Vegetarian curry in a hurry
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.)