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Making nutritious meals in 15 minutes

Lesson time: super-quick meals are great when children are about to go into meltdown mode

One recent evening, after what must have been a mega day at school, both the children were dead on their feet by the time we got home.

Maybe it was the after-school stuff that did them in.

Belle was swimming, although this week there seemed to be a high ratio of cannon balls to dives.

Chloe was dancing and then spent the car ride home convulsed in hysterical giggles with her friend, the kind of laughter that actually hurts.

It was also properly dark which caused extreme confusion. I’ve never been great at explaining time changes and I think I ended up yelling: “It’s just dark because it is!”

I am sure they learnt a lot from my insightful wisdom.

Anyway, I knew I had a max of ten minutes to get dinner on the table before the girls were totally past it.

So I rustled up this super quick pasta dish which got a huge thumbs-up. I actually used to make this a lot a few years ago, then I overdid it and it got rejected.

It’s so annoying when a staple becomes so staple that you accidentally ruin it. (I’ve done this to myself with hummus repeatedly.)

Fortunately, they must have forgotten they were bored of it and the seal of approval was given. That’s rare on a day when they are tired and ratty, so it must be good.

For a quick, easy, weeknight dinner, you just want a healthy carb, a dose of quality protein and some veggies to make the wheels go ‘round.

This recipe uses wild smoked salmon for protein; you could use any, but wild means your protein comes from a healthier, fitter fish, one that’s been swimming up river versus round and round in a farmed fishery pool.

I like the Ducktrap brand from Supermart.

Instead of wheat pasta, we use brown-rice pasta which is still quick to cook and there seems to be less heaviness and bloating all around.

As for veggies, I’m not sure there is anything easier than frozen peas, and the bonus is, as long as you do not boil them to death, they are nice and nutrient-rich.

You could pack more flavour into this by sautéing onion and garlic first, but I just didn’t have the time or inclination.

It was delicious without, but feel free to add your own twist. Dinner from scratch in just 15 minutes — and it’s really easy to do too. What’s not to love?

Pasta with smoked salmon, butter and lemon


Brown rice pasta (try the Tinkyada brand from Supermart)

Ducktrap Wild Smoked Salmon (one pack serves 2-3 people)

Frozen peas (½ cup per person)

1 lemon (½ small lemon, juiced per person)

Butter (grass-fed) or Earth Balance Organic (dairy-free) — 1 tbs per person


1, Cook the pasta as per packet directions

2, While it cooks, add the frozen peas to a sauté pan with the butter and lemon juice. Allow the butter to melt and the peas to cook gently over a low heat.

3, Slice the smoked salmon into bite-sized pieces

4, When the pasta is cooked, drain it well and then add to the pan with the peas. Add in the smoked salmon too and toss everything together.

5, Add more butter or lemon according to taste.

6, Season with a little salt if you like but a good crack of black pepper really seals the deal on this one. Enjoy!

Catherine Burns is a fully qualified nutritional therapist trained by the Institute for Optimum Nutrition in the UK. For details: www.natural.bm, 236-7511 or, on Facebook, Natural Nutrition Bermuda