So in case you needed a refresher, I really love to cook. A shock I know considering the subject matter of my first two blog posts. I’m writing this on a Sunday morning, on my futon couch with a cup of coffee and several cooking magazines scattered around me. One of my favourite monthly rituals is buying a fresh new taste.com.au magazine. I actually work for the company that produce the publication, I even interned for Taste itself. However I still love to go to the Woolworths around the corner from my office and buy a shiny new copy once a month.
Leafing through the glossy pages with immaculate photos of recipes and mouth watering creations, I think how Michelin star restaurant worthy all of these dishes look. With splashes of ingredients you would definitely have to visit speciality stores for, they’re not the most realistic of creations to whip up while I’m meal prepping for the week ahead. None of them would use up the chickpeas and lentils I have sitting in my cupboard, and wow the clean up after every pan in my kitchen would have to be used to prep and cook everything. Not that this often stops me from giving some of them a try, but my versions are usually amended in a more realistic fashion. I take the recipes more as guidelines then actual rules, let them inspire some fresh dishes without breaking the bank.
I’m lucky that I know how to do this, twist recipes to make them work for me with the knowledge that nothing will blow up or burn. However I know so many people who are often hindered by how complicated and elaborate recipes make cooking look. Yes the magazines have to cater to all the dedicated chefs who would make up a lot of their readers, but in this age of convenience and desire for instant gratification i feel like there is a need for more simple and realistic cooking.
Even the health and lifestyle type books and magazines, the ones that promise they can change your life and help you get into healthier habits, seem to forget not everyone is on the salary of an Instagram influencer. They encourage avacado on and in everything, swear a properly cooked sit down breakfast in the morning is their key to better life and they all get at least 8 hours of sleep. Now I for one know that all of these things when you don’t earn a lot of money and commute 3 hours a day are just downright rubbish. There’s a lot of nutritionists and lifestyle personalities that i look up to, Lyndi Cohen for example is amazing. However even she doesn’t quite seem to understand the type of lifestyle so many people live but get very little guidance on.
There are options out there of course, but they are very seldom marketed to us the way a lot of these books and magazines are. This website for instance is something i just discovered mid typing this post, and actually allows you to plug in what ingredients you have at home and generates appropriate recipes to use them up. Pure genius, and yet I had no clue it existed until i really went searching for it. There’s more people on social media these days as well catering to people who need quick, easy and healthy meal prep, real people with tight budgets and 5am wakeup alarms. Work week lunches is one of those people who i scroll through recently to get inspiration from, with a style i can only aspire to.
Contributing to this burgeoning slew of information on cooking for the perpetually busy, tired and uninspired is something i would love to do, and will shoot at from this blog. The title of this particular post is a dish that my mum actually inspired, an ultimate feel good and healthy meal that is perfect for meal prep and is ultra cheap. Give it a go and let me know what you think.
One step at a time,
Ginger Snap xxx
Salmon Pasta Bake
- 400g tin of salmon or tuna whatever you want to use up
- Carrots, corn, celery pretty much whatever vegetables you need to use in your fridge
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 1 onion
- 300g of pasta
- White sauce packet mix, anything including ‘cheesy cauliflower’ or normal white sauce will work
- Grated cheese to sprinkle on top
- Preheat oven to 180 degrees
- In a saucepan make up the white sauce according to the instructions
- Add tin of salmon
- In a fry pan saute garlic and onion, add vegetables and cook until slightly tender
- Add the salmon and sauce mix and stir until combined
- Cook pasta according to instructions
- Add pasta to the salmon and vegetables mix
- Pour into a prepared casserole dish
- Sprinkle cheese on top, bake until cheese turns golden brown