Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Cheesy-Broccoli with Pasta

I have been trying to get more vegetables into my sons diet, right now it seems I always have a lot of fruits on hand and not as many vegetables, or maybe just not enough of a verity.  The staple vegetables that I have are carrots and sweat potatoes, I tend to get a lot out of just a little.  This past week at the farmers market I loaded up of summer squash and broccoli.  As you know from the last post the squash was a hit.  The broccoli I haven't tried yet, it has been steamed, pureed, and frozen; now i am just trying to figure the best combination to serve it.  Broccoli on its own with no seasoning can be pretty bland and gross if you are a kid (or my husband), so I want to jazz it up a bit.  I grew up with my parents adding cheese sauce on our steamed broccoli, and in college I added a pasta to the mix for a complete meal.  So using that as my starting point, I will try Cheesy-Broccoli with Pasta. Simple? I hope, but I think I am going to add a bit more for more nutritional value.

Here is the recipe that I am going to try out (may get adjusted once I actually prepare the dish):

Cheesy-Broccoli with Pasta
10 oz. frozen or 1-2 heads fresh Broccoli
1 1/2 cups of a small Pasta (cooked)
5 medium carrots, cut into small 1/4 cubes
1/2 pound ground turkey
1/2 cup shredded Cheddar Cheese

First start off by steaming the vegetables, you can steam them together if you want to just mix and store everything as one.  As the vegetables are steaming in a separate pot start to cooking the pasta (you could even use Israeli couscous if you would like).  While both the pasta and vegetables are cooking, start the turkey by adding about 3 tablespoons of water to a frying pan, add the turkey.  Break the turkey up into small pieces and cook until no longer pink.

Drain the vegetables, pasta and turkey (reserving some of the cooking liquid).  Set the pasta and carrots aside.  Puree the broccoli and turkey, use some of the reserved liquid to thin out the puree if you need to.

In a bowl, mix together the puree mixture along with the pasta and carrots.  Add the shredded cheese into the mix.  Serve, refrigerate or freeze as desired.  Since there is meat in this meal, use within 1-2 days or freeze for up to 2 months.

Since I mentioned the nutritional value, I figured I should look it up and report my findings.  (I did my research on