A Lunch of Whole Grain Noodles and Vegetables...

Everyday this little munchkin and I have the same conversation, it goes like this:

Me: What do you want for lunch?
Munchkin: Noodles.
Me: You had noodles yesterday, what else can I make you?
Munchkin: Noodles.
Me: How about a sandwich?
Munchkin: Noodles (long pause of thoughtful silence)... with butter.

On and on it goes until I can change his mind or I give in and do the mom walk of shame to find noodles.  With so much demand for noodles over the years, I have learned to up the ante so to speak.  I have been spiking his noodle bowl with whole grains, seeds, and oodles of veggies, so much that I don't mind joining in the noodle mania every now and then.

There really is no recipe that I follow.  Into the skillet goes a little dab of butter along with whatever veggies happen to be residing in the fridge that day.  I love green zucchini and broccoli, and mushrooms are always good.  A few cherry tomatoes and some herbs go a long way.  There is always a clove of garlic grown at the farm that gets run along the microplane.  I like to add the garlic just at the end, so it barely gets touched by the heat.  Raw is when garlic is most beneficial.  If I have fresh mozzarella or smoked parmesan that gets added to the mix as well.  It always turns out good and with the whole grain pasta (sometimes brown rice, spelt or wheat pasta) it is really filling.

Here is the recipe for what I threw together today, maybe it will be totally different tomorrow, that is if I can't change that munchkin's mind...

Whole Grain Noodle and Veggie Bowls
backyard farmgals

Whole wheat pasta for two, cooked according to package directions, drained, and tossed in a tiny bit of olive oil, salt, and pepper
1 tablespoon butter 
5 spears asparagus, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/4 young zucchini, diced
1/4 cup sliced mushrooms - cremini are nice as well as the average white mushroom
Tablespoon or so of raw sunflower seeds
1 clove of garlic, minced or grated on a microplane
A few leaves of Italian parsley, minced
Fresh mozzarella or smoked parmesan grated over the bowl
Salt and pepper to taste

In a skillet over medium heat, melt the butter, add the mushrooms and allow to cook until dark and brown and beautiful.  Add the zucchini and continue to cook for a few minutes until just tender, then add the asparagus and sunflower seeds and continue to cook until the color just deepens.  Grate the garlic over the vegetables, stir and remove from the heat.   Add salt and pepper as needed.

In two bowls, add a small mound of pasta.  Top the pasta with half of the vegetables, add some of the parsley and give each bowl a generous grate of parmesan or mozzarella.

Sit down with your munchkin and enjoy some stimulating kindergarten conversation while you eat; because time goes by way too fast and soon he will be 15 instead of 5...

**A little background on the photo might do us all some good.  This little munchkin celebrated the 100th day of kindergarten by dressing like a 100-year-old man.  He walked into his class shaking his cane and yelling, "Darn kids!" much to his teacher's delight.


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