Happy Monday! I hope you had a great weekend. Mine was pretty darn relaxing. Friday evening Robert and I ate an early dinner at a Mexican restaurant. At that hour we were pretty much the only table without kids. I have to say that chips, salsa, and a margarita are a great way to kick off the weekend. We then walked home and watched a few episodes of Dexter (well he did, I passed out on the couch.)
Saturday morning I flipped through cookbooks, food magazines, and Pinterest for inspiration and put together a list of dinners to make this week. This is actually one of my favorite weekend activities (nerd alert!) and someday I’d love to write a post about how exactly I do this. I then put my grocery shopping list together and headed off to take a yoga class. Later that afternoon I hit up Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods to pick up ingredients for the week.
Saturday evening before making this dinner (more on that in a moment!) I realized I was completely exhausted. Wiped out. Drained. I could’ve fallen asleep around 7pm and slept through the night. It had been a really long week. The only catch was that we had tickets to a concert at a venue just a few blocks from our home. I felt terrible breaking the news to Robert that I didn’t feel like going (I hate disappointing him–or anyone–even though he was completely understanding as always.)
Still, I summoned enough energy to put together this dinner. Oh my goodness was it good! I’ve been on a pasta kick ever since I made penne with shrimp and sun dried tomatoes a few weeks ago. I love making pasta dinners on weekends because it feels substantial enough–maybe even a little indulgent like you’d get at a restaurant–but I can still up the health factor by choosing good quality ingredients. Plus, keeping with our eco friendly and budget conscious goals it’s more affordable than dining out of course. I also love how this meal was vegetarian, yet the mushrooms and beans lend almost a meaty texture to make it completely satisfying. Ever since my creamy sauce snafu a few weeks ago I’ve been determined to give it another shot and this was a perfect opportunity to do just that. I’m happy to say it went off without a hitch!
Miraculously, around 9:30pm, I felt a wave of energy wash over me and I told Robert I was ready to go to the concert. I traded my yoga pants and sweatshirt for corduroys and a sweater and we walked the few chilly blocks to the venue in time to see a few songs by one of our favorite bands (Freelance Whales). I’m so happy I rallied!
Sunday morning I prepped a slow cooker chicken stew recipe (coming this week!) and taught a level 2 yoga class. These classes are a more advanced and intricate format than the level 1/intro classes I’ve been teaching since October. It was only the third level 2 class I’ve taught so far (I passed my audition last week!), but each time I feel more comfortable and calm. It’s just so much fun! Teaching level 2 classes has been my goal all along and I’m happy to say it’s just as fulfilling as I imagined it would be.
The rest of the day consisted of some work, a phone conversation with a potential Reverend for our wedding (very promising!), and a relaxing evening on the couch preparing for another busy week.
I hope you all have a wonderful day! If you have any question marks when it comes to dinners this week I hope you’ll consider this quick and delicious meal. Enjoy!
Pasta in a Creamy Mushroom Sauce
8 oz whole wheat pasta such as shells or farfalle
1 medium onion, chopped
1 shallot, chopped
4 cloves of garlic, minced
10 oz sliced cremini mushrooms
Salt & pepper
1 3/4 cups white wine (I used chardonnay)
15 oz can Great Northern beans, drained and rinsed
6 oz baby spinach, roughly chopped
3/4 cup whipping cream
Minced fresh parsley for garnish
Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot, add onion, shallot, garlic, and mushrooms. Season with salt and pepper. Saute until mushrooms release liquid and become tender, about 15 minutes. Add wine, beans, and spinach. Cook about 10 more minutes. Remove pan from heat and stir in cream. Garnish with fresh parsley and serve.
Adapted from Cooking Light