Quick and Easy Healthy Eating
I often hassle my dear Mum about her lack of healthy eating. Mum provides nearly full-time care for my Aunt Margaret, so is often very tired on arriving home in the evening and also because my Step Dad works on night-shift, she can very rarely motivate herself to spend time in the kitchen knocking up interesting and healthy recipes.
I decided to get constructive about the issue, and rather than hassling Mum all the time, I would test-drive some simple recipes and present them to her in a bid to motivate her, and demonstrate how easy healthy eating could be – even for one!
I recently tried out this recipe from Rose Elliot’s Vegetarian Pasta cookbook, and Mum loved it.
Mediterranean Bake with Fennel and Conchiglie (serves 4)
3 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, peeled and chopped
1 fennel bulb
1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed
1 red pepper, de-seeded and chopped
400g can chopped tomatoes
225g conchiglie (pasta shells)
50g black olives (optional)
Freshly ground black pepper
125g Gruyere cheese, grated
Fill large saucepan with 4 litres pasta and bring to boil.
Meanwhile, heat 1 tbsp oil in medium-sized saucepan and put in onion; cover and cook for 5 minutes.
With sharp knife, pare away an tough outer layers of the fennel. Remove v-shaped core also. The slice and add to the onions, along with the garlic, red and yellow peppers and tomatoes. Cook, uncovered for 15-20 minutes or until all vegetables are tender.
When water in saucepan boils, add pasta and give quick stir. Boil for 8 minutes until pasta is soft, but with bite.
Set grill to high. Drain pasta and put into a shallow dish that will fit under grill. Add remaining olive oil and toss well.
Add olives, if using, to the vegetable mixture, season to taste then pour over pasta. Top with a layer of Gruyere cheese, then place under grill until cheese has melted and is golden brown, and dish is piping hot right through. Serve at once with a leafy salad and warm crusty bread.
I’ve checked and the book’s out of print now – but you might be able to pick one up second-hand, I guess.
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