I couldn’t wait for my cooking date with Elisabeth. Both of our fridges were overflowing with vegetables from our farm share, 5 out of 7 of our combined kids were back in school and we were starved for some time to reconnect as friends. Our goals were simple: to use as many of our farm fresh veggies as we could and after a summer filled with culinary splurges, to create a healthy, low fat “girlfriend” meal.
With a bit of pressure to meet the school bus, we only had an hour and a half to cook.
The morning of our cooking date, I emptied my refrigerator, raided the pantry and stuffed a bag with a multitude of veggies, dried lentils, a few cans of beans and a handful of herbs. When I got to her house, I quickly noticed that her counters were covered with her share of veggies -- it was obvious she was just as eager. Out came the cutting boards, knives and with no certain goal, we decided to make whatever inspiration would strike.
The garlic and onions sizzled as we chopped and diced carrots, squash, zucchini, tomatoes, peppers and eggplant. The colorful hue of diced veggies and fragrant scent of sweet onions and garlic gave us a simple nudge; the company of a friend in the kitchen, the back and forth discussion of quantity, flavor and purpose, gave us the confidence to create together.
Liz’s kitchen was quickly filled with a sweet aroma. With a colorful pot of vegetables, some kidney beans and lentils, we arrived at a cross between a Vegetable stew, Ratatouille and Chili. It was absolutely delicious! I served it as a compliment to some grilled chicken sausage for my husband for dinner and he gave it two thumbs up.