96. Go-To Foods

Pondering how to write The World’s Greatest About Page yesterday was quite taxing. I was pleased with the post but I stayed up too late. Today will be short and sweet and filled with some decent ideas of easy things to cook but is certainly not “world’s greatest” caliber.

I have written before about how I think recipes can be really boring so these are just the “ideas” of these go-to recipes of ours. They are all super easy to make and very nutritious (and delicious!) and if you have any questions about any specific methods of preparation I will be happy to answer in the comments.

  • Cold salad (a mix of spinach and romaine is my go-to) with hot brown rice (or quinoa or amaranth or any other hot cooked grain) put right on top of the cold salad. Olives, pickled onions, artichokes and almonds are good additions. Hot grains/rice and cold salad is just such a great combination. Especially in the winter.
  • Hot sauce is my go-to salad dressing
  • Cut up a sweet potato in fry shapes or chip shapes, roast and then eat (with hot sauce)
  • Brown rice (or quinoa) with pumpkin puree and a dash of soy sauce, a pinch of curry powder and, yes, hot sauce, then just heat it up (in the microwave if I’m just making one serving, or you could reheat a bigger batch in a pot on the stove)
  • Make a big pile of caramelized onions then keep them in a bowl in the fridge and you can use them on top of soups, salads, whatever
  • White beans with garlic
  • Black beans with tons of spices (paprika, tumeric, cumin, thyme, chili powder, tiny bits of garam masala and cardamom (those last two are very pungent)) and hot sauce
  • Carrot and lentil soup
  • Potato Celery soup with sage, thyme and rosemary
  • Quinoa, peas and lemon
  • Kale and mushroom soup
  • For easy “umami flavor” to add complexity to things: a bit of soy sauce, caramelized onions, mushrooms, Dijon mustard and/or LOTS of spices does the trick
  • Bread (with at least part of the flour from whole grains) (here’s the recipe I use)

The go-to’s start to elude me and I struggle to think of more examples. Did I mention hot sauce? I ask out loud…

“Hey, what are some of the things I cook all the time?

Smoochie, “Soup.”

The Spy, “Don’t tell anyone about them!”

Me, “Why?!”

The Spy, “They’re our secret tuggle food.”

What is “tuggle” you ask? It is just being home and cozy and in The House of Smoochie. Like snuggle. With a T.

It’s quite flattering that he thinks my cooking is good enough to want to keep it confidential. Flattering enough that now I’m thinking maybe I should be more specific in describing the preparations of my “go to” meals. But, I am ready to tuggle up and go to sleep. It is SNOWING (YAYyyyy!!) and I look forward to waking up to the first white morning of winter!

Here are some shots (from yesterday, when it was 70 degrees) to serve as the “before”:

We are raked and ready for the snow!

We are raked and ready for the snow!

Dandelion (that is now covered in snow!)

Dandelion (that is now covered in snow!)

Knockout Rose bush. The stalks look so purple in this picture

Knockout Rose bush. The stalk looks so purple in this picture

Beautiful day!

Beautiful day!

Goodnight moon!

Goodnight moon!

p.s. if you have any good go-to foods that are quick to prepare and nutritious please share in the comments!

9 thoughts on “96. Go-To Foods

  1. Eliza Waters

    70 degrees and a dandelion? You’re breaking my heart! It’ll be a long time ’til we see 70 again.
    I love the knockout rose colors – you must be using the icons! ;-)
    These are my favorites-
    Carrot and lentil soup
    Potato Celery soup with sage, thyme and rosemary – (so Yum-sounding!)
    Quinoa, peas and lemon
    I’m definitely adding them to my repertoire. My husband said my go-to is salad. I agree. I put whatever is in the fridge on top of the greens (which are usually organic spring mix). I cook a lot of chicken, usually stir-fry or curried. When we were first married we cooked a lot out of the 60-Minute Gourmet by Pierre Freney – so good and easy. (You could probably find a used one for a penny on Amazon!) Nowadays, I’m off dairy and super-spicy, unfortunately. I hope you’ll always be able to enjoy your hot sauce! My picante days are over, I’m sad to say. The price I pay t’ain’t worth it!

    1. Spy Garden Post author

      Yeah I hate to brag, but we have an awesome winter. It gets very cold (right now I think it is 19 or something) and most years we get a good amount of snow, but throughout the winter days there are days where it gets to 60s (and sometimes even 70!) It is easy to enjoy the winter when you get a few “days off” aaha! As for the food, yes salad is my favorite but in the winter I usually like to add something hot to it. But basically anything in the fridge can easily be thrown on top of a salad!

  2. narf77

    The son-and-heir used to call soup “foods last chance to be eaten”…I think that bypassed tuggle and tossed it out of the window ;). As the weather heats up food becomes less desirable and more of an effort to think about. My breakfasts turn from buckwheat porridge with sesame milk to the ubiquitous “smoothie”. Just about any and everything gets thrown in and its a whole lot easier to eat in hot weather if you turn your food into milkshake ;). Pity I can’t have them for every meal! I love winter and Brunhilda who is currently being used as a 500kg stand for my kombucha scoby “Hilda”. Winter means 24/7 warmth and anytime cooking…if I wanted to get up at 2am and bake myself a loaf of bread I could. In summer it’s too much effort to shop for bread…back to smoothies ;)

    1. Spy Garden Post author

      yes I am very “seasonal” about foods too and those go-to’s were definitely “winter”. I need to get a good blender, your smoothies sound delish (and nutrish!)

      1. narf77

        I paid a ridiculous amount for a Vitamix about 7 years ago when we lived in another state, were both working and I was a bit delusional about thinking that I was going to live on raw food and sprouts (for some reason). Found out I didn’t actually like sprouts and raw food is incredibly expensive to exist on so the Vitamix went into the cupboard where I didn’t even use it! I almost gave it away before we moved here but as I paid SOOO much for it ($1200!!!) I was loath to part with it. I lugged it all the way over here to the other side of the country and then when I pulled it out of the box it was in, I decided to start using it again and now I use it practically every day and its an indispensable part of my daily food routine. Smoothies are scrumptious and I throw in mangoes, pineapple, coconut, bananas, spinach, celery, beetroot ANYTHING and it gets rendered down to smooth deliciousness. I think I have just about gotten to the point where I am breaking even ;). I had to pay so much for it because back then there was only 1 small importer in Australia. Most people hadn’t heard of the name “Vitamix” and I had to pay through the nose for importing it into the country. I hear people in the U.S. saying that a Vitamix is an expensive option at $350 and chuckle to myself and wonder what they would think of me spending SOO much on one but I reckon its actually worth it. You could make sawdust in a Vitamix ;)

  3. penueaj

    Love quick prep foods! I love chopping red and green peppers add canned corn, chopped onion with a little bit of olive oil, salt and pepper. keep in the fridge and top salads with this through out the week!


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