photo by 10 rosso via flickr.com
As someone who is organizationally challenged, being able to spend time cooking is a rare treat--and so is having everything I need for a recipe on hand! I'm still adding to the ingredients I have on hand slowly.
One thing that has been helpful is that the vegan recipes I have used to make new meals are generally family sized recipes. I'm the only vegan in the house. Hubby will eat vegan food if it is made, but the kids generally won't try it once they hear the word vegan. This means that I usually have lots of left overs. Such was the case today.
Lunch was leftover vegetable stew from last night's dinner and supper was pasta with left over sauce. The great thing about leftovers is that they usually taste even better the second day!
Pasta sauce is something I generally make from scratch. We were gifted a whole box of jarred tomato sauce this fall, so we are making the most of it. I start with a bit of garlic heated in vegetable oil (I use an oil that is part Canola, part olive), then add the tomatoes. I add vegetables that I have on hand. This batch had eggplant and mushrooms. Spices usually include oregano, pepper, and parsley. And a trick I learned from my aunt--put a carrot in the sauce while it is cooking to take out the acidic taste. Do not eat this carrot as it absorbs the acid flavour. By doing this, you avoid having to put sugar in your tomato sauce. I let it all simmer together for awhile, then make the pasta.
What I especially like about left overs is that there is the opportunity to freeze portions individually for use later. This becomes my "fast food" option. On those nights when I don't have the time or desire to cook, I can thaw out a meal, add a salad and I'm good to go without having to try to find something quick and easy. This way I'm not stuck having something unhealthy just because I'm hungry and it's quick.