Kids Friendly Avocado Mushroom Pasta

It’s been a while since I last cooked mushroom pasta.  I am not a fan at all of anything creamy with milk / whipped cream cooked into a savoury dish. So is the big girl.  Only Drama Queen likes creamy pastas, especially Carbonara.

This time, I decided to be a tad adventurous and added avocado into the pasta sauce. And we all fell in love.  I just love the pretty hue of pastel green from the avocado and pistachios in the sauce.

Our very green and healthy dinner, bursting with phytochemicals…

I used 2 whole avocados. Thankfully the avos were perfect with no dreaded bruise inside.  Don’t you just LOVE the beautiful green and yellow color of the avocado? I love it!!

Pulse the avocado, a handful of pistachios with about half cup of fresh milk for a few seconds. I prefer a little texture from the pistachio nuts, thus I didn’t pulse till smooth.

 

Add the avocado pistachio puree to the pasta just before serving. Or you can add it to the pasta sauce in the pot to heat it up a little if you prefer warm.

Directions for pasta sauce:
1. Saute chopped garlic and onions
2. Add chicken breast (optional). I omitted meat as we have had quite a bit of meat already over lunch.
3. Add in fresh Portobello mushrooms. I used 2 punnets.
4. When the mushrooms have withered and browned, add whipping cream and cheese. I also added some julienned carrots.
5. Add cracked black pepper and salt to taste.
6. You can add chicken broth too if you have some on hand. I didn’t.
7. Pour the sauce onto the cooked pasta and mix well.
8. Pour avocado + pistachio puree over and serve while still hot.

Vegetables of the day was stir-fried organic French beans with Daylily bulbs, julienned carrots, garlic and onions.

 

 

Easy Mac And Cheese With Shredded Roast Chicken

Ms Drama Queen had a craving for mac n cheese last week.  I told her that if she wanted me to cook mac n cheese, she had to help me out in the preparation.  Fair deal, agree?

She couldn’t be happier. This means a breather from school books and revision for exam. This rascal takes every opportunity to avoid doing revision! *roll eyes*

 

Our mac n cheese using Hello Kitty pasta, shredded roast chicken breast meat (left over), skim fresh milk and a block of parmesan cheese.

Cass and her drama queen 2-che helping to grate the block of hard parmesan cheese.  They pre-prepared the grated cheese a few days before I cooked the mac n cheese.

 

Check out the drama queen – pretending to be camera shy, peleasssse HA HA!

Cooking is the BEST way to bond with your kids and for your kids to bond with their siblings. Tried and tested here!  But the kid must have a love for cooking la, ok, else it’s like shoving a cow up the ship!

Hello Kitty shaped pasta that my elder brother and sil bought from Japan.

 

Notice that I have been decorating my dishes with mint leaves lately? Well, I’ve got a pot of mint leaves at my balcony now, courtesy from the girls’ grand uncle’s garden.

I am no fan of mac n cheese or any kind of pasta for that matter. While the girls had mac n cheese, I had broc n cheese, so yummy!!

Ms Drama Queen decorated her own dinner…

I followed (and adapted) the recipe taken from www.taste.com.au/recipes/13955/classic+macaroni+cheese but did not really follow the measurements. As usual, I just used my lazy ‘agak-agak’ (roughly) method of using ingredients and measurements in my cooking.

Ingredients:
400g macaroni
50g butter
2 tablespoons plain flour
2 cups (500ml) milk
2 cups (250g) grated cheese (gruyere, tasty, vintage)
Chopped parsley, to serve

Method:
Step 1
Cook the macaroni in a large pan of boiling water according to packet instructions (different brands may vary in size & cooking times) until al dente.
Step 2
Meanwhile, melt the butter in a medium saucepan and add the flour. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute over medium-low heat.
Step 3
Gradually add the milk, stirring until smooth. Stir gently until the mixture comes just to the boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat, add the grated cheese and stir until melted and smooth.
Step 4
Drain pasta and return to the pan. Pour cheese sauce over the pasta and stir until well coated. Season with salt and white pepper to taste. Serve immediately sprinkled with chopped parsley.

With this recipe and my lazy and cincai ‘agak-agak’ measurements, the mac n cheese still turned out very well and toothsome  😀

 

Salad Maniac

Lately, I am into fixing salads for the kids.  Since I have no more help from the maid and mil, I have to find the simplest ways in food preparation in the shortest time possible.  So yeah, I am hooked on salads as salads do not need peeling and chopping of garlic/onion and no wok or oil splatters are involved.  Most of my salads involve vegetables that are parboiled as I still think young kids should not be eating too much raw veggie, especially if the veggie is non-organic.  Apart from using organic butterhead lettuce, I normally blanch brocolli, cauliflower, french beans, mustard green and ladies fingers.  Then I throw in some Japanese cucumbers, organic cherry tomatoes, avocados, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, pistachios, apples, pears, over-night roast chicken and hard boiled eggs.  These are all wholesome and healthy stuff and full of fibre.

Here are some of the salads that I prepared recently…

Butterhead lettuce salad with over-night smoked chicken from Han Room restaurant, cherry tomatoes, avocado, Japanese cucumber, pumpkin seeds and hard boiled egg.  Since no one wanted to touch the breast meat during our dinner at Han Room on hubby’s birthday, I asked for the chicken breast meat to be packed back for salad!

Eggs are something that I try to include in the kids’ meals everyday as eggs are chokefull of nutrients. I normally use free-range chicken eggs.

I used Goma dressing, bought from Isetan.  Goma dressing is sesame seed salad dressing from Japan and is very flavorful. The kids and I love it!  Ain’t cheap though, at RM20 for a small bottle that can only last us 9-10 times and used very sparingly since it’s not cheap, call me el cheapo haha!

Ingredients of Goma Dressing. This dressing goes very well with blanched mustard green, ladies fingers and other green leafy veggie.

Brocolli and seeds (sunflower seeds and pistachios) salad with green pears, apples, cherry tomatoes, hard boiled eggs and Goma dressing

And a very simple one -organic french bean salad with Japanese cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, hard boiled eggs and mayo as dressing.

French bean-avocado salad with chicken bolognaise spaghetti on Sunday.

In case you are wondering whether salad is all I feed my kids, of course not la… the salad is to replace the usual stir-fry veggie dish.  I still have a meat dish (chicken, pork or fish) and a soup for the kids for dinner 😉

A Bowl Of Nutritious Noodles For Dinner

Without a live-in maid, my mil and I have to alter the dishes on our menu.  There are now lesser elaborate dishes that cause oil splatters, though my mil still prepares pan-fried fish and pancakes using our newly acquired Happy Call Pan (HCP), which is a gift from my mum.

Here’s what my mil prepared for the girls when  the hubs and I attended a dinner last weekend and left the 3 girls behind:

She boiled a pot of veggie soup aka ABC soup in the afternoon using chicken breast and ribs. For dinner, she dumped in 3 chicken drumsticks into the pot of ABC soup and briefly cooked them. Then she blanched some french beans, green leafy veggie and rice vermicelli.

There you are… a bowl of nutritious and delicious noodles cooked with love, which is a very complete meal and the girls love them!

I am very thankful that my mil has a passion for cooking and baking and she actually does not mind whipping up good food for us all. And she does not mind doing the dish washing as well (which is the chore which I hate the most), thank God for her ! 😀