Mum's Spinach Shells with Broccoli

This post comes to you from my parents' home where I'm sitting on their comfortable recliner watching my mom and dad tear away as they watch a super dramatic Indian Soap Opera - OMG!  And saying that an Indian Soap Opera is dramatic is an understatement.  

In addition, there is a wonderful aroma in the air, it is my mom's Almost Fat-Free Banana Bread baking in the oven which we will later enjoy with a cup of tea since we are both such night owls.  That's really where I get my bad habit of staying up from, it's in my genes so I can't help it.  :-)  See, it's ready now!

What else can I tell you?  My journey started yesterday at my eldest sister's home where I hung out with my 3 adorable nieces, Sal, Sonia, and Sar.  We enjoyed tea and snacky food, but I wasn't too concerned about health since it isn't so often I enjoy tea time with my sister, nieces, and brother-in-law.  I then headed to my friend's (Anu) where I enjoyed her mom's great South Indian food while we stayed up late catching up.

And then today I headed to my brother's where I spent the day with him and my cute nieces, Jazzy and Rhea.  The 4 of us, and my mom, did some testing on two different French Press brands to see if there was a difference - post coming soon.  Unfortunately, I missed my sister-in-law, but I'll be sure to see her tomorrow.

Now I bring you my Mum's Spinach Shells with Broccoli recipe that she often makes without cheese.  I went ahead and added Parmesan cheese to this deliciously light and healthy dish.  Enjoy!

NUTRITION: Spinach is loaded with tons of nutrients. It is rich in Vitamins A, C, and K, and is an excellent source of Iron and Folic Acid. Spinach is also a good source of Omega 3 fatty acids.  Broccoli adds tons of nutrition value... Fiber, Folic Acid, and Vitamins A, C, and K.  Cheese is a good source of Calcium and Protein.  Whole Wheat Pasta is a great source of Protein and Fiber.

  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil - 2 tbsp
  • Crushed Red Pepper Flakes - 1 tsp
  • Garlic - 4 cloves (chopped)
  • Onion - 2 small (diced)
  • Frozen Spinach - 1 10 ounce package (microwaved)
  • Black Pepper - 1/2 tsp + 1/2 tsp (later)
  • Broccoli - 2 small heads (cut into florets & steamed)
  • Barilla Whole Grain Medium Shells - 1 pound box (cooked)
  • Parmesan Cheese - 1 cup (shredded)
  • salt to taste

1. Start by microwaving a 10 ounce package of frozen spinach for about 5 minutes, or just follow the directions on the package.

2. Set aside a big pot of water to boil the pasta.  Cover with a lid.

3. Chop the onions and garlic.

4. Check on the spinach, it should be done.  Set aside to cool.  

5. Heat a big pot on medium heat, once hot, add oil and crushed pepper flakes.

6. Add onions and garlic.  Saute for 5 minutes.  

7. In the meantime, cut the broccoli into florets.  

8. Add the broccoli to a colander.

9. Once the pot of water is heated, season with a good amount of salt and 1 tsp of extra virgin olive oil to prevent sticking.  Stir.  Add the pasta, it will cook for about 8 minutes.

10. Place the colander above the pot of pasta and cover with a lid.  The broccoli will cook for 5 minutes.

11. Back tot he onion mixture, the onions should be translucent.  

12. Squeeze and drain the spinach before adding it to the onion mixture.  Season with salt and 1/2 tsp black pepper.  Mix well.  Allow this to cook for about 7 minutes.  

13. Now grate the cheese.  I just used my Cuisinart 11-Cup Food Processor.  

14. Check on the broocli, should be done.

15. Add the broccoli to the spinach-onion mixture.  Season with salt.  Cook for a couple minutes.

16. In the meantime, check on the pasta and drain, set aside.

17. Add the pasta to the spinach-broccoli mixture.  Combine.  

18. Add cheese.  Combine.  

19. Top with another 1/2 tsp of black pepper and check for salt.  Combine and serve.

TELL ME: Once you are married, do you ever do stay overs at your mom's?



  1. Looks like you had a great time at your parents house. I love this simple and healthy spinach shells and broccoli. I have to give it a try! :)

  2. This looks great! I'm cooking it right now. :)

  3. It turned out nicely! :) I love how the broccoli and spinach just faded right into the flavors. Every bite was enjoyable.


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