How do you get a 2-year old and a slightly-reformed veggie hater to eat leafy greens? You add pasta.
It never fails.
We’ve set a couple of goals this year, one of the big ones – and probably the most difficult one – is to eat more plants. There’s a direct correlation between the size and shade of a green vegetable and the severity of the scrunchy-nose-and-wrinkled-brow face that I get when I’m planning our dinner menu. The more identifiable the vegetable or the darker the green, the scrunchier the face. (And scrunchier is totally a word. Now.)
But grate some of those objectionable vegetables into small pieces and mix that scrunchy face-inducing green with pasta, a little cheese, and just a little meat to accent the dish (there are few meatless meals wouldn’t cause a revolt in this house) and you’ve got a healthy pasta dish that’s a winner among veggie lovers and haters a like.
And my favorite bite is that first one, the one loaded with the top layer of slightly crispy pasta and cheese.
Image used with permission
Update: The winner is Emily B with comment #46!
The blades on each Microplane grater are designed for a specific food/task:
- Spice grater (nutmeg and cinnamon sticks)
- Hard cheeses and carrots (and it’s great for chocolate, too!)
- Soft cheeses and potatoes
- Citrus, garlic, and ginger
A great set of high-quality tools to use for any recipe that requires you to shred, zest, grate, or mince ingredients.
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The fine print:
- One comment per person. You can earn two extra entries by:
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- Giveaway ends at 11:59pm (Texas time!) on 1/14.
- Winner will be selected by one of those cold, soulless, unfeeling random number generators and announced on this post on 1/15.
- Winner will receive a 4-piece Microplane grater set directly from BigKitchen.com (maximum total retail value of prize $50).
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- Official giveaway rules can be found here.
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Baked Penne with Chicken and Kale
Kale transforms this pasta dish into a healthy one-bowl dinner.
- 13.25 oz box penne pasta (I use Dreamfield)
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1 large red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
- 1 large carrot, grated
- 2 cloves garlic, grated or minced
- 2 bunches kale, stems removed and chopped
- 48 oz ricotta (I used half part-skim and half fat-free)
- 1 tsp Tobasoco (or other hot sauce)
- Zest and juice of 1 lemon
- 1 oz Parmesan, finely grated (about 3/4 cup)
- 1 1/2 cups leftover chicken, shredded (I used 1 chicken breast)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Cook pasta according to package directions.
- Drain the pasts and return it to the pot pot.
- In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high.
- Add onion and red bell pepper, cooking until softened (~5 minutes).
- Add grated carrot and garlic, cooking another 2 minutes.
- Add kale, toss, and cover, turning off the heat and letting sit for 5 minutes.
- Transfer to the pot with pasta.
- Stir in ricotta, lemon zest and juice, hot sauce, 1/2 cup Parmesan, and chicken.
- Season generously with salt and pepper. Transfer mixture to a 13x9 or large dish.
- Top with remaining Parmesan. Bake until bubbly and the top golden brown, 30 minutes.
Yields: 10 servings
Estimated time: 50 minutes
Note: I used Dreamfield penne and calculated the nutritional info based on such. If you use a different pasta, your mileage will vary.
Calories: 338.0 | Fat: 8.4g | Fiber 5.4g | Protein 26.1g | Carbs 19.0
Weight Watchers PointsPlus: 6
This giveaway is sponsored by BigKitchen.com.