Scratch Meals are Easy to Make
- herbs and spices
and end up being a taste experience.
We usually make our scratch meals with rice , and as such, we have been known to start with a base recipe for chili, curry, paella, risotto or stir fry, and end up by throwing in whatever we have in the kitchen which needs eating up.
Tonight's paella base ended up containing:
- arborio risotto rice
- Quorn chicken (soya protein)
- 2 pints of chicken stock
- parsnips - leftovers frozen from a previous meal
- leeks - fresh frozen
- corn - from a previous meal
- mushroom - from a previous meal
- onion - leftovers
- mixed herbs
The recipe I use doesn't call for more than leeks and spices to be added to the rice, meat/Quorn and stock, but I have long been one to throw whatever I fancy into my meals, whether or not the recipe tells me to. Anything is better than overly priced, pre-packed, stuffed with whatever-exactly, microwavable guff, to my mind. I know what goes into the meals I prepare, after all.
My husband has just inhaled enough for two people and pronounced it 'lovely'. I might add that paella is a two-handed meal to prepare, someone needs to keep an eye on the meat/rice/stock mix and someone else needs to run round preparing the hot water for the stock and sourcing all the extras. And have the broom within reaching distance at all times for when the smoke alarm goes off, as it always does when cooking. So he had a hand in making this one too.
We do not eat seafood in this house (I don't get on with it) but we can usually adapt meals, like paella, which call for it by adding Quorn , chicken , turkey, pork or leeks to the mix. My paella has also in the past featured cauliflower, broccoli, spinach, mixed veg and carrot, depending on what is in the fridge or freezer and needs to be eaten.
The other advantage of scratch meals is that they can easily be sized up when catering for a party or wanting extra portions to freeze. Plus they freeze easily and can be reheated in the microwave for lunch at work.
Image Credit »