I met Vanessa on twitter and we’ve become fast friends. When she offered to write a guest post for me I jumped at the chance. Please head over to her blog for a peruse!
Hi! I’m Vanessa. I usually blog over at 26 Years and Counting but I thought I’d come over here and guest post while Clare is on holidays. My husband recently spent a year misdiagnosed as a type 1 diabetic – yes, the needle kind. In this time our diet changed a lot and a new fresh fruit & veggie store opened a few doors from our house. Fresh veggies have made a huge difference to our diet and they taste really good! No more frozen-for-a-year from the supermarkets.
The other day, my kitchen was actually clean, which made me want to:
b) make it messy again
So I really couldn’t let my kitchen stay clean. It felt wrong. I started pulling things out of the fridge. I don’t cook to recipes, mostly because I just don’t like following instructions. I just throw things on to cook and see what happens.
I prefer to buy my fish fresh, but these bags from our local IGA are pretty good and fairly cheap, so they’re a budget conscious option. We buy a range of veggies at the local store each week – sometimes I’ll use one or two in a meal, sometimes I just start throwing the lot in. This time I had some chopped snow peas and carrots left over from when we made rice paper sushi rolls, so that saved a bit of time.
I am always going around in circles about what I should use in cooking. I don’t like the idea of all the chemicals in artificial things like margarine, but I don’t like the fats in butters and oils. I tend to just swap a lot. At this point I heated our big frying pan and some oil.
I chop by size – purely because I figure larger or thicker vegetables take longer to cook. I don’t know if that qualifies as a technique or just logic. I’d like to think it’s a technique and that I’m special.
Next I moved down by size, which meant zucchini! I’ve become addicted to zucchini lately.
In the meantime, I’ve started defrosting the fish in the microwave, only to realise I only had one fillet left. For two people. Oh well.
I was debating how to cook the fish, as I prefer it in the oven. However, that would have required me to have thought about what I was cooking before I started, so I just threw it into a smaller frying pan to cook quickly.
The vegetables started to stick a bit at this point, but I didn’t want to use any more sesame oil as it can overpower things. So I added some butter. See, I really can’t make up my mind about what I use on pans.
I love my onions, even though they make me cry. I decided to go mild on this one and just use spring onion.
Unfortunately I got a bit too distracted at this point and the fish got a tad stuck to the pan. Whoops.
I added my secret ingredient to the vegetables. Oriental Sweet Plum sauce. I love Woolies select brand of stir frys and marinades. I don’t buy too much food in chain supermarkets as I prefer my dollars go local, but the marinade range is good. I really only chose this one as there wasn’t enough left in it to use it as a marinade for any other meal, and it’s not a flavour we use too often.
And then it was all pretty much done! I just stirred the sauce through the vegetables, made sure they were all cooked and served it.
And there you have it – a fairly quick cooked, healthy lunch! We eat a fairly low quantity and very specific of carbohydrates these days, but you could always supplement this with some pasta mixed in with the sauce and vegetables. Or make it into a toasted sandwich!
Do you use recipes, or do you just cook whatever comes to mind? What’s your greatest random cooking meal been?