Please welcome Passionate Cook Tilly Greene to the Cafe!
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Hello, my name is Tilly Greene, and I don’t know how to cook! There, with that pesky confession out of the way let me explain how someone who can’t navigate the kitchen ended up with a recipe in the fabulous Passionate Cooks Cookbook.
When I met my husband, we were living in England and it was easy to assign the reason for a bad meal to the details being foreign. I had no idea what a gas mark 3 was or 400mil of cream looked like, but I could figure out 325/F and 1 3/4 cups of milk. At my lowest point, I hung out in supermarket aisles with cookbook in hand asking any senior citizen – they knew the most and didn’t judge my lack of skill – for help. Despite the help, that didn’t mean success was guaranteed, but you know the saying about making an effort … it was my motto!
Everything changed when we moved to the US and I had no more excuses. My lack of skill was questioned and a challenge was set. For every year of marriage I need to come up with at least one dish I could make with enough confidence to serve it to friends as well as strangers.
Oh, the horror! It wasn’t possible and then, in a moment of weakness, I accepted. Why not? I had a few dishes up my sleeve that the ingredients couldn’t be had in the land of fish & chips and Yorkshire puddings with roast beef. I could make dozens of tacos of all sorts, from vegetarian to poor man, fried or not. Unfortunately, once the details were worked out, those I knew well were used to fill in for the years abroad and I had to start from scratch. The worst part was desserts and appetizers wouldn’t count either.
I had a difficult challenge on hand and took it seriously.
Two years ago I saw a recipe from a starlet, sorry, don’t remember who she was, and her mother’s vegetable roll-ups. They sounded delightful and I tried them out. Nothing went wrong so I thought I was onto my dish for the year and then there was a problem. I had the first episode with what I call my Fred Flintstone foot. It was ugly and huge and my doctor recommended amongst other things cutting way down on the sodium.
I’m not someone who focused on calories, fiber or cholesterol listed on a packet, but that all changed and so did the ingredients for the roll-ups. Whole wheat, low sodium and fat, dictated what could come into the dish which meant I had to get to know spices to spark things up.
This year I cooked a batch and served them to our Thirsty Thursday group, a bunch of meat eaters who loathe the vegetarian mindset, and they went over well. I am now officially marking the Vegetarian Lasagne Roll-ups for Gods and Goddesses as a go to dish. So, for other questionably skilled cooks, this recipe is easy to master and a great place to build upon … now go get adventurous in the kitchen!
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