Monday is Pasta Day – Recipe: Vegetable Pasta with Goat Cheese Cream Sauce

This was the scene outside bright and early this morning.

The boys do not really like early mornings anymore than I do.  But, they are young and full of energy, so they wake up, truly wake up, much quicker than I do.  Watching this scene unfold helped me really open my eyes this morning, to appreciate the beauty that was unfolding in front of me.

Boys who were happy to ride scooters in the cool of the morning air.

A big brother who is always happy to help his younger brother.

Two brothers who always light up at the sight of each other.

Summer, on the other hand, well, she just likes to cuddle in bed for at least 30 minutes.  And, since it is her last year at home until Kindergarten, I will just soak up the lazy mornings with her, knowing that this year will pass in the blink of an eye.

As I have mentioned before, I try to stick to theme menu days – pasta on Mondays, tacos on Tuesdays, etc.  I do not make the exact pasta or tacos each week.  I just give myself a jumping off point by knowing what type of recipe I want to make for that day.  It makes it easier when I am planning our weekly menu, and it still gives flexibility to try new things.

Monday is pasta day.  We often do spaghetti, pasta with cream sauce, or plain noodles with olive oil and vegetables.  I experimented with this pasta last week.  I had vegetables, pasta, and the makings of a cream sauce.  So, I decided to put it all together and see how it turned out.

The result.  It was fantastic.  Everyone enjoyed it…well, Summer ate plain noodles.  But, as I have said before, she has not developed as much of an appreciation for food as the rest of us.  She will get there in her own time.

Vegetable Pasta with Goat Cheese Cream Sauce

Vegetable Pasta with Goat Cheese Cream Sauce

Ingredients

Chicken and Vegetables

2 grilled chicken breasts, sliced

1/4 cup onion, sliced

1/4 cup carrots, chopped

1 orange bell pepper, chopped

1 cup broccoli

1 zucchini, sliced

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 glove garlic, minced

1 package gluten free pasta

Sauce

1 cup unsweetened almond milk

1-2 ounces of goat cheese

2 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon corn starch

Old Bay Seasoning

Kosher salt

Pepper

Instructions

  1. Heat olive oil in stir-fry pan over medium-high heat. Add garlic and saute for 1-2 minutes, and then add the vegetables. Put the lid on and cook for 5-7 minutes. Add the sliced chicken and remove from heat.
  2. Cook the pasta according to package directions.
  3. Mix together the almond milk, olive oil, and corn starch. Cooking over medium heat, add the cheese. Cook until the cheese is melted. Add about 1 tablespoon of the Old Bay Seasoning, kosher salt, and pepper, according to taste.
  4. Drain the pasta and rinse with hot water.
  5. Put the pasta into a big pasta dish. Add the cream sauce and vegetables. Stir until combined.
http://cookingformykids.com/2011/08/29/monday-is-pasta-day/

Enjoy!

School Lunches – Recipe: Chicken, Corn, and Black Bean Pasta

Summer and I had a different kind of mommy/daughter day today.  We ran errands, which is not her favorite thing to do.  So, we started out by getting her a few things that just made her day – hair accessories and jewelry.

         

From there, we went to The Container Store.  Seriously, where has that store been all my life?  I am more of a Target kind of girl.  Don’t get me wrong, I love Target, and I have bought wonderful containers there.  But, The Container Store took my breath away a little.  It was just what I needed today.  Summer was in love, too.  She totally forgot that she wanted to be home because she was so impressed with the aisles and aisles of containers…even pink ones.

What I really wanted was some snack and lunch containers for the littles.  I do not like packing everything in a zillion different containers.  I wanted one container, with dividers, that would hold everything.  And, I found exactly what I wanted.

Not only that, but I found some that will be perfect for snacks, too.  They hold something cold on top and something else on bottom – yogurt and granola, apples and peanut butter, hummus and carrots.  I am so excited about all of the possibilities.

With Ethan’s food sensitivities, I have been packing snacks and lunches a bit differently this year.  Last year, it was almost always sandwiches, chips, yogurt, and fruit.  This year, I am trying to mix it up and try different things.  So, when I am making my dinner menu, I often think about how that can be turned into a lunch.  I found…and then adapted…a recipe that would do just that.

With these fun little containers, I can put a pasta salad on one side and then nuts and a fruit on the other divided side.  I can pack it up easily.  One container….and a simple, healthy lunch.  That makes me one happy momma!

Chicken, Corn, and Black Bean Pasta

Chicken, Corn, and Black Bean Pasta

I did not list precise amounts in the ingredients because this salad can be made according to your liking. Gabriel loves the corn, so I add more of it. You can also add tomatoes, bell pepper, or onions, again, according to what you prefer in your salad. Adapted from Our Best Bites Southwest Pasta Salad.

Ingredients

Pasta

Grilled chicken, sliced

Corn, fresh or frozen

Black beans, dried (and cooked) or canned

1 package of pasta (we used gluten free)

Goat cheese

Salt and pepper, to taste

Dressing

6 Tbs fresh lime juice (about 3 juicy limes)

1/4 C white wine

4-5 cloves garlic, roughly chopped

1 1/2 tsp chili powder

1 tsp cumin

1/2 tsp kosher or sea salt

2 tablespoons of sugar

3/4 C canola oil

1/2 C roughly chopped cilantro

Instructions

    Pasta
  1. Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Drain and rinse.
  2. Slice up the chicken.
  3. Cook and drain the black beans.
  4. Cook and drain the corn.
  5. Add the chicken, corn, and black beans to the pasta.
  6. Sprinkle on some salt and pepper, and add the goat cheese.
  7. Dressing
  8. Mix together the dressing ingredients.
  9. Drizzle onto the salad, according to how much or little you like on your pasta salad.
http://cookingformykids.com/2011/08/24/school-lunches/

This pasta salad is a perfect school lunch food because it tastes great at room temperature.  I am so excited to come up with even more fun, tasty school lunches to pack in these awesome new containers.