Homemade v. Made at Home

Mmmm chunky and cheesy

Despite my best intentions and time management skills, there is sometimes no way that I can cook dinner every night. Luckily, I have a partner who is more than willing to work the stove (and the dish sponge) and who is simply not a picky eater. Though our tastes are sophisticated, we are humble eaters, too, and this is what separates us from foodies: not everything has to be the best. So we have developed a number of consistent and easy recipes that we tend to eat about every week, like the rice and beans/burrito recipe and Chinese stir fry. Since both of us love pasta, there is always a box of spaghetti or rotini in our pantry weekly as well.

And so developed my easy alfredo and greens. The beauty of this recipe began when I stumbled upon a can of alfredo sauce in Aldi’s that has no freaky additives and unpronounceable ingredients. After deciding that just pasta and sauce was not going to be filling enough, I decided to add a package of frozen spinach. The next time, I added frozen broccoli. Following that, fresh broccoli. And then, after that, ground turkey. What I love the most about making this pasta and alfredo is that there is time to play around, and it is so cheesy that it is very versatile. Plus, you’re not worried about “ruining” expensive and time-consuming alfredo sauce with frozen veggies (just like I hate ruining good cheese by eating it on a Ritz!) This meal is ready in 20 minutes tops and is absolutely delicious…and can very easily be vegetarian!

Easy Pasta and Alfredo1 lb. box of any pasta (I love spirals!)
1 jar alfredo sauce
1 10 oz. package frozen spinach
1 cup chopped or frozen broccoli
1/2 – 1 c. milk or water
1 tbsp. canola oil
minced garlic to taste (I use at least 2 tsp.)
red pepper flakes to taste
herbs to taste
ground black pepper to taste
grated parmesan cheese

Pasta and Alfredo Sauce...mmmmm

 

-Put pot of water on to boil and cook pasta according to the directions while you prepare the alfredo sauce.
-Saute minced garlic in oil on medium heat for about 2 minutes.
-Add frozen spinach directly from package and cover, separating the block every 2 minutes or so until no longer frozen. If working with frozen broccoli, add at the same time and cook with the spinach.
-If working with chopped fresh broccoli, add after the spinach has “melted” and cook uncovered for about 2 minutes. Tip: If you would like to add ground turkey or chicken, now is the time to do so! Cook on medium-high for a few minutes until the meat just begins to brown.
-Add the alfredo sauce, milk or water, red pepper, black pepper, and herbs to the pan and stir contents together, cooking until the sauce begins to bubble. Turn down the heat and let simmer covered for about 5 minutes.
-Drain the pasta and serve the sauce!

The best thing about this recipe? It’s quick, easy, and a great way to get any picky eaters to eat vegetables. Honestly, who can pass up anything covered in cheese? This recipe is great not only for dinner, but also for a quick and filling lunch during the windy Oswego winter.

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