What: Another junk food makeover of a kid’s classic that busy moms and dads can feel good about. Today’s recipe is a healthier yet still easy take on SpaghettiOs without the BPA lined can (though I applaud Campbell’s for phasing out BPA come 2017), excess sodium, and low-quality ingredients.
When: When you’re looking for a guilt free sure bet – something your kid will greedily gobble down over and over. No toddler tantrums with this meal!
Why: Growing up in an Italian household meant that the idea of a poor imitation of pasta and sauce from a can was nothing short of sacrilege. Yet even though I’m glad my mom fed me wholesome, mostly homemade dishes, I’ll admit that I couldn’t help but be intrigued those few times I sampled SpaghettiOs at another kid’s house. Their tomatoey, cheesy flavor paired with fun, ring-shaped pasta was undeniably appealing to the younger me.
Just like during my own youth, you won’t find much in the way of pre-fab food on my son’s plate. Still, I make some exceptions. Consumers today are lucky to have more health conscious off-the-shelf products available to them, and busy moms and dads can benefit accordingly. Many of the recipes here are Neurotic-Mom.com will help you do just that!
How: Store bought ring-shaped pasta is your starting point, but the real shortcut to it all is a healthy canned favorite – Amy’s Organic Cream of Tomato Soup (Light In Sodium version). It has just the right consistency and tomato flavor to evoke SpaghettiOs, and when paired with melted Organic American Cheese, (the other secret ingredient), the similarities in taste are uncanny. Best of all, you’ll spend under 20 minutes prepping a large batch of this sure-to-please dinner.
Makes Six 5-6 Ounce Servings
8 Ounces Ring Shaped Pasta such as Anelletti or Anellini
5 Ounces Frozen Peas and Carrots, we prefer Cascadian Farms
3 Slices Organic American Cheese Singles, we prefer Organic Valley
Pour Frozen Peas and Carrots into a small bowl with a little bit of water. Microwave until defrosted and steaming. Set aside.
Boil water and prepare the Ring Shaped Pasta According to Package Instructions until just under al dente (pasta will cook more later). Drain and return to the pan. Add Peas and Carrots and stir in can of Amy’s Light In Sodium Tomato Soup.
Turn a medium-high flame back on the pan and get the mixture quite hot, about a minute or two. Tear up 3 slices of American Cheese and add to pan one by one, stirring vigorously until Cheese dissolves. Cool a bit and serve!