I want to share with you a very simple any time meal I make when I am wanting something nourishing, simple and cheap. You can make this with whatever you have so it is a good meal to make at the end of the week when you have nothing but odds and ends left in the house. I used to call this fridge and pantry scrapings, but that doesn’t sound very nice, so let’s just call it a hot pot.
This is a good any time of the day meal, actually, one of the most freeing things I took away from the Whole30 diet was to lose the monikers of breakfast, lunch and dinner, instead embracing the concept of meal 1, 2 and 3. This is my breakfast this morning, or meal 1, and it will see me through to lunchtime with no snacking required.
What we need to begin with is a protein. I had one beef sausage, a little chicken or steak or leftover silverside would be just as good, if you are going with fish add it later, at the same time as your softer ingredients.
So, I browned my one sausage, squeezed out into balls, in a little olive oil and then tossed in a cubed potato, I cooked that for about five minutes, then tossed in about a quarter of a diced onion, about a half a cup of sliced pumpkin and cooked for another five minutes, this is on a medium to lowish heat, not too low, you should be able to hear it all chatting, but not swearing, we don’t want any black bits, it will make our hotpot bitter. Now, let’s add our garlic, very thickly cut up, we want chunks, not mush, cook that until it is smelling fragrant and gorgeous, you can stab one of the potato cubes if you want, you want it tender but not at the fall apart stage, a little underdone at this stage is good.
Now add your colour, I have put in some diced red capsicum and some halved green olives, swirl them around, get it all sizzling and chatting.
At this point we have a fairly dry and bland mix, so I am now going to add a half a jar of a bottled Napoli sauce I made from the veggie patch over summer, if you don’t have anything like that (I will teach you in summer), you can add a third of a tin of crushed tomatoes and some dried or fresh herbs. I am also going to add two tablespoons of coconut cream to smooth out the bite.
While I have you I just want to have a word about baby spinach. Do you ever buy those bags of baby spinach, use a bit for your salad and then forget about them and they turn into bags of green slime in your veggie crisper? I do, so what I do now is I take the amount out that I want for my salad and then toss the bag into the freezer. The spinach is not now going to be useful for salad, but still great for your cooking, just grab out a handful and chuck it in at the end, it will wilt down, adding all its gorgeous water soluble nutrients (because we are adding it right at the end, therefore not damaging said water soluble nutrients), and you get to use your whole bag instead of just a bit of it.
See? This has just come out of the freezer.
So toss in a handful of this, stir until it is all combined and gorgeous, tip into a bowl, top with a spoonful of natural yogurt and some seeds and Stuart’s your uncle, a meal fit for, well, me! Quick, easy and nutritious. Mmmm.
Before you go I want you to have a look at this with me from a nutritional point of view, those who are only interested in the flavour of things can go now, for me though it is about balancing my nutrition every day, so let’s just have a look at this together.
We have our protein, not too much, in this case one beef sausage, our carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals in our coloured veg, our antioxidants and volatile sulfur compounds in our onion and garlic (the most beneficial medicinal vegetables of all), our beneficial fats in our coconut cream and olives, our boosted lycopene in our cooked tomatoes, our insoluble starch in our potato (skin on), our powerpacked nutritional seeds and our probiotic in our yogurt. Yes, I am very happy with that.