Spaghetti bolognaise is the first dish my mum taught me to make from scratch when I first moved out of home, so it’s one of the few dishes that I can do without a recipe and know how to adjust. Normally it’s on the stove but with the addition of two expensive appliances in my kitchen this year, and with two hungry kids needing some dinner I thought I’d try my hand in some shortcuts “just to see” if it was faster. Normally I would cut the veggies by hand but I’ve found my 3 year old is very good a picking them out of her food, so I thought I would try blending the veggies this time.
4 knobs of garlic (I actually didn’t have this but it would have added a LOT more flavour)
2 cans of tomatoes
1 can of tomato paste
2 Tbsp virgin cold pressed coconut oil (or your preferred cooking oil)
500g beef mince
500g penne pasta (or any other type of pasta)
1 Tbsp oregano
1 Tbsp basil
1 Tbsp parsley
1 Tbsp of sugar
Vitamix – or any blender/food processor
Instant pot/pressure cooker
- Wash and cut ends off veggies and pop them straight into the Vitamix
- Add 2 cans of organic tomatoes, 1 can of organic tomato paste
- Blend on speed 1 for 10 seconds using the tamper, turn up to speed 3 and pulse to desired consistency. [optional: add a little more water and then turn up to speed 10 for 6 min and use it to heat up the sauce]
- Salt and pepper the mince
- Turn on the pressure cooker to the stir fry setting and add the coconut oil before it heats up
- Stir fry the mince for 5-10min or until mostly browned.
- Add the blended sauce and stir through
- Add herbs of your choice – I used oregano, basil and parsley. Note: the quantities are approximate, you can adjust this to taste.
- Fill the Vitamix jug half way with water (approx 4 cups) and pour it in the used tomato tins swirl then pour it back in the jug. Pour the resulting tomato juice into the pressure cooker pot.
- Add 500g pasta and stir, ensuring the sauce covers the pasta.
Put the lid on the pressure cooker and set to high pressure for 13 min for al dente (for a lower glycaemic index) or 15min for softer pasta.
Serves approx. 8 people
Total preparation time: 10-15min
Cooking time: 13min
Total time from fridge to plate: 25-30min
I stopped the cooker after 13 min and let the steam out and the pasta turned out to be al dente. However, if you prefer a softer pasta, you can try it for 15-20min instead.
For my first attempt I left out the sugar, so it was a little sour.
Was it faster? Possibly.
Was it easier? Definitely.
Would I do it again? Definitely.
What are your super quick go to recipes? If you have any great time-saving tips in the kitchen then I’d love to hear about it. Please leave a comment below.
Mangos always reminds me of summer. We get them in abundance here in sunny Queensland and it’s synonymous with Christmas.
We buy chia in bulk as it’s one of the main components in my daughters breakfast. I have been trying to eat more nutritionally and was inspired seeing the chia pods back in Aldi. So decided to make my own again. Over Christmas we were given a lot of mangos that we’re quite ripe so it’s a great way to make use of them.
What a refreshing treat for a hot day!
I’ve also started making my own nut milks with our vitamix so have used my own homemade cashew nut milk. Feel free to substitute with any other milk. For a creamier variation you could also add in a few spoons on yoghurt.
I use recycled baby food jars that hold appprox 150ml.
I’ve made 4 here so that I can have enough for snacks throughout the week.
Mango cashew milk chia pod
2 Tbsp chia seeds
100ml cashew nut milk
4-6 bite sized pieces of freshly cut mango
Add chia seeds to a 150ml jar. Add cashew nut milk and stir until all the seeds are evenly distributed. Add in mango pieces and ensure they are covered. Put on the lids and store in the fridge.
In a few hours the chia seeds will absorb the liquid and thicken it up to be more like a pudding. If you find it’s not thickening up you may need to add more chia. If you prefer to use a bigger jar add more chia just try to keep the ratios roughly the same.
This should be fine to consume within 3-4 days. But as always use your common sense and if it smells or if in doubt throw it out.
Feel free to change up the flavours with different variations such as stewed Apple and cinnamon. Vanilla and cinnamon.
What are your favourite chia pod flavours?
I’ve just started my fermented foods journey and have done my first batch of Kombucha and water keifer.
I was surprised at how simple this was to assemble:
- Make sugar water – I simply used old jars, filled them with two tablespoons of raw sugar and then boiling water. For the Kombucha I added two decafe tea bags.
- Then I waited half a day for all of it to cool down. In the meantime I made my own ‘muslin cloths’ by cutting up an old muslin blanket.
- Once it was cool I decanted the existing water keifer/ Kombucha into new jars. You can also strain the keifer grains / kombucha scobie with a plastic strainer (metal is not recommended)
- Then I simply added in my sugar water mixture.
- I used the muslin cloth doubled over with a rubber band to hold it in place.
Whilst I was waiting for mine to brew, I decided to try the Kombucha and Water Keifer from my friends batch. I found the Kombucha was too sour. And the water keifer was too sweet. Combined – yes, you guessed it – it was ‘just right’. I added some Buderim Ginger Refresher cordial, soda water, fresh mint leaves and a dash of orange juice. It was a winning combination! Tasted like a mocktail only much better for your gut with all the natural probiotic goodness.
I’m looking forward to experimenting with more combinations.
Have you tried either Kombucha or Water Keifer and what is your favourite way to drink it?
Ginger and Mint Water Keifer Kombucha
1/4 cup Water Keifer
1/4 cup Kombucha
1/8 cup soda water
1/8 cup Ginger refresher (to taste)
1/8 cup orange juice (optional)
Mix together and drink with a few ice cubes. Amounts can be adjusted to taste.