Sunday, January 1, 2012
Athena Creation: Creamy Beef Fettuccine with Collard Greens
Many meals cooked for my family and friends are not planned. I know, I should be meal-planning weekly, but I'm just not there yet (new years resolution maybe?). Anyway, often, I have a few key ingredients, and have to be creative with the rest; or I have to cook something before it spoils, but don't have a pre-determined plan for it. This can be quite challenge. This is one reason why I love flexible recipes and have an arsenal of them. You know how it is, it's 5pm, everyone's hungry and it's up to you to create a nutritious meal that pleases everyones taste buds and is quick enough that you have dinner on the table at a decent time, so that you can get everything cleaned up in time to spend some time with the kids and prepare lunches for the following day before getting everyone to bed early enough so you can find twenty minutes or so of time to yourself before having to go to bed early enough to wake up at 4:30am to go to work all day, oh wait, and to shower. Let's just say that "Athena Creations" have formed out of necessity to ensure that my family (and/or whoever else is at our house) gets a nutritious meal no matter how hectic (and draining) my schedule.
Athena Creations are usually a hit, but sometimes, they're not. Tonight, it was a hit. My Handsome Hubby and I had spent the day with his parents and got home right at dinner time and Baby Boy was on a sugar high from the amount of bananas and Nilla wafers he consumed at grandma and grandpa's house. I had to make something, nutritious and fast. I had a pound of local, grass-fed ground beef in the fridge. Normally, I would whip up some spaghetti, but I'm still out of spaghetti sauce. So, my old stand-by is the first sauce I ever learned to make from scratch (in Ms. Alves' Home Economics class in 7th grade) White Sauce. DING! idea. Beef, white sauce and fettuccine noodles, quick, easy, delicious. Now, all I need is a vegetable; because, as my kids will attest, dinner MUST include vegetables. Yay, I had some organic collard greens in my vegetable drawer, voila! dinner. To make it more nutritious, I used fresh-ground whole wheat flour in my white sauce and 100% whole wheat fettuccine.
So, for those who might plan a bit better than me and/or are interested in trying this little creation of mine, here's the recipe:
Creamy Beef Fettuccine with Collard Greens
1lb Ground Beef (or sausage could work, might actually be better)
8oz-ish Whole Wheat Fettuccine (any pasta would work really,isn't pasta great!)
6 leaves or so of fresh Collard Greens
Fresh Garlic to taste
1 recipe White Sauce:
2T. Flour (I used whole wheat, but you can use whatever)
2C. Milk (more or less depending on how thick you like your sauce)
Salt and Pepper to Taste
Boil water and start cooking pasta. While water is boiling/pasta is cooking, brown beef. As beef is browning, melt 2T. butter in a small saucepan for white sauce. Add flour to butter stirring constantly with a whisk or fork; once blended, add milk stirring constantly until completely blended; simmer, stirring occasionally until thickened (about 10 minutes).
Once beef is browned, pasta is cooked and sauce is simmering, melt 1T. butter in medium frying pan and add fresh garlic, cook for 1-2 minutes and add collard greens. Cook until tender, stirring occasionally.
Combine sauce and beef and serve over fettuccine. Add a large helping of greens to the plate and Bon Apetit!