Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Easy and good food after a busy day

I am up at 5.30 AM every morning and arrive at the office at 6.45. This, as I am an early bird and hate working during the afternoon. Being up so early every morning means that I am often tired as I arrive home. Then I try to settle for easy food, without compromising on quality and taste. I have tried some brands and products, and I feel that some of them provide a fast, easy, good and tasty meal as I arrive at home. Here are that do's and don't s in my fast food diet.

The don't s

I have some sachets left with dried base for soups and sauces, and they are getting closer and closer to the "use by" date. That means that only dried stuff I use now are seasonings. I got fed up with dry bases for soups and sauces. Too salty and with too little taste. There are easier ways to get a good meal.

Another group of foods I do not buy anymore is canned ready made dinners. They are generally very boring, badly seasoned, contains too much salt. A bad choice.

Frozen ready made foods

The range of ready made frozen foods is getting wider. You may get ready made wok vegetables, soups, and pasta dishes. I usually find the creamed varieties to be better then the tomato based. A good homemade pasta dish with tomato sauce has a sweetness rarely found in frozen dishes.

I found a frozen pasta dish, penne with carbonara sauce. I poured the frozen mix in a large oven tray, sprinkled pepper a good portion cheese on top and baked it until the cheese was crisp and the sauce was heated through. The result was very satisfying, and lasted for two days.

Ready made soups

Earlier you had to make soups from scratch or from a soup base. I have told you about a range of soups from Knorr. I loved their Curry soup with coriander. Today I enjoyed a creamy Thai soup with coconut milk, chicken and lime leaves.

With a little single cream, sweet chili sauce, Cajun spices for additional heat and a few tiger prawns, makes this soup a delicious and easy dinner. Knorrs curry chicken soup and goulash soup are equally delicious.

Easy lasagna

Lasagna made from scratch is a real treat. You may settle for the frozen ones, but they are rarely good. But if you choose the right ready made tomato sauce, you can make your own with minium effort.

Buy the tomato based sauces from Barilla. They are exceptionally much better than other brands. Much taste, a creamy consistency, and a wide range of varieties. Buy the ones with Gorgonzola or ricotta. Heat up the sauce and add 300 grams diced boiled ham. For the lazy cook it is nice to know that some brands, e.g. Dolmio, also make ready made white sauce. For extremely lazy cooks this is an easy option than trying to make it yourself, but the home made is much better.

Use 50 centiliters white sauce. Pour a little olive oil in a medium sized, square baking tray, cover bottom with pasta sheets.

Pour half the tomato sauce over the sheets and sprinkle some grated cheese. Then cover with a new layer of pasta sheets, and pour half the white sauce and add more cheese.

Another layer of pasta sheets and the second half of the tomato sauce and more cheese. Then another layer of pasta sheets and top with the remaining white sauce and cheese. Bake in oven until cheese is crispy.

Easy pizza

Skip the frozen pizza. Buy ready made pastry, you find several brands in your local shop. Buy Barilla tomato sauce and spread on the pastry. Add prosciutto, fresh basil, sliced fresh mozzarella, oregano and olive oil.

So much easier than the frozen pizzas, and so much better.

1 comment:

Hans said...

Here is an insanely great idea - I am not sure if this is cooking for those busy days, but still: