As a mum, quick and easy are my two favourite words.
Every time I search for a recipe or an instruction on Google, my query always begins with the phrase, quick and easy.
I love being in the kitchen which is basically contradictory to being the mum of an active toddler but as I spend more time at home and Liam is off to school, I have been finding ways to make use of left overs in the fridge or a lone ingredient to create yummy nutritious and simple meals to keep me satisfied and fueled up for when the little terror returns home.
Last week, I was able to take leftover basil pasta and some fresh steak and whip up a yummy salad. The best thing about this meal? It took less than 30 minutes to prepare.
Prep time: 20 mins
- Cooked basil pasta (about 1-2 cups)
- 1 medium-sized angus beef round steak
- 3/4 can of black beans
- 1/2 can of whole kernel corn
- 1/2 teaspoon of lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon of honey
- 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon of lite soy sauce
- salt to taste
- black pepper to taste
- parsley flakes for garnish
I love pasta. But on a quest for eating healthier, more nutritious foods I always raid the supermarket shelves for pasta alternatives or fortified pastas. In absence of whole grain spaghetti I found this Basil spaghetti. I cooked it for dinner beforehand to go with meatballs and tomato sauce, and as usual ended up with a surplus of unused pasta.
Instead of binning it, I decided to put it in a Ziploc bag and freeze it for future salad use.
When it came to using it for my salad, I defrosted it on the day of which took about 20 mins so if you’re using frozen salad and don’t plan to defrost before hand, add about 10-20 mins on your prep time depending on how you choose to defrost it. I kept it in the bag and put it in a stainless steel bowl and ran water on it until the outer layers of defrosted pasta were the right amount for about three servings.
I placed the pasta in a separate stainless steel bowl and sprinkled a pinch of salt, a shake of black pepper and the soy sauce. Then, I added the drained corn and black beans. Usually, when I’m doing anything with black beans I retain some of the brine but in this case, I didn’t want the brine to mess with the taste of my vinaigrette so I drained most of it off. Black beans are high in protein and fibre so they help make this salad a filling one. You can use a mixture of vegetables for this salad; I imagine green peas would’ve been a nice addition.
I left the steak for last to make sure the beef was fresh and didn’t become contaminated while I was prepping the rest of the salad. After years of living in the dark of a well-done steak, I became exposed to medium-rare steak and have enjoyed my steak this way ever since.
To attain a perfect medium-rare steak I simply sprinkle salt and pepper on both sides and brown in a pre-heated skillet for about 2-4 mins each side. Just enough to change the outside to brown and get a nice dark brown edge. However, you can cook your steak how you prefer.
Once cooked, I sliced the beef into thin strips and placed it in the bowl with the other ingredients. Using a clean spoon and fork, or a salad tosser if you have it, gently toss the ingredients together to combine.
For the vinaigrette:
I love vinaigrettes as a healthy option to salad dressing and the fact that its olive oil based so you can basically flavour it with anything. I chose to do a honey-lemon vinaigrette to counteract with the saltiness of the soy sauce. In a bowl, I added the oil and lemon juice and added the honey. Whisk to combine. I added some black pepper as well. Drizzle the vinaigrette over the contents in the bowl and using a spoon to mix and cover.
Plate, sprinkle with some parsley flakes and tuck in!
In my “Mum-On-the Go” series, I share my tips and mum-friendly recipes. Tell me what you’d like to see me share!!