Healthy Cooking – Pasta with Cabbage

Asalaam ‘Alaikum:

I’m not much of a fan of Macaroni and Cheese – especially after trying to have a healthier lifestyle. The kiddos loved Macaroni and Cheese in the early days – but they have come to realize that it’s just not healthy for you, alhumdulilah. I don’t think they would eat it if I made it for them, alhumdulilah.

I have, however, found other ways to make macaroni that is healthier and the kiddos love it. Now, I don’t know about your children – but mine absolutely love vegetables. I guess – if you get them used to them at a young age – and you cook them well – children can love their vegetables. My mother used to only cook vegetables one way – boil them, drain the water and then put butter on top. I didn’t really eat vegetables growing up – but I love them now, alhumdulilah.

We still eat meat, but we always have meat cooked with vegetables (meat has a minor role in the dish). We love to find vegetarian dishes as well – and try to eat them as often as we can. Anyway, a while ago I found a recipe for cooking cabbage with noodles. I tried it – altered, of course – and the kids loved it.

1 whole cabbage
1 medium onion
2 small tomatoes
1/2 green bell pepper
macaroni or spaghetti
low-fat Italian dressing
salt and pepper, to taste
Parmesan Cheese, to taste

In a frying pan, cook 1 medium onion until brown (I usually cook it with a little olive oil). Cut cabbage into small pieces. For the meal I made today, I cooked it with purple cabbage because that was what was available. However, the girls and I prefer to use green cabbage. Add the cabbage to the onion. Cook cabbage until done.

In a pot, add macaroni or spaghetti and a pinch of salt to boiling water. I prefer to use whole-wheat pasta, when possible (today we didn’t have any). When we use whole wheat spaghetti, I usually break the spaghetti into three pieces – the recipe works better with smaller pieces of pasta. When the pasta is finished cooking (usually takes about 10 minutes) drain and add cabbage to the pasta. Add salt and pepper, to taste. Add Italian dressing to the pasta (I did not measure it – but I prefer only to add enough to add flavor – not to drown it). Sprinkle a bit of Parmesan cheese and mix well.

After doing all that, I cut up a bell pepper and two tomatoes. Today we are eating this with the added vegetables uncooked. You could also add the tomatoes and bell pepper to the cabbage when cooking and then add it to the pasta. It all depends on your preferences.

When we don’t have any vegetables in the house (aside from the cabbage and onion) we do eat this made only with the cabbage, onion and pasta. It actually tastes really good. However, whenever I can add vegetables to our meal it makes me feel like I am doing a better job 🙂

Either way you make it – we also like to eat this with feta cheese. Instead of putting Parmesan cheese, after everything is mixed up – I make a plate and the sprinkle a bit of Feta Cheese over it. The kids also like to eat it this way.

Insha’Allah your family will like it as well as we do.

Asalaam ‘Alaikum,
Sumayyah Umm SAA

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