When I see something I want to try in a magazine, cookbook, or online, I look at the ingredients and read through the directions. I'm mostly interested in food combinations and techniques, and look at ingredient amounts to learn their relationship with each other.
I do usually follow recipes when I'm baking or trying a new technique however.
To be honest, maybe I don't follow recipes much because lots of the things I cook tend to be pretty simple and mostly "recipeless" and partially because I tend to make things up on the fly with what I have in the kitchen, kinda like tonight's dinner...
Dinner tonight came about with the leftover ingredients we had in the pantry and freezer, cause you guys know how much I love my freezer foods for convenience. It tasted so good and we loved the new texture to the beans provided! May even be a great way to sneak in protein and fiber for the pickier eaters!
Creamy Bean Ziti Bake
makes 2-3 servings
1 can reduced sodium black beans, rinsed and drained partially, reserving a little juice
2 cups Ziti pasta, cooked to al dente
1 cup broccoli, frozen
1-2 cups spinach
feta cheese and white cheddar cheese
dried garlic, salt, and pepper to taste
- Preheat oven 400 degrees. Prepare smallish pan for baking by spraying with oil.
- Boil salted water and cook noodles until al dente, rinse and drain.
- Puree black beans in minimal juice until creamy. (I used an Immersion blender right in the can.. for no mess.)
- Mix pasta with beans, spinach, broccoli, and seasonings.
- Pour pasta mixture into prepared pan and top with desired amount of feta and cheddar.
- Bake 15-20 minutes, until cheddar cheese is melted and ingredients are warmed.
So, I'd love to know.... do you typically follow recipes or do you take a different approach to cooking?