A recipe doesn’t need to be complicated to be good. That’s been my mantra since I became a mother. A simple meal is always better in my book.
I’d like to go a bit further: A high-quality sauce, oil or ingredient can make a simple meal divine.
As a working parent, I’ve mentioned that I don’t have time to cook every night. I never have time to make sauces, and I look for shortcuts whenever I can.
Last week I attended a tasting at the Whole Foods Market in Arlington, Va., which introduced their new program: WFM Foodie. Whole Foods Markets across the country are highlighting special products they think their customers may like.
WFM Foodie products are high-quality, no preservatives, all natural. And hand-picked by foodies. We tasted a variety of the olive oils, sauces and black-bean noodles. All fantastic. And from what I saw: all very simple to incorporate into a meal. The product is simple, not the taste.
Here is what it boils down to: A well-thought out, high-quality ingredient can make almost any meal better.
I am saying this out loud because sometimes I just rush through the meal-planning process and forget that I can change things up with a good product. I used to embrace this concept a lot more, pre-baby.
Also, buying the right ingredients (not more ingredients) is often a great way to cut down time in the kitchen.
At the tasting, Jackie from Whole Foods introduced a few products (and recipes), which I think are worth mentioning:
Christian Potier Sauces: I am very excited about this find. Christian Potier was voted the best sauce chef in France by Gault & Millau, and he was able to package his magic in microwave pouches. We tried the Bernaise (over grilled aspargus) and it tasted great.
On a busy night, just grill up asparagus, heat up the sauce and there is your side dish. It would work great on Eggs Benedict as well. Christian Potier has other varieties too.
Black Bean noodles: Yes, you read that right. Noodles made of black beans. Created by Explore Asian Authentic Cuisine, these noodles are full of protein, which I love. Very healthy. Very little sugar. Organic.
We tasted the Black Bean Noodle salad (above), which cooks up very quickly. Click here for the recipe.
The Sassy Indian Olive Oil: Oh my, so tasty. We ate grilled salmon, finished with this Tandoori olive oil that truly added that extra something. This main course only has four ingredients and takes no time to make. So delicious! Click here for the recipe.
I also enjoyed the smoky flavors of the Castillo de Canena Smoked Arbequino (used as a dressing above). A little pricey but worth the splurge.