I was blessed with two amazingly healthy pregnancies. There was about a four week period during each where I seemed to do nothing but sleep, but other than that, there were no issues. I never had morning sickness, never once threw up or even felt nauseous. I was an annoyingly-content pregnant person, extra fat and happy.
My friend Kelley has not been so lucky. She’s had some rough pregnancies and she’s currently on her fourth and bedridden. Three kids under the age of six and she’s stuck on the couch. Truthfully, there are moments that this sounds enticing, but I know truly it’s not fun and, actually, really hard.
A couple weeks ago, I put together a meal for her and her family, something that could be frozen and used later since I didn’t know what other meals she’d be getting that day. I had a lot of fun putting it together because it’s something I wouldn’t currently make for my family since I’m still working on losing weight…so I just got to make my house smell really good and then send it on its way.
3 cups pasta (any short cut pasta will work)
1 cup pasta sauce
1 cup pizza sauce
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1 1/2 cups diced pepperoni
1/2 small onion
1 green pepper
1 cup diced cherry tomatoes
1 1/2 cups diced sausage (I used turkey sausage, use whatever you like on your pizza)
2 T. minced garlic
salt & pepper
Boil water for pasta and follow the directions on the box for preparation time.
Add 2-3 tablespoons olive oil to a large sauce pan. Once hot, add pepperoni, sausage, onions, green peppers, minced garlic, tomatoes, salt & pepper, and anything else you’d normally enjoy on your pizza (mushrooms, olives, ham, etc.). Cook until browned, about 6-8 minutes.
Layer cooked pasta into a dish.
Add the layer of cooked meats and veggies.
Mix pasta sauce and pizza sauce together then add that to the dish. I added more pepper at this point. If you’re not making this for small children, you could also throw in some red pepper flakes.
Next add the cheese.
I added a couple bags of frozen broccoli, a box of garlic bread, and some fresh-baked berry muffins (dessert? breakfast? both?) and the meal was complete. Normally, I’d serve this kind of meal with fresh fruits and veggies and probably skip the garlic bread altogether, but my philosophy is the more, the better when taking a meal to friends.
And what’s so great about this simple meal is that it’s all cooked. You can just heat it up in the oven until the cheese melts or put it in the freezer for a couple weeks until you need it. It’s so easy Kelley’s husband could do it (just kidding, Mike).
After Harper was born, I completely understood the magic of a meal brought to your house. It doesn’t even have to be anything special or fancy (obviously), but it was so appreciated. So who can you cook for tonight?