I’m rouxined


I used to hate cooking. It was ONE MORE THING on my to-do list of a lot of other mom-things. It was just not an enjoyable task, wich is surprising, given how much I love to eat. And when I was trying to diet cooking was even worse because then I had to cook TWO dinners: one disappointing meal for myself and a tasty one for my family.

But then when I finally decided that I would liberate myself from the diet du jour, guess what?! I actually started to enjoy cooking. When I could cook whatever sounded good to me, that’s when cooking became fun.

What I love about cooking is learning how to make things from scratch that I would normally buy in a can. I’ve learned that the basis for a lot of these is starting with a roux.

If you don’t know, a roux is just oil or butter mixed with flour. From there you add your liquid of choice and voila – you have a delicous sauce and just saved yourself a chunk of change.

For example, not long ago I was making a casserole and needed a can of cream of chicken soup but I didn’t have one in my pantry. I Googled “diy cream of chicken soup” and found a recipe. Some butter and flour cooked until bubbly then I added some chicken broth and stirred until thick. Ta Da! Cream of chicken soup that was delicious and free of unpronounceable ingredients. And so quick and easy – I couldn’t believe how simple it was and it didn’t take much time at all – a few minutes at most.

I also found a dangerous homemade nacho cheese sauce recipe that starts with a roux. I say dangerous because this stuff is so easy and delicious…it might become a problem if I let it. A cup of milk is added to the roux then a couple of handfuls of grated cheddar cheese is melted into the mix. Add a pinch of salt and chili powder…BOOM. Nacho cheese to fulfill all of your cheese dip dreams. So easy & delicious! And again, free of unrecognizable ingredients. I’ll be more than happy to never buy Velveeta again in my life.

As someone who has lived off of processed/convenience foods her whole life (Why so chubby Jill? It’s a mystery!) cooking from scratch is a novelty. I can’t believe I have relied on canned soups and sauces for so long when it’s almost just as easy to whip them up from ingredients in my own kitchen. I guess you can teach an old dog new tricks! 🙂

 

 

 

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Categories: cooking, food, nutrition, writingTags: , ,

8 comments

  1. Well, who knew?!!! I think google has changed a lot of cooks! Sunday I wanted to make taco salad and/or nachos, and I forgot that I had run out of taco seasoning. Google to the rescue. It was delish, and I had all the ingredients, and only took a minute!

    • I make my own taco seasoning too! I make up a big batch of it and keep in a jar in my pantry. I also do this with fajita seasoning too. Makes me wonder what else is out there that I can make on my own!!

  2. Jill, I’m hungry and at work and now more hungry! Love white saucy things, esp home made cauliflower cheese. Will definitely try a spicy version

  3. I discovered years ago that can make sauce without the butter. Start with the milk/broth and add flour. I use a flour sifter to add it slowly and evenly while whisking.

  4. I’ve never relied that much on packets/cans but there are still some. A couple I’ve replaced over the years are taco and fajita seasoning, and pasta sauce. For the latter instead of a premixed jar I get a can or two of pureed tomatoes (no salt or sugar or anything else, just tomato, I suppose if I was really hardcore I’d bottle my own) and then add my own seasonings, chopped onion garlic and mushrooms, and whatever else I want. Easy to vary for bolognaise, lasagne etc.

    One thing I started only a year or so ago was making my own yogurt. So much easier than it sounds. I have this thermos thing (Easiyo brand but I’m sure you don’t need that particular one) and I just put warm water, powdered milk and what I call yoghurt babies in the inner container. Then boiling water in the thermos and leave it overnight. No added sugar or (worse) fake sugar or other nasties. I add fresh fruit and often chia seeds later.

    The big companies have us fooled into thinking this stuff is hard and we need the convenience of a premade product. Usually it’s so easy.

    I don’t always cook from scratch though. Sometimes you just want mac and cheese from a box, you know?

    Oh, funny story, when they first started making packet cake mix they made it so you only had to add water. They powdered the milk, eggs, everything. It worked. But customers weren’t happy with this because the lack of work made it seem too fake. So now most brands (in Australia anyway) make you add an egg, maybe milk and butter too. Meaning the mix is only flour and sugar, maybe cocoa powder or flavouring! Customers feel like they are cooking when they have to add more. So much cheaper to measure some flour and sugar.

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