As I near the half-way point of this pregnancy I’ve started to ponder the things that I would imagine all, first-time, moms-to-be, begin contemplating. Things like, ‘wait…how do you change a diaper, again?’ and ‘are pacifiers good or bad?’. I mostly find myself trying to imagine how the days will go and wonder how to show up and be present for this little man and take good care of myself, my work and my relationships. I try to imagine how to do all of this and consciously prepare a tasty, healthy meal every night. I know that I, like every Mother before me, will figure it out, messiness and all and that the answers will show up as I need them.
True as it may be, my type-A ways and I can’t possibly resist preparation, planning, orchestrating, list-making and Google doc’ing. In anticipation of meal-times I’ve started organizing our favorite recipes by both meal time and dietary preference. I have linked a master spreadsheet to recipe docs all in a shared location with the Mr. so that, if need be, he can easily take the reigns on those nights when I need to sleep through my supper.
The one thing that my documentation has overlooked, to date, is complexity. I will no doubt want to search by which meals take one hand and two minutes, two hands and an hour or are way to precious to even think about attempting on a Tuesday. These variables certainly need to be considered. However, in looking at the current lineup, it’s clear that I’m needing a few more dishes that fit into the easy-peasy category which to me translates into either ordering take-out or meals that can be made ahead.
This Marsala Mushroom Bake is a remastered mushroom marsala pasta dish that we love. The pasta dish is absolutely delicious but with lots of butter and mozzarella it’s a little too heavy for everyday. I’ve cleaned it up a bit by replacing the pasta with brown rice, removing the mozzarella, reducing the amount of butter and adding kale and a couple of eggs for protein.
The addition of the egg adds a creamy and indulgent quality that more than makes up for the would-be mozzarella. And it was easy to make ahead, chill and bake just before dinner. Yes, pulling this one out of the oven was a win for the delicious and speedy meal-time column. File under: I got this!
I know that you super Mom’s have mastered this whole thing so if you have any favorite, healthy, make-ahead meals to share, I’m all ears.
- 2 cups brown rice, cooked
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1¾ cup button or crimini mushroom, sliced
- 1 small yellow onion, thinly sliced
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1½ cups dino kale, roughly chopped
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- ¼ cup dry marsala wine
- 1½ tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour (see notes for gluten-free option)
- 1½ cups stock or broth (see notes)
- ½ cup finely grated parmesan cheese
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 2 eggs
- Heat oven: To 400 degrees.
- In a large skillet or dutch oven, heat olive oil over high heat. Add mushrooms and cook until they've started to brown but haven't released their liquid.
- Reduce heat to medium-high, add onions, garlic, salt and pepper and saute together until the liquid the mushrooms emit has evaporated.
- Add Marsala, balsamic vinegar and kale and cook mixture, stirring, until the Marsala has almost fully evaporated.
- Add butter and stir until melted.
- Add flour, and stir until the flour has been dampened and absorbed.
- Add stock, ¼ cup at a time, stirring constantly to make sure that each batch of stock has been fully incorporated with the mushroom mixture (scraping the bottom of the pan, consistently). Repeat until all stock has been added.
- Let mixture simmer together for 2 minutes, stirring frequently as the sauce thickens.
- Remove pan from heat.
- Add the cooked rice, salt and pepper and stir to combine.
- Stir in half the parmesan and the parsley until evenly mixed.
- Transfer mixture to a baking dish and sprinkle the top with remaining parmesan. If preparing ahead, refrigerate mixture now until ready to bake.
- Prior to baking, make 2 divots in the top of the mixture to hold each of the two eggs.
- Crack eggs into a separate bowl, one at a time, to make sure that no shell is cracked into the dish.
- Gently pour each egg onto the top of the mixture (one into each of the divots).
- Top the eggs with grated parmesan and bake for 20-25 minutes, checking after 15 minutes (the egg whites should be fully cooked but the yolk still runny).
- Serve immediately while hot.
* - Any stock will work with this recipe. I recommend chicken or vegetable but beef would work as well.