Tuesday, April 14, 2009

10 in 10

In the last few weeks that I was working, I became obsessed with creating the perfect nutritional dinner that could be made in 10 minutes by a harried, rather pregnant professional woman who had a wailing toddler attatched to her leg screaming out "Dinner! Dinner!!". Of course that wouldn't be me, because I am an oasis of calm and preparedness in an otherwise chaotic world.

But anyway, I have been road testing various ideas, and here are the top 10. Just FYI. And, yes, they do make heavy use of San.it.arium veggie products, but if you're a purist, you're going to be slow roasting your tofu, so, well, bite me. Most of them are lifted from various magazines and shit I've seen at work and gone "Hey, that looks quick" so therefore a veggie versions of meaty dishes. Still, bite me. I'm biteable. Oh, and we always have in stock plenty of coles smart buy tomato and garlic pasta sauce. It's pretty crap as a pasta sauce, but works well as a tomato-ish base, and is very cheap.

1. Pasta primavera-ish. Boil water and put pasta on to cook. Steam (microwave) sectioned green beans, broccoli florets, frozen peas or any other green vegetable in the fridge. Drain pasta and combine with cooked vegies, a squeeze of garlic, oregano, parsely lime or lemon juice, black pepper and parmesan shavings. Soy fillets ('chicken style') chopped into cubes up the protein content for added nutriments.

2. Pasta "summer". Boil water and put pasta on to cook. Whilst cooking, chop up spme sundried tomatoes (or fresh tomatoes). Drain pasta and toss with sundrieds, sliced black olives, basil leaves (roughly torn), black pepper and shaved or grated mozzarella or provolone cheese. Again, some chopped vegie sausages will up the protein content.

3. 5 egg omlette and 'sausage salsa'. NB this looks like it takes a while, but I can get it done in 10 minutes. Seriously.
Whisk 5 eggs (6 is too thick, 4 aint enough) in a bowl and add chopped herbs (whatever your toddler brings you from the garden) and cook in a frypan with pre-heated olive oil (NB if you use the left-over oil from sundried tomatoes this makes it very yummy). Whilst this is cooking over a low/moderate heat, steam broccoli florets in the microwave, and chop up veggie sausages into cm-long lengths (about 4 sausages for 2 adults or 5 for 2 adults and a toddler) and make some thinnish cheese slices (about 3-4mm). When omlette has almost cooked through, place on strips of cheese and fold over. Cook for a further ~2 minutes to get the cheese runny :). Section off about a third and place in the fridge/freezer to cool down for the toddler. In the left over half of the pan, slosh in some cheap pasta sauce and heat through the sliced sausages. Serve with broccoli florets.

4. Felafels- you need to buy pre-made felafel balls, some flat bread, sour cream, hoummus and lettuce. Microwave the felafels for 2 minutes to warm them through and serve up. Adults can make up their own, serve toddlers felafel balls, flat bread spread with hoummus and bits of lettuce .
This reminds me of a famous piece of graffiti that was once on a wall in Darlinghurst "God hates homos" to which someone had addended "But does he like tabouli?"

5. Toasted cheese sandwiches and baked beans. Now, in all seriousness, baked beans on wholegrain toast is actually a very nutritionally sound meal. Even rake-thin dieticians agree with me! If you serve this up with toasties, the cheese just makes it more filling. "good" people will forego cheese as having too much fat content, but they can roll over and stfu.

6. Spinach, Fetta and Olive Pasta.
Put the pasta on to boil. Chop up a largish brown onion finely and saute in a pan with olive oil. Add some crushed garlic, a tin of chopped tomatoes, and about 500g of washed spinach leaves (NB Spinach is SPINACH- it is NOT SILVER BEET which tastes like CRAP!) and cook until the spinach is all wilty. Throw in some sliced black olives, basil leaves, black pepper, and cubed fetta and then stir in the drained pasta. We LOVE this one. Use nice fetta.

7. Veggie burgers- again, use pre-made veggie burgers, and get burger buns from the shop. Microwave the burgers for about 2 minutes. Slice the burger buns in half and throw in two slices of cheese and microwave for about a minute (for 4 buns), throw the warm burger on top, throw in some dead horse and some lettuce leaves. Yummo.

8.Sausage and Beans
Cook veggie sausages in a fry pan. Remove and add some crushed garlic to the pan along with some olive oil, a tin of drained bean mix, chopped tomatoes (or a tin of diced ones), a splash of balsamic vinegar and basil and cook for a bit.

9. Pasta pronto. this one cheats a bit: you need a tin of concentrated pumpkin soup and some filled pasta. Boil water and cook pasta. Whilst this is cooking, fry up some chopped up 'not bacon', garlic and sage leaves. Then chuck in the can of pumpkin soup, and some cracked pepper, and reduce. Stir through the drained pasta and some shaved parmesan.

10. Quick rice. This one also cheats with pre-cooked rice.
Fry up pre-cooked rice, chopped onions, "bacon", carrot and mushrooms, crushed garlic, beaten eggs and soy sauce.

The following is a bit cheaty, as it uses frozen vegies which i would ordinarily call an anathema, but, hey, meh, newborn looming, screaming toddler, cat that claims not to have been fed for several years etc etc:
*Vegetable pasta- microwave a good size portion of frozen, chopped veggies (I used a 500g bag for 3 adults and a toddler). Boil pasta. Pan fry the microwaved vegies with a jar of coles best buy pasta sauce, stir through the drained pasta and top with parmesan shavings.

The next few take a little longer than 10 mins, but are relatively easy still:
*Quick mex- Put a tin of drained and washed red kidney beans, some 'casserole mince', grated cheese, coriander, cumin and some pasta sauce in a big bowl and mix up. Place a good slop onto soft tortillas or mountain bread and fold up into parcels, fry in a pan with a little oil and serve with extra salsa.

* Spuds and sausage
microwave spuds for 10 minutes after cutting them down the middle and with some lateral cuts too (think like the laces on a football but right out to the sides of the spud). Whilst they are cooking, prepare some steamed veggies (broccoli, carrots etc). When the spuds are done, splay them out and dump sour cream/butter and chives in the centre. Cook up the veggies and microwave some veggie sausages.

* Sausage stodge. Heat oil in a fry pan, cook chopped sausage pieces for 1-2 mins until brown and set aside. Cook 'not bacon' and one chopped onion in the same pan for 5 minutes on medium heat until onion is soft. Add chopped garlic, a tin of diced tomatoes and chicken-style stock and bring to the boil, then reduce. Add 3 cups of frozen, mixed vegetables and simmer until cooked and stir in the sausages and add some chopped parsely (or whatever herbs your toddler brings you back from the garden)

1 Comments:

OpenID thetwinkle said...

yum. some of those sound familiar and others sound like great new ideas for us.

but seriously, woman, you must be over that pregnancy... you are sounding cranky with all the "bite me"s!

15/4/09 03:32  

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