Recipe coaching can spice things up

Meatless Monday is a taste challenge for our meat-minded teens. Last night I was feeling pretty good about locating a vegetarian pasta recipe my husband could throw together while I was off fantasizing about writing a book at a local foodie event. Problem was, it was too simple. Bland. He followed the recipe for linguine with asparagus and pine nuts exactly. And that’s just the problem.

Many recipes touted as quick and easy for weeknight dinners just don’t satisfy the palate. They act as a solid foundation that can be spiced up to suit your tastes. Fortunately, ingredients that add a certain zing can usually be found in our kitchen: Dijon mustard, lemon juice, wine vinegar, parsley and usually mint or cilantro — in addition to selections from the spice drawer. That linguine probably would have benefited from a dash of red pepper or dill or a bit of lemon zest. And perhaps more olive oil and cheese.

I know if I had taken a minute to review the recipe with my husband, I could have advised a few adjustments. It takes time to develop that sort of sensibility and he always appreciates a little coaching from the sidelines. I can do that. Getting my men in the kitchen is, after all, one of my major goals 😀


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