Having a few fast food ideas is a good thing for any busy mum to have up her sleeve. The thing we tend to do though is confuse fast food with convenience food. And it is important to remember that the two are completely different.
So my definition of fast food is something which takes little time to prepare, little time to cook but is natural and nutritious.
Pasta is one culinary item that I believe is every mums best friend. Kids generally like pasta – they may not always like the sauces but the pasta itself normally gets the thumbs up. So having a few staple ingredients available that can go with pasta will make a really quick and easy meal.
So here is one simple idea which will give you lots of recipes – each of which can be as simple or as sophisticated as you would like them to be.
Pea and smoked ham pasta for a family of 4
- 300g of pasta – any type of pasta is ok
- 1 onion
- 150 g of smoked ham chopped into slithers. You can replace this with bacon, a small can of salmon, prawns or any other tinned seafood.(Fresh or frozen is fine but of course this is going to take a little longer to prepare.
- 400g of cooked peas
Boil up some pasta. While that is bubbling away chop up an onion, (or a couple of chopped spring onions), and fry in virgin olive oil for five minutes until soft. When the pasta is cooked, drain off all the water and add the onion to the pasta.
Then add the cooked peas and smoked ham to the pasta. Finally season well with salt and black pepper and serve with grated cheese. Or as an alternative stir in a spoonful of pesto sauce, or creme fraiche.
There are lots of different alternatives to this basic pasta recipe that you can ring the changes with. Instead of smoked ham, use cooked bacon, a tin of salmon or cooked prawns.
Instead of peas and smoked ham, use cherry tomatoes, or mushrooms, both of which are absolutely delicious added to cooked pasta, but to be honest any frozen or fresh vegetables including many greens work well.
To spice the meal up and make it more sophisticated use flavoured virgin oils, and add herbs like oregano and basil, or a pinch of chilli if you fancy something a little hot and spicy.
Keeping a few ingredients in the store cupboard or freezer which you can use to make some quick pasta suppers is definitely going to be quicker and healthier than heading to the local take away and a lot cheaper too.