Friday, February 7, 2014

Veggie-loaded Pasta Bake

As I was searching for some a delicious, non-meaty dinner, I came across a "Vegetable-Loaded Pasta Bake" and it looked perfect!!  You can see the original recipe on the link to the website, but I did make it slightly different.  Here's my version...


8 oz. dried whole wheat penne pasta 
1/2 of a head of cauliflower cut into florets
olive oil
1/2 medium onion, chopped finely
2 gloves of garlic, minced
2 medium-large carrots, chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
3 handfuls of spinach, torn into pieces
1 cup frozen peas
1 cup frozen corn
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose whole wheat flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 cup 1% milk
1 cup shredded mild cheddar cheese

You'll have to excuse some of the "measurements.."  I usually have one thing or another that I don't use typical measurements for!!  


~Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Then cook pasta according to package instructions.  Add cauliflower during the last 5 minutes. Drain, rinse, set aside.

~Pour a bit of olive oil into the pan and heat on medium heat.  Add onion and garlic in hot oil pan. Cook for 2 minutes.  Add carrots and celery and cook until carrots are tender.  Add spinach and cook until beginning to wilt.  Stir in the pasta/cauliflower mixture, corn, and peas.  

~For the cheese sauce~Melt butter in a small saucepan. Stir in flour, salt, and pepper.  Add milk.  Stir and continue to heat until thickening and bubbly.  Add cheddar cheese and stir until melted.  Once melted, reduce heat.  Add to the pasta/veggie mixture.  Mix well.

~Transfer to a casserole dish (I did a basic 10x13 pan).  Cover with foil and bake for 15 minutes.  Uncover and cook another 5 minutes.  

I wish I had taken a picture but I didn't think of it!  The nutrition facts are on the link above.  I'm sure they are slightly different since I used spinach instead of kale and doubled the peas and carrots!  I also took out the Parmesan cheese.  But it should give you a pretty good idea of what is in it!!

The consensus was pretty unanimous!  It was delicious!  It's fully of veggies and the kids LOVED it!!!  While I was making it, I toyed with the idea of doubling the cheese mixture because it did NOT look like it would cover the entire pot of noodles and veggies.  But it did pretty well. My husband thought doubling it would have been good because you can really taste the noodles.  But that is pretty typical with wheat pasta.  I enjoyed it and felt really full after eating just one helping of it!  It's definitely one for our recipe book!  I hope you enjoy!! :D  

Have a happy day~Kasey

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