Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Waste not, want not. Love, Mama.

I can still hear my mother’s words just like it was yesterday, chiding me not to waste food. Food was just not to be wasted. You see, my mother came through the depression and times were hard. You made do and did without. None of this throwing away stuff just because you didn’t like it. If you think these people promoting “being green” are fanatics, you should have seen Mom in action.

In honor of dear ol’ Mom, last night I made some food with stuff that had just been around my house for way too long. I kept it simple and only purchased one thing to complete one dish – chicken breast.

For the first dish, I made an apricot sauce. I had apricots that were not going to be around too much longer. I chopped them up, added sugar, and cooked them down to make a sauce. I can’t claim that I did much for measuring, but for the sake of anyone who wants to try this, I used about two cups of chopped apricots and one-half cup of sugar. I then cooked them down to the consistency that I wanted.

This morning I had some with my yogurt. It was pretty tasty; even if I have to say so myself. Maybe this weekend, I can try it with pancakes.

To continue in this same vein, I found a recipe for chicken salad with olive vinaigrette – I had all of the ingredients except the chicken.

Chicken Salad with Olive Vinaigrette

Serves 4.

1 cup uncooked Israeli couscous
¼ cup chopped pitted kalamata olives
2 Tablespoons chopped parsley
1 Tablespoon capers
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
1 garlic clove, minced
2 (7 ounce) packages 98% fat-free chicken breast in water

1. Cook couscous according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain.
2. Combine olives, parsley, capers, olive oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper, garlic and chicken. Add couscous. Stir to combine. Serve cold or at room temperature.

Source: Cooking Light, July 2003

I did make a few changes. This was not about using the exact recipe. It was about ridding my kitchen of stuff that had been there for way too long. First, I did not use fresh lemon juice. I did not have any and I was not about to go to the store. I used two tablespoons of red wine vinegar instead. I have also never purchased chicken breast in water and was not about to do it for this recipe. Instead I used one chicken breast half. I poached the breast and used the liquid to cook the couscous. (Remember, waste not, want not.) I am also adding a few cherry tomatoes to mine. And that will be my lunch! I hope you had fun reading this blog. And I hope it brought back memories of your mother or grandmother. Let us know about your mother food stories. We would love to hear them.

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