I make a meal plan every week. It's pretty detailed so I don't get to meal time and end up grazing on something less than nutritious or spending the entertainment budget to get lunch out. But sometimes what sounds really scrumptious on Sunday afternoon is more like "eh" when it's Thursday and you're actually looking at the ingredients. That's what happened today, so I abandoned the fried eggs and greens meal that is often a great go-to for us and decided to make a pasta on a whim. I had a container of cooked whole wheat ziti because I decided to freeze the leftover meatballs and sauce rather than eat them together for leftovers. My first thought was that I could just put some butter and cheese over it and call it good, but there were a few other items in the fridge waiting to get used up too, so this is what came of it. I'd hate to think any of these things would have ended up going to waste, but it's happened before and they weren't in the plan, so I feel like I'm saving money too!
I'm writing what I made for just my toddler and myself for lunch, but of course it's easily increased to feed the whole family for dinner. Other options are in parenthesis.
Clean out the Fridge Pasta
2 tbsp butter (or other healthy oil)
1 leek, sliced thinly (green onions, shallots, regular onions)
1 small link of natural smoked sausage sliced (a natural hot dog, some shredded chicken, cooked bacon)
1 1/2 cups of shredded kale (fresh herbs would be nice, or you could leave it out, but I liked having it)
2 cups cooked pasta
1/2 cup of white wine (broth would be fine, or make it creamier with the addition of cream or milk)
1/3 cup blue cheese (feta, chevre, Parmesan would have led to very different flavor profiles, but would be great too)
In a skillet, melt the butter over medium-high heat. When it froths add in the leeks and sautee until they get a little soft. Then add in the sausage. Once it's heated up and browning just a little on the edges, add in the kale. After it wilts a little, add in the pasta to reheat that. Then pour in the wine and scrape up any bits on the bottom of the pan. Add the cheese on top. Cover the skillet and turn the heat down for about 5 minutes and let it meld. If you use a soft cheese it will melt in and become part of the sauce. Uncover and give it one more good toss. You can add a little more cheese on top of each serving.
We loved how it turned out. We at out on the deck and it tasted like restaurant food to me! My little moment of spontenaity in an otherwise planned week felt like fun.
Oh I have one more thing to share, because what else am I going to do with this picture? I was getting low on farm eggs because I forgot to order any this week, so I picked up a dozen of the best I could buy at the grocery store, organic, cage free, for $4.25. Making scrambled eggs yesterday morning, I used the last two of the farm eggs plus a few of the store eggs. Check out the difference! Those orange yolks are chock full of the nutrients that the store eggs just can't offer. And they're a lot cheaper too, at $3.50! Make friends with a farmer, get the good stuff!
I'm linking this post up with Pennywise Platter Thursday