This is what gives me energy

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Re-springing Your Step.”

Dinner this evening was an unfussy affair, pasta, tomato sauce and beans, but it was just lovely. It was my birthday not too long ago and I was given many foodie treats as gifts (which I’ll always be grateful for), some of which included some products from the organic brand Bunalun. So, this evening, my dinner was almost 100% organic! Organic and Italian, there’s a treat I don’t have everyday. The pasta sauce tasted fresh but velvety and had a natural sweetness from the tomatoes and basil, plus no added sugar, always a winner in my book. The penne were really tasty, didn’t go mushy or too soft, were cooked just right. And the beans packed a much-needed protein punch. I added some Grana and black pepper and sat down on the couch to eat. I really do love pasta. ‚̧

And, here are more things that give me my energy back, put a spring back in my step and generally make me feel calmer:

  • eating well, taking a time out to eat and just eat, no distractions!
  • eating fresh veggies often
  • eating Italian foods that make me feel happy, like pasta
  • going for walks, long or short, in the park
  • a good sleep
  • a hot shower
  • reading a good book, wrapped up warm and with the heating turned on
  • knowing that my fridge is half empty but my cupboard is almost full



Feeling Contented!

Not willing to venture out in the cold and wet, I stayed in and made a sort of lasagne, with tomato sauce, cheese sauce, broccoli and cannelini beans. Hit the spot! Plus there’s left overs for tomorrow. Happiness is planning ahead ūüôā


Tomato and Chickpea soup

For that post-Christmas roundy feeling, there’s nothing like a hearty bowl of soup for dinner – filling but light, and always satisfying. I made this after coming back from a few days away with family for the festivities, so, fridge empty, I went in search of tins to make a warming bowl of goodness. And, hey presto, a soup was born. It’s based on a Marcella Hazan recipe (from a book I got for Christmas); please do read some of her recipes, they’re¬†hearty, uncomplicated, dare I say it, ‘rustic’ type of Italian dishes that I love. And I’m sure you’ll love them too. This soup is a tomato, chickpea and optional tiny pasta combo, with some added stock, rosemary¬†and olive oil, nice served with some Parmesan-style cheese, should you have some in the back of the fridge, or even the rind will do, adding it to the soup but removing it before serving. Or no cheese, too, that’s okay. You decide.

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Pasta and Beans – Dinner Express

When the day’s been long, I reach for a tin of beans and a packet of pasta for¬†my ultimate comfort food a.k.a. hug for my belly.

Pasta and Beans

Serves 1 person, who really needs to eat and be snuggled at the same time

75-85g pasta, the short variety

100g beans, about half a tin, cannellini, borlotti or mixed beans work quite well

1-2 tbsp olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

a pinch of chili flakes

First, stick on the water for the pasta. It’s such a small amount, you can use a small pot for this. And no I won’t scold you for not being ‘authentic’ and putting it in a fancy pants expensive pasta pot. I’d never do that to you,¬†we both know that. Add a little salt here if you wish. When it’s reached a rolling boil, add the pasta and cook according to packet instructions.

Drain the beans. If using a big tin, keep the other half for another time. You could do so much with them! But, focus on the present here, you need to eat.

Gently heat the the beans in another pot with some olive oil and season to taste. Or, if you’re like me after work, wait until the pasta has cooked to al dente, drain, set aside, and heat the beans in THE SAME POT. Season as you like here. And rejoice! You have reduced the amount of washing up to do.

Mix the beans with the pasta and voila. Dinner is served.