I'm getting more and more ambitious in the kitchen. I just read The Skinny Girl Dish, Easy Recipes for Your Naturally Thin Life by Bethenny Frankel and actually, I have been really inspired by the author's style of cooking. And it is not a vegan cookbook. It's very focused around ingredient substitutions that make cooking in your home more practical and more economical. She's even got a chapter called "Channeling Your Inner Chef" and, well, I'm starting to do that.
You see, I didn't go to culinary school and I have never worked in a restaurant. Everything that I know about food came from watching and helping my mom in the kitchen, a little bit of home ec in 7th grade, a shit ton of time in front of, yes, The Food Network (and now, my new cooking resource, The Cooking Channel) and my own trial and error. So you'll have to excuse me if I am slow on the output of original recipes. I just don't have that level of kitchen confidence . . . yet.
But the absolute best thing for me about Bethenny Frankel's new book is a sub chapter entitled "Your Fix-It Guide." It explains very simply how to season food with the three basic flavors: salt, sugar and acid. I won't give away her tricks, but I will tell you that I have saved many recipes now with her guidance.
Last night was one of those ultra-busy nights where I had to prepare dinner, feed my family and race into the car to get to my oldest's play performance by 6:45. No sweat though, because I had a moment of culinary genius earlier in the day when I knew just what to do!
In my refrigerator sat a bunch of leftovers from the sushi that I had made a few days ago, including cooked short grain brown rice, spears of cucumber, carrot, and mango. I also had a ton of roasted beets and some avocado. It was a risk, but I threw it all together and dressed it with rice vinegar, soy sauce, sesame seeds and agave syrup and BAM! a winner was born. My husband said it was one of the best things he has ever tasted.
Healthy Girl's Leftover Sushi Salad
All quantities are approximate and can be easily tailored to your tastes. Just throw in whatever veggies you want to use up.
6 cups of cooked brown rice
1 1/2 ripe avocados, diced
3/4 cup small diced carrots
3/4 cup small diced cucumber
1 cup diced mango
1 cup small diced roasted beets
1/4 cup raw sesame seeds
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
1/8 cup soy sauce
1 tbsp agave syrup
Toss all ingredients together and enjoy!