As you may know, I rarely go to the grocery store with a plan. I'm looking for good deals, in-season produce, and inspiration. This week, there was one eggplant left (and on sale), and I just had to do make a meal with it! I grabbed that, along with a few other winter vegetables on sale, and I had a meal plan.
I whipped up this very simple pasta, and oh-m-gee was it ever delicious. It's packed with flavor (oh, and nutrients), and it was so good, you forgot it was actually meat-less. Say what?! No complaints from the hubby, because it is still full of meaty-like vegetables that make you feel full (without the guilt).
The best part is the kids loved picking out each vegetable and talking about what it was, where it grows, and how it tastes. This is a part of the dinner-table-talk that needs to happen with every family. Discussing how your food grows can fill a conversation and spark so many other interesting learning opportunities (like different states, countries, climates, culture, and so much more)! And it's a conversation that is engaging for a wide range of ages.
Ok back to the recipe.
There are so many variations to this, but I hope you try new vegetables and give it a try!
Easy Vegetable Pasta
1 eggplant, peeled and diced
1 zucchini, diced
Fresh diced tomatoes or canned diced tomatoes
1 pint fresh mushrooms (any kind)
1 onion, diced
2-3 cloves garlic, minced and chopped
1 can tomato sauce
Penne noodles (or your preference or none! Make it your own!)
Heat oil in a frying pan. Add diced onions and sauté until translucent (a few minutes). Add mushrooms and cook for about 2 minutes. Add diced eggplant and zucchini. Stir frequently and let cook for about 5 minutes or until zucchini starts to soften (it shouldn't be wilted, but you'll notice the seeds start to loosen). Add diced tomatoes, garlic, seasoning, and sauce. Stir and cover pot. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to a simmer.
While your vegetable mixture is cooking, cook your noodles according to the directions. You do not need to use a noodle, and you could certainly use a spaghetti squash or other vegetable instead. I like to keep my sauce to noodle ratio 3:1. You don't need a lot of noodles... the sauce is the main part of the meal! ;)
When noodles are finished, add the noodles to the sauce. And serve!
p.s. This is possibly even better the second day!
Please share your comments below! Did you try it? Tell us!
Danielle S is the mother of two and creator of Snackster Sam. She has been concerned about healthy habits and nutrition for over a decade, and conducted an award-winning scientific study on portion control. She created Snackster Sam to make eating healthy more fun for parents and children. Learn more about the mission here.