Cooking Notes – July 2014

Pot Roast We both agreed that this is the best pot roast I’ve ever made – I’m not sure what was different. I always use the same basic recipe but this was the first time I used whole tomatoes I canned myself after a big sale at the farm stand last summer (I’d only made jam before, and was nervous to try veggies I’d canned myself). I also used white wine instead of my usual red and was pleasantly surprised – might do that again. Toddlers and adults alike loved the meat and veggies.

Quinoa and Kale Salad Despite the obnoxious trendiness of these two ingredients, the salad is fantastic and filling. Such a nice blend of soft and crunchy, sweet and tangy, fresh and rich. Some of the ingredients listed might be available in NYC but are most definitely not available here in Nowheresville, Podunk, USA. Substituted Feta for Ricotta Salata, and regular kale wilted by sauteeing in olive oil for the black kale. Used red wine vinegar, skipped the dill because I didn’t have any, and skipped the honey because I thought the cherries added plenty of sweetness. The boy loved this stuff and gobbled it up like candy. The girl was more hesitant, though individual elements were immediately approved.

Chinese Beef and Tofu from Save with Jamie. I’d never cooked tofu before – it turned out well and the kids loved it. This is a great cookbook. Unfortunately, I don’t think they’ve come out with a US edition yet so plan on a couple minutes to convert all the metric measurements before cooking. A flavorful meal we all liked. My only beef (har har) is that it was a bit too salty even though I skipped the salty beef stock cube and used low-sodium soy sauce. Next time I will also skip sprinkling the meat with a little salt at the beginning, but I don’t think there’s anything else I could reduce. Our local store only sells one kind of black bean sauce, and most of the excess salt came from that.

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