These days, my world revolves around easy weeknight dinner ideas. Finding that balance between working full-time and being a mama is not coming as easily to me as I hoped it might when I returned to work in September. I find myself scrambling on the best of days, no matter how ‘prepared’ I think I am. There is something that happens in those moments from daycare pick-up to dinner preparation that throws me for a loop most evenings. Toddler needs take over and I am often left with an increasingly smaller window of time to get something healthy into the belly of my sweet little 2 year old.
So, whenever I find a recipe that I can pull off while repeatedly putting on and taking off a baby doll’s hat (or all hell breaks loose!), I add that meal to my repertoire of ‘KEEPERS’.
Last night I made a really yummy ooey-gooey-cheesy pasta dish that felt indulgent, but that I accepted as a healthy choice because of all the spinach I added into it. Green veggie- check! Right?
Hopefully this meal satisfies your family as much as it was enjoyed by ours!
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 of a sweet onion, finely minced
1/3 cup all-purpose flour (you could use whole wheat if you prefer)
2 cups whole milk
2 cups skim milk
kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 box/bag prewashed organic baby spinach (about 4 cups worth), cut into 1/2-inch strips
2 cups shredded Cheddar Cheese
Grated parmesan cheese to top it off at the end
1 box pasta of your choice (we used bowtie), cooked according to package instructions
- In a large saucepan, melt butter over medium heat.
- Add onions and saute until softened, about 5 minutes.
- Whisk in flour until mixture is golden.
- Add whole milk, whisking constantly.
- Add 2% milk; raise heat to medium-high, bring to a boil and continue to whisk until sauce is smooth and thickened, 10 to 12 minutes.
- Add a sprinkle of salt and pepper.
- Add spinach to sauce; give it a few stirs until spinach is wilted. Stir in cheese until melted and well combined. Add cooked pasta and stir. Taste and add more salt and/or pepper, if desired. Serve immediately.
Adapted from this recipe.