Wednesday, October 15, 2008

A Quick Fix

As I much as I love being in the kitchen, there are days when I walk through my door at the end of a long day, plop myself on my couch and just wish that, with the snap of my fingers, dinner would be on the table waiting for me. Granted, living in the twenty-first century, life is almost as easy as a snap of a finger. Pick up the telephone and you have delivery in half an hour. Open the fridge or the cupboards and you’re bound to find some frozen or dried, over-processed food that requires reheating or minimal cooking (yes, even I have a few of those stashed in the dark depths of my cupboard/freezer for backup and emergencies).

The thought of ordering in or eating something frozen doesn’t always appeal to me. The better half of me tells me that it’s a healthier choice to just get my lazy ass in the kitchen and whip up something quick and easy, even if it’s just boiling pasta and opening a jar of pasta sauce. Better yet is when I can make use of whatever I have lying in my fridge and just toss them into my dinner as well.

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I saw this recipe a couple of weeks ago in one of my favourite food magazines, delicious, a gorgeous Australian import that makes quite a dent in my wallet each month, but is oh-so-worth it. I love how the recipes featured in the magazine are always simple and easy, with a touch of flare to it. There’s always something for everyone, and luckily, I flagged a recipe that was perfect for a weeknight. The Sesame Chicken with Buckwheat Noodles and Bok Choy, featured in Vol.5, Issue 6 of delicious is great because it’s so forgiving; you can easily substitute many of the ingredients it suggests for something else.

Thinking I had buckwheat soba noodles in my cupboards, a thorough search through them made me realize that I was wrong in my presumptions, thus I substituted the noodles with spaghetti. I also poached a fillet of salmon in lieu of the chicken. You can also play around with different vegetables; I’m sure this dish would taste just as fabulous with some napa cabbage thrown in. As for the sauce, you can just as easily substitute the tahini with peanut butter to make a peanut dressing. Add a bit of spicy chili sauce to it and you’ll have a Sichuan flare. And do tinker around with the sauce to your own tastes. I personally found it a bit bland-tasting at first, so I played around with it until I was happy with the flavours.

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You can either toss this together in a bowl, making for a nice cool (or even warm) dish, perfect for a summer’s day, or toss it all in a skillet during the chillier months. Simple, quick and nutritious, you’ll be happy to know that dinner is only 20 minutes away. And yes, that is faster than calling for pizza.


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