Rain, rain, rain and more rain made cooking on the weekend very attractive.
My nephew’s fifth birthday party was washed out, so Sunday was an unexpected free day and an opportunity to cook some meals and ingredients for the week ahead.
What I cooked
Lentils: I cooked three cups of lentils in my rice cooker. I used half of them to make Quick Lentil Soup and the other half has gone in the freezer.
Barley: I also cooked two cups of barley in the rice cooker. Half of this is in the fridge and the other are in the freezer.
Baked eggs: I made Cynthia’s beautiful and easy baked eggs for lunch. I added some fresh rosemary and chilli to the tomato mixture and served it with sourdough toast and a green salad.
Roast pumpkin: I had a small Japanese pumpkin (about 1.5kg) in the cupboard. Half of it was roasted with pears to make Lucy and Stephanie’s Roast Pumpkin & Pear Soup. The other half, I tossed together with some spices (1 teaspoon each of fennel seeds, coriander seeds, dried oregano and 1 dried chilli) and also roasted in the oven.
White beans: I soaked and cooked 500g of white beans
Harissa: I also had some fresh chillies in my fridge, perfect for a jar of harissa.
This all took me about three hours, although it wasn’t intensive cooking. While the above was going on, we also had friends round for coffee (and to do a lawn-mower / worm farm exchange), plus I read a third of the Saturday paper.
From this cooking session I have:
- 10 meal-size portions of soup in the freezer
- Enough spiced roast pumpkin for one mid-week meal . I’ll probably make something like this risotto, but I could also use it in a salad, add to another soup, spread on toast, or mix together with plain steamed vegetables to spice them up.
- Over 10 serves of vegetarian protein in the freezer . I always find it useful to have cooked beans and lentils in the freezer. There are so many ways you can use them, for example:
- Enough cooked barley for four meals . I often use barley as a change from rice. It takes longer to cook than rice, hence I tend to cook a batch up and freeze most of it. I also like barley mixed together with other vegetables, sprinkled with fetta and then browned under the grill.
- Since making my first batch of harissa about a year ago, I’ve found this spicy paste extremely useful. Harissa provides instant oomph and flavour to any dish. You can make the delicious lablabi, but I’ve also stirred it into pasta sauces and soups. A quick and particularly delicious supper is harissa cooked with white beans and haloumi.
After one cooking session, I now have a mixture of made-up meals and cooked ingredients, ready to be turned into easy mid-week meals.