Part 5: Tricks I have learnt for speedy cooking
- Keep some basic dry spices handy. I find mustard seeds, cumin, turmeric and coriander particularly useful
- A few jars of Latasha’s pastes/sauces, canned legumes/lentils and a couple of spices in the cupboard mean a meal is close by.
- Veggies are interchangeable- greens are greens and carrots, beans, pumpkin, cauliflower, capsicum and most others are interchangeable.
- A rough veggie chop is fine. I often put large pieces of washed veggies (roots trimmed off) like Asian greens including stems, capsicum, green beans etc on a board and chop them with a large sharp knife.
- 4-5 fresh tomatoes can be substituted in a cooked dish for a tin of whole/chopped tomatoes OR 2/3 of a bottle of passata /tomato puree.
- Rice noodles need a quick soak, no cooking, to be ready to add to a dish of fried noodles
- 165ml cans of coconut milk are a great size to add to a 4-8 person dish for a hint of coconut without adding an excess of kilojoules to an everyday dish.
- Leftover rice freezes well and can be reheated in a flash for serving or use in fried rice dishes.
- Eggs are an almost instant food.
- A few basic side additions that take just a few minutes make a meal seem fancy eg mixed grated cucumber and yoghurt, microwaved pappadams, onion mixed with diced tomato and some green chilli.. and so on.
- Gourmet Garden pots make a partly dried basil and coriander product that can be used at a moment’s notice.
- Bottled lemon and lime juice last a long time in the fridge and will work when the fresh versions are unavailable or not In your fruit bowl.
- Use up ends of fresh herbs (eg coriander, mint, curry leaves), spring onions, lemon or lime juice and over ripened tomatoes can be blended and used as an aromatic addition instead of water.
Which are my quickest recipes for a satisfying speedy meal?
I would suggest the following:
- LK Homestyle Curry Paste Legume Hurry Curry I use this recipe when I have to rely on the cupboard/freezer for the bulk of the ingredients. Serving this with some pita bread negates the need to cook rice but if you have a serve of two of cooked leftover rice in the freezer it comes in handy here. I always have a tomato or some cucumber on hand for some veg to add on the side however any chopped salad veg will do.
- LK Thai Red Curry Paste Fried Rice, the egg only version. This is quick if you have 2 cups of brown rice already cooked otherwise use fine rice noodles which need just a soak. When I am cooking brown rice I cook extra so I can store some in the freezer ready to go for this dish.
- LK Thai Red Curry Paste Tofu Pumpkin Curry Tofu in the long-life form has a long fridge life so is perfect for a quick dish and this is a minimal preparation meal.