Jamie Oliver is one of my heroes. I love what he has done to educate us about how important it is to feed our kids healthy, wholesome, real food. I quite like his wife, Jools, too. I think if I was rich and famous and lived in London, we’d probably hang out….If you haven’t seen this clip of Jamie Oliver speaking on TED Talks it is well worth the time..it’s truly inspirational and you can see it here.
I wholeheartedly agree that we need to educate our children about food. Where it comes from, what it tastes like, how to cook it…and I’m talking about real food. I think about food…a lot. I read about it, I dream about it and I talk about it…constantly.
What I want my kids to know about food is not that it’s ‘light’ or ‘fat free’ or even gluten free, paleo or vegan…I just want them to know what real food is… food that is, to use Jude Blereau’s definition, “ made with real and true ingredients, rather than chemicals that mimic them“.
I think the best way to teach them is by getting in the kitchen and cooking! Growing food, preparing it, eating it and making it fun is the way to get kids into eating nourishing, wholesome foods…and it doesn’t have to be hard at all…
This easy pasta dish is a great alternative to a not-so-healthy take-away or packaged freezer food which we all think about succumbing to on those busy nights when cooking seems a challenge too difficult to step up to. It is wholesome, healthy and quick to prepare…my kids love it! I think yours will too.
This recipe for Broccoli Carbonara is originally from Stephanie Alexander’s Kitchen Garden Companion. I must admit, I cook it a little differently each time I make it. It has a little cream, it has a little cheese but embrace it! Use the best ingredients you can, organic if possible. My kids all love this easy pasta dish and it takes less than 30 minutes to get it on the table. So much better than a greasy take-away. Trust me, it’s a winner!
What you need:
250 grams of wholemeal pasta (higher in fibre, satisfying and tastes great)
1 large head of broccoli, cut into bite sized florets, stalk peeled and sliced into thin rounds (broccoli is a powerhouse of nutrients – packed with Vitamin C, it’s great for immunity – especially in the winter)
3 organic or free range egg yolks ( protein and omega 3s)
2 tbsp pouring cream (umm…tastes good...in moderation!)
2 tbsp grated real parmesan cheese (very low in lactose and so easier to digest…also tastes great!)
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
What to do:
Put your big pasta pot on to boil with plenty of water in it. Once it’s boiling, add your pasta (if using wholemeal, it takes a little longer to cook). When the pasta has about two minutes to go, tip in your broccoli.
While the pasta is cooking, put egg yolks, parmesan and cream in a bowl and give it a good whisk.
When pasta and broccoli are cooked, drain in a colander reserving 1 cup of pasta water. Then tip the pasta and broccoli straight back into the hot pot and then add the egg and cream mixture and stir well adding a little of the reserved pasta water to loosen it up if necessary.
Serve it hot hot hot and eat straight away. Top with a little extra parmesan if you fancy.
Add any extras you like…chilli, chopped, lightly fried pancetta, garlic, lemon zest…
Make it low-fodmap by using lactose free cream and your favourite gluten free pasta
For a dairy free alternative try hot pasta with broccoli, olive oil, toasted flaked almonds and lemon zest…mine and Frankie’s favourite and the best Sunday night dinner ever!
Do you have a quick and easy favourite dish that your kids love and that saves you on those crazy, busy not-much-time-to-cook nights? We’d LOVE to hear about it…please leave a comment and share your ideas with us!