stab a few wholes into each one with a knife. The other part of dinner is corn on the cob. It cooks oh so fast in the pressure cooker!
Tip #4: Buy a pressure cooker and use it :)
I like to put one layer of whole, sliced or stabbed yams and/or potatoes in a pyrex pan. I then cover the bottom of the pan with water. I cover the pan tightly with foil and stick it in the over. Sliced potatoes can be baked at 350-375 degrees Fahrenheit (180-190 *C). Whole potatoes should be baked at 375-425 degrees Fahrenheit (200-220 *C). Check on the potatoes periodically until they reach the softness that you like. Each time you check also make sure the water doesn’t all bake off or the pan will burn.
The ingredients to start with are:
tehini paste, cloves garlic, chopped fresh parsley, water, lemon juice,
salt and pepper to taste, and paprika (optional) to taste
The truth is that the whole recipe is “to taste”. Start with your tehini paste in a bowl, slowly add a little of each of the other ingredients, mix to desired consistency, and taste to desired result. Following are measurements that my family enjoys:
1/3 c. tehini paste
1/4 c. water
1/8 c. lemon juice (1/4-1/2 a lemon)
1 tiny clove crushed garlic*
1 Tbs. finely chopped fresh parsley*
pinches of salt, pepper, paprika
Keep in mind that some people don’t like any parsley in their tehini. Some like more garlic and some like none. Some people like their tehini more runny and some like it thicker. Some people like it more sour and some people less. Hence the instruction to mix and taste as you go.
*I am often too busy or lazy to bother with crushing garlic or finely chopping parsley. The tehini in our home is often without those two ingredients, but my family likes it just as much.
For more tips on perfecting your tehini sauce check out the "Tehini Sauce" recipe in the "recipes" section.
Tip #5: Experiment, be adventurous, but also take notes as you cook so that you can reproduce what you enjoy quickly and with ease.