With spring officially here now I couldn't help but make these cute, cute, cute birds nests! My boys loved this one as they got creative with the veggies. I just used what I had on hand.
These would be great for a party too!
Birds Nest Pasta With Veggies
makes 6 servings
8 oz. (or 1/2 lb.) whole wheat spaghetti
2 tsp. sea salt, divided into 1 tsp. + 1 tsp.
1 Tb. extra-virgin olive oil
1/3 C. non-dairy butter (I used Earth Balance)
1 1/2 tsp. nutritional yeast
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
carrots, peas, peppers, black beans, radishes or any veggies to create a "bird" or "eggs"
1. Preheat oven to 350F. Cook pasta according to package directions, until al dente. Be sure to salt the water while cooking with 1 tsp. salt.
2. Prepare your veggies by slicing them any which way you like. I used frozen peas as "eggs" to put inside the nests and carrot chunks to use as the "bird" body.
3. Once pasta is cooked, drain and add remaining 1 tsp. salt, olive oil, butter, nutritional yeast and garlic powder. Toss well so all the noodles are well coated. Let cool enough so they're easy to handle. You may have to transfer to a bowl to help cool them off.
4. Once cool enough to handle, use your hands or a fork to form nests by laying the noodles around the muffin cup (you'll need a muffin tin, either standard size or mini). Leave a small hole in the center to fill with veggies, then add what you like-now it's time to have fun and get creative! Make eggs or birds with whatever veggies you like.
5. Bake uncovered for 12-15 minutes, or until noodles become a slight golden color.
6. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes in muffin pan.
Then use a spoon to carefully lift the nests out and serve immediately. These hold up nicely so you could store them in the 'fridge and reheat for later or even pack in those lunch boxes!
My 6-year old had the best time creating his bird and then nibbling it all up when it was done!
He used radishes (from the garden-yay!) as wings, carrot as the body, black beans as eyes and red pepper as a beak. Mushrooms would be great in this too or you could even try adding a little pesto into the center for a nice touch of green color.
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