Kitchen Experiments: #1 “Chopped” Style Challenge

Experimenting was always fascinating to me, especially when it came to the kitchen. I grew up constantly making crazy concoctions and I often had friends to accompany my desire to create edible delights. Feelings of humor and fondness come alive as I relive those moments.

It was recently that I decided to share my desire to experiment in the kitchen again.

I posted on facebook and Instagram a call for friends and accomplices to join me in my journey to experiment and find joy in the creation of new foods. The post read: “Chopped style challenge! Comment down below some random ingredients and we’ll see what we can make by Oct 16th, 2020 🙂 #cookingexperiment #intuitivecooking #funfood”

Immediately there were lots of responses. I was amazed at how many of the suggestions were vegetables! Which admittedly haven’t been my forte. But there was a growing list and many ideas flowing in my head.
The list:
🥬Kale
🍠Winter Squash
🍎Apples
🟢Brussel Sprouts
🎃Pumpkins
🥕Carrots
🥬Cabbage
🥔Jicama
🦰Ginger
🥬Bok Choy

I had pondered for days on what I might make. Multiple dishes using different ingredients, or one dish with all. It came down to multiple dishes over the course of multiple (pretty busy) days. I was unable to acquire a few of the ingredients, do to store selection, but made do with what was left.

I came up with ultimately four recipes.

My first experiment had brussel sprouts, bacon and sweet potato (in place of the winter squash) tossed with rice. The dish melted in my mouth as I tasted the decadent sweet and caramelized brussel sprouts, the savory bacon and the creamy sweet potato. Overall it was amazingly delicious and a hit with the fam. I thought it was a bit on the sweet side and am already planning a new rendition to compensate for my tastes.

My second was plain old grilling. Bok choy and carrots are wonderfully delicious on the grill. The tips of the bok choy crisped up like yummy chips and the end was chewy and sooo good. The carrots amaze me every time I put them on the grill. Such flavor and texture pop out these versatile things. Getting different colors of carrots can be fun too!

Third was a stir fry. Stir frys can be so versatile. An ode to the kitchen sink. Stir frys can incorporate many if not all of these ingredients, but my favorite is a mix of bok choy, carrots, ginger, and cabbage. I made up some Jade Pearl Rice Ramen Noodles, used an Asian sauce I’d whipped up and froze a month previous, and stir fried some cut up chicken with black pepper, salt and garlic, fried the veggies and the rest is history.. Bell peppers also go very nicely in a stir fry.

Fourth is a smoothie recipe. (yet to be made) I’d use kale, apple, pumpkin, carrots and ginger. To that I added a banana, a few dates, cinnamon and allspice. Can’t wait to try it!

I did eventually get a hold of Jicama, and with that I will make baked and seasoned fries.

I had a great time doing this experiment. Although at times I was stressed, anxious and driving my family a little crazy haha I’m happy with how it all turned out. 

Hope some of these ideas sparked an experimental interest in your own kitchens. Thanks for ready!

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