Let me start by saying I am not a chef of any kind. I cook for my family. When searching for a recipe or meal idea there are a couple of basic requirements. First, the meal needs to be healthy. If I am putting forth the effort to make a family meal I make it nutritious using organic ingredients. Second, the meal needs to be relatively fast and easy to prepare. I’m fine with a little prep work, but once everyone is home from their activities and I’m juggling homework, showers and family dinner I need the meal to be easy to pull together.
Homemade pasta is the perfect everybody meal.
So back to why I love this homemade pasta recipe. All of this recipe can be done ahead of time! Literally the only thing you have to do is gather the pasta from the drying area and throw it into the boiling water. I even cut the dough in half and use it twice during the week for dinner. Voila! Two dinners for the week done! My kids like butter on the pasta and normally I make a homemade pesto for the adults. Every couple of weeks I make a Bolognese sauce for my husband and older daughter. Recipe soon to come!
The most difficult part about this recipe is springing for the expensive Kitchen Aid and Kitchen Aid pasta making attachment. The good news is the pasta is delicious, surprisingly easy to prepare and you will love it! I found this recipe on Food.com, but simplified it a little more!
Yields 1 1/2 lbs of pasta
- 2 cups semolina flour (pasta flour)
- 2 cups pasta flour
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup cold water
- crack your two eggs into your Kitchen Aid bowl, mix well with the flat beater
- add olive oil and mix again
- add cold water and mix again
- add 1/2 of the flour mixture and mix on 2 for 20 seconds
- add the remainder of the flour mixture and mix on 2 for 20 seconds
- switch to the dough hook and mix on 2 for 2-3 minutes until the ball is formed
- remove the dough and hand kneed for 1-2 minutes on a floured surface
- shape the dough into a log, cover in plastic wrap and refrigerate for a minimum of an hour
Rolling out the pasta
(cut in half and refrigerate the other half for a couple days if you don’t need the full recipe)
- on a floured surface cut the dough into several sections
- roll out a section, flour it and run it through the flat roller on 1 and then on 2 (I usually make a few of these before changing the attachment to the desired pasta shape so I don’t have to keep going back and fourth)
- Heavily flour the flattened dough and run it through the pasta maker
- lay pasta on a towel to dry (easy and much cheaper than a drying rack and less clean-up than draping over chairs!), if the pasta isn’t floured enough or appears to be sticking together try to separate it on the towel, generally if you flour it enough you’ll be fine
- pasta will be ready to cook after 15 minutes, but can sit for hours
- heavily salt boiling water
- watch the pasta closely, it will cook almost instantly
- drain and serve with your favorite sauce
I’m obsessed with Ribollita. Where have you been my whole life? Seriously, how has it taken me this long to find you. This delicious soup is a must. Not only does it have some of my favorite veggies in it, but it’s simple to make. Oh, and it also includes bread. Yum!
1 onion diced
2 carrots diced
1 tomato diced
1 zucchini diced
1 potato peeled and diced
4 garlic cloves minced
1 bunch of kale, stems removed and chopped
1 handful parsley leaves
2 tablespoons olive oil
pinch of chili flakes
10 sage leaves
15-oz cannellini beans, drained
1 quart vegetable stock
salt and pepper
multigrain sourdough or whole grain bread
– In a large saucepan heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Then add the onion, garlic, carrots, potato, chili flakes and sage. Cook over low heat for 20 minutes until softened but not browned. Add the parsley, tomato and zucchini and cook for a few more minutes.
– Add the kale and beans and cover with the vegetable stock. Next bring it to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes.
– Season with salt and black pepper to taste
– Chop the bread into cubes. Arrange bread in each individual bowl, cover with the soup, add Parmesan cheese and a drizzle of olive oil.
I eat healthy 90% of the time. One year ago if you asked me about a cleanse my answer would have been there is no way I could go without eating. Now when asked to join friends doing a cleanse, I didn’t even hesitate. The progression of my healthy lifestyle made this experiment relevant and exciting.
We did a juice cleanse by a company called Blue Print. They offer 3 different levels: Renovation, Foundation and Excavation. I just figured if I was going for it, why mess around. I chose the Excavation Cleanse. This is the most intense of the three recommended for vegans and others who have eaten raw before. The main difference between Renovation and Excavation is 200 calories. Those 200 calories can be a lot on a 1,000 calorie daily program!
We do not need to eat all of the time. You really learn that with a cleanse. Surprisingly, the low caloric intake did not starve me. At least not initially. I supplemented with green tea in the morning and was always drinking hot lemon water, tea or the juice. My energy level remained constant. There was no mid-day lull. In fact, I felt increased energy.
The habit of not reaching for food or eating took effort, but the most difficult part of the three day cleanse was day 3 from 4pm. From that moment on, I was starving. Doing a cleanse is all mental, clearly we don’t need all that we eat. Three days of vitamin packed juice and a ton of liquids should not be that hard. If it had been a 4 day cleanse, I am not sure day 3 would have been so difficult.
Would I recommend a cleanse? Yes. Would I do another cleanse? Yes. The Blue Print Cleanse is easy to follow, tastes good and very convenient. Downsides include finding the right time to do a cleanse and the expense ($195 for 3 days). The upside is a sense of accomplishment and hard reset when it comes to dietary intake. It is a win, win in my opinion.
I have a little suggestion for Blue Print. It would be very cool to have this cleanse at airports. Flying cross country is such a great time to do a daily cleanse, but we are unable to get the juice through airport security. What a great way to avoid all airport food and arrive at your destination feeling healthy and energized!
I was not compensated by Blue Print for this review and I purchased the product. As always, all opinions are my own.
How do you start the day? I really try to get it all right. Admittedly, it is not close to perfection. Mornings are a big effort with many moving parts.
We don’t have outfits picked out or lunches packed the night before. That is all part of our morning routine. So is making our beds, a little play time and a conversation about the upcoming day. Our kids are not allowed to watch TV before school, instead they listen to classical or jazz music as they slowly awake. Breakfast is pretty standard, either jelly toast (JT) or oatmeal with blueberries and, my favorite, our morning smoothie.
Our morning smoothies started years ago. They left briefly when morning baba’s disappeared, and recently made its way back into our regular routine. The morning smoothie is both great tasting and really healthy. It makes me feel like I am doing something right when my kids have had spinach, broccoli and other green superfoods before school. Maybe it’s just residual young kid syndrome, but when my kids eat healthy it is like a big pat on the back.
Our Baba’s (morning sippy cup drink for kids 1-3 years old) consisted of yogurt, probiotics, milk and vitamins. Now the morning smoothie can vary, but basics are always the same: spinach, broccoli, fruit juice, superfood greens and fruit. It is our job as parents to not only get our children to eat healthy, but have them embrace and understand the importance of their choices.
Good Morning Sunshine!