Penne with Sausage and Kale

Pasta is such a great ‘go to’ meal for those rushed mid-week nights. Most kids love it, it’s inexpensive and in most houses, a pantry staple.

For those watching their carbohydrate intake, keeping pasta meals to a minimum and using wholemeal varieties means you can enjoy pasta as a part of a balanced diet.  We also live in a time where there are many wheat-free pasta options available, so if you are steering clear of wheat, you can substitute brown rice pasta or gluten free pasta in this recipe. 

This recipe, from Curtis Stone’s cookbook Good Food Good Life, is quick to make and full of flavour. I love the way he has added Kale, (often disliked by children due to it’s bitter taste) and made it a part of a very tasty dish. This dish got the thumbs up from the whole family, even the kale part!

As a busy mum, I opted for the 500 grams of pork and veal mince in this recipe, even though Curtis suggests you use the meat from inside good quality sausages, removing and discarding their casings. That just felt a little too hard for me after arriving home late from soccer training on a Tuesday night and needing dinner on the table PRONTO.

As another school term begins and we hit the downward run to Christmas (did I just really type that?) you might be able to add this to your menu for something a little different. 

Penne with Sausage and Kale
Serves 5
A tomato-based pasta dish with sausage meat, kale and parmesan cheese.
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
20 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
20 min
Ingredients
  1. 4 pork sausages, casings removed OR 500gm pork and veal mince
  2. 1/2 bunch Kale, trimmed and roughly chopped (approx 2 cups)
  3. 2 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
  4. 1/2 cup dry white wine
  5. 1x 500gm jar pasta sauce (tomato based)
  6. 400gm penne, (wholemeal or gluten free pasta options work well too)
  7. Salt and pepper to taste
  8. shredded parmesan cheese to serve
Instructions
  1. Bring a large pot of water to the boil.
  2. Add the penne and cook according to packet directions.
  3. While the penne is cooking, heat a large frying pan over a medium-high heat.
  4. Add the sausage meat or mince, and cook, breaking the meat up with a spoon as it cooks.
  5. Once it is golden brown, add the chopped kale and garlic and cook for a few minutes until the kale starts to wilt.
  6. Add the wine and jar of pasta sauce, bring to a simmer and cook for about 3 minutes or the liquid is slightly reduced.
  7. Drain the pasta, reserving 1/2 cup of it's cooking liquid.
  8. Toss the penne into the sauce and add a little of the reserved cooking water to thin the sauce.
  9. Season with salt and pepper, sprinkle with parmesan and serve immediately.
Adapted from Good Food Good Life
Adapted from Good Food Good Life
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Scrambled Eggs with Goats Cheese (what to cook when you’re too tired to cook)

I feel a little sorry for the humble egg.

It’s been given a hard time for so long. The good old cholesterol drama of the last 20 years or so had many believing that the yolk was bad for you and we were encouraged to only eat eggs sparingly. Remember egg white omelettes? Seriously…what were we thinking people?

The yolk actually contains most of the important nutrients and the white is mostly protein. ALL of it is good for you. 

One of God’s greatest gifts to us is the egg. It’s such a powerhouse of nutrition, it’s inexpensive and can be cooked quickly and in a million different ways.

Here is a link to an easy-to-understand article about HOW amazing eggs actually are. It’s a must read.

My new favourite breakfast, lunch or dinner dish is this Scrambled Eggs with Goats Cheese and Rosemary. 

I first read about the combination in a beautiful book by Shauna Niequist called Bread and Wine, a love letter to life around the table (my kind of book).

This is one of those ideas that is hard to put in a recipe format. 

Basically, choose as many eggs as you wish to eat or according to how many you are feeding. This is very personal. I would eat 2 if I was making this for myself, my eldest son has been having 5 on his own lately….you see what I mean!

Pour your lightly beaten eggs into a cold non-stick frying pan and then turn on the heat. Gently, start moving the eggs around in ribbons with a spatula or whisk. I like to think of it as a gentle scramble. We all know how awful tough and chewy scrambled eggs can taste. That’s usually from too much over zealous beating and too long on the heat. 

The whole thing takes only a few minutes. When the egg is starting to look almost finished, i.e. just set, crumble in as much goats cheese (feta works well too) as you like, sprinkle in some finely chopped fresh rosemary and season with pepper. 

And there you have it. 3 ingredients, ready in about 3 minutes. 

Who said eating well had to be complicated? 

 

 

1 Minute Lemon & Coconut Mug Cake and Lessons from a Little Blue Fish

I never thought I would be reminded of some important life lessons from an animated movie about a little blue fish.

As I sat watching Finding Dory with the family, I found myself fighting back tears.

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Dory, with her short-term memory loss, really struggled to survive in the ocean and needed a buddy with her most of the time to help guide where she was going.

She had lost her family and she was afraid.

She was different to the other sea creatures and lacked the skills the other fish had to survive.

The creatures that end up helping her find her family had their own difficulties too, such as the Whale shark with bad eye sight and the Octopus, with relationship and commitment issues. Nemo and his dad Marlin, knew what it was like to lose someone they love, but despite their fears of it happening again, agreed to help Dory find her way home.

 Just Keep Swimming.

And when Dory finally made it home, her parents had not given up either.

They had been faithfully waiting for her to make her way home, laying out paths that might help her eventually remember and find them.

finding-dory-movie

 

 

 

 

 

You’re in another hard season.

Just Keep Swimming.

You thought maybe the battles were slowing down, or it was your turn for a break from the hard stuff.

But life doesn’t work that way and you find yourself weary and discouraged.

Just Keep Swimming.

Despite the fear and the pain and the difficulty.

Just Keep Swimming.

And don’t swim alone. Gather your crew around you, your imperfect, motley crew of people who love you unconditionally, and get them to pull you along when you don’t think you can go any further.

Do the next thing. Take the one next step.

Don’t look too far ahead, but for today, just don’t give up my friend.

quotes-courage-voice-mary-anne-radmacher-480x480

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1 Minute Lemon & Coconut Mug Cake
Serves 1
Lemon and Coconut Cake, mixed and cooked in a mug in 1 minute in the microwave.
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Prep Time
2 min
Cook Time
1 min
Total Time
3 min
Prep Time
2 min
Cook Time
1 min
Total Time
3 min
Ingredients
  1. 4 tablespoons self raising flour
  2. 2 tablespoons desiccated coconut
  3. 1 tablespoon raw sugar
  4. 3 tablespoons coconut milk (or normal milk)
  5. 1 tablespoon light olive oil
  6. 1 egg
  7. 2 tablespoons store-bought lemon curd
Instructions
  1. Mix flour, coconut and sugar in a 11/2 cup capacity mug or cup.
  2. Mix well.
  3. Add milk, olive oil and egg.
  4. Mix till thoroughly combined.
  5. Gently stir through lemon curd, do not mix in completely.
  6. Cook in the microwave for 50-60 seconds.
  7. It will puff up and rise to the top. If the cake batter is not fully cooked, put in for another 10 seconds or so.
  8. Enjoy immediately with extra curd and cream if desired.
Adapted from Tasty Express
Adapted from Tasty Express
cook fast eat slow http://www.cookfasteatslow.com/

Simple Salmon Laksa

It’s been a while since I posted a recipe using one of our favourite foods, salmon. 

Lightly poaching the salmon and vegetables in the spicy coconut broth for a few minutes and then pouring it over some rice noodles is all it takes to get this delicious dish on the table on a cold Tuesday night.

For our younger kids who don’t like spicy food, I serve them noodles, salmon and vegetables and not much broth. 

For ourselves and our eldest, we enjoy it almost like a soup, with forks and spoons, drinking up the liquid at the end. 

Simple Salmon Laksa
Serves 6
Salmon and vegetables poached in a spicy coconut broth, served on top of thin rice noodles.
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
20 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
20 min
Ingredients
  1. 185 gram jar of laksa paste (I used AYAM brand)
  2. 1/2 a lemongrass stalk (approx 5cm), finely chopped
  3. 1/8 purple cabbage, finely shredded
  4. the stalks of a bunch of broccollini, sliced into thin batons
  5. leaves and stems of 1 bunch of bok choy, washed and thinly sliced
  6. 150gm green beans, cut into small pieces
  7. 4 cups fish, vegetable or chicken stock
  8. 400ml can of coconut cream
  9. 400-500gm fresh salmon fillets, skin off, bones removed, cut into small cubes
  10. 200gm pack rice vermicilli noodles
  11. juice of 1 lime
  12. a handful of bean sprouts and fresh coriander to serve
Instructions
  1. Prepare rice noodles according to packet directions.
  2. When noodles are ready, divide amongst serving bowls.
  3. Heat a couple of tablespoons of olive oil in a large saucepan.
  4. Fry the lemongrass stalks and jar of paste for a few minutes until fragrant.
  5. Add the beans, cabbage and broccollini stems and stir till combined.
  6. Add the stock and coconut cream, stir and bring to the boil.
  7. Once boiling, add the salmon and bok choy and turn off the heat.
  8. Leave it for a few minutes, until the salmon is cooked through.
  9. Stir through the lime juice.
  10. Ladle the broth, salmon and vegetables over the noodles in the bowls.
  11. Garnish with bean sprouts and coriander leaves to serve.
Notes
  1. This was quite spicy. To make a milder version, only use 1/2 jar of laksa paste.
cook fast eat slow http://www.cookfasteatslow.com/

 

Taco Soup

One of last years most popular recipes on cook fast eat slow was Taco Salad. You can find the recipe here, Taco Salad

Today I am sharing with you the winter equivalent, Taco Soup. 

Hugging a warm bowl of this on a chilly night is very comforting, and often takes me back to my childhood, where it was a family favourite.

This is my version but be as creative as you like with your toppings. We usually have all the toppings on the table so everyone can ‘dress’ their soup with whatever they like. Our favourite toppings are natural corn chips, guacamole or plain avocado, grated cheese, sour cream and capsicum.

Taco Soup
Serves 6
A beef and bean based soup, topped with corn chips, avocado, sour cream and cheese.
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
30 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
30 min
Ingredients
  1. 500gm beef mince
  2. 2 tablespoons olive oil
  3. 1 spanish (red) onion, peeled and finely diced
  4. 2 heaped teaspoons dried oregano
  5. 2 heaped teaspoons ground cumin
  6. 1 large carrot, peeled and grated
  7. 1 green capsicum, de-seeded and finely diced (some set aside for the topping)
  8. 2 x 400gm cans diced tomatoes
  9. 1 x 400gm can tomato puree
  10. 1 x 750gm can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  11. 3 cups water
  12. To serve, use toppings like natural corn chips, avocado, sour cream, grated cheese and reserved capsicum.
Instructions
  1. Heat olive oil in a large soup pot over a medium heat.
  2. Add onion and cook until soft.
  3. Add beef, breaking up the lumps, and cook till brown.
  4. Add all other ingredients and place the lid on the soup pot to bring the soup to a boil.
  5. Turn the heat down and allow to gently simmer 15 minutes.
  6. Remove the lid and simmer for 5 minutes more.
  7. Ladle the soup into bowls and allow people to do their own toppings.
Notes
  1. The soup base will freeze as it is.
  2. Defrost and reheat and then add toppings.
cook fast eat slow http://www.cookfasteatslow.com/