Family Spaghetti Night

Dedicating days of the week to different meals can make weeknight meals so much easier. There's no worrying about what's for dinner. We teamed up with our friend and fellow mom, Christina Wehry , for a classic family dinner recipe! Get ready because it's Spaghetti Night! Christina, gave us two versions, a super simple and quick recipe and a longer, homemade version. We hope you enjoy!

 

 

Have you ever had marinara at an Italian restaurant and wondered why their sauce sticks so nicely to the pasta while the one from the jar you buy at the store is runny? If you haven’t before, I guarantee you’ll notice it now. I’m going to share a secret with you. It’s because that restaurant slowly simmered their sauce for hours, reducing the water out of the tomatoes, concentrating all of the flavors from them, the herbs, the seasoning, the meat to result in that beautiful, dense sauce. Are you drooling? I’m drooling. ⁣

Well not only can you successfully achieve a similar result at home, in as little as 10 minutes, you can also hide a portion of Healthy Height in it for your child. I’ve got two variations for you, a choose-your-own cooking adventure based on how much you want to prep or how much time you have. I’m even going to show you how to sneak some extra veggies in there. You ready? Here we go!

Variation 1: "I Don’t Even Have Time to Think About Cooking"

Ingredients:

  • 2 scoops of  Healthy Height Plain mix
  • 1 jar of your favorite pasta sauce
  • 1 package of favorite pasta noodle (we are gluten free and always use brown rice noodles)

Tools:

  • Food processor (or bowl, spoon and patience)
  • Large pan (with lid if you have one)
  • Pasta pot

Directions:

  1. Bring water to a boil in your pasta pot. When water is at a rolling boil, add your pasta and cook accordingly. ⁣
  2. Spoon one portion of pasta sauce into the food processor with a mixing blade attached or into a microwave safe mixing bowl. ⁣
  3. Put this portion into the microwave (you can put into a smaller pan to heat separately as well). This portion is for your child.⁣
  4. Add 2 scoops of Healthy Height into that portion of sauce and mix thoroughly. ⁣
  5. Heat up the remaining sauce in a pan while your noodles are cooking. Let the sauce simmer after reaching a boil to reduce and concentrate it. ⁣
  6. When the noodles are done, toss with sauce and serve!⁣

Variation 2: "I’m in the Mood to do Some Chopping"

Ingredients:

  • 2 scoops of  Healthy Height Plain mix
  • 2 large carrots
  • ½ yellow onion
  • 1 large tomato
  • 2 cups spinach
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • Kosher salt
  • Cracked pepper
  • 6 leaves fresh basil
  • 1lb lean ground turkey (option to exclude if you are vegetarian - you can use hamburger, it that will require an extra step which I will indicate at the appropriate time)
  • 1 jar of favorite pasta sauce
  • 1 6oz can tomato paste
  • 1 package of favorite pasta noodle (we are gluten free and always use brown rice noodles)
  • Olive Oil

Tools:

  • Food processor (or bowl, spoon and patience)
  • Large pan (with lid if you have one)
  • Pasta pot
  • Cutting board
  • Sharp knife
  • Spatula
  • Can opener

Directions:

  1. Bring water to a boil in your pasta pot. When water is at a rolling boil, add your pasta and cook accordingly. ⁣
  2. Peel the carrots, half the thicker tops from the thinner bottoms, then quarter all halves. Slice the thicker tops once more lengthwise to make thinner long pieces, then dice all pieces. ⁣
  3. Set a large pan or dutch oven on a med-low heat with two tablespoons of olive oil. When the oil is warm, place the diced carrots and reduce heat to low. You want to slowly soften the carrots but not brown them (it’s ok if they get browned but preferably are soft).⁣
  4. While the carrots soften, dice your ½ yellow onion and set to the side. ⁣
  5. Mince your 3 cloves of garlic. ⁣
  6. Fine chop your 2 cups of spinach.
  7. Rough chop your tomato.
  8. Once the carrots are tender, put your diced onion and minced garlic into the pan, keep the heat low as the onions sweat (use a lid if you have one).
  9. When the onions are translucent add 1lb of meat in small chunks, the chopped tomato, sprinkle salt and pepper to taste, turn up the heat to med-high and saute until meat is thoroughly cooked and slightly browned. If you have used hamburger instead of turkey, drain the excess fat from the pan (I use a fine sieve but you can use a colander as well).
  10. Turn off the heat and set the pan with meat and veg off to the side
  11. Open your can of tomato paste and spoon a quarter of it into your food processor with the mixing blade (not cutting blade) installed or spoon into a bowl.
  12. Place two scoops of Healthy Height Unflavored into the processor and mix thoroughly. You will likely need to stop after a few seconds to push ingredients closer to the blade for better mixing. Or mix by hand with a metal spoon (easier to scrape the mixture from - it likes to stick to wood a lot and rubber spatulas almost as much.
  13. Once mixed set off the side.
  14. Return your pan with meat and veg back to a med heat burner. Add the jar of pasta sauce and the chopped spinach. Stir together and set to simmer. Allow the sauce to simmer for roughly ten minutes or until it has become more concentrated.
  15. Once the sauce has simmered, remove the pan from heat.
  16. Take one scoop of sauce (just a little less than your child would typically eat) and place in the food processor with the Healthy Height/tomato paste mixture. Pulse for a few seconds to mix the two together. This will be your child’s portion of sauce. Keeping the paste mixture out of the pan ensures they get a proper portion of Healthy Height and also brings the temperature down for the littles helping them get to the eating portion of dinner time a little faster.
  17. You can scoop your sauce on top of your noodles or you can place noodles and sauce in a bowl and toss together before plating to get that restaurant quality experience.
  18. Top with torn basil for a fresh burst of herbaceousness and enjoy!⁣

Chef's notes:

There is a middle ground between these two. You can add ground meat and spinach to the ‘less time’ version without adding more than about five minutes to the total prep and cooking time. You’ll brown the meat first, adding salt and pepper to taste, drain any additional fat and then add your sauce and spinach.

The Healthy Height adds an almost ‘cheesy’ quality to the sauce because of its whey protein base. It will look and taste a little like you’ve added parmesan cheese to it. Your child may notice or comment on this, so you can prep them accordingly. If they don’t like cheese you can let them know that’s not what it is, and if they do like cheese then your job just got a little easier!

If you are making more than a single child’s portion at a time you can use half a can of tomato paste and up to three servings of Healthy Height (6 scoops). If you are making four or more portions with Healthy Height at once I would spoon small additions of paste and mix as you go. More paste will make the end result sauce thicker and you may end up using an entire jar of pasta sauce for the children’s portions. One jar gets about four portions of sauce in our house.

The paste method is not 100% necessary. You can use the same method of ‘prep and set aside’ using straight pasta sauce. It is simply a nice cost saving measure to help the dinner dollar spread a bit further and gets more servings of vegetables into your child’s meal without as much additional sugar or sodium (which jarred sauces have).

Nutrition to Help Kids Grow - and Sleep!

Every year our team of Pediatricians at Schneider Children's Medical Center have 20,000 visits from children with issues relating to growth. Our doctors wanted to find a non-invasive way to help children grow and the nutrition in our shake mix is the result of their efforts. The nutrition in our shake mix was shown in a clinical study to promote growth in 6 months, as well as improve sleep patterns in kids who take at least 1 serving per day.

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Healthy Height will provide full reimbursement for one chocolate, one vanilla and one plain shake mix bag within 30 days of your first purchase.
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