Tag Archives: Easy

When I forgot to prepare lunch for after church

27 Dec

Spaghetti with meat sauce

It’s always a little stressful cooking for Sunday lunches before we leave for church.  We need to get lunch ready that early because bubs gets tired and cranky if we wait until we reach home to eat.  So he gets food in the car.  Usually, I do some soup thing.  But I forgot to put the food into the crock pot and we didn’t have soup ready as we usually do.

It meant scraping some food together for a quick one dish meal that he would eat which would cook quickly and easily.

Spaghetti and meat sauce

I love spaghetti and tomato based sauces.  But many of the recipes online require either boiling for long periods or adding some salt laden ham which I try to avoid.  There was the tray of canned tomatoes that the hubs bought because he thought I cooked with a lot of canned tomatoes – I don’t.  I am not sure where he got the idea from.  There were bay leaves that someone had left on their garden gate for passerbys to take, there was the requisite minced meat that we always had in the freezer, onions and carrots which always keep well and of course the remainders of the huge bag of mozarella that I bought and really should finish soon.  I figured, I could put them together to make some kind of spaghetti meat sauce, couldn’t I?

The sauce that resulted was flavorsome and thick.  What I liked about it was that it was a one dish meal that was easily done in 30 – 45 minutes.  Leaving me enough time to get dressed, made up and ready for church after.  AND it does help not to smell of food after that!

Spaghetti with Tomato Meat Sauce

Makes enough for 4 – 6 people.

Ingredients

500g minced pork

1 tbs canola oil

2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped

1 medium yellow onion, chopped

1 carrot, finely chopped

2 cans of canned tomatoes

1 tbs balsamic vinegar

2 bay leaves

Mozarella cheese

Dried oregano

Pasta of choice

Method

  1. Heat canola oil in saucepan on medium heat and fry garlic and onions until fragrant.
  2. Add carrots and fry until tender.
  3. Add minced meat and keep stirring while it cooks.
  4. Add canned tomatoes and bring to a simmer.
  5. Add bay leaves and balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Simmer until desired consistency achieved.
  7. Remove bay leaves before serving over cooked pasta of choice.
  8. Top with mozarella cheese and oregano.
  9. Serve hot.

Tips

  1. The trick to cooking pasta is to cook with sufficient water and salt.  Once the pasta has reached the desired consistency, remove from water and toss with some olive oil to keep them from sticking together and turning soggy.
  2. When buying balsamic vinegar, look at the ingredients.  If there’s caramel added, it’s a poor quality vinegar.
  3. To get a melted mozarella cheese look, you can pop the pasta sprinkled with the cheese into a preheated oven (150 degrees celsius) for a few minutes or pop it into the microwave for half a minute.

Baked chicken for a flu

11 Dec

We are all down with a terrible flu of varying degrees and I didn’t get the crayfish I thought would be cheap with China not wanting to buy from Tasmania.  Plus the hubs didn’t get anything that could be cooked in a jiffy.  So I was at my wits ends for a 2nd week running. 😦

So to boost all our immune systems and have a tasty meal, I decided I had to add garlic, lemon and red onion to the mix. And chicken soup is supposed to help with flus, right?  I had no soup but had some drumsticks.  I was too tired to stand around the stove so I baked the lot.  Apparently it was very fragrant according to the hubs.  I can’t smell a thing.  But the taste was definitely there and great since I’ve been having close to no appetite for a while.  I sprinkled the top with some fried pine nuts for added texture and taste.  Worked wonders with bub who was asking repeatedly for additional helpings.  I love how the garlic bakes to a lovely creamy paste – and this comes from a garlic hater.

Baked chicken for a flu

Makes enough for 4

Ingredients

4 chicken drumsticks

1 large red onion thinly sliced

1 bulb of garlic, separated into cloves with membranes still intact

1 lemon sliced thinly

1 sprig of rosemary

Salt and pepper to taste

2 tbsp Extra virgin olive oil + 1 tbsp EVOO to fry pine nuts

Pine nuts 40g

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celsius
  2. Rub salt and pepper into the chicken drumsticks.  Line up in the baking pan in a single layer.
  3. Place red onion, garlic, lemon and rosemary over chicken and drizzle EVOO over.
  4. Cover pan with 2x layer of aluminium foil and bake for 40 minutes or until the juices run dry when the thickest portion of the chicken is speared.
  5. Meanwhile, heat up EVOO in a saucepan and fry the pine nuts on medium heat, constantly stirring until golden brown.
  6. Sprinkle pinenuts over chicken when done.
  7. Serve with potatoes or rice as preferred.

Tips

  1. Don’t eat the lemon!
  2. You can bake this together with potatoes.  So that saves time!
  3. Added after feedback from one of my readers:  This method of baking will give a gravy.  Some people may not like it.  If you do not like gravy, then bake without the foil.  My kid finds the chicken baked without the foil too dry though.  But the skin does come out nice and crisp.