Veg­e­tar­ian curry in a hurry

Calgary Herald - - YOU - JU­LIAN ARM­STRONG ju­lia­n­arm­strong1@gmail.com

The din­ner hour doesn’t have to be high stress, say two work­ing moth­ers who have or­ga­nized their fam­ily cook­ing and writ­ten a cook­book about their sys­tem.

In The Plan Buy Cook Book (Hardie Grant/rain­coast, $35.99), Jen Petro­vic and

Gaby Chap­man call for se­ri­ous ad­vance plan­ning, a weekly bout of cook­ing easy recipes and ef­fec­tive use of the freezer.

Their book in­cludes more than 80 din­ner dishes. The cook­ing re­flects cuisines of the world, from this In­dian-in­spired meat­less curry to Ital­ian meat­balls, and from Por­tuguese but­ter­flied chicken to a pad Thai and soba noo­dle salad.

Petro­vic and Chap­man call their sys­tem “food­bank­ing.”

They ex­plain how they spend two hours a week cook­ing dou­ble batches of two dishes — half of each to be frozen for other nights — use fast and easy recipes sev­eral nights and wind down with one weekly meal based on left­overs or take­out.

The hand­somely il­lus­trated book is rich in cook­ing tips. For ex­am­ple, don’t freeze fish or tofu be­cause they con­tain so much mois­ture; wash let­tuce and herbs as soon as you get them home, and re­frig­er­ate in sealed con­tain­ers with pa­per tow­els be­tween lay­ers; freeze fresh lemon and lime juice in ice cube trays so they’re al­ways on hand; and mea­sure out sea­son­ings and sauces in your recipe be­fore you start cook­ing.

(One warn­ing: the Aus­tralian au­thors give tem­per­a­tures for fan-forced ovens, so add

68 F/20 C for reg­u­lar ovens.)

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