Thursday, July 25, 2013

Hidden veggie pasta

My father-in-law is one of the pickiest eaters I know.

Early in my marriage to JJ, I learned the importance of pureeing vegetables when my FIL was coming over for dinner. It still makes me giggle to remember how he gobbled up my spaghetti sauce, which included a hidden zucchini, onion and pepper - all foods he would never eat on their own.

Since the apple doesn't fall far from the tree, this act of hiding veggies from my husband's blood line has come in handy. My own children can be less-than-adventurous about their vegetables, and so I'm always looking for recipes that will allow me to use my sneaky skill.

Last week, I found one on SkinnyMs that looked good, allowed me to use some of the fresh basil in my garden and featured one of my favorite vegetables, zucchini. (Plus, it is a crockpot recipe, which is always a bonus for the working mom!)

The small critics, my kids, asked about "the green stuff" (shredded zucchini), which I sold as "spices." The big critic, JJ, asked me to cut back on the basil the next time I make it. 

Did you catch it? The next time I make it.

They liked it! Four "clean" plates at the end of dinner helped prove that point.

And, speaking of points, this was a bargain for 5.2 for a heaping cup of cheesy, veggie pasta. 

We'll be having it again tonight. 

(Working moms also love leftovers.)

Zucchini Pasta - my modified version

1 jar of light Ragu marinara sauce
3 cups of dry, Smart Taste penne pasta
2 cups of Great Value fat-free cottage cheese
2 cups of 2% Kraft Mexican shredded cheese
1 zucchini, shredded
Pinch of oregano
Fresh basil (I used about 1/4 cup - too much for JJ's taste)
1/4 teaspoon pepper
Pinch of salt
Pinch of garlic

Mix all ingredients and pour into crockpot. Cook for two hours, or until the pasta reaches your desired consistency. 

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