Thursday, February 24, 2011

Cheesy Broccoli Pasta for Little Ones

You know I'm always trying to find new EASY ways to feed Makenzie. Lunch is probably the most difficult meal of the day. Breakfast is always yogurt, some kind of whole grain and a fruit. Dinner is usually what we're eating or some variation of that. I have discovered one of the greatest conveniences is frozen veggies. They are frozen at their peak so they can actually be more nutritious than fresh veggies. I've also discovered that Makenzie will eat almost anything that has cheese on it. So here's a super easy lunch or dinner idea.

Cheesy Broccoli Pasta

Ingredients:

A handful of macaroni or other pasta that's easy for your little one to eat  (I use Pasta Barilla Plus, this pasta is high in protein and nutrients so it's, in my opinion, the best choice for pasta)

Sharp Cheddar (or other cheddar you have on hand)

Frozen Chopped Broccoli


Directions:
Boil about 1 1/2 - 2 cups of water in a small pot.

Place a  handful of macaroni in the water, boil for 7 minutes or according to the directions on your pasta box.

While the pasta boils place about 1/8 cup (I just eyeball it) chopped broccoli in a microwave safe glass bowl. Add about a tablespoon of water, cover and microwave for 30 - 60 seconds. When it is cooked through, drain the water off of the broccoli.

When pasta is done boiling, DO NOT DRAIN! Use a spoon to take the pasta out of the water. Drain the water off the pasta using your spoon and place in little one's bowl. You won't be able to drain it all off, you want some water to remain in the bowl.

Mix the broccoli and pasta together. Finely grate the cheddar, if you don't do it finely it won't melt properly. I start with a small mound and mix it. Keep adding cheese until it's cheesy and makes a "sauce." Believe it or not, the cold cheese will help cool the pasta down and by the time you mix it all together it should be at the perfect temp for your little one (of course still check it first).

Serve it to your little one and watch him/her devour it!

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