Friday, February 10, 2012

Going Green (noodles)

A couple days ago, February 8, to be exact, the kids and I had finished our daily reading of Proverbs. I always ask the kids to share a verse that stuck out to them. Freckles shared something about wisdom, and then said, "I don't want to spoil it, but chapter nine..." and then he shared what chapter 9 said about wisdom. I thought it was the funniest thing. Like none of us had read chapter 9 before.=)

Yesterday I conquered the beast of tax paperwork that had been robbing my peace. I am glad it is done for the year. I don't know why I procrastinated this long. I guess I just don't like paperwork at all, and I will do just about anything else to avoid it. The bff shared a motivational quote that got me moving, "Procrastination is attitude's natural assassin. There's nothing so fatiguing as an uncompleted task" -William James. Now maybe I can stay ahead of the game by fulfilling my new year's resolution, and do my paperwork every month. 

Well, this barefoot hippie went "green" last night. Like I've stated before, I am not about the green agenda. And I'm still not. But I am about green food.=) I try to eat greens everyday-spinach, lettuce, beans, broccoli, asparagus. And, last night, we had a family noodles. Green noodles are any form of pasta with pesto. Pesto originated in Genova. It is traditionally made with a mortar and pestle, thus the name. In the summer, I make pesto with fresh basil from my garden. In the winter, I make a spinach pesto. And I use a blender, not a mortar and pestle. Even my non-spinach eater loves green noodles. She just gobbles them up by the plate full. This is a very quick meal. Start to finish, it takes as long as it takes to cook the pasta, 25-30 minutes. The chicken and pesto and pasta can be made simultaneously.  So, here is the plenty of time for St. Patrick's Day.

Green Noodles
1. Boil salted water and cook 1 pound of your favorite pasta shape. Drain, but reserve 1/4 c pasta water.
2. Meanwhile, slice 1 to 1-1/2 pounds of boneless chicken breasts. Sauté in 1 T olive oil, until browned. Salt and pepper.
3. 4 cups of packed, fresh spinach leaves
    1/2 c olive oil
    3 garlic cloves, sliced
    2 T pine nuts, or 1/4 c walnuts
    1/4 c grated parmesan cheese
    1 t salt
    1/4 c fresh basil or 1-1/2 T dried basil
Pulse in blender until smooth. Makes 1-1/2 to 2 cups of pesto. Use half for green noodles, and freeze the rest for later. (chicken pesto pizza is great too)
4. Mix together pasta, chicken, pesto, and enough pasta water for nice consistency. 
5. Serve with more parmesan cheese, and salt and pepper to taste. 
*Serves 4-6

I put everything in the bottom, and pack the spinach on top.

I used 4 smallish chicken breasts,
less than my family would normally eat in a given meal.


pulsed pesto

Still a lot of liquid. I let it all cook up, and brown the meat a bit.
Add salt and pepper a minute or two before the chicken is done.

boiling penne

a pot of psychedelic greenness 

It is definitely green, but oh so good! And good for you!
I'm all for the green noodle agenda!