Blue Apron 4 – Ricotta and Spinach Pasta

In the 1,887 days I’ve lived as a mother, I’ve come to understand not every day is going to be a good one. Yesterday, #1886, was a bad day. This past week, I’ve been parenting four children with the addition of the sick husband. Turns out the flu he caught and couldn’t shake was actually pneumonia. After guilt-tripping him into seeing the doctor, as no one should be having full-body tremors when they cough, no big surprise, a chest X-Ray showed an infection in his lungs. Hopefully a round of antibiotics will help him out.

With three children aged 5 and under, there are moments when they all need my attention separately and immediately.  The times when the meltdowns happen simultaneously are when I want to throw my hands up and peace the fuck out to a calmer, happier place where the baby won’t refuse to be put down for 5 minutes without crying, the 5 year old isn’t vandalizing nice furniture and electronics, and the 3 year old decides not to give herself a wicked mullet with the medical scissors I forgot to remove after pulling a giant splinter out of her foot.  When SHTF and blows right back in my face, the depression spiral begins.  Since we moved a month ago, I haven’t made any friends in our new town yet.  I know friendships aren’t formed overnight, but it would be nice to have someone to connect with here.  We moved from a city to a much smaller town where people already have their circles and histories and it isn’t easy making friends as an adult!

But is this a therapy blog? Non.  And just because last night was a “here’s some microwaved chicken nuggets shaped like dinosaurs with ketchup” kind of evening, doesn’t mean today had to be.  I will remain the optimist, hoper of far-flung hopes and the dreamer of improbable dreams and so on and so forth…

mmm noodle carbs  my precious...

mmm noodle carbs
my love…my precious…

Meal #4 was a Ricotta and Spinach pasta with a side of citrus salad.  Anticipating all the carbohydrates, I decided to make this for lunch, instead of letting it set in my stomach overnight as a dinner.  Trying to keep up with my healthy resolutions here.  The sauce was spinach and cheese based, featuring one of my favorite herbs, BASIL.  Yum.  All the herbs and veggies Blue Apron send were totally fresh, even after keeping in my fridge since arriving Friday afternoon.

Oh basil, you are so fresh and so tasty.  I'm going to grow the shit out of you in my garden this summer.

Oh basil, you are so fresh and so tasty. I’m going to grow the shit out of you in my garden this summer.

I realized after taking this picture that I accidentally mixed the basil up with the mint, and they are supposed to go in two separate dishes (the basil in the pasta and the mint in the salad) but I have some herbal knowledge (understatement) and was able to separate them out.  Blue Apron will always send you the exact portions, so hopefully once I get my own veggie and herb garden started for the growing season, I’ll be able to pile on more on top of what they send.  This sauce definitely could have used more basil!

The pasta was easy enough to cook, its one of the few things I won’t mess up, although I don’t think I’ve ever eaten a Fusilli con buco before.  It’s pressed in an interesting  U-shape, like a spirally pin you use to pin down landscaping fabric.

I've never met a pasta I didn't like before

I’ve never met a pasta I didn’t like before

The spinach sauce was okay. I didn’t think it was all that flavorful, but my kids weren’t weirded out by the flecks of spinach once they tasted the cheesy flavor.  Instead of chopping all the cooked veggies by hand like they suggest, I got to bust out this guy to chop it all up.  That saved me a lot of time.

cooking the veggies and noodles

cooking the veggies and noodles

Little Green mini-food prepper gets the job done

Little Green mini-food prepper gets the job done

The Citrus Salad consisted of 2 fresh navel oranges, grapefruit, pistachios, and mint.  Honestly, I could have just eaten the oranges and grapefruit slices and called it a day.  They were very good!

it was SO hard not to snack on these before putting the salad together

it was SO hard not to snack on these before putting the salad together

This was an easy to assemble meal with minimal prep and clean-up.  1 out of 3 on the pancake scale.  Unfortunately, while it worked as a good lunch for me, the kids were already too soon off a peanut butter toast and Greek yogurt breakfast to show much of an interest.  They both picked at the noodles and ate some of the oranges.  I put the left-overs in a Tupperware so they and my husband can re-heat it for dinner tonight.  Tomorrow, a new box and new possibilities!  Week One was a lot of fun.

Edited to add:

So far, this has been the most kid-friendly Blue Apron dish.  My picky eater ate all but a few noodles.  I think we’re making progress.

About Helen

Person of interest. Surrogate extraordinaire. Sorry about the mess. View all posts by Helen

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