Back in September, I ‘outed’ myself here on Stonesoup by revealing my 3 worst cooking habits. A bit of a brave move for an introvert like me.
Anyway, I promised to report back on my progress. So here we are!
BAD HABIT 1. Picking While I Cook
This is easily the toughest habit for me to break. So don’t be surprised that I still pick from time to time. But I do feel like I’ve made progress.
I’ve been tracking whether I feel ‘full’ or ‘hungry’ when I sit down to dinner in my habit tracking app on my phone (it’s called ‘habit keeper’). Usually it’s only one or two nights a week I’ve been over doing the ‘picking’.
Having more of a focus in this area has helped.
But the biggest change is that Fergal moved to having one nap a day. So we now have lunch at 2pm rather than midday. This means I’m much less hungry in the evenings.
It’s amazing how changes to your schedule can have a knock on effect to how much food you eat.
BAD HABIT 2. Dull Knives
OMG… This has been the easiest habit to kick AND the most rewarding. I’d forgotten how much easier it is to cut with sharp knives.
All I did was make a promise to sharpen our knives every Sunday night (or Monday if I forget). It’s amazing what a difference it makes.
I’ve even found myself sharpening mid week if they aren’t up to scratch. Love it!
BAD HABIT 3. Not Washing Leaves and Herbs
There have been countless times when I’ve been tempted to not wash my leaves. But then I’ve thought about sitting down to write this post and have dug out the salad spinner (one of Fergal’s favourite kitchen toys).
But there’s also been many a time, mostly when I’m in a hurry taking photos, that I’ve fallen back into my old ‘dirty salad’ ways.
So progress but not perfection!
What about you?
Got any bad cooking habits you should break? Or good habits you’d like to form?
I’d love to hear about them in the comment below :)
Quick Fish Salad
We’ve been trying to eat fish at least once a week. And I’m really enjoying it! This recipe is one of my fishy favourites. I love it with flat head fillets but it works with any fish or even chicken for that matter. Hooray for fish!
enough for 2
400g (14oz) fish fillets
2 tablespoons flour (optional)
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 bag salad
mayo, to serve
1. Heat a frying pan on a medium high heat with a little oil. Toss fish in the flour (if using) with some salt and pepper.
2. Cook the fish until golden on both sides, about 3-5 minutes depending on how thick it is.
3. Meanwhile, combine lemon juice with 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil. Season and toss in the salad leaves.
4. Divide salad between 2 plates. Top with the hot fish and serve with mayo on the side.
gluten-free – The flour is just there to add a light crispy coating to the fish but you can easily skip it or use your favourite GF flour. I used chickpea flour which adds a lovely yellowy colour.
chicken – replace fish with chicken breast or thigh fillets. Chicken will take an extra minute or 2 on each side to cook. I wouldn’t bother with the flour if cooking chicken.
beef – this salad is also surprisingly good with steak sliced into strips and tossed in the flour.
vegan – replace fish with a drained can of chickpeas or white beans. Skip the flour and just pan fry the legumes in a little oil until well browned. Use a vegan mayo or see below for other egg-free ideas.
egg / mayo-free – replace mayo with lots of lemon juice, natural yoghurt, a dollop of creamy ricotta or goats cheese or with a tahini lemon sauce (3 tablespoons each lemon juice, tahini and water).
vegetarian – replace the fish with sliced halloumi cheese. Skip the flour and pan fry until the cheese is well browned on both sides. Or try a fried egg salad.
more veg – feel free to add your favourite raw salad veg such as grated carrot, cherry tomatoes, grated beets, sliced cucumber, sliced zucchini, chopped red capsicum (bell peppers). Or add a handful of frozen peas to the pan for the last minute of cooking the fish.
more substantial – serve with home made fries or toss in some steamed potatoes or torn chunks of sourdough bread.