Today I am posting about dinner last night. As here at home we have vegetarians as well as dairy intolerant that ARE NOT vegetarians, when I start cooking I already think ahead about the logistics of it. for instance, a meal where can be vegetarian – or not -and can be dairy free – or not. Haha, it can sound a little complicated but it isn’t really.


So the dish was a spaghetti with broccoli, garlic, mushrooms (the one you prefer really) and cherry tomato with some pork shank and pork shank gravy added at the end. Why pasta? Because pasta is simple, easy to cook, you can mix all sort of things that kids might not want to eat normally and it is tasty.

So there it goes:


Pork shank cooked from the night before. Sliced in strips with some of its juice. This is the add-on that will go on top of the pasta when the dish is served. As I do not eat meat neither do my children, we have to adapt so I do that a lot: I cook extra meat to do the add-on thing for hubby! It works with everything!

On the other hob is the pot with vegetables. Shimeji mushrooms, with garlic, broccoli and cherry tomato (make sure you add the cherry tomato at the very end so it doesn’t go all mushy). Some salt and a good olive oil are very important. Black pepper can be put at the end, on the plate so children do not need to eat such an adult’s spicy food.


So at the end, we have 2 dishes or even 3 if you prefer:


This is the veggie version of it, spaghetti with Shimeji mushrooms, broccoli, garlic, cherry tomato and a small spoon of butter to make it creamy (the butter can be put on the plate, before the past is served, so it will melt nicely underneath the hot pasta). Some good parmesan cheese grated on top! Beautiful! Super kid friendly. Some kids do not like mushrooms at first, but the key is to put just a little, not mixed up entirely so the child can put it aside if desired. And if you always do it this way, without focusing much in getting the child to taste it, I guarantee one day, they will. By curiosity. Children are very curious, specially if we let that curiosity be child led.



This is Dad’s version of this dish, which is dairy free and NOT vegetarian.

Simply add the pork meat on top, forget the butter and the nice parmesan cheese. Put a splash of a good extra virgem Olive oil on top, some black pepper, some dried chilli if you wish and tadaaaaaa! Beautiful and super tasty!

The 3rd version of this dish would be exactly that with the butter and the parmesan. Super tasty!



So there you are, 4 happy people having dinner together, one happy cook that feeds everyone’s needs and a happy dinner after all! 


If you like to get the proper recipes for this, comment bellow.

My name is Mel and I am a professional chef, even though I only cook for pleasure these days!