Last week we had a crazy week!
Our evenings were full. My husband was playing soccer and studying and I was working and training (mostly running and riding). This meant that I had to be organised for our weekly eats. To do this I dedicated one afternoon to cooking up a storm.
Monday night was FREE so I cooked up homemade pesto pasta (pasta is a ritual in our house the night before a soccer game), chicken and vegetable soup and chilli con carne. All of these meals can be reheated, enjoyed as lunch and frozen in portions for a later date, so they were the perfect choice for us.
This chilli con carne just needs to be served with some rice (a small serve if activity level is low), balanced with some salad and topped with Greek yoghurt.
I will share this recipe at a later date.
This lovely chicken soup recipe is one of Jamie Oliver’s. I just added some white quinoa and green beans.
Being organised meant that we enjoyed nutritional meals that provided the energy we required, without the time spent in the kitchen or picking up odds and ends at the supermarket through the week.
When I posted an image of the pesto pasta on Instagram it immediately got a lot of attention so I just had to share.
This meal is quiet famous in the Boogaard house, however I have always used jar pesto or bought it from the local food markets. Until now!
Remember you can always increase or decrease the different ingredients mentioned, my recipes are purely there for inspiration, so please let your taste and senses lead the way…
Homemade Pesto Pasta
Serves 3-4 people (depending on how hungry and active the family members are)
400g of jap pumpkin, peeled and cut into 2-3cm thick chunks
400g of chicken breast, thinly sliced (or buy stir fry strips)
1 large red onion thickly sliced
1 cup of thinly sliced mushrooms
½ cup of thinly sliced sundried tomatoes (or sundried tomato strips)
Rocket or baby spinach
2 cups of uncooked penne or spirali pasta
For the pesto
Approximately 1 cup of basil laves
1 clove of garlic
¼ cup of olive oil
¼ cup of pine nuts
salt and pepper to season
A small food processor or a pestle and mortar
- Preheat oven to 200 degrees.
- Line a deep baking tray with baking paper, spread pumpkin in tray, drizzle with olive oil, toss to coat in oil and put in the oven for ~30 minutes or until tender, turning once.
- Meanwhile make pesto by combining the basil, garlic, olive oil, pinenuts and a little salt and pepper and whizz in a small food processor (or use a pestle and mortar) until combined – let your taste guide you here and add more basil, pinenuts or olive oil if desired.
- When the pumpkin and the pesto are almost ready boil the pasta for approximately 10-12 minutes or until al dente.
- After about 5 minutes of the pasta cooking heat oil in a pan over a medium heat then add the onion and chicken and cook for a few minutes until almost cooked through.
- When the chicken is almost cooked through, lower the temperature and add the sundried tomatoes (I always add a bit of the oil from the sun dried tomatoes) and mushrooms and cook altogether for another 4-5 minutes until all ingredients are cooked, stirring regularly.
7. Drain cooked pasta and add the pasta, pesto and rocket to the frying pan and combine.
8. Serve in bowls and enjoy!
This dish is also lovely as a warm salad without the pasta or as a vegetarian option by leaving the chicken out.