I love pasta and cheese from a box. There, I said it. And I put some into a bento to enjoy for tomorrow’s lunch before piling the rest onto my plate for dinner (you can see moisture droplets on the side of the bento… this is a no-no if your box is travelling as moisture leads to food spoilage; being that I’m at home tomorrow, I’m okay to put hot food into the box and then the fridge). It’s still Spring Break, but tomorrow is the day I get caught up on all the things I said I’d get done before I go back to school on Tuesday. A bento will be nice as I won’t be tempted to try a new recipe and mess up the kitchen for the bazillionth time in the 10 days I’ve been home over the break.
I am fortunate enough to be able to buy food and household goods in bulk. Many people in North America simply do not have the cashflow to be able to do so, so I am very thankful to be able to use my Costco membership to save money in the long run. I usually donate some of the canned tomatoes, juice boxes, pasta sauce, granola bars, bags of pasta within the giant bags, a bag of crackers within the giant box etc. to the food bank. I shudder to think how close many of us are to needing a little help. I bought a 12-pack of mac and cheese, and while I plan on giving most of them to the food bank, had to sneak one in for dinner. Hubs has a meeting tonight, so he’d already had dinner by the time I got home – so I could eat something cheesy without him pulling faces around me or it.
For the green beans, I sautéed them in a little olive oil, adding splashes of water to help them steam and soften, for about 6 minutes. I then added about a tablespoon of tomato paste and a dash of sriracha for some heat to counterbalance the creaminess of the shells and cheese. If the tomato paste isn’t loosening up, add another splash of water. I threw some pine nuts in for crunch, flavour, and because I have a giant-sized bag of them that hubs has not discovered yet.