There are so many things that change when you become a parent. One of the most impressive ones though is how much time you suddenly DON’T have… I tend to think of myself as someone who is well organized, but suddenly I found myself looking at the piles of laundry, dishwasher that hasn’t been emptied for 3 days and I couldn’t remember the last time I had cooked a meal.
Of course, one could argue that in a long run none of these things really matter, but somehow they matter to me. Now. I can’t be peaceful if all of my orderly neat life suddenly has changed into a chaotic run from room to room trying to at least clean up a little bit of the mess that comes from nowhere .
It took me a couple of months (OK, this is a lie. It took me more than just a couple of months.) to readjust all my system (yes, I have one build in my head) and make a new one. What I am doing now is either planning things more carefully or cheating time (to have some more time). Like this recipe. Ready in no time and delicious as in “give me another spoon of that” delicious. And spares you those precious minutes you cherish so much.
Ingredients (for 1)
- 10 prawns, peel and devein them (I had some frozen ones)
- squeeze of lemon juice
- drizzle of olive or sesame oil (if you like the taste)
- 1 garlic clove, peeled, minced
- 1 shallot, sliced,
- 1cm of ginger, peeled, grated
- 2 carrots, peeled, sliced
- some frozen veggies (always good to have those ones in freezer for quick recipes)
- 1 small pack of coconut milk (250ml i think it was)
- spices: salt, pepper, pinch of sugar, soy sauce,
- 0.3mm of chilli paste
- drizzle the prawns with lemon juice and leave them to marinate while you are making the rest
- heat the oil, add garlic, shallot and ginger and stir for 1-2 minutes, then add carrots and a bit of water to cook them (approx 3-5 min)
- add the frozen veggies (I had a mix of potatoes, small carrots and beans) and stir-fry for 5 min, then add the coconut milk and spices +chili paste; stir for a minute or 2
- add the shrimp and cook until they have turned pink (normally will take you max 5 minutes) and
So there you go, a bowl of deliciousness in approximately 20 minutes!
I like to think of myself as organized person. I have my rituals to manage everything on time and sometimes even before that. Little did I know that having a child will challenge this assumption of mine. Now, several months into my motherhood, around the dinnertime I have realized that I am finishing my son’s fruit puree and having a sandwich or a snack for dinner. Me?! Who was enjoying the cooking and having it as a part of a daily meditative ritual??
Realization of this made me think that there must be an easy way to tackle this. So, here comes the recipe that made the dinnertime enjoyable again (and yes, it was done whilst playing silly games with Seppe).
What I used for 2 persons
- ~100g pearl barley
- 1 fennel, sliced
- 150 g cherry tomatoes
- 1 can of tuna in oil
- good handful of coriander
- pickled onions+pickling liquid
- balsamic vinegar
- olive oil
And here is “how to”
- heat you oven to 180-190 degrees. put the tomatoes and sliced fennel in an oven-proof pan, add some olive oil, salt and pepper and in the oven it goes for around 20 minutes
- meanwhile boil the pearl barley
- and chop the coriander
- when all the ingredients seem ready in the oven/on the stove, put them all together in a bowl, add the tuna, pickled onions (quantity depends on how much you like the pickled taste) + the pickling liquid, a bit of olive oil, balsamic vinegar, some salt and pepper and….. THAT’S IT!
Exactly that simple it is. And extremely delicious. Try it. Honestly! 🙂
Since I have my son, I have switched my daily biking to almost daily walks. And whilst I do appreciate the discoveries, secret gems, new places and faces one finds whilst wondering in the city (cause let’s admit it, when we are in the working mode, we don’t look much up to appreciate what is around us, now do we?) after a walk on a cold day I do feel I deserve some sort of reward. This chicken noodle soup is exactly that! And on top of that: easy and fast to make.
For 2 you’ll need:
- 1,6l chicken stock (i did use the cube for making the stock)
- 2cm ginger, peeled, cut in big strips
- 1 garlic clove, bruised (put your knife on the garlic and whack it so the garlic is kind of mushy but stil in 1 piece)
- 1tbsp of soy sauce (add more later if you think the broth is lacking taste)
- 2 chicken legs (loosen the skin though, so the meat cooks quickly)
- 8 mushrooms, cut in slices
- 2 carrots, cut in thin slices
- 150g vermicelli noodles (or egg noodles)
- coriander(or you can use spring onions) to garnish
What to do:
- Bring the broth together with the garlic and ginger to boil. Put in the chicken legs and boil until the meat is cooked, take it out and set it aside.
- Get rid of the garlic and ginger, add the carrots, mushrooms and pasta, boil for approximately 5 minutes or until ready.
- Meanwhile shred the chicken meat and chop the coriander.
- Pour the stock with veggies and pasta in the bowl, put the chicken and coriander on top.
p.s. the original recipe also feature soft boiled egg in the soup, which i didn’t add but I did add some asparagus. Basically, variate. Always variate with ingredients to your likings. That’s the best way to enjoy cooking anyway:)
p.p.s i did put the chicken skin in the oven on 225C for 5 minutes to have a crispy cracker. will do that again!
This is the first year when for the Valentine’s day I am not on a mission in Strasbourg. And whilst the day itself does not hold a special value for me, it is, however, a reminder to make some meals more special than others. This one is a meal for a busy cook. Almost everything can be prepared ahead and all the cooking you’ll need to do for this menu during dinner time, is to boil the pasta 🙂
Those who have small children will know that you can forget about a decent sit down dinner that you were used to having. So, for me it was important that everything can not only be made in advance, but can also be served according to the free time slots we have in our son’s evening routine.
This was our special dinner
We started with salmon tartare and home baked bread with rosemary and thyme
The bread was admitted to be delicious also with home made pesto
Pesto then was used together with fresh pasta
And the night ended with what was supposed to be a chocolate lava cake, but was, in reality chocolate suffle (as long as it tastes good, who cares about the names, right? 🙂
Here are the recipe inspirations for the special night meal:
- Salmon tartare (I found the recipe to be too complicated though, so my version contained fresh salmon, juice of 1 lime, coriandre, salt, pepper, rice vinegar and a bit of sugar, marinated all that for an hour and that’s it)
- White bread. I did add different spices to my liking, generous amount of rosemary and thyme being the main ones.
- Pesto. My pesto does not have cheese in it (and yet is extremely delicious). If you prefer to make it without cheese as well, cut out 1 garlic.
- Chocolate lava cake.
Sometimes the simplest dinners are the best. This soup has only onion, green peas, chicken stock, lactose free yoghurt and spices. The taste of it is amazing. No more of it left….