It’s funny how as you grow up you become more and more grateful to your parents for the everyday things they did to take care of you. Every week I find at least one thing that I never had to really think about when I was younger because Mum and Dad used to do it, or it was just part of the routine of the house. Taking out the garbage? Dad’s job while ‘the girls’ did the washing up. Cleaning the bathroom (ick)? One job each every week on a Saturday. Getting dinner on the table? Whoever got home first and thought up something that would suit most of the taste buds at the dinner table.
Now that I am out living with Chris, I have control over what goes onto the dinner table every night. It’s liberating. It’s scary. I am grateful for all the years Mum and Dad (and later Jess and I) put dinner on the table every night after a long day at work. Chris will eat almost anything, and will trying everything once. These attributes make him the perfect boyfriend for a food blogger! But in the midst of trying new baked things, or coming up with tasty salads, there are also the ‘everyday meals’. The ones that we can make quickly after we get home from work and running and before we collapse in front of another episode of our latest TV binge show (we love you Mindy).
Everyday meals are important, and for me the key to these weekday dinners is a meal that is full of flavour, high on health, and doesn’t undo all the good work we have just done in our workout. Also, these meals need to be gluten free and have meat added to them for my omnivorous other half. So, I am introducing a new weekly feature here on the blog: Weeknight Nourishment. These weekly meals will be easy to throw together dinners that take 45 minutes or less and will easily suit the gluten free, vegetarian (occasionally vegan), and omnivorous family.
My first Weeknight Nourishment meal is super easy. If you are searching for a quick and healthy dinner than you can have on the table in 30 minutes (including unpacking the grocery bag of ingredients) then you are in luck. First we get a pot of water on to boil. Then we cook a bag of gluten free gnocchi. Then we blanch our broccoli florets. The whole lot is then tossed together with onion and almonds that have been sauteed with chilli and garlic. The final flavour boost is from bright shards of lemon zest and torn basil leaves. Divide the gnocchi into bowls, and shower each with some parmesan cheese. Easy, healthy, flavoursome, weeknight dinner = done. Throw that takeaway menu away – now you can make a quick and healthy dinner in your pyjamas!
Chilli, Basil and Lemon Broccoli Gnocchi
Gluten Free | Vegetarian | Serves 4 | Approximate (per serving): 340 calories (1428 kJ), 10g fat (2.5 g sat. fat), 13.5g protein, 45g carb
Serving notes: I served Chris’s gnocchi with some Italian country sausages that I baked in the oven. Grilled chicken would also work well here.
If you do not require this to be gluten free, you can use wheat-based ready-made gnocchi
- 500 grams ready-made gluten free gnocchi (I used Simply Wize)
- 2 1/2 cups (about 1 large head) broccoli florets
- 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 long red chilli, finely diced
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1/4 cup (35 grams) almonds, roughly chopped
- 2 spring onions, white and light green parts thinly sliced
- Small handful basil leaves, torn
- Zest of 1 lemon
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- 4 tablespoons (30 grams) grated Parmesan cheese
- Bring a large pot of well salted water to the boil. Cook gnocchi according to packet instructions.
- Once gnocchi are cooked, remove to a large bowl and cover to keep warm.
- While gnocchi are cooking heat olive oil in a medium frying pan over medium heat. Saute chilli, garlic and almonds until garlic is softened. About 2 minutes. Once cooked, set aside and keep warm.
- Bring water to boil again and add broccoli florets. Cook for 1-2 minutes or until bright green. Remove immediately and add to bowl with gnocchi.
- Add onion mixture to gnocchi and broccoli. Add sliced spring onions, torn basil leaves, lemon zest, and salt and pepper to taste, and toss it all gently together.
- Divide between bowls, top with grated Parmesan.
Tell me dear reader, what are your weeknight favourites? Anything you would like me to feature on Thoroughly Nourished Life?