Meatless Monday - An Easy Pasta

Wednesday, November 10, 2010 - 
Many people don't enjoy Mondays.  My hubs happens to be one of those people.  Don't get me wrong, I don't really enjoy Monday's either - I think they are the cousin of the week days that no one really enjoys (yes, I have an analogy for each day of the week.)  But, I try to make the most of it.  This past Monday when I got home from the gym and hubs wasn't in the mood, I rush him out of the kitchen and get cooking.

I'm one of those people that plan a menu around our busy schedule for the week.  I make a grocery list to follow the order of the store.  Yes, I am a planner, I get it.  For me to say, "we'll figure it out" when chatting about a meal is rare, because I usually have some sort of idea.  But alas, it is Monday, and I wanted something simple too (because remember, I'm sleepy too.)  So, I grabbed a box of pasta and decided to "figure it out" by taking a look in the fridge to see what we had remaining from our busy, but fun, weekend.

While I had the pasta water boiling, I roughly chopped up some spinach leftover from the stuffed mushrooms I made for the Halloween party.  We also had a lonely tomato from hub's taco dip for the football game.  We always have at least 3 types of cheese in the fridge so I grabbed some Parmesan and added that to the mix.
Garlic, pepper, salt and olive oil are always home staples, so I add those as well.
Now, none of this took long.  I threw in a batch of chocolate chip cookies for a sweet post meal treat I knew hubs would enjoy.  I know he isn't a huge fan of me making him eat veggie once a week, but he's a good man, so a treat he gets!

Another note - hubs doesn't like whole wheat pasta.  We really enjoy making our own pasta and do so frequently, but sometimes when you want quick and easy (like Monday's,) we end up purchasing it.  We agree on the whole grain pasta - we get the healthy benefits and hubs doesn't have to taste the nutty flavors of the whole wheat that he doesn't like.  Thank you to all the companies who make this because it helps us out!
Once the pasta was drained, I tossed together everything.  The heat of the pasta wilts the spinach just a bit, melts the cheese a little, and brings all those simple ingredients together.  The garlic becomes fragrant and the Parmesan gives off it's own flavorful aroma.  And just like that, an easy (and healthy) dinner.
Hubs even said, "Thanks for making a great dinner I wasn't looking forward to."  Now, I take that as a compliment because hubs just doesn't look forward to meatless Monday's.  But I know with flavorful dishes (like the veggie meals we've had at Tastings or Zing,) he doesn't miss the meat.  And of course, with a sweet surprise treat like cookies, this makes it even better.  He didn't even mention a word that I left them in the oven a tad bit too long (I was cleaning the kitchen - got distracted!)
If you aren't vegetarian (shout out to my friends who are!,) do you try to eat vegetarian meals throughout the week?  What kind of easy meals do you prepare on days that you want something simple?