Happy Tuesday, friends! I am constantly surprised with how all-consuming parenting can be. My day is completely booked with nursing, diaper changing, rocking to sleep, singing, smiling, ooohing and aaahing, etc. I have little time to walk to the barn to do laundry, wash dishes, read blogs, blog for A Daily Something, etc. That’s why I’m so incredibly thankful for a few lovely ladies who have sent over guest posts to help these first few weeks (ok, it’s almost been a month and I’m still adjusting). I’m also really thankful for our friends and family who’ve brought us meals; who has time + energy to cook (and clean up the kitchen) after having a baby and a c-section?
My friend Melissa (The Fauxmartha), who’s expecting her own sweet baby this summer, knows exactly what new parents need, and she sent over a scrumptious recipe for Make-Ahead Broccoli Kale Pasta Bake. Thanks a million for contributing this lovely post, Melissa…
I was lucky enough to
meet Rebecca shortly after making my move to the east coast last summer.
She welcomed me to my first ever blogger event. I was as nervous as
ever, stepping out from behind my computer screen and introducing myself
as The Fauxmartha. I felt like I was living a double life—online
blogger by night and real life Melissa by day.
Yet I quickly learned the two could go hand in hand as I walked into the
prettiest party in the prettiest New York studio, all planned and
styled by Rebecca. A room full of bloggers hanging out in person. In the
moment, it was entirely surreal. Now, almost a year later, that lesson
feels completely foreign as I’ve made so many good, real-life friends
through blogging. I’m thankful to count Rebecca as one of those
friendships and thankful for the lesson.
Rebecca’s out caring for her little nugget, let’s talk make-ahead
meals. I’m actually working on bolstering my recipes in this category. I
have a bun in the oven too and plan on making and freezing several
meals before she arrives. But knowing that I never plan ahead for
anything in life, much less meals, this goal may be lofty. I’m keeping
my fingers crossed this is part of the motherly instincts that kick in
naturally. Am I dreaming?
made this dish for several new mommas. It’s super simple, so much so
that I sometimes double the recipe and make one for us while I’m at it.
It’s light, healthy, and perfect for the summer months (and beyond),
which all too often seem rare for a frozen meal. In high school, my mom
dealt with a brief stint of breast cancer. We were fortunate to have
plenty of meals provided. However, after a couple weeks in, we realized
every meal was an unhealthy casserole, leaving our stomachs heavy and
our body’s lethargic. It’s hard to be picky in times like that. Rather,
we were incredibly grateful. But looking back, I’m determined to come up
with healthier make-ahead meals. I’ll get on that. In the meantime, freezer enchiladas
are mighty nice, as are freezer semi- healthy chocolate chip cookies
, and once the temperatures turn cooler, this tomato chickpea soup
. Do you have any make-ahead meal recipes? I’d love to hear them. Taking notes as you type.
Make-Ahead Broccoli Kale Pasta Bake
8 oz. whole wheat fusilli (or other type of noodle)
1 head broccoli, chopped
1 c. kale, de-stemmed and chopped
2 tbsp. olive oil, divided
1 small sweet pinion, diced
1/4 c. unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tbsp. ground mustard
3 1/2 c. milk
1/3 c. ricotta
1 c. parmesan, grated
1 tsp. oregano
1/2 tsp. basil
dash of thyme
dash of nutmeg
sea salt and ground pepper, to taste
2 slices whole wheat bread, chopped or torn into small pieces
1 clove garlic, finely minced
dash of lemon pepper
drizzle of olive oil
Boil noodles in a medium-sized sauce pan according to instructions. Add
salt to the water. In the last minute of cooking, add in broccoli and
kale. Drain and set aside.
In the same sauce pan, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and sauté the
onion until translucent, about 3 minutes. Salt to taste. Turn heat to
low. Add remaining olive oil. Sprinkle flour over onions and stir to
combine and then stir in mustard. Turn heat back up to medium-high and
pour in milk. Whisk continually until thickened, about 5 minutes.
3. Into the sauce, stir in ricotta, parmesan, and spices until evenly combined. Add salt and pepper to taste.
4. Once sauce has thickened, stir in noodles, broccoli, and kale. Turn off heat and set aside.
Meanwhile, make the topping. Add all ingredients into a pan and toast
until lightly browned just to dry out the bread a bit. Topping will
continue to cook once baked.
6. In a 1 1/2 quart disposable baking dish, pour in pasta mixture. Add topping.
If baking right away, cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes at 400
degrees, removing the foil for the last 5 minutes to brown. If freezing
for later, cover well and freeze. To bake, cover with foil and bake for
45 minutes, removing the foil for the last 5 minutes to brown.
8. Serve alone or alongside a fresh salad.