What is Speed Meal Cooking?
Well to me it means using good quality prepared ingredients along with some fresh ingredients to prepare meals that are nutritious and delish that, (and here’s the important part), your hubby and picky-little or big eaters will enjoy without sighs and the hiding of things under their plates. They are also meals that will have your family asking for seconds. Does this sound impossible? Well it’s not as evidenced by Rachel Ray & Sandra Lees great sucess on the Food Network and their best selling cookbooks.
Yes, I’m a Chef and most Chefs stick their nose up in the air when talking about prepared ingredients. I’m not sure why, but I think it may be culianryily correct as dictated by big name Chef’ s who are proponent of hand making everything…well that’s all well and good for a Chef who has a slew of sous chefs to do all their shopping, chopping and prep work.
For us mere mortals, THAT is the impossible task and one that keeps most women out of the kitchen, those unrealistic expectations…
Sandra Lee is a Cordon Bleu trained Chef who said that when she was in culinary school she learned all the long preparation techniques and wondered why spend hours to do something that has been “done” for you by a high quality pre-preparation products.
Pre-preparation ingredients are not a bad word ladies…if you choose carefully and read the ingredients, you can choose healthy prepared ingredients that are good for your family and make your life easier.
Shake off the shackles of culinary snobbery and reap the bennies of time in the kitchen by using all the culinary tools at your disposal.
Utilize Local Farmers
Certainly use local ingredients in season when you can, support local growers and frequent you local Farmers Markets on Saturdays. They are a great family trip, it helps get the kiddies involved in the prepartation of your family meals. The added bonus is that it helps you to connect with your community and support local small businesses.
It’s fun and educational!
It is an educational and recreational trip for your family and gives them an opportunity to learn about the ingredients by talking to the producers of the products you buy. Studies have shown that kids will eat more when they are involved in the process. That means not only in the prep work and cooking, but in the choosing of the meals and ingredients!
I know, I know, you have visions of the mess the ktichen will be with the kiddos helping! Think of it as creating a new tradition, spending time with your kids is a treasure!! My boys loved helping in the kitchen when they were little. It made great memories! It also taught my children repsonsibility because they were required to help clean-up and made them think about the process. It teaches them math and science all good things right?
Go out and make it a great day!
Crock Pot Bolognese Pasta Sauce
8 oz. of Penne Pasta cooked according to package (2 2/3 cups)
2 cups frozen diced carrots
1 cup medium dice onions
1 cup medium diced celery
1 medium chopped red bell pepper (these are sweeter than green bell peppers)
2 minced garlic cloves
2 teaspoons italian seasoning
1 teaspoon thyme
2 bay leaves
1/4 teaspoon fennel seeds or anise seeds
2 cups beef stock
1/2 cup red wine
1 pound ground turkey or ground beef
1 pound ground pork
1 (28 oz italian crushed tomatoes)
Salt & Pepper to taste
Sugar to taste
Place all the ingredients into a 5 qt crock pot and cook LOW for 8 hours. Stir before serving to break up the meat.
Serve over Penne Pasta.
Freeze the leftover sauce!