Archives for posts with tag: pasta

I told you I had a plan (involving Tupperware) and promised to let you know how it all worked out. Here we go:

I made a list during the previous week, plotting out fruit salads, green salads, pasta salads, chicken recipes, sandwiches, and healthy snacks that would travel well and keep for about the duration of four days. That sounds easy enough, well at least when you’re planning based on foods that you like. Now take into consideration that I was preparing these dishes for my better-half. He works road construction, out-of-town now, and giving him anything frou-frou or elaborate was totally out of the question. So the ingredients to make stuffed baby bell peppers filled with herbed cheese jumped the shopping list ship, as did hummus, pita bread…”Keep it simple, Babe.” That was his only request. My only request was that he discontinued the consumption of multiple microwave frozen meals from Wal-Mart.

And since I would be preparing all this food anyways, I decided to make a big Sunday dinner, for both his family and mine, while preparing and packing lil tubs of good things that travel well and don’t look frou-frou. After a very successful grocery trip, my afternoon was spent chopping, dicing, marinating, mixing, baking, preparing for company, and sending boyfriend out in search of one single egg. It was all totally worth it!

We enjoyed:

 a fresh fruit salad with large chunks of pineapple, watermelon, cantaloupe, grapes, and strawberries,

green salad with iceberg, romaine, spring salad mix, finely sliced red onions, grape tomatoes, and shredded carrots,

 pasta with diced celery, tomato chunks, red onion, and Italian dressing,

corn bread,

marinated and grilled BBQ chicken legs,

corn on the cob, and homemade pickles.

 And I had plenty of salads, chicken, and baby carrots and celery to pack up…

 So all this, and apples, and oranges, Nature Valley bars, whole wheat rolls and bread, fresh lunch meat, spicy mustard, spinach and feta burgers, yogurt, and even some cookies, water, and Gatorade were packed up and iced in big coolers.

Dear Boyfriend,

Eat all these good foodies!

Try to avoid the salt-laden and fried foods surrounding you

in that far away place

where I cannot cook for you (but wish I could).

Love,

Me

 

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Happy Tuesday! The sun is peeking through the clouds for the first time in days. I’m hoping my poor yellowing tomato stalks will begin to dry out the tiniest bit. Let’s hope!

Another Monday is behind us, and Spaghetti Monday meal prep took a bit longer than anticipated, not that I expected two new recipes to flow seamlessly. In the end, it was worth it! I started with a Spinach and Garbanzo Bean Soup with tiny pasta pieces. The beautiful part of this recipe was that almost everything was already in my fridge and pantry. I ever so slightly adapted this recipe from Vegalicious Recipes. Instead of a regular onion, I opted for the less potent green onion. Because I had chicken stock frozen, I chose to use what I had on hand rather than buy the vegetable stock. I enhanced the chicken stock with a bit of bullion as well. I love a hearty soup, so I chose a larger volume of garbanzo beans and spinach. It was very good (even in my lunch this afternoon!).

 Spinach Garbanzo Bean Soup* 

Adapted from Vegalicious.org 

  • Olive Oil, 1 tablespoon
  • Green Onions, about 1/2 cup sliced
  • Saffron, just a few threads
  • Turmeric, about 1/4 teaspoon
  • Cardamom, about 1/8 teaspoon
  • Nutmeg, about 1/8 teaspoon
  • Paprika (sweet), about 1 tablespoon
  • Salt and Pepper to taste (I used quite a bit of a of ground black pepper.)
  • Garlic, 1 large clove or 2-3 small cloves, crushed
  • 3-4 cups Chicken or Vegetable Broth, plus additional bullion if desired
  • Garbanzo Beans, 1 (15 ounce) can drained and rinsed
  • Small Soup Pasta, about 1/2 cup
  • Baby Spinach, 6 ounce bag

(*Unless I’m baking, I am not very accurate when it comes to measurements I just add in whatever tastes good.)

In a large soup pan, pour the oil. Heat over a medium flame. Add the green onions and stir to coat with oil. Adjust the oil temperature so the onions do not burn. Allow to soften. Add all of the spices and the crushed garlic. Stir. Add garbanzo beans, coating the beans in the mixture. Brown for about two minutes. Add in the stock and bullion. Bring to a boil. Add the small pasta. When pasta is soft, add in the spinach and allow to wilt. Turn off heat. If you have time, let the soup sit on the stove so that all the flavors can meld. It’s good either way, so serve when you’re ready.

 

Our main dish was Pasta Primavera. I found this recipe at Smitten Kitchen and just had to make it solely based upon the eye-catching photo provided. It was just too pretty to pass over. The pasta can be served cool, but by special request, I did warm the finished pasta through. I also used the Champagne vinegar, and I squeezed a bit of the lemon juice over my noodles. I rinsed and chopped Kalamata olives and mixed them throughout the pasta. Even the picky eaters in my family couldn’t resist trying them. I was able to use fresh basil and chives from the garden which always makes me happy. And the rainbow of colors did not fail to impress! Served with a freshly bottled batch of Blushing Bride wine and a crusty loaf of bead, our meal was perfectly lovely!