Everyday Mom's Meals: "Mommy Why Don't People Like Spinach?"

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

"Mommy Why Don't People Like Spinach?"

That was the question my 11 year old asked me one day a few weeks ago. I can't even tell you what we were eating at the time, but of course it contained spinach, one of our favorite veggies. Yes, that's right. Our entire family, including the boy, love the stuff!

I realize many of you are now racking your brains trying to figure out how the heck I can get my kid to eat spinach and not bat an eye; and the answer is I am just lucky. He loves food. He loves trying new things. He has a varied palate and has from a young age. Maybe it's because pickiness has never been tolerated, or maybe because it's the fact we have always made him try new things, or maybe it really is just luck and I was blessed with one of the few children on the face of the earth that simply enjoy all kinds of food. But whatever the reason is, I'll take it!

With the way he eats food, including things other people, even adults, turn their noses up at, you can understand why he posed this question to me while he gobbled down whatever it was we were eating. To which he followed said question with a request. "Mommy, could you make a new pasta dish with spinach in it?" I told you, I'm lucky.

As always, his wish is my command, so this is what I came up with, and oh how happy he was. This amazingly flavored, super cheesy and creamy pasta supper might just be the sure fire way to get your kids to eat things like spinach, zucchini and mushrooms! They might not even care they are buried under all the pasta and cheese!

Kids ask so many questions about the world, and when my son does, I try really hard to answer them the best I can. Or I distract him with yummy food until he forgets.

Creamy Veggie Rigatoni Bake
1 lb. rigatoni
2 tsp. olive oil
1 TBS butter
 1 (8 oz.) bag fresh spinach
1 lb. baby bella mushrooms, sliced
2 medium zucchini, sliced
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 TBS flour
2 c. chicken broth
1/2 tsp. dried basil
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. dried parsley, plus extra for top
8 oz. cream cheese
1/2 c. grated Parmesan cheese
2 c. shredded mozzarella cheese
Salt and Pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 375. Cook pasta according to package directions. In a large skillet heat oil and butter over medium high heat. Add zucchini, mushrooms and garlic. Saute for about 5 minutes until mushrooms browned and zucchini crisp tender. Add flour. Cook and stir 1 minute. Add broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cook about 10 minutes until slightly thickened. Add seasonings and spinach, in batches, until wilted. Stir in Parmesan cheese and 1 cup mozzarella. Drain pasta well. Add to sauce mixture and combine well. Transfer to a greased 9 x 13 baking dish. Top with remaining mozzarella and sprinkle with parsley. Bake for 10 minutes until browned and cheese melted. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

1 comment:

The Better Baker said...

Yum oh yum! How wonderful your son isn't a picky eater...so many in the world definitely miss out on things like spinach. Great creation Mom! Thanks for sharing with us at Weekend Potluck.