Have you ever had one of those days were you just couldn’t be stuffed to cook a proper meal?
I’m having one of those today.
I had taken the munchkin for her 12 month needles, luckily she’s always been really good with her shots, a quick cry, a cuddle and its happy baby time again.
We walked there and took the long way back home past the duck pond. I like ducks.
We spent the afternoon playing instead of half playing, half house-work like normal. Call it mummy guilt for letting them jab her with a big, scary, mean needle. So my surprise when I glance at my phone and find it’s already almost 5pm! And I hadn’t taken anything out for dinner!
You had one job! I turned on The Wiggles (cheapest babysitter ever) and ran to the kitchen, tripping over a storage box that I’ve recently started using as a baby gate. There was no meat taken out of the freezer, and I hate de-frosting anything in the microwave. It always comes out half-frozen, half-cooked. Yuck! I make a mental note to go grab some groceries soon… When lo and behold, I set my eye on a can of chicken soup. Tada, dinner is sorted. Soup-can pasta it is!
Normally, I do enjoy cooking, but as anyone who cooks a few meals every single day, and even if some of it actually gets eaten, now and then, you just want to have someone else do it. I don’t have that option as take-away food is expensive (not to mention unhealthy and gross) and it takes so much planning to just go out to dinner with a munchkin. And the Daddy can only cook steak and steam veg.
I don’t know if anyone else does this, but I tend to cook my pasta in a large fry-pan, and all at once for a fuss free and minimal clean up meal.
I got the idea from One-Pan Pasta Recipe & Video | Martha Stewart. Which, by the way, is absolutely freaking delicious and super easy. Seriously, give it a go.
But I digress, my method is similar, but not half as fancy. I open the can of creamy chicken soup, (costs about$1.20 at Coles) and fill it with water twice, or more depending how much pasta you want to use, and whisk in the pan over medium heat till the water and soup have combined. Then, I like to add some cream as well, just a dollop, it’s not necessary, but why not. Gives it a nice colour and taste. Then add the pasta once it’s boiling. Today I just used elbow macaroni, (a flat $1 at Coles for a bag) I use half a bag and save the rest.
I always have frozen veggies in my freezer. I love adding veggies to everything, and while I prefer fresh veggies, they usually require a trip to the shops or room in the tiny fridge or pantry. We have a chest freezer so we stock up on frozen veggies or meat. Occasionally even a pizza but I learnt a really cool way to make that fresh for cheaper, so, not so much any-more… Bags of peas, corn, carrot, and mixed veggies too. Today, corn was the go. Poured in about a cup, straight in to the pan.
Once the pasta has absorbed most of the water and cooked to al dente , I grate up some cheese. About two handfuls should do it. Let it melt and stir through.
And Tada!. Serve and enjoy.
The best part of this is that it basically costs under $5 dollars total, depending what veg you add and how much cheese you use. It’s customisable so it’ll change depending on mood, or what you have on hand.
Also, the entirety of dishes included one fry-pan, one whisk, one wooden spoon and the cheese grater. I don’t actually use cups to measure, (that was for your benefit) so no cleaning of those. That’s not counting the three bowls and forks for the three of us eating it.
Easy, breezy, happy bellies. My job is done.