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Monday, February 8, 2010

A Healthy Lunch / Dinner Idea

So, I was watching Food Network one day and saw Giada de Laurentis making a pasta dish for her daughter, Jade. Here's my version:
  • 1 Box Whole Wheat Pasta or other Healthy Pasta
    • I try to use whole grain pastas as often as possible
      • If you have a wheat allergy, you can always try quinoa noodles
  • 1-8oz Package Cream Cheese (Your level of fat is fine - I use the Neuchatel Cheese)
  • 2 Tablespoons Butter (Giada used Mascarpone)
  • Steamed Carrots
    • In my opinion, the more the merrier
    • Chop into bite size pieces for that cute little baby mouth
  • 1 Bag Frozen Peas
  • Pureed Greens
    • I've used a mixture of Broccoli, Brussel Sprouts, and Rainbow Chard or Kale
      • You could also use Spinach, Zucchini, etc.
  • Reserved Pasta Water or Chicken Broth
  • Olive Oil Spray
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Optional
    • Chicken breast cooked and chopped into bite size pieces
    • 2 cloves garlic
      • I put one clove in the steamer with the greens and chop the other to mix with the carrots and peas
    • 1 small onion chopped fine
    • Parmesan Cheese
Start by boiling your pasta and steaming your veggies. I steam the green veggies first and get them into the Vita Mix to puree. I then steam the carrots and, once done, put into a fry pan, sprayed with olive oil, with the onion, chopped garlic, and peas. Once this mixture has cooked for a little while together, add the 8 ounces of cream cheese and 2 tablespoons of butter. If you are adding chicken, you can add that at any time. I then add a large amount of pureed greens to the mixture, which gives the pasta a great color. Once mixed, you can add pasta water or chicken broth till you get the consistency you are looking for. I then add the cooked pasta, give it a stir, and then throw in a good handfull of parmesan cheese; about 1/4 cup. You can add salt and pepper at any time to taste.
Pasta can be served immediately and/or frozen. We found that Elia eats about 1/3 cup at a time, so we scoop 1/3 cup sizes onto a baking pan lined with parchment, place in the freezer till froze then put into a ziploc bag. Elia loves it, and I love that it's healthy for her. I enjoyed it so much myself that we're eating it too. : )

1 comment:

  1. I just made this yesterday, and changed it around a little bit. I shoved my Vita Mix about 1/2 full with baby spinach, added about 2 cups cooked broccoli, about 8 ounces cottage cheese, some skim milk, and a little shredded cheese and blended till creamy. Meanwhile I sauteed my chopped carrots and onion, then added about 1 cup of frozen peas to the pan. Once warm I dumped in the blender contents and added about 4 ounces of Neuchatel cream cheese. This I dumped over an entire box of cooked Gemelli pasta. It was super yummy, and the leftovers are fantastic for lunch today.