I think I mentioned a few months back that there was going to be a dramatic change in our daily lives. I might have even been whining a bit. A little.

Well our lives have changed. Our Nanny has left and moved on to start her own life and her own family. I could tell you about how pleased I am for her and all that, and I am, but this post is about me.

No seriously, I’ve been dealt a healthy hand of reality as of late and I’ve needed to make some changes to how I approach a few things (like actually approaching the laundry, for example).

Meal planning has changed too. I’ve always been a meal planner. When we had our Nanny I would plan our menus for the week with recipes that she would sometimes get started or pull together for us. So the planning part hasn’t changed. I do it now, and I did it then. But how I meal plan has changed a bit. I’m a little more considerate of how long a meal will take from start to finish now. Before I could easily give her something that could be put together in the afternoon and then need to bake for an hour, I can’t do that anymore. Now the time between when I walk through the door to the time we sit down to eat needs to be less than 30 minutes.

Fusilli with Mushroom and Feta | www.infinebalance.com

This pasta dish was on our meal plan this past week. It was truly a 30 minute meal and fit perfectly into our schedule. Kids loved it too. Feta adds so much flavour, you really only need a little bit to bring the meal to life. Each serving includes a healthy dose of protein (from the mushrooms as well as the feta) and greens.

Game plan:

  • Put the water on to boil.
  • Wash the spinach, if it’s needed, and set it to dry.
  • Clean and slice the mushrooms.
  • Once the water has come to a boil, add the pasta and put a large (big enough to hold the finished dish) skillet on medium high heat.
  • Once the skillet is hot, melt the butter and add the garlic and thyme. Add the mushrooms, sprinkle with black pepper, and cook until tender.
  • By the time the mushrooms are tender, the pasta will be done, save some of the pasta water and drain the rest.
  • Add the pasta to the mushrooms. Add the spinach and toss to cook the spinach – 2 minutes.
  • Remove from the heat and add the feta and lemon juice and zest. Eat! 

30 minute Fusilli with Mushrooms and Feta


  • 340 gram box of fusilli
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme
  • 300 g cremini mushrooms sliced button mushrooms are a good substitute
  • 100 g shiitake mushrooms sliced
  • 1 tablespoon all purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 bunch spinach washed, trimmed, rough chopped
  • 2 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon of lemon zest
  • 1/3 cup feta cheese


  • Cook pasta in boiling salted water according to package directions. Save 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking liquid for the sauce.
  • In a large skillet melt butter, add thyme and garlic and saute for 30 seconds - don't let the garlic brown. Immediately add mushrooms and black pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes until mushrooms are tender.
  • Sprinkle mushrooms with flour and stir for 1 minute. Gradually pour in milk and the 1/2 cup of pasta water, stirring constantly. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to simmer. Simmer and stir until slightly thickened - about 4 minutes.
  • Stir in pasta and spinach. Let spinach wilt slightly - about 2 minutes. Remove from heat, squeeze lemon juice over dish, add lemon zest and feta and toss well. Serve.


Slightly adapted from Canadian Living Magazine