My romance with minimalism has lead me to spend a lot of time thinking about my kitchen; the stuff the occupies it, how often I am in it, the time I spend preparing meals and what I get out of it.
I think I spend a lot of time cooking. My average dinner takes about an hour of hands-on work, and several hours of "let dough rest" or "soak beans" or "allow to rise" or "marinate" and such. I usually start making dinner around noon. Is it worth it? I love to cook, but I do I love it that much?
I do love the results: delicious, healthy meals and a feeling of a job well done. But can I get those same results with less effort? With less time?
I decided to try: I've been browsing the Internet for vegetarian crock-pot recipes and asking friends for their easiest vegetarian recipe. I've made a list of "half an hour or less" meals and started thinking about freezing meals (something I have never done before. I don't even know how). I also asked a few close friends if they wanted to try a dinner swap once a month.
Tonight was the first attempt at a dinner swap. Instead of just exchanging a dinner, we decided that we wanted the social aspect as well; we'll have them over for dinner and the next week they'll have us over for dinner. Tonight they came over to our house. Since it also happened to be Cinco De Mayo, I decided to try something Mexican.
My wonderful grandmother recently gifted me tortilla bowl pans: just place your tortilla in the bowl and bake for a few minutes. I decided to make those:They turned out great! I filled our taco bowls with sauteed onions and green peppers, black and pinto beans, brown rice, taco TVP (YUM!) fresh lettuce, fresh tomatoes, fresh avocados, and topped with Greek yogurt (my new substitute for sour cream. I can't taste a difference so it works great) and cilantro dressing.
Made-from-scratch virgin margaritas:
and for dessert, my best tres leche cake yet with whipping cream and fresh organic strawberries.
So far so good.