Why I LOVE to Keep My Cooking Simple
+ Roast Mushroom ‘Toasts’

W3 roast mushrooms

[dropcap style=”font-size: 60px; color: #9b9b9b;”] L[/dropcap]ast weekend I was digging through the Stonesoup archives looking for a curry recipe when I was reminded of why I have a love-hate relationship with my blog comments.

I love that you, as my reader can let me know what you like or don’t. And I love being able to learn from you.

But sometimes it can be hard when you put your heart and soul into your work and someone give it the ‘thumbs down’.

Anyway, on the Vindaloo blog post as well as some instructive comments there was one saying how they didn’t understand my obsession with using 5-ingredients.

I remember at the time feeling really down about it. But after some thought I could see where they were coming from.

Why 5? Why not 6-ingredients? Or 4?

You know it’s not the exact number that matters. It’s about the principle of keeping things simple. Choosing a number just gives me a framework to create in.

And there are plenty of reasons to keep your cooking simple. Well at least some of the time ;)

4 Reasons I LOVE to Keep My Cooking Simple

1. Simple food tastes great!
I’m still amazed how delicious food can taste when you cut back on the number of ingredients and let your produce ‘speak’ (err taste?) for itself. Sure fancy restaurants meal with layers and layers of flavour are lovely, but when I’m cooking for just me, I love to ‘wow’ my taste buds with the beauty of my ingredients.

2. Simple food is easier to prepare.
A blessing for us home cooks who don’t have an army of ‘sous chefs’ to do our washing and chopping.

3. Less cleanup!
Less ingredients to put away. Less dishes to wash. Worth it for this benefit alone!

4. More flexibility.
People often say how much they love the ‘variations’ I include at the bottom of my recipes because it allows them to make changes to suit their own tastes and dietary requirements. One of the biggest reasons I can do this is the simplicity of the original recipe.

AND it’s not just in the kitchen…

As I mentioned in January, 2016 is my year of ‘Simplicity’.

I’d be lying if I said it’s been easy with a new baby and a 3-year-old in the house. But I have made some progress which has really been helped by following along with ‘A Simple Year each month.

Here are some of the changes I’ve noticed:
– Feeling happier.
– More time for the things that are important to me like gardening, crazy kitchen projects, reading, yoga, meditation, knitting, walking and running.
– A less cluttered, calmer house.
– Enjoying my meditation more.
– Appreciating the ‘miracle’ of my little family more. And yelling at them less (still a work in progress though!).
– More organized with my personal finances.
– Better at mindful eating = enjoying my food more and over-eating less.
– More thankful for all the good in my life.

Mushroom 'Toasts'-2

Roast Mushroom ‘Toasts’

I love roasting mushrooms because it’s super easy AND you end up with the most delicious, intense, almost ‘meaty’ morsels. They’re my new favourite diabetic-friendly replacement for toast. I adore them spread with iron-rich pate as in the photo above but they’re pretty much good with any of your favourite savoury toast toppings. Think grilled cheese, tuna melts, hummus or even smashed avocado with lashings of salt and pepper.

They keep well in the fridge so I usually roast a whole batch then warm them in a frying pan or the oven as I need them for breakfasts or lunches.

enough for 3-4
takes 30 minutes

6-8 medium portabello or flat mushrooms
1 – 2 cloves garlic, finely sliced
1/2 bunch thyme (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 400F (200C).

2. Trim mushroom stalks and place in a baking dish stem side up. Scatter with garlic, thyme (if using), salt & pepper. Drizzle generously with olive oil.

3. Bake 20-25 minutes or until mushrooms are browned and tender.

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dairy-lovers – use butter instead of oil.

sliced – feel free to slice the mushies first. Expect the cooking time to be slightly less. And they’ll be much tricker to use as ‘toast’.

small mushrooms – button mushrooms, swiss brown or shittake can all be used. Expect the cooking time to be slightly less.

exotic mushrooms – if using oyster, enokki or other exotic mushrooms follow the same method but check much earlier.

different herbs – thyme is my go-to for mushroooms but sage or rosemary are also lovely.

Big love
Jules x

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