Friday, May 14, 2010

Chef Boyardee Beefaroni with Fresh Mozzarella and Basil

It all started two years ago, when I was in my third month of pregnancy. I was craving only processed foods. Powdered mixes, microwaveable meals--the more chemicals the better. My obstetrician, my pregnancy books, and the doorman at my office were all telling me that I should eat more fresh, nutritious foods. But what can I say, the stomach wants what it wants.

So one morning I was dumping the contents of a Chef Boyardee beefaroni can onto a plate--it oozed out with a satisfying slurp, still in its can shape--when out of the corner of my eye, I spied a basil plant sitting on my kitchen windowsill. I thought, Why not add some?

Next thing I knew, I was digging through my fridge for other foods with nutritional value. I found some fresh mozzarella and some cherry tomatoes. I shredded the cheese, sprinkled it on, and popped my dressed-up beefaroni in the microwave. After it was done heating, I topped it off with a couple of cherry tomatoes and some freshly ground black pepper.

The dish was a thing of beauty. I almost didn't want to eat it. But of course, it didn't stand a chance--I was pregnant, and my very first instant haute meal was consumed in under two minutes. The recipe is below.

Chef Boyardee Beefaroni with Fresh Mozzarella and Basil

1 can Chef Boyardee Beefaroni
2 ounces mozzarella, shredded
6 basil leaves, shredded lengthwise

2 cherry tomatoes
Freshly ground black pepper

1. Transfer contents of beefaroni can onto a microwave-safe plate. Sprinkle mozzarella evenly over the top. Cover lightly with a paper towel, and microwave according to the instructions found on the can.

2. Remove from microwave, and sprinkle basil evenly over the top. Garnish with cherry tomatoes. Add freshly ground black pepper to taste. Serve immediately. Serves one.

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