Laughing, Weeping, Living

Life happens. You laugh about it or cry about it, sometimes both.

The Phenomenon of Recipe Rotation

on September 28, 2013

I think Recipe Rotation is a real thing. The other day I was thinking about the foods I’ve been cooking lately, and they are not the same sorts of foods I used to cook last year, or even four years ago. I think my repertoire of recipes is shifting. It’s not that I don’t know how to cook those old dishes anymore, but they aren’t the first things I think of when I need to come up with a plan.

In the past week or so, I’ve made some version of oven-roasted vegetables three or four times. I made squash and carrot soup that started with roasting the veg in the oven before simmering and pureeing. This was served with crackers and cheese.

I made taco-stuffed sweetie peppers. This was served with rice on the side.

I made a squash and potato dish with bacon and cheese. This was served on it’s own as a complete casserole, but I would have done well to serve a salad or green beans or something.

I made a potato/carrot/beet dish with oil and fresh herbs. This was served with bread and cheese, and fresh cherry tomatoes.

Except for the stuffed peppers, these dishes feel rustic and simple. They are comforting to eat and simple to make despite the long roasting times. The hardest part is planning ahead to get the dish in the oven in time for an hour of roasting before dinner time. Even the fish I made last night for dinner was pretty rustic: slice some veg and make a foil packet, lay fish fillet over the veg and pour some sauce. Cook the foil packet. Easy.

I didn’t used to have a rustic cooking preference. A year ago, I was making a lot of pizzas, skillet suppers, mexican style food, and dishes served with rice. A few years ago I was making a lot of exotic ethnic foods, chili and stew type dishes, and casseroles.

This week when I made the roasted vegetable dish with bread and cheese on the side, I was surprised at how satisfying I found the meal to be, even though there was no meat and nothing complicated in the preparation. Jeremy agreed that he would also like to eat that kind of meal a couple times a week. That got me thinking about other rustic kinds of dishes I might like to sneak into my repertoire. Polenta with a variety of roasted or steamed vegetables. Simply seasoned chicken with fruit and cheese. Crock pot roast with mashed potatoes or rice.

I’m looking forward to exploring these options and making satisfying meals with simple ingredients. I’m happy my favored recipes are starting to shift toward the less complicated end of the spectrum. My life is complicated enough in other areas! Let the kitchen be simple!


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