I am a pretty responsible spender overall, but I recently decided to add up how much I was spending on breakfast and lunch at the office. I can’t exactly say that I recommend you tally up your purchases (the total gave me a slight panic attack), but the good news is there’s an easy fix! Lunch from home! Not only is this usually a healthier option, but I feel like I’ll be swimming in all the money I save, a la Scrooge McDuck in Duck Tales. (I’m confident that we ALL want a swimming pool of gold coins.)
Since a lot of my projects start with Pinterest these days, I headed over to check out the latest in everyday dinner ideas. After a few searches I learned everyone is currently excited about two things: one pot pastas and spaghetti bakes/lasagna-in-a-pan style dinners. Could I combine them and come up with a easy lunch solution?
Creamy Veggie One Pot Spaghetti
1 onion, diced
tablespoon of olive oil
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 pound ground beef
1 package of sliced mushrooms
1 can sliced olives
1 bunch of swiss chard, washed and trimmed (Since I use chard often, here is my method: clean each leaf individually under cold running water. Fold the leaf in half at the stem and rip the leaf away from the stem with your hands from base to tip. Rip leaves up into roughly bite-size pieces by hand.)
1 can chicken broth
1 jar of spaghetti sauce (24-26 oz, or the equivalent of your own homemade sauce)
1 cup water
1 12 oz box of spaghetti
4 oz whipped cream cheese
Get out the largest pot you own. Add olive oil and saute onions until they turn clear. Add ground beef and brown, adding the crushed garlic right at the end of the cooking time. Cook a minute more, then add chard, mushrooms and olives. Let the chard and mushrooms take a few minutes to wilt.
Pour in your can of chicken broth, spaghetti sauce and the one cup of water. Add pasta, broken to your liking. (I prefer the longest pieces of spaghetti pasta possible, so I broke the pasta once just so I could fit it into the pot.)
Note: At this point, everything might look a little dry and you may start to experience some anxiety that you did it wrong and the pasta won’t cook and dinner is ruined. Don’t worry! It will! Here’s what mine looked like at this stage:)
About 12 minutes later, the pasta was perfectly al dente. Add the cream cheese into the spaghetti and blend into the sauce.
Easy, hearty, delicious. (And I had enough for two servings at dinner, 4 lunch size containers and a larger Tupperware that will easily yield another two-serving dinner.)