Pete brought home a small bag of trimmed green beans from Morrisons last Sunday. We wouldn’t normally buy trimmed veg, but these were 50p. And I always feel guilty about the food miles with Kenyan beans, but it’s very efficient (the Food Programme told me so), and Kenyan farmers are entitled to a living.
Anyhow, we needed to be fed and out quickly last night, so here’s a 15 minute meal start to finish.
- Put a pot of salted water on to boil for the pasta
- Chop one onion, and a couple of cloves of garlic (or more – entirely up to you)
- Make sure the beans are in fact trimmed – sometimes packets lie (snarl)
- Weigh 125g of pasta quills (that’s what we have for two of us)
- Heat some olive oil in a frying pan, and put the onions and garlic in to cook gently
- When pasta water is boiling, add pasta *and* beans (thus saving time and washing up). Set timer for 10 minutes
- Realise that the small packet of beans is really quite small, and add some pancetta cubes to the pan
- (Ideally get husband to) grate lots of parmesan
- When timer goes, drain pasta and beans, add to frying pan, add parmesan, stir around, eat, run.
So – 2/3rds of a huge jar of roasted red peppers. Opened. What to do?
Finely chopped an onion and about three cloves of garlic, and fried them off in olive oil, then added a slug of red wine and deglazed the pan. Sliced up the peppers and threw them in till they were warmed through thoroughly. Liquidised it in batches, then “cleaned” the goblet with about a glass of water and added it to the sauce; it made enough for at least two meals for us, and possibly three.
I cut up a thin leek into thin rings (we have just started a veg box again, so there might be interesting (or not 🙂 posts re that soon). It went into a pan with some olive oil, and was fried until just caramelised. There were some chickpeas left over from the tagine, so I added them, some seasoning, and some torn basil leaves from the pot on the windowsill at the end. I could have taken some chilli, I think, but was really delicious eaten with fusilli pasta, and I shall freeze the rest of the sauce today. So nice we shall have it again, and possibly again after that.
We decided last night that, come what may, we should make an inroad into the remaining Christmas pud, so a light supper was called for. I made it to the greengrocer yesterday, so we were stocked with veg.
So, trimmed a leek and cut it lengthways, then cut into thin slices. Set to cook off in some olive oil, and added three finely chopped cloves of garlic. Put some pasta on to cook.
Towards the end of the pasta cooking time, added to the leek mix some black pepper, the end of a tub of cream that was just going over, and the juice of half a lemon that was lying about. Dumped in lots of parmesan and stirred everything together with the pasta. Nice, light, tasty.
The pudding was good too! (Luxury one from Aldi, with candied orange slices on the sides. I love Aldi).
And here’s what I did with the half carton of passata!
I go Morris dancing on a Tuesday (yes, really – I do), and I prefer to eat at lunchtime on those days. Still not done any shopping, so …
Chopped onion and garlic, softened off in olive oil. Added a packet of pancetta cubes and a little dried chilli. Bunged in the passata, and rised the carton with some cider (well, it was in the fridge and needed using up!). Let it cook down while we rustled up some pasta.
Stirred in fresh basil leaves at the end, and smothered in grated parmesan. Very nice.
I shelled these last night, because I knew I wanted to cook them for lunch – I have taken up Morris Dancing (yes, really!), and practice is on Tuesdays, so I prefer to have my main meal at lunchtiime then.
So: chopped an onion, and put it in some olive oil to fry down. Put some pasta on to cook, and then added the beans about 7 minutes before the end.
Diced half a block of feta cheese, and tore some fresh basil into pieces (we keep a pot of basil on the kitchen windowsill – it is just the most gorgeous herb).
When the pasta/veg was cooked, hurled it in the onion pan with the cheese and basil, and added a little lemon juice, and some black pepper. Stirred it all round, ate from bowls.
Lovely summer lunch.
We normally have this without the pancetta, but I’m trying to cut my carbs at the moment so I added some meat.
I make this in a frying pan with a lid.
Chop and onion and some garlic, and fry it off in olive oil. Add the pancetta (I used cubes – you could use bacon too) at this point. When the onion is soft, add quite a lot of shredded cabbage; anything does – I’ve made this with hispi, with white, with savoy … they all work well.
Stir it all around, then add either some water – about maybe 1/2″ at the bottom of the pan – or a splash of wine. We used about half a glass of home made pineapple wine last night! Season to taste, put a lid on and leave it for about 10 minutes.
Then add some mozzarella – I usually just cube a whole one – and stir it around till the cheese melts.
In the bad old days, I would stir the pasta into this, but last night it went in separately, as Pete had a “normal” helping, and I just had a spoonful. I’ve discovered cabbage is great for bulking up if you’re avoiding carbs.
using up: half a head of broccoli, some everlasting chicken
We had a mound of cold roast chicken left from Saturday’s roast – we had cold with steamed new potatoes and red cabbage, and chicken sandwiches, and dhal with shredded chicken, have put all the bits and bones in the freezer, and were still left with a bowlful of chicken that would feed us for two more meals.
We also had a half a head of broccoli to use up, and we wanted something quick last night as we were both going out.
So, cut the broccoli into florets, and steamed for 6 minutes. Fished it out into a colanader, topped up the pan with some more boiling water and put in some pasta. As an aside, I have taken to weighing pasta (120g) and rice (80g), as I’m watching my carbs – this is about half the amount of both we used to eat, and it’s plenty!
Fried off a roughly chopped onion in olive oil, and added some thyme from the garden. Then lobbed in some chopped up cold cooked chicken and stirred it all around. When the pasta was almost done, I added the broccoli to the chicken pan, then in went the pasta, and about 100g of blue cheese. Stirred all that around till the cheese melted, then served in bowls.
It was nice, but I thought it was lacking something – not sure what. I shall ponder.
We had some button mushrooms and a little cream waiting to be used up, and this seemed an ideal way to do it on a hot day.
Finely chopped two shallots and three cloves of garlic, and cooked them down in olive oil. Added some chopped rosemary and thyme from the herb garden^H^H pots, which are coming along nicely. Sliced the mushrooms and added them to the pan, with a glug of white wine, and let them cook very slowly, while I boiled some tagliatelle.
Added the cream to the mushroom mix and warmed through, then drained the pasta and stirred it in. Ate out of bowls, topped with grated parmesan. Followed by the last of the plum and pear crumble, with ice cream.
“What’s this?” you cry; “two posts in one day? You’re spoiling us.”
We are going to a meeting tonight at 6 p.m. and thought we’d eat our main meal at lunchtime, and just grab a sandwich before we go out. I bought a bunch of English asparagus at the greengrocer yesterday – don’t suppose there’ll be much more this year, so must gorge while we can. We have a handful of standard recipes we cook with it, but fancied a change. So:
Trimmed the asparagus and put it in a baking tray lined with foil – I generally do this now, as the washing up is so much easier. Drizzled it with a generous quantity of olive oil, and sprinkled some sesame seeds on it. Pete finely chopped a couple of cloves of garlic, which were duly added, then I mussed it all up with fingers; sometimes that’s the only way to do it.
It went into the oven at 180C for 15 minutes, while I cooked some fusilli to accompany it. Then further inspiration struck, and I whipped up a dressing of olive oil and lemon juice.
Pasta, covered with asparagus, covered with the dressing. It really was rather nice, and there’s still half a bunch of asparagus left!
Our local Co-Op had special offers on chicken last week – two packs of diced breast for a fiver, and the same for whole breast. I picked up two packs of each and stowed them in the freezer, not least because I’m trying to cut down my red meat consumption.
There was also a head of fennel in the fridge; I love fennel, but tend to forget about it and just lob it in the soup, so I wanted to actually, you know, make something with it deliberately.
In the morning, I took half of one pack of diced chicken – it was in a plastic tray divided into two, so that was simple, and I stuck the other half into a poly bag and replaced it in the freezer.
This evening, I cut the chicken into slightly smaller chunks, and browned it in some olive oil. Put it in a brown bowl, then added sliced fennel and a chopped red onion to tha pan. Sauted the veg until soft, then added a spoonful of Dijon mustard and stirred it round. Added a knob of butter to the pan, and when melted, returned the chicken, and added about a wineglass full of cider, and some seasoning.
Stuck a lid on the pan, and left it for about 12 minutes, then took the lid off and reduced the liquor down, finally adding a little double cream. We ate this with pasta – my share of that was about 35g, which ain’t too bad.
No idea of the calorific value of the rest of the meal, but as Pete and I went for a 6 mile walk this morning, I reckon I’ve earned it 🙂