Three words that I like to hear when I sit down to eat a meal: simple, yummy and filling.
Simple – because you has time now to cook, particularly on a weekday?
Yummy – because who wants to eat gross food?
Filling – because who wants to feel unsatisfied and tempted by the biscuit tin mere minutes later?
Whenever I can, I try to cook with those three words in mind – and in more recent years, I’ve added to the list. Heathy.
I actually never used to like cooking. My mother was such a great chef – and not one to share the kitchen – that there was no real need for me to cook.
Of course, I wanted to learn, but I never really got an opportunity. By the time I reached University, I was cooking basic food, but as a late kitchen started, I was struck with fear.
You know like setting fire to the house or poisoning all my guests.
When my mum became unwell, learning to cook became necessary. I needed to take care of her and help my dad out too. Of course, my dad and I shared the cooking and we took guidance from my mum for as long as she was able to give it.
I remember she actually became sad when we started to cook with confidence. It wasn’t that she didn’t want us to learn, but her depression always made her feel inadequate, like she was worthless. Of course, she wasn’t. She was a beautiful, kind-hearted and talented woman – she had this wonderfully artistic nature and such a vivid imagination, which perhaps contributed to her negative thought-process. And, of course, she was a great cook and I think sometimes she thought this was her only quality and something only she could bring to the family.
She said to us one day: “You don’t need me anymore.” Of course we did and I still do, and it was sad to hear this.
My point in telling you this anecdote is that even if the kitchen seems like a scary place, it can bring so much joy. I’m certainly not up to my mum’s standard – and who knows if I ever will be? But I’m glad that I learnt too cook. I just wish the circumstances of the education was a different story.
As my confidence has grown, I have started to experiment and improvise more. This can be especially useful when it’s the end of the week and the fridge shelves are looking a bit lonesome.
So, here’s one idea to get you started. It’s very easy prepare and cook – and it’s also flavoursome and good for you too! ….And those biscuits in the cupboard? Who even cares about them? My tum is full, dude.
1 pepper (I used red, but go crazy!)
1 red onion
3 rashers of bacon
A flourish of chilli flakes
Start by heating your pan (low). I used a low cal oil spray.
Chop your bacon into small slices and add to the heated pan (increase to medium heat).
Add your eggs (still in shells) to a pan of boiling water on a high heat. These will take four minutes to soft boil. Hint: time from the point the water starts to bubble.
Stir your bacon occasionally and balance the wooden spoon when you’re not using it on top of the egg pan (this should help prevent the water from boiling over).
Meanwhile, chop your pepper into cubes and slice the onion. Add to bacon pan.
Whilst everything cooks slice the avo in half, remove the stone, and scoop out green goodness. You can pop this onto a plate and leave it, whilst everything else cooks.
Add the chilli flakes to the bacon pan and turn to a low heat.
Drain the eggs and fill the pan with cold water instead (this will make the eggs easy to hold when you peel them). Leave for a few seconds in the cold water and then remove. Tap eggs gently with the back of a knife to crack the shell and start peeling.
Serve everything on the plate with the avo!