Weeknight Meal Alert!

My little buddy, Jonah, has what I like to call “First and Only Child Syndrome.” He is OBSESSED with Mom (Heaven only knows why; I am so impatient with that sweet little man sometimes. Okay, a lot).

He hates being by himself, and most days, will not be more than four feet away from me at all times. I have tried to fix it, provide lots of toys and entertainment in other rooms so I can get some space for five minutes, but to no avail! (Anyone with pointers, PLEASE HELP!!!)

It is especially bad at dinner time (aka Witching Hour). Most of the time, I try to get a lot of the prepping done beforehand during his nap to cut time, but cooking dinner still usually ends up with him in tears or being naughty because I can’t entertain him constantly (enter super exasperated face here). This calls for fast and easy dinners, or else let’s be honest, we just eat cereal.

One of my favorites to make on nights when I know the Jonado is going to hit the kitchen is this meat and veggie pasta. Super easy, super yummy… You can’t go wrong! You can substitute whichever ground meat, veggies, sauce, and spices you prefer.

Meat and Veggie Pasta

1 box (16 ounces) Whole Wheat spiral pasta

1 lb ground turkey

1 large can Hunt’s Traditional pasta sauce

1 zucchini

1 yellow squash

1/2-1 sweet potato

1 Tbsp Italian seasoning (more if you prefer)

1 Tbsp dried oregano (more if you prefer)

1 garlic clove

1 tsp olive oil

1/2-1 c. mozzarella or parmesan cheese (optional)

Brown the ground meat in a pan on medium heat with the garlic. Peel the sweet potato and chop it and the zucchini and yellow squash into small slices/pieces. When the meat has started to brown, but still has some pink left, add the vegetables, Italian seasoning, and oregano. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook about 10 minutes or until veggies have softened. When the vegetables do get soft, remove the cover and cook off all or most of the liquid on low (for about 5 minutes).

Meanwhile, cook the pasta in a large pot to your liking (we prefer al dente). When the pasta is finished, drain it and return it back to the pot. Add the meat and vegetables and entire can of pasta sauce and mix. If you would like to incorporate cheese, add it last and mix, allowing it to melt before serving. You can also add more spice toward the end, along with salt and pepper, if it needs a little more of something!

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