I have really been in a rut with lunches lately. Since I live in the suburbs, delivery availability can be hit-or-miss, and I don’t want to spend money on takeout every day. But I just get bored and run out of ideas for creative lunches, and feel like I end up going back to the same few meals over and over and over. Definitely doesn’t help me feel like I’m getting over my burn out, because it’s just more of the same.
I was talking about this rut with my friend Aneesha, and she passed along the recipe for a pasta dish that she got from her mom. I decided to give it a try, and it’s been the perfect addition to switch up my lunchtime routine.
It’s basically a pasta with spinach pesto – it takes less than 20 minutes to make, uses really simple ingredients, and is actually healthy and flavorful! I thought I’d share today because I bet that many of you are facing the same lunchtime struggles that I am.
You can make this with any pasta, really – I used orzo because it’s my favorite. I made one cup of dry orzo and it seemed to be proportionate with the amount of spinach pesto – it’s definitely more than one serving’s worth, but it reheats well! If you’re looking for a single serving size, definitely cut back.
To make the spinach pesto sauce, you just combine the following in a food processor and grind until it’s a paste-like texture: 4 – 5 oz. of spinach (basically a bag), 3 tsp. cream cheese, 2 tsp. goat cheese, salt and pepper to taste, 3 tbsp. olive oil, and 3 cloves of garlic.
Then, once the pasta of your choice is done, drain it and mix the pesto in while the pasta is still warm. If it’s a little too thick, you can add some of the pasta water back in to thin it out. You can add a sprinkling of raw spinach and shredded cheese of your choice on top, too, for a little extra texture and flavor.
The whole thing is super simple and surprisingly flavorful! You can definitely make it your own, too – you could mix in some chicken if you wanted to add some protein, or could add some nuts to make the pesto a little more “traditional.” So many options!