There has been a bit of a trend going on at NOM NOM. And it is directly related to the cooling weather and lengthening nights. Winter is a time to nourish your body and soul with heart warming food. Don’t let the cold dreariness get to you and your inspiration in the kitchen. Now is the time to shine and enjoy winter warming food…
If you read these posts regularly you have probably noticed a theme developing over the last couple of months – being thrifty with your time and money in the kitchen. Of course this is great advice in hard financial times and when we all seem to be getting busier and busier by the day. But really, these aren’t the reasons why I have written about using leftovers to good effect, cooking slow food with little fuss or effort and cooking one pot meals. You see, if this blog is about anything it is about the fact that no matter what your circumstance, how rich or poor you are both in terms of time and/or money, that food can and should always take pride of place in your life.
You don’t need to be sampling molecular gastronomy at the country’s most esteemed restaurants every other week to discover the pleasures of a tasty meal. And you certainly don’t need to be spending loads of money to buy you culinary happiness. You don’t need plenty of time on your hands to cook and eat great food. But you do need inspiration. That is the point of this blog. To give myself inspiration while trying to inspire others. So, the aforementioned time and money saving tips have been ways of pointing out to you that there is no excuse to not be eating great food. Hopefully it has given you some ideas on how to keep going on your gastronomic quest on those days you feel defeated and beaten down.
Another and perhaps more upbeat reason why you may have noticed a little trend of thrift developing recently here at NOM NOM – or at least are now aware having read thus far – is to do with the seasons. Here in the Southern Hemisphere in the Land of the Long White Cloud (aka Aotearoa, New Zealand) winter has been spreading its tendrils. Not so much Land of the Long White Cloud and more Land of the Long Dark Grey Looming Clouds. Winter, no matter what country you are from, whether it snows, rains or hails day in day out is a time to look within, create cosiness and generally enjoy good hearty warming food.
Unfortunately it can also be a time when some days inspiration can be hard come by. Something about the grey light and the seeping cold makes you just want to pull up the bed covers and never leave the comfy confines of your bed. So this is the perfect time to admit to yourself that you need to nourish your body and mind with good warmingfood. And the good news is that good hearty food can easily be cooked in large pots and enjoyed throughout the week, not in monotony as you may think, but as an exciting dish each new day. If you haven’t read the feature on leftovers maybe it is time – after reading this article first of course!
Take this weeks recipes, miso butter sauce and eggplant and miso butter sauce and slow cooked pork belly, for example. Both can be cooked in large quantities if you wish and have the right quantity of ingredients available to you. It takes almost the same time to cook any quantity of many recipes – particularly recipes that don’t require huge amounts of chopping. If you do decide to cook a large quantity, this doesn’t mean you have to eat the same meal all week.
Of course you may decide that you want to if you enjoy it enough! And the above recipes are pretty damn tasty and definitely fall into the warming food category. But I used the leftovers for the two miso butter sauce recipes to make, sandwiches for lunch (the pork belly), sushi (I also cooked extra rice), as side dishes to other meals (miso butter eggplant goes brilliantly with any meat or rice dishes) and I used the slow cooked pork in a soba noodle and spinach salad. I got four meals out of that initial one good quality recipe (I cooked the pork belly and eggplant at the same time).
This makes it far more worth your while planing a meal in advance and taking time to cook something with good flavour – even if it takes a while. Your hungry lunchtime stomach will thank you tomorrow. And your soul will feel warmed and nourished all week, instead of succumbing to the cold and darkness. Make winter a cosy place, not a dark lonely tired one. Get out of bed and into the kitchen to cook some good winter warming food!