We lead such busy lives nowadays that finding any enthusiasm for cooking during the week is a bit of an issue, especially when you have fussy eaters at home. I cook about 3 different dinners almost every evening, and it is tedious.
I know it's my own fault partially that I pamper to all the preferences.
With our elder son, his relationship with food is part of his condition, so there's not much I can do about it. He eats a certain range of foods, every day of the year, Christmas or birthday.
With younger one, I don't know where I went wrong.
When he was little, he was such a good eater. It was a job to watch him eat stem broccoli and all kinds of vegetables, which he now wouldn't touch with a barge pole.
And in the last year my husband decided to go meat-free, which I find trickier to cater for. It's so much easier to cook meat or fish than a variety of vegetarian dishes, without relying all the time on pasta or risotto. Especially that he is a
I confess I started to rely on convenience foods a bit too much recently, buying pizza or vegetarian quiche which only need 10 minutes in the oven.
I still cook a lot of meals from scratch, but I don't do elaborate dinners any longer, as I used to in the past. Even my cakes and bakes are of the easier variety.
Soups are easy and relatively quick to prepare, from a mixture of fresh ingredients and kitchen cupboard staples.
Shiitake, basmati & wild rice soup
2 shallots, finely chopped
2tbsp olive oil
150g shiitake mushrooms
1tsp garlic butter
70g basmati and wild rice (I used Tilda)
1 carrot, peeled and grated
1 vegetable stock pot (Kallo)
40g mild cheddar cheese (optional)
Start by frying finely chopped shallots in the olive oil for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the grated carrot, and cook for another couple of minutes. Add the chopped mushrooms. Season with sea salt.
In a medium sized pan bring water to boil, add the stock, rice and mushroom mix. Cook for about 15+ minutes on low, until the rice is cooked. Add the grated cheese (optional, I wanted to finish off the leftover cheese).
Serve hot, with a nice chunk of bread, or breadsticks.
We like Italian grissini with soup. Crosta & Mollica are a great brand of flatbreads and breadsticks. But Tesco own Italian Original breadsticks at 75p per pack are a steal.
You could choose different mushrooms for this soup - chestnut or portobellini. Shiitake give an almost meaty, rich smoky taste.
In this soup I used a Kallo organic vegetable stock pot. This is a handy stock product to keep in your pantry, whenever you need stock for a soup, curry, risotto, stew or gravy. It's made with celery, carrot, onion, red pepper, sunflower oil, spices (garlic, lovage, turmeric) and more. It contains no artificial colours, flavours or preservatives, it's gluten free and is suitable for vegetarians and vegans.
This stock product was one of the foods delivered in the Degustabox (November 2018).
If you don't have this particular stock pot, any good quality vegetable stock would work (liquid, powdered or cubed).
Tilda is my favourite brand of rice, both for uncooked and pre-cooked varieties (in pouches).
Tilda basmati and wild rice is a tasty combination. Basmati is a fluffy light rice which goes well with the nutty wild rice. I buy a bigger 500g bag, and add it to all kinds of soups.
Adding this recipe to #KitchenClearout linky run by Cheryl at Madhouse Family Reviews, as I used the last piece of cheese and last stock pot in this soup recipe.