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Dec 18, 2012 11:19 AM

January Cooking - Recommend Your Recipes

I'm a long distance runner who is being forced to take a month off in January. I am looking to fill the time with some favorite hobbies and cooking is one of them. I cook often but usually am rushing to get a nice dinner on the table after work. So rarely seek out time consuming recipes. But, I'd like to tackle some more complex dishes and flavors during my period of "rest". The trick is that I'll not be running and have no interest in getting fat. So, while bread baking would be fun, that's out. Other super rich foods aren't ideal either. So, what recipes are complicated, worth the work (be that many steps, lots of chopping, or both) and provide a healthful delicious meal at the end?

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  1. I would also be interested in these types of recipes. I am a pretty healthy cook all the time, but I've been getting bored lately, mainly because I do quick cook weeknight meal type things, even on weekends. I'll have time to devote to more complicated recipes this winter on weekends. I have a few things saved on my Pinterest for stews and chilis and things like that, but again, they're not that difficult to do, just take a long time to cook. Baking for me is out too... my BF doesn't like sweets and I can't deal with a house full of fresh baked bread or cookies :)

    1. You might be interested in cooking along with the Cookbook of the Month which looks like it will be either Jerusalem or Burma. Either of those delicious culinary traditions has lots of healthy options.

      2 Replies
      1. re: tcamp

        I probably will try that out assuming I can get my hands on a book for free (at the library, which I still need to sign up at) or cheap. The Jerusalem one sounds especially interesting as I love middle eastern food but have never attempted it at home, and I know it tends to be pretty healthy.

        1. re: tcamp

          Great idea! Thanks.

          I'd still be interested in hearing if anyone has a recipe that they love to make when time allows. A good example is one of my more complex slow cooked vegetable pasta sauce. I usually short cut it but the real deal is worth the effort when I have time.

        2. To go along with Tcamp's recommendation of joining the COTM in January I would recommend a book by Mark Bittman, Food Matters, that is based on a more vegetables and less meat diet. There's lots of prepping and cooking to do and the result is delicious food with health benefits. Many of his recipes are on line.

          Also, re the COTM... if you read and like the sound of a recipe report ask for a paraphrase of the recipe and I'm sure someone will oblige.

          1. I'm not sure if this is the kind of dish you are thinking of, but we make oden (a Japanese one pot dish) during the holidays. It does require a little advanced preparation. I start by making ganmodoki (a tofu fritter - here's the recipe I use from Shizuo Tsuji Then I proceed to make the oden ( You may want to adjust the amount of sugar and mirin to your taste. In addition to ganmodoki, I especially love daikon and konnyaku in my oden, but you can include egg, potatoes, and fish cake just to name a few options. It's a great winter dish and better the day after you make it.

            1 Reply
            1. re: BigSal

              This is great! I adore both daikon and konnyaku (though finding the cakes where I live now is harder than when I lived in NYC)