Saturday morning. Peter went to play golf. He often plays 9 holes on Saturday mornings before the girls wake up. That is if he is not on call. I cooked oatmeal while reading whatever was around. Since Audrey became a vegetarian, I have been racking my brains to get enough protein in her. She doesn’t like eggs or cheese, so oatmeal cooked in milk with rice protein or whey protein powder has been an important meal for her.
As I stirred the oatmeal, I read this week’s Time Magazine cover story The Truth About Home Cooking. How fitting! The best selling food writer Mark Bittman shared his views, experiences and statistics on cooking.
Nowadays, the internet is clogged with food porn. More and more people say they are concerned about their health and the well-being of the planet, but fewer and fewer people are actually cooking dinners at home.
Bittman wrote: “There’s something peculiar about the our obsession with the business of cuisine. There are 24/7 TV shows on Food, countless food magazines and more Instagram accounts of impossibly beautiful and exotic dishes than one could count or, frankly, stomach… Making food a performance, as entertaining as that can be from our seats in the grandstand, has had a damaging effect on our relationship to cooking. In a land of million-dollar kitchens, Himalayan pink salt, dragon fruit, truffle butter and Wagyu skirt steak, most of us feel like outsiders — and as result, we cook less than we ever have.” He encourages us to take charge of our food and gives us suggestions on how to start cooking again. “Dinner can be simple: a soup, even one based on frozen vegetables; a piece of meat and a loaf of hearty bread; a chicken that roasts while you make a salad; pasta with vegetables…”
So, in the spirit of easy and basic home cooking, I made crock pot honey teriyaki chicken based on the recipe from Rasa Malaysia. The crock pot comes handy when you need to go in and out of the house running errands while the food is cooking. And today was one of those days for me.
2 boneless chicken breasts (I will try thigh next time. Dark meat should work better for this)鸡肉
1/8 cup dry sake 日本清酒
1/8 cup mirin 料酒
1/4 cup soy sauce 酱油
3 tablespoons honey 蜂蜜
2 cloves garlic, minced大蒜
2 tablespoons ginger, minced姜
freshly ground black pepper胡椒
1/8 cup water水
1 1/2 tablespoons corn starch (I omitted)淀粉
2 stalks green onions, chopped葱
toasted sesame seeds (I omitted this)芝麻
I added some vegetables in the pot.
Put all the ingredients other than the green onion and sesame seeds in the pot and turn it on high. Go do whatever you want to do and come back in 4 1/2 hours. Viola! You have your meal! Simple and delicious.
For the two vegetarians in the house, I made a crispy miso tofu on a bed of spinach and a hearty vegetable lentil soup.
I always buy washed organic baby spinach from Costco. It is the easiest thing to use in any menu. I use it for my sandwiches, salads, smoothies, and sauté it for a side dish for many main courses.
I use a teaspoon olive oil, a couple of crushed garlic and a little salt. You only need to cook the spinach for about 45 seconds.
I use Hodo Soy’s organic firm tofu from Costco. Spread a thin layer of miso paste on the sliced tofu and sear it dry with a little cooking spray.
The key to cooking the vegetable soup is to sauté the onion, tomato and carrots with olive oil until they caramelize. Then add vegetable stock, or chicken stock or water. I usually add whatever vegetable I have at hand. Or soak some beans. Or, like today, I used lentil. The soup was perfect for the cool grey autumn day.
In Mark Bittman’s article there is a simple desert recipe for Skillet Pear Crisp. It was a something Audrey could easily make and her desert was a smashing success. She even made it healthier by omitting the butter and sugar and using coconut oil and xylitol. By involving the children we instill in them the love and habit of cooking from a young age. While Angela is the nerd, who studies the details of nutritional value of everything, Audrey enjoys being a hands on cook.