Happy Wednesday, all. We have some great reading for you this week, starting with Tamar Haspel’s thoughtful look at foods’ carbon footprints. Can eating vegetables save the planet? Here’s her take.
Then, get into the spirit of St. Patrick’s Day with some Irish cooking. Bonnie S. Benwick has recipes from three new cookbooks, one by a celebrated local chef. And finally, M. Carrie Allan fills us in on how modern producers are pushing the boundaries of traditional vermouth with new ingredients and flavors.
And after you’ve digested all that, make room for today’s Free Range chat at noon. It’s always a great hour of culinary give-and-take. Ask us anything, then just sit back and wait for your answer! If we run out of time, don’t give up; I might answer your question here next Wednesday. Here’s a leftover from last week’s chat:
I’m traveling to help my brother’s family with their new arrival, and one thing I hope to do is to stock the freezer with prepped meals. The new mom is a very healthy person, so lots of the typical store-chicken-in-cream-of-something-soup recipes I’m finding won’t cut it.
Versions of that question roll in pretty frequently during the chat. It seems lots of folks are looking for make-and-freeze food that they can give to friends or relatives to help them get through a hard or busy time.
Entire books have been written on the subject, in fact. But you don’t need a book; you just need a few recipes. So I’ve compiled some from our Recipe Finder database that might be just the ticket for you. I rejected the high-fat, high-calorie choices and stuck with the ones that seemed more healthful. I think it would also be a good idea to buy frozen rice and include that in your care package.
To find more possibilities, go to washingtonpost.com/recipes and use the search term “freeze” or “frozen.” Many of our recipes include freezing instructions, so you’ll know which ones will be best suited for your purposes. Here you go:
Mango-Cranberry Chicken – This is one of my favorites.
Smoky Roasted Vegetables — Make and freeze several portions of these to use for topping pizza, bulking up soups or sauce, adding to pasta; there are lots of uses.
Baked Pasta With Vegetables and Cheese — Another of my all-time favorites. It’s very spicy, so for kids or the heat-intolerant, cut way back on the pepper flakes.
Pork and Ricotta Meatballs – These are delicious; a little higher in fat, but you don’t have to eat an entire serving of them. Or, for a lower-fat version:
Scallion Shiitake Pancakes — Something a little different!
Tuna or Salmon Noodle Casserole Redux — A comfort food classic using no-boil lasagna noodles and nonfat evaporated milk.
Spinach and Rice Casserole — It’s a side dish that can be turned into a main dishwith the addition of meat, seafood or veggies.
It might also be nice to make and freeze pancakes and waffles that can be reheated for a quick breakfast. We have plenty of recipes for those, too.
Whatever you take, don’t forget to include reheating instructions on or inside each container!