On Friday, I let the kid choose what we ate for dinner. Two reasons why, my brain was too busy to decide on just one thing to cook, and this was my way of analyzing how cognizant he is of proper food selection. Kids are so easily influenced to eat such unhealthy foods, and some of the food advertised to them is questionable to begin with. Like is it even food at this point?
Everything is sugary, brightly colored, and cheesy – powdered cheese at that! I want my kid to desire REAL food, not that artificially preserved crap these companies are trying to push down their throats. This applies to adults as well, we want quick, easy, meal options with minimal preparation. THAT ISN’T REAL FOOD! Real food takes times, if you want quick – season it and throw it on the grill, that’s as quick as it gets without being fake.
Enough of my ranting, anyways… #foodforthought
We went to Kroger, because I believe they have the best coupon deals. (not open for debate) As the kid and I wander from isle to isle, department to department, here and there. I’m just delighted in his “I got this” mentality as he nonchalantly takes his picks from shelf to shopping cart.
This is what we ended up with:
- Ground Beef
- Mozzarella Cheese (I added Parmesan)
- Alfredo Sauce (exchanged for heavy cream)
- Elbow Noodles ( I put them back because we had ziti noodles already at the house)
I looked at our cart, and immediately I knew I could work with what we had. Check out the recipe, let me know what y’all think.
SIDE NOTE: You can substitute beef with chicken, shrimp, or more veggies.
Garlic Parmesan Alfredo Sauce
– 1 C Butter + 1 Tbsp
– 3 C Heavy Cream
– 4 tsp Garlic, chopped
– 1 tsp Garlic Powder
– 1 tsp Italian Seasoning
– 4 Cups Parmesan Cheese, grated
salt & pepper, to taste
In a large sauce pan, melt 1 tbsp of butter and sauté garlic over medium heat. Season with garlic powder and italian seasoning.
Reduce heat, then add butter and cream and simmer for 2-3 mins.
Stir in parmesan cheese. Let simmer for about 1-2 mins. Season with salt and pepper.
Beef & Broccoli Baked Ziti
– 2 lb Lean Ground Beef
– 4 Tbsp Granulated Garlic
– 4Tbsp Onion Powder
salt & pepper, to taste
– 1 lb. Ziti Pasta (or Elbow), prepared according to package
– 3 C Alfredo Sauce (homemade or store bought)
– 5 C Broccoli, chopped
– 4 Tbsp Butter (or 2 Tbsp Olive Oil)
– 2 C Onions, chopped
– 2 Tbsp Garlic, finely chopped
– 3 C Parmesan Cheese, set some aside for topping
– 3 C Mozzarella Cheese, set some aside for topping
salt and pepper, to taste
Preheat oven to 375ºF
In a large pot, melt butter over medium heat. Add garlic and onions, sauté for 1-2 mins or until slightly caramelized and fragrant.
Next, add broccoli, and sauté for 2 mins, until broccoli is bright green and completely coated in butter. Season with salt and pepper.
Add alfredo sauce, mix well, then reduce heat and cover. Let simmer for about 7-8 mins.
Meanwhile, brown ground beef in a skillet. Season with granulated garlic, onion powder, salt and pepper. Once cooked through, about 3-4mins, transfer beef to alfredo sauce. Remove from heat.
Stir in 2.5 cups mozzarella, and 2.5 cups parmesan. Set Aside.
Coat an oven safe dish with cooking spray. Add prepared pasta, pour beef and broccoli alfredo mixture over the noodles. Stir to incorporate. Top with remaining mozzarella and parmesan cheese.
Bake in oven for 8-10 mins, or until cheese is light golden and bubbly.