Last time I posted a recipe, I looked back later on the post and realised how lazy and contrary my cooking had become… In principle, I am all for food that is fresh, locally sourced, organic where possible (and this is not always possible on our reduced budget) and tasty. I am not a big foodie, and I do tend to have to be quite pragmatic about how I cook – especially since I am cooking for a vegetarian and a meatatarian on a daily basis. But somehow, in the midst of all the trying to stay afloat that comes from being new parents, I went far too far down the ‘just-rip-open-a-can-and-throw-it-in-the-pot’ route for my own liking… and as tasty and simple as the Vege Chilli recipe is, it has gone off the menu for a while due to an over-reliance on canned goods… well, until Winter sets in at least!!
So, with weight loss, freshness and variety in mind, I have been spending a bit of time lately with some vegan and vegetarian cookbooks from the library… and may delight you with some of my experiments in the near future. I also found a 20-min recipe book for Akira to trawl through, and have been trying out some things he was keen on too… so we are eating a little more imaginatively, AND a little more healthily.
This is the brightest and most alive my kitchen window has looked in a long time:
For the first time ever, I have managed to keep a basil plant alive for more than a few days! This is an organic Purple Basil and in the pic, it is post-harvest from this morning’s trimmings. I decided, after it had thrown out even more flowers (that I nipped in the bud), that it was time to really try more than just a few leaves. I took off 2 C of lovely leaves, rinsed them and then made some tasty fresh pesto to toss our pasta in this evening for dinner.
Pesto & Pasta
2 C loosely packed Basil Leaves
1/4 C grated Parmigano
1/6 C (approx 14g) Pine Nuts
2 sm Garlic cloves
1/4 C Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Pulse the first four ingredients in a food processor (if you don’t have a mortar and pestle… this is better, but I don’t have one) several times until roughly chopped. Then add oil slowly as you continue to pulse. Consistency should remain fairly coarse.
Cook pasta per packet (tonight it is large conchigli shells… and I cooked about 250g so there would be leftovers for lunch tomorrow).
Saute a few extra veges to add to pasta (tonight I sliced mushrooms, pre-cooked some asparagus spears and chopped up a green capsicum) and then toss altogether with the pesto. For the carnivore in our house, I also chopped and fried up some little skinless chicken breast pieces and then added them to some of the pasta when adding the pesto. We also ate this with some tasty fresh rocket salad, just lightly drizzled with balsamic vinegar.
Light and flavoursome dinner a la Genoa!