It only occurred to me recently, that I think about recipes and cooking in a bit of a unique way…
You see, as a food scientist by trade, I look for the ‘general’ or ‘template’ ingredients that make a recipe work, rather than specifics.
For example, over the years I’ve discovered that to make a soup, you usually need about 1 1/2cups of liquid per person.
This can be water or stock or tomato puree or coconut milk or the canning liquid from a can of chickpeas or a combination of these.
The biggest benefit of thinking about recipes in terms of ‘templates’ is that it frees you from the constraints of traditional recipes.
At the same time, it encourages you to cook creatively while providing enough ‘support’ to ensure your kitchen experiments are successful, first time.
It also makes it A LOT easier to cook with the ingredients you have on hand. Simplifying your meal planning and reducing waste.
Here’s an example of how ‘template’ recipes work..
chunky veg soup ‘template’ recipe
1 aromatic vegetable, chopped
1 1/2 cups liquid
200g (7oz) vegetables, chopped
1-2 teaspoons flavouring, optional
small handful highlight ingredient
1. Heat a little oil in a medium saucepan. Add aromatic vegetable and cook, covered for 5-10 minutes until soft and golden.
2. Add liquid and veggies and flavouring, if using. Simmer for 15-20 minutes or until the veggies are cooked. Longer for root veg and less for leafy greens.
3. Taste. Season and serve with highlight ingredient on top.
aromatic veg – onions are my favourite but celery or carrots would be good instead..
liquid – chicken stock, vegetable stock, fish stock, white wine, red wine, coconut milk, tomato puree, canned tomatoes, water.
vegetables – zucchini, parsnips, sweet potato, pumpkin, brussels sprouts, fennel, peas, sugar snap peas, snow peas, cabbage, beets, asparagus, jerusalem artichokes, broccoli, cauliflower, red capsicum (bell peppers), bok choy, asian greens, spinach, silverbeet or any combination of these. Legumes are also great here.
highlight ingredient – Pesto. Hummus is good too or other sauces. Yoghurt, sour cream, guacamole. Goats cheese, parmesan, ricotta. Crispy bacon pieces. Proscuitto.
ps. Doors to the Stonesoup Virtual Cookery School are NOW OPEN.
For a LIMITED TIME you can get instant access to the Master Your Meal Plan class which has over 60 ‘template’ recipes.
For more details go to: