Thursday, March 12, 2015

Noodle Bowl Night: An Easy Dinner Idea

Okay, so this isn't really a recipe, more like a methodology.  But, really, it's a fun dinner to make, is actually really not bad on the budget (we're talking little handfuls of frozen veggies and such) and it's a great way to keep everyone happy when it comes to dinner (well, so long as they like pasta).

Above is mine and the kid's dinner from last night (my husband worked late so wasn't home for dinner).  All different types of meals, but all easy to make.

Basically here's how you do noodle bowl night.

Make enough pasta (follow the directions on your box on how to cook said pasta) for your entire family.  I like to make angel hair as it cooks really fast, which leads to less, "Mom, when is dinner going to be.  I'm STARVING!" coming from my daughter.

Once the pasta is cooked, drain it, return it to the pan and then coat it lightly in whatever oil you choose so it doesn't turn into a lump.  I like olive oil for this.

Next, take your orders on how everyone wants their pasta.  Try to keep it simple for your peace of mind.  For instance, I keep small cans of tomato sauce (itty bitty ones) in case my daughter wants spaghetti on that night, but if we're out of them I try to talk her into something else.  But, if your kids really like spaghetti (or some of them do), open a jar or can of tomato sauce and then freeze the sauce in ice cube trays.  Bag it, tag it and freeze it and then throw however many cubes you need for noodle bowl night in the microwave till nice and defrosted and toasty.  Easy peazy!

For this dinner I made plain noodles for my son.  All they had on them was the salt from the water they were cooked in and olive oil.  That was it.  I was hoping he'd try them and he actually ATE them, which was a thrilling moment for me.  My daughter went with the old standby comfort food she's eaten since she was young.  She likes the noodles with olive oil on them and then some Parmesan cheese sprinkled on top.

Me?  I was in the mood for something a bit more substantial.  So, I made a quick broth out of bouillon powder (beef flavor), threw in some frozen mixed veggies (Asian style mixed veggies) as it was heating on the stove and then just poured it into a bowl and added noodles.  It was easy, it was fast, and it was yummy.  And it was huge because I didn't eat much yesterday and was starving.

So, there you have it folks.  The next time you're not sure what to cook for dinner, try noodle bowl night.  It's actually a really cost effective way of doing things because, if you're lucky, your kids will actually eat dinner without complaint, it's pasta so it's cheap to make and you can up the nutrition with veggies and such as you see fit.

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