Chick Peas, feta and Greens, Michael Phelps, and O.K.,Maybe It’s NOT So Easy!

Hi everyone. Please remember to click on the title of this post to read the rest. I want to start off by telling you that I keep a toothbrush and deodorant in a cup in my kitchen cabinets. Why? Because a busy woman like myself does not always have the luxury of time to go upstairs to my bathroom to take care of these morning tasks when I need to get the kids out of the house. Sometimes we have to think out of the box to save time and make things easier for ourselves. My husband thinks it is messy and lazy of me to have these products in the cabinets but he doesn’t have to get all the kids fed, clothed, and to school in a short span of time every morning, now, does he?

Speaking of ease, I want to discuss the word “easy”. Here is a comment by a reader from the last post:

“This was a great video Alma – shows how it’s actually not that “easy” to cook for self and others, and yet it can still be done. It’s a relief to know just because it doesn’t feel “easy” doesn’t mean I’m doing it wrong! Thanks for this.”

Whether or not a dish is easy is subjective. I may say that a dish is easy to make since I have been cooking for years but for a complete novice or non-cook, it may seem overwhelming, daunting, and even made worse by someone referring to it as “easy” when it seems impossible.

I am guilty of referring to dishes as “easy” to make, as are most cooking magazines and T.V. cooking shows. It is less likely that the media will refrain from using the word “easy” so how can less confident cooks feel less intimidated by descriptions of these “easy” recipes?

I don’t have all the answers, but I do have some suggestions; When we read or hear the word “easy” how about we make an effort to change the word to a phrase, “challenging but doable” in our heads? Or try to remember that Michael Phelps has ADHD but worked hard in spite of people ridiculing him throughout his childhood and has now won 8 Gold medals in this Olympics for swimming? Unfortunately, it may take more effort on our part to have to take these extra steps, but only until we cook more and feel more confident in the kitchen.

I believe it is important to change your action, which will change your thoughts, which will in turn change how you feel. How about starting our cooking career process by acting? (See how I do this in the video-can you see who my special guest is?) By this I mean buying chicken at the supermarket, freezing the chicken in your freezer, taking a moment before you go to bed or when you wake up to decide if you want to make chicken tonight or tomorrow night? How about defrosting that chicken and using that sauce you made a few days ago that you stored to serve with it? It can be done but we need to invest the time and energy to do it if we consider it important enough in our lives. Money is tight in this economy and our health and the health of our families is important enough incentive to be cooking at home. That’s my two cents!

So, are we having chicken tomorrow night? Maybe we will. For now, let’s try the Chick Pea and Mustard Greens I made today:

Savory Chick Peas and Greens:

2 1/2 cups cooked or canned chick peas
4 cups finely chopped mustard greens, collard greens or kale
1 can or 1 1/2 cups fresh diced tomatoes
2 TBSP Olive oil
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp paprika
Ground pepper to taste
1/2 cup crumbled feta or goat cheese

Heat up olive oil in a large saucepan (high sides) or saute pan (shallow sides). Add tomatoes and cook for a few minutes so that some of the liquid evaporates. Add chopped greens, stir in for a few minutes until they begin to wilt. Add chickpeas, salt, paprika and ground pepper. When all ingredients are combined, adjust seasonings and pile on to plates. Top with crumbled feta. Serves about 4-5 as a side dish or 2-3 as a meal. Enjoy


3 Responses

  1. Agree with Alma, a little planning really goes a long way. One short cut I use is to have soup starter ready in the freezer: peeled onions, carrots, celery, chopped parsley, all in one freezer bag. Usually enough for 4-5 soups. I wash them after I take out of the freezer. Voila you are set for a month!

  2. Hi Alma. I am about to go away with 2 other families to a rented house for a week. I feel a tad anxious about cooking good meals without my pantry and my own kitchen. Any simple crowd- pleasing recipes you can reccommend to take along? There will be 6 kids and I don’t want to resort to mac and cheese every night.

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