Saturday, August 8, 2015

Cheating Just A Little

Cooking is involved and labor intensive , especially in the summer. It's hot , sticky and the last place anybody wants to be. Yet we all have to eat. What's the solution? Cheating - just a little. Adding instant this or that can make cooking over a hot stove a bit easier.

Any pasta dish is easy to make. It's just boiling spaghetti or  rotelli and serving it with sauce. The problem is the sauce. Cooking one with fresh tomatoes can take a long time.Most sauces take an hour to simmer.It's great if you're making it on a crisp autumn or cold winter's day , not so much on a hot August one. It's time to temporarily put aside  any snootiness about jarred sauces and use them. Some , especially the organic ones, taste sort of like home made . If you still feel guilty  then doctor it up with a few homemade touches. Some commercial sauces have an overwhelming saltiness to them. Add just a tiny pinch of sugar or drop of honey will remedy that. A tablespoon or two of olive oil can give richness too   ,Remember to always also put in a cup of the pasta water in the sauce before adding the pasta. It gives it flavor and body too.The same ideology applies to making lasagna and cannelloni too. as for the lasagna, the best bet is buying the precooked noodles and then using jarred sauce. Everyone still enjoys a homemade pasta dinner but without all the hot fuss.

Nothing beats a hot roast beef or turkey sandwich for lunch or dinner, yet cooking an entire roast in ninety degree weather is torturous. Instead go to your local grocery mart or deli and get sliced London Broil or turkey  and serve with jarred gravy. If you want stuffing, then use Stovetop Stuffing.  which cooks up in no time. It would be nice to have a side of any fresh veggie, because they're in season, however don't feel too ashamed to use canned ones. Even salads, those simplest of dishes can be made with a little cheating. Buy a salad kit. These are wonderful because the greens, dressings and fixings are all prematched. Dole has an excellent Asian chopped salad that is mostly two kinds of cabbage along with a sweet sesame dressing.Crunchy noodles and almond slivers are also added for texture. If you want just add grilled chicken or even shrimp for a more substantial meal. Another good salad is Dole's kale Caesar one which blends health greens with yummy Caesar dressing garlic croutons  and two kinds of cheese. Again add some chicken to turn it into an easy and nutritious meal.

Don't get stuck in a hot kitchen cooking. Cheat a little to create a hot and hearty meal. All it takes is something jarred or pre made and you have a tasty lunch or dinner.

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