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?