By Dietitian Jill Place
I’m a HUGE advocate of bringing back cooking as a primal skill. Because it’s something we’ve gotten away from and, as a result, are fatter and unhealthier than ever before!
Also, the act of preparing your own food has a therapeutic … even soul-soothing … effect. And these non-recipes take about as much time as you spend in the McDonald’s or In-and-Out order-out line.
I DO have Gluten Free recipes on my website … lots of them. But … if you didn’t already like to cook or refuse to do so even they … and, trust me, most of them are as simple as you can get … are a daunting task.
So how can you learn to love to cook if you’ve never yielded a knife or a spatula? EASY! DON’T USE RECIPES! Instead, just cook!
You Don’t Have to Cook to … Cook!
Many of my clients are enamored of these services that deliver all the ingredients to your door along with step-by-step instructions. Much cheaper than a personal chef.
But you still have to chop, cook, and follow a recipe. So here’s my even simpler alternative.
I was flipping through my latest Gluten Free & More magazine and came upon this super-simple idea that even YOU can do. I’m making it for dinner tonight as I’m a HUGE Chinese-food freak … but also love to cook easy …
If you’re just starting … or are beginning once again … with cooking, I’d suggest you get a few non-stick and non-PFOA (causes a bunch of things including obesity and cancer) pans (at least a small- or medium-size skillet and a decent-size sauté pan with a lid; I have AllClad nonstick … a bit pricy but you can buy them one at a time like I did) and some silicone utensils. Non-stick pans allow you to cook with less fat and liquid … and less clean-up.
I use my non-stick pans for the non-recipe below (I call it a non-recipe because you can use whatever ingredients you like and mix-and-match things like sauces and optional ingredients), which I found in a San-J ad. They made many sauces … all of them Gluten-Free. So choose your fave … or any other Gluten-Free sauce … and do the following …
Best Gluten Free Non-Recipe
1. Choose and cut into 1-inch pieces 1 pound of your favorite protein … beef, chicken, pork, shrimp, or tofu (or I’m thinking of doing this next with tempeh … a meat-like fermented (LOVE fermented foods) soy product; for this occasion, however, I chose pork tenderloin … my fave cut of pork)
3. Mince garlic (1 peeled clove) and/or sliver fresh peeled ginger (1 or 2 Tablespoons [optional]) or microplane (one of my favorite kitchen gadgets) them.
4. Stir-fry protein until browned in 1 tablespoon of oil in saute pan; remove to a plate. Stir-fry vegetables of your choice (you can get them already trimmed and cut in packages) and optional garlic and/or ginger 5 to 8 minutes until crisp-tender, adding more oil if needed. Add the protein back along with about ¾ cup of your fave cooking sauce (I used San-J Orange Sauce) and stir fry until heated through. Serve with rice or other grains or noodles.
Now if you’re REALLY ambitious and just CAN’T have Chinese food without fried rice … here’s a super simple way to do it …
Best Gluten Free Non-Recipe #2
1. Scramble 1 or 2 eggs in medium skillet and set aside.
2. Use any 2 cups of any leftover rice or cook any rice to equal 2 cups (I just LOVE brown jasmine for this, or … even better … a blend of rices). Sauté in a little oil in a non-stick pan until the rice starts to crisp and color.
3. Add frozen peas, carrots, corn, or any other vegetable (optional). Return eggs to pan and add Gluten Free soy sauce to taste. Serve with other dishes.
I love to make this fried rice when I bring home some leftover Chinese food; it takes literally 5 minutes, especially when you already have the rice in the fridge, and tastes terrific … especially if you use the rice blends!
I hope you’ll consider cooking more in this year. Because if you’re going Gluten Free, want to lose weight, or try any other healthy lifestyle change, it’s the ONLY way to go!
What’s the easiest non-recipe you make? How long does it take to throw your easiest meal together? What do you make?