I am not ashamed to admit that I look at strangers’ Facebook photos. That I read Fifty Shades of Grey. Or that I adapted this recipe from the back of a package. Yes, I mean Toll House cookie style.
To be fair, I was hugely pregnant and expecting a last minute dinner guest. There was almost nothing in the fridge, and ordering takeout seemed too much of a compromise. And so I rifled through my pantry and freezer, where a forgotten bag of frozen kale, and its “suggested serving” recipe, caught my eye.
In my pre-Bean days, I turned my nose up at these back-of-the-package recipes, considering them marketing ploys designed only for the most unimaginative of home cooks. But, honestly, what’s not to like about a recipe for which you already have the main ingredient?
This particular back-of-the-package meal has become a fixture around my dinner table. Since discovering it a couple of years ago, I have probably made it almost once a week. It combines a few basic pantry staples–an onion and garlic, whole grain pasta, chick peas and julienned sun dried tomatoes–with a whackload of frozen kale and a sprinkle of parmesan cheese. Delicious? Check. Nutritious? Check. Dead easy? Check.
Frozen kale is an awesomely easy way to get your family eating more of the supercharged green stuff, but if you can’t find it, or you have a little more time or patience, I’m sure a finely chopped bunch of fresh kale would be a perfect substitute.
I have been known to double and even triple this recipe and freeze batches of it for later. It freezes and defrosts surprisingly well, particularly if you leave the pasta a little more al dente than you normally would.