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Friday, June 18, 2010

Super Fast Dinner!

Time - we never have as much as we need. For most of us, it's because we have terrible time management skills. The internet has ruined us. For most people it used to be a luxury to be able to sit and read the newspaper, now we get all pissy if we don't get to spend an hour or two every day dicking around Digg or whatever. I've been reading a lot about how
constant access to information is rewiring our brains, and it's scary. I've been implementing some new rules for myself; Don't refresh Facebook. Don't carry your phone around and check it every minute (I leave it in the car, my bag, the other side of the house, I don't give a fig anymore). Close the laptop if you're watching a movie. You don't want to look at Reddit, so don't (it's a time-suck, and it's stupid).

It HELPS. I get so much more done. I focus on one thing at a time. I don't want to stab my friends and colleagues (well, just a little less).

Even so, some days I don't have the time to assemble anything too complicated - but I still need to get something tasty-and-nutritious-that-is-not-pizza on the table for the fam.

If I don't kick out a frozen Trader Joe's entree (surprisingly tasty, but not enough in one bag to feed us all), my go-to is pasta. As I've mentioned before, I like to use enriched whole wheat pasta for it's flavor and nutritive value. One pound of cooked pasta, one jar of pesto (or about a cup of home-made, and 4 oz cream cheese mixed together is a big winner around here. This time I used Tofutti's 'Better Than Cream Cheese' so that Jeffrey could enjoy without pain, and I have to say that I am pleasantly surprised at how good that stuff tastes. Very very close to actual cream cheese flavor, tastier than store brand cheap cream cheese for sure. Before you drain the pasta, reserve about a cup of the cooking water, then mix it with the pasta, pesto and cheese. It turns it into more of a sauce by warming and thinning the cream cheese.

On the side, I made braised greens with bacon. Our CSA farm share just started up and that means that we have leafy greens to spare. I used bok choy and dinosaur kale this round.

Braised Greens With Bacon

1/2 lb good quality bacon
1 large bunch hardy leafy greens (kale, collards, bok choy, mustard)
1/4 c white wine
1 shallot, minced

Rinse and roughly chop greens. Set aside.

Slice raw bacon into 1/4" cubes or slices. Heat a wok or very large skillet on medium high, and fry the bacon bits until crispy. Remove bacon with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towel. Fry shallots in bacon grease until they just start to brown, then add white wine. Add greens, stir, cover. Cook, covered, for 2-3 minutes until greens are wilted and tender. Stir in bacon bits, season to taste with salt and pepper. Best served immediately.

If you add bacon to anything, my kids will eat it. Anything. I wish it was better for us.

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