Monday, September 27, 2010

152. Ham, Peas and Pasta

As much as I enjoy deeply colored fruit and vegetables, there is something really wonderful about the taste of white potatoes, breads, rice and pastas. Although many of these have been put on the list of things to avoid, I found some satisfaction in reading that carbohydrates are actually necessary for our health...and are the preferred food that our bodies want.

The science of nutrition has given me reason to avoid soft drinks, I seldom binge on cakes and cookies and we limit the amount of bread and sweetened pastries that even make it into our home. While I used to love hot, baked potatoes dripping with butter and topped with a dollop of sour cream...these days, I stick to Smart Balance…no sour cream invited!

White foods have become more of a supplement to those vitamin-rich groups of food that make up the bulk of my diet. However, I feel no guilt when I add rice or noodles to make a soup or casserole dish totally satisfying.

Noodles are sometimes varied with the inclusion of vegetable flours; you may be able to find spinach, carrot, beet and other noodle choices. The colorful noodles add a certain amount of appeal to today's dish. My children loved this colorful meal when they were little.

Ham, Peas and Pasta

1 ½ C egg noodles
1 ½ C medium spinach egg noodles (photo shows a mixed, vegetable pasta substitution)
16 oz pkg frozen peas, thawed
½ C cream
¼ C grated Parmesan cheese
2 T butter or margarine, melted
¼ tsp salt
Dash of pepper
¼ lb ham, chopped

Optional: Sprinkle each serving with more Parmesan cheese.

Cook noodles and peas according to directions, omitting salt. Drain. Combine hot, cooked noodles , peas, cream, cheese, butter, salt and pepper in a large serving bowl. Toss lightly to coat evenly. Stir in chopped ham. Serve immediately. Serves 6-8.

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