Cooking from scratch is making me fat. Five out seven meals I make involve some type of sauce. Alfredo sauce, cheese sauce, cream sauce, white sauce, and the occasional spaghetti sauce. Make that six out of seven meals. So. much. cream. and. butter. It's got nothing to do with the lack of exercise, I'm sure. Nope. Cream and butter. Mmm...
Like last night, I made baked mac 'n cheese. I started out by sauteing onions and celery in butter. Then added kale, parsley, and garlic with more butter. Once the kale was tender, I added flour to start my rue. One cup of milk, one cup of heavy cream, and cheddar cheese formed the foundation of my sauce. Then I proceeded to add some butternut squash or pumpkin puree. I'm not sure which. It was orange, so was my cheese. I figured it didn't matter. I had a chunk of Sartori Raspberry Parmesan rolling around in the fridge so that went in too. That cheese is sooo good! It is Parmesan soaked in raspberry ale. I recommend finding it if you can. As if the four tablespoons of butter, cup of milk and cream, and all that cheese were not enough, I topped it off with a dollop of sour cream for good measure. The end result was a velvety-rich sauce with just the right amount of tang. Well it was before I baked it anyway, but that's another story.
As delicious as all this dairy is, it's time to lay off the sauce. Even too much of a good thing can get boring after a while. I'm just not sure where to go from here. I have only been cooking from scratch for about two years. Once I learned how to make a sauce it opened up a whole new world for me. One that I never moved beyond. I stopped buying pre-made sauces, Hamburger Helper, boxed macaroni and cheese, Manwich, Alfredo, and all kinds of other stuff. I do still buy spaghetti sauce, but with all those tomatoes out my front window it is also on my hit list.
I think part of my problem is that we eat A LOT of pasta - and I just can't seem to make it without smothering it in a sauce. The other is that I will need to move beyond my comfort zone. This is probably the bigger problem of the two. Making pasta and a sauce is quick and easy. Thinking of something else is going to take time and work, something Americans really don't want to put forth when it comes to their food. It seems when I make a meal without a sauce it becomes the traditional meat and potatoes. I would like to stay away from the meat. We gave up meat back in March for Lent and have kept it limited since then. I would like to keep it that way. So what do I make? Mister is not going to be satisfied with a big pile of vegetables.
I know there are some vegetable-loving-cooking-from-scratch-without-sauce ladies out there. What are you all cooking?