Thursday, 24 September 2009

Pasta with Caramelised Onion

I was at a friend's place for lunch the other day. Her meals are always simple, and yet incredibly delicious. So delicious in fact, that she has been told that it would be intimidating to cook for her. I don't see that, myself. As anyone who cooks in their own home knows, a meal you don't have to cook yourself is often the best one you'll have all week no matter what the meal is! This friend is no different.

In any case, we got together for lunch. I offered to make lunch for the kids ~ a couple of platters of very yummy looking sandwiches...apart from the one vegemite one, for little Mr 6yo (blech!). The sandwiches were very colourful when cut into quartered triangles:
  • egg and lettuce
  • ham, cheese, tomato, lettuce and mayonnaise
  • salami, avocado, tomato, lettuce and mayonnaise
The children breathed in and their lunch was gone.

For the two of us, my friend made a beautiful warm pasta salad type of meal.

Pasta with Caramelised Onion

olive oil
1/2 red onion
fresh thyme
1 garlic clove, crushed
zest of 1 lemon
crumbled feta
cooked pasta
  1. Thinly slice half a red onion, crush the garlic and zest the lemon. Have all the other ingredients at the ready.
  2. Heat some olive oil and saute the onion and thyme sprigs until the onion has caramelised.
  3. Whilst the onion is cooking, boil the pasta according to package directions.
  4. Once the onion has reached a lovely golden colour, remove the pan from the heat and add the pasta, garlic and lemon zest and toss so that the ingredients are evenly distributed and the pasta has been coated in olive oil. You made need to add a drizzle more oil.
  5. Serve the pasta into bowls and top with crumbled feta and serve immediately.
* * * * * * * * *

A couple of you commented yesterday, that there is a connection between wealth, education and health. Unfortunately, when we look around, it is quite obvious that this is the case. I find this to be an incredibly sad state of affairs. When healthy nutrition is important to a person, they can educate themselves and eat very well even on the strictest budget. You don't need a university degree to read! Personally, I did a lot of reading via the local public library ~ which is free. If you read widely enough, you soon learn to be discerning, as not all that is written is necessarily accurate or helpful.

Even in the years when we had very little, financially, we managed to eat well. I never (and still don't) bought organic ingredients. As much as the idea might be appealing, it is simply not a cost effective way for a family on a strict budget to eat. It is still possible though, to buy fresh food and make great meals.

Perhaps Centrelink needs to inform their clients that good nutrition is possible on a tight budget! You just have to want to do it.


belinda said...

Hi Tracy,

Not only do you have to want to do it but you have to know what it looks like and that it is an option.

Honestly the generations now having children were all born after convenience food became common in supermarkets.

It is quite possible a percentage of these less wealthy parents have never actually seen a balanced diet while they were growing up. Sure if you know your knowledge is lacking you are likely to go looking for better information .. if you don't even realise that the diet you are serving your kids isn't healthy you won't.

It is an interesting problem.. I wish I thought a new book would fix the issues but it is unlikely to reach the people it needs to most.

Kind Regards

Tracy said...

Yep, interesting problem with no simple answers. It's a shame our education system does not seek to prepare its students with life-skills such as these.

Left-Handed Housewife said...

I think Belinda said everything I was going to! The only thing I'd add is that depression is rampant in a lot of poor communities (because hope so often seems to be lacking, I'd argue), and a lot of people self-medicate with food. Your life may be miserable, but at least you can have some fries.

The recipe sounds fab! I'm the only one here who eats feta, but the boys are going camping this weekend, so maybe I'll give it a try!