Lunch in a Crunch: 16-Minute Kale & Mushroom Spaghetti

Kale & Mushroom Spaghetti

Kale & Mushroom Spaghetti

Today was one of those crazy busy Mondays where I had so many things I wanted to accomplish that I wasted half the morning trying to decide where to begin. And then, just as I’d finally hatched a plan it was thrown to pieces by a phone call asking me to sub for a kids’ cooking class this afternoon.

The next thing I knew I was working on a lesson plan with five – yes, five – loads of laundry in the washers downstairs all while trying to hurry myself out the door to buy ingredients for the class.

And did I mention I was famished? Sure, I could have noshed on some dry cereal or quickly defrosted something from the freezer, but I really felt like I needed a hot, fresh and filling lunch to carry me through the rest of the day. The problem was I had exactly 16 minutes to prepare lunch before I needed to take my clothes out of the dryer.

So I quickly rummaged through the refrigerator and grabbed the first things I found: half an onion, kale, mushrooms and lemon juice. Perfect, I’d make whole wheat spaghetti with kale and mushrooms.

To speed the process along, I immediately set a pot of water on the stove so it could come to a boil and also heated a bit of oil in a saute pan, the idea being to let the stove do most of the work. I chopped the onion and dropped it into the pan while moving on to cut the kale and mushrooms. In the end the vegetables and spaghetti finished cooking at the same time, which happened to be just moments before my 16 minutes were up. I ran downstairs, grabbed the laundry, and multi-tasked by folding and eating at the same time.

I couldn’t have planned it better if I’d actually tried.

Here’s the recipe:

Kale & Mushroom Spaghetti, makes 2 servings

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

1/2 onion, chopped

3 kale leaves, washed, trimmed and chopped

6 medium mushrooms, stemmed and chopped

1/2 cup chicken broth or water

1 tablespoon lemon juice



2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

4 ounces dry whole wheat spaghetti or your favorite pasta

Fill a large pot with water and 1 teaspoon salt. Cover and set over high heat. Also, set a large saute pan over medium-high heat and pour in the oil.

Once the oil becomes hot, add the onion and cook, stirring often, for 2 minutes. Stir in the kale and cook for 3 minutes, then add the mushrooms. Saute for 2 minutes then pour in the chicken broth. Cover the pot and simmer the broth for 8 minutes or until the kale has become soft.

By now the water in the pot should have reached a boil. Stir in the dry spaghetti and cook following package instructions (usually 8 to 10 minutes).

Finish the vegetables by adding the lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste. Toss with the cooked spaghetti and stir in the Parmesan cheese. Serve immediately.

  • maris posted: 03 Nov at 12:32 am

    Sounds delish! I made kale for the first time the other day. I had it in soup. I prefer swiss chard myself but the mushrooms sound like they’d stand up to the kale perfectly.

  • Frenchie posted: 03 Nov at 9:38 am

    It’s amazing what a delicious meal you can pull together with just a few ingredients on hand. Back of the fridge meals are always my favorites and a great treat/surprise.

  • Katerina posted: 03 Nov at 12:56 pm

    This is exactly why I consider pasta my go-to weeknight dinner. There are so many delicious recipes that come together while the pasta is cooking. Granted, few are as healthy and wholesome looking as this.

    I bet this would be good with some chili flakes too.

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