Feed your Brain!

Friday again and here at RESET parenting that means the “food” post for the week!  Our foodie in the family is actually just 12 years old and has aspirations of being a musical chef when grows up!  Well he definitely can throw a good wholesome family meal together and has been able to for a while and then he can also play piano along with a little bit of cello and trumpet so just maybe he’ll fathom out a way to merge the ‘music ‘n’ meal’ combo!  That’s just what the second E of RESET is all about – energizing yourself setting your own goals, realizing what your aspirations are and then setting out to achieve them!  So this week’s recipe, for a home-cooked wonder, is taken from one of his favourites and as a treat at the end we’ll throw in a You Tube clip of him ‘tinkling the ivories’ for little light hearted musical entertainment!

Seriously though, feeding a family of five is getting to be an expensive business at the moment!  Food prices seem to be rocketing each week and the weekly shop with four (well almost four) teenagers in the house is phenomenal!  Still, home-cooking is definitely the cheapest option and, of course, it’s healthy and armed with a few quick easy, throw it all together, family favourites, doesn’t need to be a chore after a busy day when all you really want to do is relax and put your feet up!  More importantly giving your family the right food is essential for a healthy brain for you can help enhance learning, decrease stress and increase motivation by eating a healthy diet.

The first hint here for an easy life is to invest in a slow cooker!  It’s certainly something that Jenni will be heading to university with next year.  Chop it up and throw it in while the kettle boils for the morning coffee and you come home to dinner ready and waiting in the evening!  Well OK you do have to actually switch the thing on but come on, I’m sure you can manage that, and for any students that are reading this, if you do this once a week, batch it up and split it up into pots for a freezer, you’re student loan will go so much further because it’s economical too!

So here goes for Kit’s recommendation for this week which is our all time favourite Spaghetti Bolognaise (as of March 2012 this would cost about £4.80 in a UK supermarket and feed between 4 and 5 excluding the pasta you choose assuming you had no ingredients in the cupboard! Preparation time maybe 5 to 10 minutes max if you’re using a slow cooker and a little longer if you’re cooking conventionally!

Spaghetti Bolognaise a la Team DJ!

500 g mince
1  chopped onion
1 crushed clove of garlic
1 diced carrot
1 diced courgette
100g diced mushroom (better sliced but my kids prefer to forget that mushrooms have a place on earth)
400 g tinned tomatoes
Tomato purée
2 tablespoons of pesto
Pinch of sugar

If you are using a slow cooker, prep the ingredients in line with the recipe, throw them in, turn the cooker on and leave to cook.  I’d probably give ours 4 to 5 hours but they all vary so be your own judge.

If you’re using a more conventional method, fry off the onion and garlic in a spot of olive oil and brown the mince in a pan on the hob.  Add the vegetables and other ingredients and cook for 25 minutes stirring occasionally.  Alternatively fry off all the ingredients in a saucepan and when they are all mixed, pop into an oven-proof dish and cook in the oven for an hour at 180˚ C to allow the flavours to really infuse!

Serve with spaghetti and a salad!  Yum!

The only challenge now is to get the kids to wash up!!! But maybe that’s for another post – for now good luck with that!

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