Good cooks know that fresh ingredients, not frozen or canned, make for the very best food. Sure, it's time-consuming to cut up all the ingredients even if you do have your very own bowknife like I do. I usually talk on the phone while I cook in my green Starbucks apron with my cordless phone tucked in the pocket and headphones covering my ears. Yes, I have been known to prolong phone conversations, easy to do with my mother who tells me all the dreadful health news she can think of, while I'm sawing away at the carrots and onion.
Make friends with the Fish Department folks at your grocery store. Ask about where the fish comes from. I buy fish on sale. Or is it on sail. They all take turns. I buy scallops by the number. "Five large scallops please."
In huge pot, braise your veggies in olive oil and butter. Our bodies do need some fat, ya know.
-celery - I've just rediscovered celery and munch on it while cooking. In my youth I'd drink wine. Not a good idea. I'd need a nap after that.
- onions, of course!
- red peppers (they add vibrant color)
- mushrooms, wipe w/a wet cloth. Don't soak them or they'll become spongey.
When nicely browned and the aroma is overpoweringly delicious, add your CHICKEN STOCK. I use a low-sodium boxed brand from Nature's Promise. Rinse out the box with water and pour in pot.
Next we're gonna factor in ingredients according to their cooking time. Since this is a meal-in-one, we wanna get our starch in there. Remember, a meal consists of protein-starch-and carbs.
-Brown rice. Why brown? Because white rice is de-natured. The germ is removed as is the endosperm. Let's keep our grains intact, folks. None of this 'whites only stuff.' There are laws now, aren't there?
Add your FRESH VEGGIES as available at the market. Remember the macrobiotic-diet fads? I never subscribed but do remember you were only allowed to eat locally grown food which probly made sense, less chance of spoilage and disease. But w/modern refrig'n methods, we can get food - and fish - from all over the world.
-fresh shelled peas
-corn on the cob (after it's cooked, remove & slice off corn)
Stir frequently making sure bottom doesn't stick.
During last 10 minutes add your fish. We don't wanna overcook the fish.
-scallops (after cooking, cut into bite-sized pieces with scissors or knife)
-salmon or your favorite fish or your fish on sale
Seasoning: A few shakes of cinnamon is delicious. I learned about cinnamon from Giselle Guerrero, who contrary to her married name, is from Lebanon, as is my kidney doctor.
Since I have bad kidneys I don't use salt tho your guests might like some. Fresh basil or parsley is a nice flavoring.