One-Dish Dinner is definitely a good alternative for weekday dinners, if you have no time to cook up a 5 dishes dinner like I did over the weekends. Over the last week, I have cooked up 3 One-Dish Dinner which received good reviews from my kids and Laogong. Maybe you can try cooking them too
Tomato-based Spagetti with hotdog and crispy nuggets Vs Tomato-based Macaroni with fishballs, meatballs and hotdogs
Spagetti is one of the easiest one-dish lunch/dinner to make in less than an hour.
My kids used to like the creamy pasta but now they are into tomato-based pasta. You must be wondering how come I used mainly processed food as the ingredients for my pasta. Well, I did wanted to use fresh real food but Laogong taught me one thing. Instead of cooking what we think is best for the diners, we should just cook what the diners prefer to eat. Otherwise, the cook may not get the appreciation she wants. True enough, I see more smiles on my kids first when they eat the Spagetti coz they like Spagetti more than Macaroni nowadays.
Okay, to cook Spagetti or Macaroni, first you boiled a pot of water and then add the required amount of pasta into the boiled water. I am really bad in estimating the amount of food to cook and often I tend to overcook (meaning instead of cooking for 2-3 adults + 2 kids, I would always think i am cooking for 4-5 adults). But I now learnt that we can use our palm size to estimate. One full palm to one adult and one half palm to one kid. Try it and let me know if it works.
While the pasta is boiling, we can fry the ingredients in a frying pot or wok with some oil. When all the ingredients are cooked, add the pasta sauce. You can also add cream carbonara or alfero sauce too.
When the pasta are cooked, remove the pasta from the boiling water and pour the pasta into tap water to cool it down. They will be more Q or chewy instead of all stick together if you add this step.
After frying the ingredients, Stir the sauce thoroughly with the ingredients. You can then choose to pour the cooled pasta into the ingredients and simmer for 2-3 minutes and serve. Or you can serve the ingredients and pasta separately. We prefer to serve them separately so if we cannot finish the sauce/ingredients or pasta, we can recycle them for other uses/dishes.
Note: Crispy nuggets were made by cutting them into thin slices and airfried at 200dC for 10-12 minutes.
Tomato-based Spagetti with hotdog and crispy nuggets
Tomato-based Macaroni with fishballs, meatballs and hotdogs
Talking about recycling unfinished sauce/ingredients, I made pasta for lunch yesterday and added more hotdogs and crabsticks to the leftover sauce & ingredients and transformed it into another dish to eat with rice or the leftover pasta for dinner. Alternatively, you can also fried the pasta to make alio olio pasta or make soupy pasta with fishballs and minced meat.
Transformed dish from recycled pasta sauce!
Shredded Crabsticks and Mushrooms Soup plus Ma Po Tofu with minced meat
These days I learnt to be more flexible in what I decided to cook. Sometimes I planned to cook something more fanciful but due to lack of time, I had to change to something simpler.
The night before I cooked the crabstick and mushroom soup I was trying to follow an online recipe to airfry shredded crabsticks. However, it didn't turn out fhe way I wanted it to be, so I decided to save the remaining shredded crabsticks to make some soup on the following day.
Laogong loves golden mushrooms and Jamie loves shitake mushrooms so I decided to add them into
Good traffic and knocking off on time allowed me to get home pretty early. This bought me some time to cook one more of Laogong favorite dish and steamed a piece of salmon for James.
First I boiled a pot of water and then I placed the shredded crabsticks, sliced shitake mushroom and cut golden mushroom into the pot. When all was cooked, I cracked two beaten eggs into the soup and stirred. I learnt that there are two ways of creating a texture for soups. One is to add corn flour and the other is to add beaten eggs. The soup tasted wonderful and very fulfilling.
Shredded Crabsticks and Mushrooms Soup
I bought ready-mixed Ma Po Tofu Sauce from NTUC and you can use any type of square tofu, preferrably suitable for stir frying. I marinated the minced meat with soya sauce for 10minutes, before frying it with the tofu. When the minced meat was cooked, the ready-mixed sauce was added and corn flour mixed in warm water was poured in too, to create the starchy saucy feeling. And it was done. Simple right?
Ma Po Tofu with Minced Meat
Laogong and the kids were so happy that they ate additional servings of food ^^ Isn't this what the Cook/Chef will always like to see to feel assured about her cooking skills?
One-Pot 四神 Soup with chicken and lotus roots
Thursday I was home late because I went for my eyebrow and eyeliner embrodiery. I will share more about this in a separate blog post.
However, I really hope the kids can have a good meal. Hence, I defroze a packet of mini drumsticks by putting the frozen chicken into the chiller compartment the night before and sliced the lotus roots too.
I also woke up 15 minutes earlier, to put all the ingredients into a 2-litres pot of boiling water, together with a ready-packed 四神汤herbs.
Heehee, I didn't managed to take a photo fo the cooked soup because there was nothing left of it when I got home! Feel accomplished! ^^
Okay, that's so much for now. I will continue to share the different recipes I learnt and tried to cook! Hope it helps all the cooking-working mama finds time-efficient dishes in their dinner menu!