Man! Newborns are EXHAUSTING, amiright? I mean, last night Luna actually slept decently (I won’t give details, lest the universe have a twitchy jinxing finger), but even WITH a good sleeper, which one night does not make, they are exhausting. Very needy, yes?
Anyway, one of the big things that I’ve been struggling with since Luna was born was dinner. I am getting a few meals a week from our local MOMs Club, which is so totally awesome, but that still leaves us with other days that we still need to eat. (What’s the deal with dinner, anyway? Needing to be consumed daily.) And yes, John would be perfectly fine and supportive and whatever if I decided to do frozen pizza or Lunchables every night, because he’s awesome like that, but I’m not. I like good food. I like cooking, too, for the most part.
SO! I’ve been relying heavily on a few go-to meals that require little thought and little work. Win-win. In fact, I’m almost embarrassed to post these, because they’re not even really recipes, but I’m going to just in case anyone else out there wants some yummy and (mostly) healthy go-to meals for crazy nights.
I’m sure just about everyone has a recipe like this in their repertoire, but this is mine. It’s even better in the summer when fresh veggies are more readily available, but honestly, even winter time tomatoes shipped from Mexico taste good when put in this, so..
- Boil some pasta. We’ve been fans of plain old spaghetti noodles of late. Drain and toss with a little bit of olive oil (to keep it from making one big lump if it finishes before other ingredients).
- In a small or medium saucepan, melt some butter and olive oil over low heat. Add a few cloves of chopped or pressed garlic. Heat, but don’t let the garlic burn (golden is OK, though).
- When almost ready to eat, add toppings of choice to the butter mixture. My favorites right now are: spinach, tomatoes, zucchini, and chicken from whatever meal I have it leftover from. I’ve also done it vegetarian with no meat, and maybe some pine nuts if I have them.
- Put the pasta back in the pot, if already drained, and pour butter mixture and toppings in. Stir. Serve with parmesan if wanted. (Remove all vegetables for the picky toddler in your life, unless you LIKE scraping dried spinach off your walls.)
Ok, this is so simple that I can’t believe I didn’t think to make this up myself. I adapt this from the Weelicous cookbook (which is totally great) based on what I have on hand. Oh, look! Here’s her official recipe.
- Combine 2 cups of protein (meat, black beans, whatever) and 1 cup of shredded cheese in a bowl. Toss with a teaspoon (or so, to taste) of taco or Mexican seasoning (I often make my own with chilli powder, garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, and salt).
- Optional: If you have a non-picky child or are making this for grown ups, add bell peppers or spinach or onions or corn or whatever.
- Put a spoonful or two into a small flour tortilla and roll tightly. Spray or brush tops with olive oil.
- Put taquitos into a 400 degree oven and bake until the tortillas are crisp and brown on the edges, around 20 minutes.
- I serve with “dip-dip” (plain yogurt or sour cream) and salad of avocados and tomatoes (and sometimes corn, if I remember).
That’s it. Lazy Pasta finds its way to our table at least once a week, honestly. Sometimes I can sneak peas into it and get Xander to eat those, but meh, I’m trying to be zen about him only eating simple carbohydrates for his toddler years.