The hard meals. The ones I love, which take T-I-M-E.
Recipe Vegetarian Shepard’s Pie (courtesy of my dear friend Bhairavi – the culinary wonder!)
The secrets. As to how I get them done… even when I was working full time, as a Mom, with even less prep time than I do now. (If you count more prep time as having a crying baby hang off your leg as you chop veggies…) Everyone’s busy and I get it.
You can see the time on my stove in these photos. We’re taking AM time here. When I was working, the clock would have read 7am, but that was in a past life. Things are much more civilized now *sarcastic laugh*
I chop and prep everything I can, going so far as to even putting everything in the pots, on the stove, so all I have to do is turn the dial when I want to start. Here are the hints to getting to that point:
1. Onions. Unless you want you whole house to smell of onions, you will spray coat them in olive oil in the pan. The oil seals them to a degree and prevents the B.O. stink from setting into your house/clothes/furniture/kids/pets (not that I have pets, but I wanted to drive the point home).
2. Potatoes. Oxidize. If you aren’t good with science terms this means they go brown when you cut them (think bananas, or apples). So cover them with water in the pot. No oxygen means they can’t oxidize. No brown potatoes!
3. Reminders. There is a black hole in my brain. Somewhere. I just know it. And if I do all this prep work, in my head I’m skipping and singing and dinner is done! Only I didn’t add garlic (remember the smell…the house/ clothes/ furniture/ kids/ pets…yup garlic will do that, so DON’T add it until you actually start cooking) Hence the note, on the can of tomatoes, on the lid of the pot. Which I can’t start boiling until I add water. Which will remind me that I need to add the tomatoes. And when I go to open the can. The note will remind me of the garlic I need to add. (Too A-type? I’m not sure, have you tried a dish that called for garlic, without garlic? I have. It’s not pretty. And I’m not going to all this effort for a C+ on dinner.)
And Voila! Two crying kids later dinner is done to perfection (I blame the time change…for the kids) Would have looked nicer had I peeled the potatoes, but the skins contain added nutrients, so I opted not to this time. Did you know that leaving the skin on a baked potato increases your fibre by half? Giving you 26% of you daily recommended intake? And also that your protein increases from 3g per potato (no skin) to 7g (with skin). And your potassium level is twice that of a banana? So if you’ve been having muscle cramps (charlie horses) that added potassium might be a huge bonus!