Don’t you love how kids negotiate?
They are like master lawyers and politicians combined. They’re ready for the Supreme Court by the time they hit 2nd grade.
I firmly subscribe to the advice I got from my first pediatrician – your job is to put healthy food in front of them, their job is to eat it. Anything else is a power struggle. There are so many times I am inching towards a power struggle, and as soon as I start to notice it, I just remind myself of this idea. I do hold out that you have to eat your veggies to get a small (trying to get back to small after some epic bowls of ice cream this summer. Like I said master negotiators. With school in session I try for 1 small scoop or yogurt or sugar free pudding) dessert, so I guess technically that is a power struggle but its working and we all know not to mess with what’s working.
The reason for this tangent is that my kids talk a lot about 50/50. They like foods that are half healthy, half yummy. And this dish was born out of that logic. Also, our mutual love of bacon.
Spaghetti is loved by everyone in our house (oh, yours too?) and I use Dreamfields pasta (this is not sponsored, we just like it), so I normally feel pretty good about serving it because its like 50/50 pasta.
And kale is 100% healthy. Bacon is 0%, so combined they are 50/50.
Same with tomatoes (100%) with alfredo sauce from a jar (0%). But their 50/50 is a surprising vodka sauce-like taste.
I was really surprised by the outcome of this dish – it had a hint of the original inspiration of the BLT sandwich, and when I took a bite with some chewy french bread it came out even more. But it had a quality that was its own and tasted like, umm, what’s that fluffy place in the sky again? Oh that’s right, heaven. It really has everything to do with that onion creamy goodness in the sauce. And of course the bacon.
If you have more then a nanosecond to make dinner like I did the night I came up with this dish, you could make your own easy alfredo sauce like the Pioneer Woman. And feel free to mix up this dish with whatever version of B and L and T that you love or have in the fridge. Penne or bowtie pasta would be yummy. Good to have options. But I have to say we all loved how this combo played out. I really recommend the kale because the heartiness of it really gave some ‘meatiness’ to the dish since the bacon was thin. I always try to add garlic to kale because it absorbs the flavor so well, hence the garlic salt. You could use spinach too but I think it would be a lot lighter and might get lost. And of course cherry tomatoes work too.
The total time for this dish? 15-20 minutes. So save if for your total craziest day because you know that is when you’re gonna need comfort food the most.
BLT Pasta (Printer version here) –
3 T. olive oil
1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, diced
1 head of kale, stems removed and chopped
1 teaspoon garlic salt
½ teaspoon pepper
2 large ripe tomatoes, squeeze to remove juices and seeds then diced
1 jar of alfredo sauce (if you are really fancy, make your own like this one by the Pioneer Woman)
1 package spaghetti (we love Dreamfields)
8 slices of bacon (turkey bacon if you want to be healthy!)
Preheat oven to 400. Arrange bacon on a cookie sheet lined with foil. Cook for 12-15 minutes for chewy bacon, a few minutes more for crispy, starting to check at 12 minutes for doneness.
Boil spaghetti according to package. Meanwhile, warm up 2 T. of oil over medium high heat and add onions. Cook for 5 minutes. Then add garlic on top, cook for 1 more minute. Add kale, additional 1 T. of olive oil, and garlic salt and pepper. Cook for 5-7 minutes, until wilted. Add tomatos and cook for 2 minutes until warm. Then add alfredo sauce and stir until warm.
Drain spaghetti and combine with sauce. Add cooked bacon on top. Serve immediately with crusty bread.