The other day as dinner time drew closer, I began to have a think about what I would make and I drew a bit of blank. It feels like over the last few months Adam and I have got into a bit of food rut – making tried and trusted meals we know we enjoy and can rustle up fairly quickly. We both love getting into the kitchen and trying out new things, but somehow life just got in the way our creativity disappeared.
In a strange twist of fate within a day of me having this realisation, my friend Sonya wrote about food blogs and recipes she’s been enjoying lately, and it got me all enthused about cooking again.
Adam has been working away the last few weeks, so I’ve used the opportunity of solo meals to play around with lots of seasonal fruit and vegetables.
On days where I’m home for lunch, instead of making a sandwich or eating leftovers from last night’s dinner, I’ve taken to sautéing vegetables, like leeks and mushrooms and eating them on top of toast. It’s quick, filling and a good way to ensure you get your five serves of fruit + veg a day.
When the mid-afternoon muchies hit, I’ve been trying to get a hit of savoury and sweet all at once, snacking on Cornish cheddar on crackers with a tangerine on the side. I make myself eat two segments of fruit before I’m allowed a biscuit (cheese is a big weakness of mine!) to stop me from over-indulging.
For suppers, it’s been all about wholesome, warming dishes, which I’m craving more now the nights are getting darker and colder. I made beef stroganoff in the slow cooker the other Sunday – a dish I haven’t cooked in months – and it was heavenly. The beef fell apart as soon as you pierced it with your fork and the creamy sauce felt oh-so-indulgent.
I’ve also been throwing together quick pastas – great for work nights. One evening I cooked up some onion and garlic in some oil, added mushrooms (I’m a bit mushroom mad at the moment!) then wilted several generous handful of cavolo nero. A squeeze of lemon, a sprinkle of parmesan and a good grinding of black pepper left me with a delicious topping for some boiled pasta. I ate it cross legged, in my pyjamas on the sofa and was in seventh heaven.
It’s amazing how just a pinch of inspiration is all we need sometimes to reinvigorate us. I think it’s one of the lovely things about the internet – how we’re able to share simple things, like what we’re having for dinner – and that can be the catalyst for turning a routine night into something that feels a little special.
What are you enjoying cooking at the moment?