How to cook to feel good

I loved Most recent column of Yewande Komolafe on the food she prepares when the floor starts to feel cold under her feet, and she want...

I loved Most recent column of Yewande Komolafe on the food she prepares when the floor starts to feel cold under her feet, and she wants to feel warm and nourished by the food she cooks. She calls this large family of broths, soups and teas her “replenishers” and builds them quickly, from simple ingredients.

I have my eye on his soup red curry with lots of silken tofu and sweet herbs on top. Yewande uses pot paste to speed up the process, so I think I’ll make it tonight with leftover red curry paste that I froze a while ago from another recipe.

Home cooks often have a few sets of ingredients or recipes they turn to when they want to feel comfortable and restored. For me, there’s nothing quite like hot rice and a bowl of bubbling rasam when I need something to keep me steady – tangy with tamarind, or grilled with garlic, or warming the palate with black pepper – the variations are endless. This quick garlic rasamfrom Usha Prabakaran, claims 10 cloves of garlic, but when I really smell it, I’ll make 20.

Hetty McKinnon comforts noodle dumpling soup also seems to belong to this category. I almost always have an open bag of meatballs in my freezer, and this recipe turns a few into a full, cozy dinner with broccoli and boy choy, and a miso-boosted vegetable broth.

And Tamar Adler often does big batches of what she calls healthy soup, because it freezes very well, adding rice or noodles to the portions that she is reheating. To make it vegetarian, skip the bonito completely and use vegan fish sauce – there’s so much flavor from the miso, mushrooms and kombu already.

Restaurant owners can be meals, but they don’t have to be! Yewande also makes a sun citrus tonic with oregano and turmeric. You can make a batch ahead of time and dilute it with hot water when you need something soothing. It reminds me a little of my grandmother’s chai, which I sip in the morning as much for the liveliness of its aromas as for the caffeine: lots of fresh ginger, chopped lemongrass and mint leaves boiled in water with black tea, cardamom, milk and honey.

Go to the recipe.

February is a funny in between season in Los Angeles: there are cloves of garlic and strawberries at the farmers markets! My own garden always seems so quiet and sleepy, but one of my dahlias is blooming early, the chives and onions are coming back juicy, and the sweet peas are climbing a little higher each day. I’m really excited about all the volunteer nasturtiums, which have popped up out of nowhere, and plan to eat a few of them soon, while waiting for the rest of the garden to pick up.

If you also garden, tell me what you are growing at the moment and where you are!

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Newsrust - US Top News: How to cook to feel good
How to cook to feel good
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