Penne pasta with tomato and bacon

This recipe is part of the $120 food challenge.

I love a simple pasta dish for dinner. Now you can use the penne pasta that you got in your Woolworths box or you can buy penne pasta for $2 at Woolworths and Coles. You can use the canned tomato sauce from the box if you like. You’ll also need some bacon.

Now you cook the pasta according to the directions on the packet.

This recipeis from Inspired cooking

Enjoy.


Cooking with Barilla pasta

Barilla pasta is so easy to cook with . Right now during the pandemic I have seen ads for it where they have advertised some live cooking class.

Barilla has many different types of pasta. Over the years I have tried lots of different dishes and love them all. My favourite one would have to be Spaghetti Carbonara as its sooo cheesy. The last time this was made we used the feta cheese that we got from Cheaper buy miles. The peas were from Birds Eye.

We made this when we were in lockdown. And to this day its still a very cheap dish albeit the bacon. Bacon can be a little bit pricey so if you can, buy it on special. Barilla’s pasta is about $2-$5 at the supermarket

We followed all the packet directions on the Barilla spaghetti to cook the pasta. Add to that you’ll need a small frying pan and your bacon and onion should be diced. We added the cheese at the very end.


Pasta with just tomatoes and salmon

This recipe is for Live Below the line challenge.

This recipe can do about 3-4 meals for one person. You need one can of salmon and one tomato as well as one thing of spaghetti.

You can buy homebrand spaghetti which is about $1-$2. A can of salmon homebrand is about $1.50 and a tomato depending on when you buy it is under $1. If you buy them at the market is a lot cheaper. You can use whatever pasta you have at home.

Tomatoes are full of vitamins and potassium which is good for you. Salmon has the good fats that you need as well as lots of protein.

We used this recipe to cook our one which is from Cooking with Napolina on Youtube

Bon Appetit


Healthy fats and oils- how much should we eating

These are tough times that we can help each other. We should help each other out during this time.

Photo by Elle Hughes on Pexels.com

This is the question that I get asked a lot. This topic is brought to you by Dietician Connection. Our Australian dietary guidelines are a bit out of date. The Australian olive oil industry is lobbying the government for the health star rating to appear on their extra virgin olive oil. People don’t know the difference between the oils. Extra virgin olive oil contains 73% of unsaturated fat. Olive oil among with other fats like fish are good for heart health and can reduce the risks for cardiovascular disease. Olive oil reduces the amount of oxidation of bad cholesterol that we have in our system. America is known for their fatty lifestyles.

The dietary guidelines don’t allow for the amount of olive oil for people to have to get the health benefit. Nuts is also a conflicting food.

A tablespoon of olive oil is good for heart health. It helps to lower blood pressure. We should consume this about 3-4 times a week. You can add olive oil to salad dressings, in pasta dishes, some fish dishes and bread and butter. You can even make olive bread.

Fish is another healthy fat that you should eat three to four times a week. You can have canned tuna or you can steam fish whole. I love all kinds of fish. Salmon is great with eggs in the morning. Eggs is another healthy fat that you should have once in a while.

So don’t be scared of eating the good fats. Its the bad fats that we should be scared of such as trans fats. If you are out in the supermarket make sure that you choose the correct brand- we love Moro and Cobram Estate olive oil as they taste great and are good for the heart.


Pasta bolognaise

I love having this dish during the colder months. Especially now that we are in Coronavirus lockdown it’s important to have a freezer filled with precooked sauces and other things. For the healthcare workers this is extremely vital after a long hard day at work looking after people.

This version has about 300-500 calories and is easily made at home after a long day at work. You can freeze the bolognaise sauce if you make a big batch of it. You can use any pasta you like.

Do make this simple meal when you can

Stay safe everyone


My time at the Good Food and Wine show

Disclaimer: I was invited to the show by Cello wines and did not have to pay.

Cello Wines are a liquer company that does great liquer and look after their customers. Unlike the last one that did not this one did. I was really quick to respond and wella got the tickets on Friday.

By Saturday mid-morning it was packed. The Good Food and Wine show was on at the Melbourne Convention center and here it boasted all sorts of food and wine on offer. To buy water and drinks there was really expensive so brought my own two-liter bottle in. It was very easy to explore the wine regions and we did that via the Riedel Drinks Lab sessions which were free.

And it was very easy for people to get drunk and not know. Luckily though there was food on hand to help with the drinking. For example, there was the free Masterchef Van but they could have let everyone have two servings- one of each ( a dessert and a savory). They could also keep the food costs down and those that are drunk could have some free servings to sober up.

But I loved Matt Wilkinson on the iLive stage. He was really fun to watch. I had to go halfway though.

And I loved the Le Condon Bleu profiteroles, they were lovely and not too sweet. The High tea was another $50 and the VIP was $140. If they included the entry in with the High Tea it might have been a lot better.

At these sessions, we explored the different varieties of Shiraz and there were some really bitter ones that work well with steak or a heavy pasta or duck dish in winter. You really have to smell the wine before you taste it just to get that aroma.

And then we explored more wine at the Cape Mentielle session. They were one of the sponsors of the show. Here I really liked the Sauv blanc as it was sweet.

Surely the organizers can learn a lot from this review and provide more free food next time or have a bundle where food and entry go together.

 


The Welcome Dinner project by Akira

Now I love to cook and cook lots I have. Therefore the Welcome Dinner Project is a great idea. It was started a few years ago by Ellis when she wanted to welcome new people into her home and her Australian way of life. Others were looking for the same thing. Hence that is how the Welcome Dinner Project started.

 

And it is successful. So successful that they have organised events in Footscray and Carlton. I went to the one in Carlton and I didn’t know that I had to buy food (as I thought that my partner owed me food and thought that they were coming). Normally I would have cooked a Japanese dish but bread and dip had to make do instead.

It is like this: everyone brings a dish from their home country and then they explain what is in that dish and the story behind it. It starts off with a few get to know you activities, then introductions to the food brought and then eating.

Everyone sits at a large communual table and these events attract 20-30 people, most of which are migrants but there are some that are students.

And sharing. I love Meld community’s nasi lemak. I have always been a fan of this dish since they introduced it a few years back at one of their twirlight market days. And Malaysia house makes it for their Hari Raya sometimes.

And then there is dessert for those that love to bake. But for some people they can’t have too much sugar. The facilitators will bring the drinks and the snacks such as popcorn and pretzels.

I enjoy trying everyone’s dishes and do sign up to the Welcome dinner project here. Its free to join it. But the Welcome dinner project would love a donation to cover the cost of these events.


Vapiano by Akira

Vapiano is an Italian restaurant in Melbourne and its in Flinders Lane. Here they are a big place and are near the corner of Queen and Flinders Lane. But you can also enter via Collins st.

I have been there waaay too many times. And every time I am given a card which you use everytime when you order a meal. When you order a meal they scan your card and then you go downstairs or upstairs (Collins st side) to pay. The staff there are very friendly.

Back in 2010 things were a lot different. RMIT Newintstudents didn’t like their pizza or pasta much and there wasn’t a fanatico club then. Now the pasta is a lot better and their truffle pizza was too salty. Nowadays we are both members of the fanatico club so we either receive meals for free or at a discount.

With their pizzas you order it and then they swipe your card and then you are given a buzzer. When it is ready then they buzz you. It is the thin crust pizza. I have had their vegetarian pizza before and it was yum.

They also have a good range of Italian wines for you to choose from.

Here I have enjoyed their pastas and they even do takeaway ones. Their bread is pretty good. Its souradough and its soft on the inside and crusty on the outside. Their oils are also great. These are the good extra virgin oil. Their pastas always fill me up. But their linguini always gets stuck together.

You can add toppings to your pasta or pizza for an extra $1- $5 each. Sauce is free.

Do come on by for your pizza and pasta fix after your race or training

 


Stocked

Stocked is a new bakery/groccery store in Malvern which sells organic food as well as gourmet food. But they are very pricey.

 

They have just opened up last month and they were very busy on opening day. I managed to get a few sneek peeks at their wares and sample their stuff. First of all I sampled a persian cheese which tasted like goats cheese. For people that don’t like goats cheese will hate this as goats cheese is sour but creamy. This cheese worked really well with my cauliflower salad. Here the ball was $11.50.

If you have the money and love imported Italian goods then do come on by

 


Vapiano by RMIT Newintstudents

Vapiano is a pasta place in the heart of the city. It is in Flinders lane near the train station.

Here they aim to cook food to perfection but each time we went the food keeps getting worse. This is in particular to the pasta area where there are some instances where pasta was not cooked well. We have never had any problems in the pizza area. In fact the pizzas were always good and cooked well.

Every season they some specials and menu changes which is shown at the table and on their Facebook page. If you sign up to be a fanatic then you will also know.

 

They use a chip card system which makes paying your bills easier. This is in particular if you are in a large group but sometimes there is a bit of confusion over the credit card. This hasn’t happened to me but I witnessed some confusion over a large group trying to pay the two cards together via credit card. At the pasta station you wait for your pasta where as at the pizza station they give you a buzzer and it buzzes when your pizza is ready.

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I had the pasta with garlic oil ($14.90). The add on of prawns is an extra $3.90. Luckily for me I had the Entertainment card offer of 50% off the main meal so it was not too bad and I also had dessert. Drinks were a little bit pricey but luckily I had my fat burning tea with me. There was a bit of a queue and some confusion at the pasta station as to what to have. I had a salad beforehand so I was not too hungry and I had my serve of vegetables. It took them about two minutes to cook my pasta when at least at home it takes about 5 mins. It would have been nice if they included some onions in the dish. At home onions were always included in every pasta dish I make. There was much oil in there so I added some extra virgin olive oil which was at the table.

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The bread on the other hand was lovely. Whilst waiting for the pasta I tried their sauces and all in all I’d say that they need to change the sauces every so often as they were a day old and were curdling around the edges. The complimentary bread that I had had no butter with it so I added balsamic vinegar to cheer things up.

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Yes their dessert was the highlight of the evening. That and their lollies which I ate on the way out. All of their desserts with the exception of the tim tam cheesecake was $5.90. The tim tam cheesecake was $7 and looked too rich. I have had the death by chocolate cake before and my god it was soooooooooooooo rich. But the pannacotta was really good. It was light and creamy. The raspberry sauce on top was just alright.

Rating: 11/20- erm I don’t know. It is lucky that I have the entertainment book voucher or otherwise I would have not been happy to pay full price.