Happy Saturday and welcome to Day 4 of my meal plan week! In case you haven’t been following, here are Day 1, Day 2, and Day 3. Once again, I’m trying something new this week where I’m posting easy real-life meals where one meal leads into the next, making cook/prep time a breeze. This is the way I love to cook – it’s fun, it’s flexible, and I hope this helps inspire your own meal planning. And speaking of meal planning, here’s a shameless plug for our new meal journal, The Love & Lemons Meal Record & Market List which is a handy tool to help you organize your meals.
Now that we’re later in the week… pasta!! Why? Because pasta is fun and it’s the perfect vehicle to use up bits and bobs of leftover vegetables. I also saved a trip to the store because I always have pasta in the pantry. BUT a humble, back-of-the-pantry pasta becomes less ordinary with an awesome green sauce – the creamy kale pepita pesto that I had on hand from the beginning of the week! A fancy sauce really makes any meal more fun.
So here’s what I had at this point in the week that went into this pasta:
1. Awesome green sauce (a.k.a. the star)
2. A few big handfuls of Brussels sprouts
3. Leftover kale stems from the kale salad that I made the other night
4. A half bunch of broccolini
5. A few leftover chickpeas which helps bulk this up
6. In my pantry: orecchiette pasta (which I chose because it mimics the shape of the sprouts)
7. In my fridge: a few shavings of pecorino cheese (totally optional)
So that’s it! Another dinner, made in less than 20 minutes. Of course, this is super flexible based on the vegetables you might have on hand. It can be made vegan by skipping the bit of cheese. It can be made gluten free if you use gluten free pasta. For an even lighter option, serve the veggies and the sauce over a bed of roasted spaghetti squash.
Check back tomorrow for the LAST meal in this meal planning (er… backwards meal planning) series 🙂
- 6 ounces orecchiette pasta
- Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
- 1½ cups halved Brussels sprouts
- ½ cup chopped kale stems
- Half bunch of broccolini, florets chopped, stems finely chopped
- Splash of white wine or vegetable broth
- ½ cup cooked chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- ½ cup Creamy Kale Pepita Pesto (from the grain bowl recipe)*
- Shavings of pecorino cheese, optional
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and prepare the pasta according to the package directions, or until al dente. Drain the pasta and toss it with a drizzle of olive oil to keep it from sticking together. Return the empty pot to the stove and let it cool slightly.
- Coat the bottom of the pasta pot with a generous drizzle of olive oil and heat to medium heat. Add the Brussels sprouts, kale stems, broccolini stems, and a pinch of salt and cook until nearly tender, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes.
- Add the broccolini florets and cook until the vegetables are all tender, 3 to 5 minutes more. Add a splash of wine and stir to loosen any bits that might be sticking to the bottom of the pot. Cook for 30 seconds, then reduce the heat to low. Stir in the pasta and the chickpeas and cook stirring gently, until just heated through. Season with more salt and pepper, to taste.
- Transfer to plates and serve with generous dollops of the pepita pesto and shavings of pecorino cheese, if desired.