|It doesn't rain all the time in Seattle...
When we came back from our trip to Seattle, I did a small shopping for milk, vegetables and some fruits and decided to experiment: what if I don't go shopping anymore until the payday? We had milk, apples, flour, legumes, and different vegetables that I used for everyday cooking.
Three days before payday I realized I am out of many fresh ingredients, so I had to be really creative to cook from what I had available.
|Three days before payday: soup (a.k.a. Kale soup)
After a quick inventory of the refrigerator, I made a "Three days before payday" soup, also known as Kale and Potato Soup. A friend, that we visited in Seattle, gave me the recipe, and despite a few missing ingredients, this soup quickly became my men's favorite. To make it I had one potato, a small container of whipping cream, one onion, a few kale leaves, two cups chicken broth, salt and pepper, a tablespoon of butter or good quality olive oil.
Cooking is just as easy: saute onions in fat of your choice, add chicken broth, bring it to a boil, add potato, cook until potato is done, add cream, salt and pepper to taste. Add kale leaves and turn the heat off. Quick, easy, and simple. Plus delicious, as my men said.
|Two days before payday: Beet salad with micro greens, and a meat filled pastry
The next day, I decided to make a meat filled pastry and a salad from a roasted beets and shoe box microgreens. "What?!" I hear you. Microgreens are a tiny green vegetables, that grow in shoe box (in my case), that rent a kitchen's window seal. Still have question? I guess it's about the shoe box.
Well, there was an empty plastic shoe box, that was traveling from one closet to another, than to the shoe rack, than back to the closet until one day I looked at it and... Evrika!, decided to plant my greens in it. I made a few holes in the box, filled it with a good soil (I don't have a garden, but I do have my worms, that eat our food scraps and make a perfect compost and tea for my plants), planted seeds, and in two weeks I had my first harvest of the most nutrient and ecofriendly greens.
While I was making my pastry, beets were roasted at 400F for 90 minutes. Then I peeled it, sliced it, and mixed it with a sliced green onion. I seasoned it with a freshly grind black pepper and a good quality sea salt (I had Alaea Hawaiian sea salt), and served with a handful of micro greens (arugula, dill and lettuce), then drizzled a little olive oil on the top.
The Husband loved the salad, teenager however gave the greens a look and tried to push it to the side of the plate. I gave him my look (we have a long negotiated agreement that he finishes his salad before he eats any meat), and he asked me what was it. I told him it's lettuce, but a very small one. He scoffed but made a first bite. Then he quickly finished his salad and moved a bowl with meat filled pastry closer, giving it a soft hug. Kids... :)
|One day before payday: Polenta with shallots and porcini mushrooms
On the morning of the third day I was inspired by Ottolenghi's recipe from his book Plenty, and had all available in my kitchen ingredients (polenta and dried porcini mushrooms) set on the kitchen counter to make polenta pizza for dinner. I don't have a book, hence I know only that this polenta pizza has mushroom topping.
I prepared the mushroom with shallots and white wine, and all was left is to make the pizza crust from polenta. I was in the middle of making polenta when the husband came home with question that sounded more like a statement: "when's the dinner?" He rushed himself into the kitchen, looking for something to warm up. "Oh, polenta! Let me wash my hands!"
I quickly changed my plans from pizza to simple polenta with porcini mushrooms: an always welcomed dinner in this house!
|Peach and berry pie
That was an interesting experiment that proves no extra shopping necessary to make a good dinner. We often tend to over-complicate our food, forgetting that simple food tastes just as good.
Oh, yes, we also had some pie! All before payday.