Friday, May 25, 2018

Cheesy Chicken, Broccoli, and Wild Rice Casserole

12 ounces boneless, skinless chicken breast
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
3/4 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper, divided
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1/2 medium yellow onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 cups frozen broccoli florets
1 tablespoon whole wheat flour or all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups skim milk
3/4 cups sharp cheddar cheese, freshly grated, divided
2 cups cooked whole grain wild rice blend
Cooking spray
1/4 cup whole wheat panko breadcrumbs

Heat oven to 350F. Cut chicken into 1/2-inch cubes. Season with salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.
In a large skillet, heat 1/2 tablespoon of the oil over medium heat. Add chicken and cook, stirring, until chicken is cooked through. Remove chicken to a large bowl.

In the same skillet, heat another 1/2 tablespoon of oil. Add garlic, onion, and broccoli. Cook, stirring, until onion is soft and broccoli is bright green. Pour into bowl with chicken.

Turn heat to low and add remaining tablespoon of oil to the skillet. Sprinkle flour over oil and whisk to make a paste. Slowly add milk, whisking to combine. Stir in cheese and remaining 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper. Remove from heat.

Add rice to chicken and broccoli in the large bowl. Stir to combine. Gently stir in cheese sauce.
Spray a 9x9-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Spread rice mixture into baking dish. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup of cheese and breadcrumbs.

Bake 15 to 20 minutes, or until cheese is melted and casserole is bubbly. Remove from the oven and serve hot

Comment:  This is totally delicious!  I did make one change.  I sprinkled mine with French fried onions instead of the panko breadcrumbs.  So, so good.  And healthy too.

Nutrition Facts
Servings: 9 servings (1 cup each)
Amount per serving

% Daily Value*
Total Fat 8g
Saturated Fat 3g
Cholesterol 34mg
Sodium 189mg
Total Carbohydrate 22g
Dietary Fiber 3g
Total Sugars 4g

Includes 0g Added Sugars
Protein 17g

Vitamin D 1mcg
Calcium 146mg
Iron 1mg
Potassium 283mg

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Chicken & Spinach Alfredo

8 oz. egg noodles
2 cups Alfredo Sauce
1 cup Ricotta Cheese
1 pkg (10 oz.) spinach, chopped, thawed and drained
1 egg
½ cup Parmesan Cheese
2 cups Italian Cheese Blend
1 tsp. garlic powder
¼ tsp. pepper
½ tsp. salt
2 cups chicken, cooked and cubed

Preheat the oven to 350 degree F. Cook egg noodles according to package directions and set aside. In a medium bowl combine egg and ricotta cheese. Whisk in the parmesan and half the Italian cheese. Add the seasonings.  In a large bowl mix the chicken, noodles and spinach.  Fold in cheese mix and Alfredo sauce.  Pour into a large baking dish and bake for 15-20  minutes or until hot in the center.  Sprinkle with remaining Italian cheese and bake another 5 minutes or until cheese melts.  Serves 8-10

Comment:  I made this and froze half for another day.  The flavor is delicious and the only thing I might change would be to add a few mushrooms. 

Friday, May 4, 2018


Calories 200 (approx) 
Servings 12

1 flat, frozen pie crust
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon minced rosemary
8 ounces fresh spinach, roughly chopped
3/4 cup plain marinara sauce
6 oz. cooked, shredded chicken breast (see note below)
1/2 cup part skim ricotta cheese
1/2 cup grated part skim mozzarella cheese

Thaw the pie crust by letting it stand at room temperature for about 10 minutes and preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Place on a foil lined baking pan sprayed with non-stick spray. Add oil and garlic to a large skillet and cook over low-medium heat, until garlic is fragrant and slightly golden, about 3 minutes. Be sure to stir it and watch it so that it does not burn. Pour oil from the skillet into a small bowl. Add minced rosemary to the oil and let stand. Keep garlic in the skillet. Add spinach to the skillet and cook over medium-high. Use tongs to toss it. Cook until just wilted, about a minute and a half (you don't want to overcook it or have a lot of liquid released). Remove from the heat and let stand at room temperature for ten minutes. Drain any liquid released from the spinach and combine it with marinara sauce, shredded chicken breast, and ricotta cheese. Stir well to combine. Drain any excess liquid out. Spoon the spinach chicken mixture evenly on the pie crust.  Sprinkle the mozzarella on top. Bake at 450F until dough is lightly browned, about 15 to 17 minutes and center is bubbly. Let cool slightly before slicing into 12 pieces.

Comment:  I used ready-to-eat rotisserie chicken.  Make sure to omit the skin. Six ounces yields about a cup and a half. Enjoy the rest of the chicken for a different meal.  This dish is delicious.  The original one called for puff pastry and it made a Stromboli.  I decided to use the pie crust and make a pizza. 

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Chicken Casserole with Crescents

2-3 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cooked, cut into 1-inch pieces (3/4 - 1 lb)
1 ¾ cups spaghetti sauce 
3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1 ½ cups shredded mozzarella cheese
6 tablespoons butter, melted 
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 can (8 count) refrigerated crescent rolls
½ cup grated cheddar cheese

Heat oven to 375°F. In 12x8-inch (2-quart) ceramic or glass baking dish, arrange chicken. Pour marinara sauce over top to coat chicken. Sprinkle with basil and mozzarella cheese.  In small bowl, stir together melted butter and Italian seasoning.  Separate crescent rolls and cut into strips. Dip dough into melted butter mixture. Scatter pieces over mozzarella cheese. Sprinkle cheddar cheese over dough.  Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until juice of chicken is clear when center of thickest part is cut (at least 165°F) and cheese melted and bubbly.  Serves 8
Comments:  I did, of course make a few changes.  The original called for refrigerated bread sticks, which I didn't have but did have crescent rolls.  It also called for Parmesan cheese, which for the 1st time in forever I was out of so I used cheddar cheese instead.  Still came out delicious!  
Also, since I've gone on Weight Watchers, I entered this recipe and it has 13 points for 1 serving.  Not too bad.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Chicken Alfredo and Rice Casserole

1 10 ounce container refrigerated light Alfredo pasta sauce (I used 1 jar of garlic Alfredo)
½ cup milk
2 ½ cups cooked white rice or wild rice 
2 cups cubed cooked chicken
1 cup frozen peas (did not have frozen so I eliminated this ingredient)
1/3 cup chopped bottled roasted red sweet peppers (I used fresh orange and green bell peppers that I sauteed)
¼ cup slivered almonds, toasted (optional)
1 tablespoon snipped fresh basil or 1/2 tsp. dried basil,  crushed
1 cup soft bread crumbs (I used crushed croutons)
1 tablespoon butter, melted (I did not use but used 1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese instead) 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In large bowl combine pasta sauce and milk. Stir in rice, chicken, peas, sweet peppers, nuts, and basil. Transfer to 1-1/2-quart baking dish.

Bake, covered, 30 minutes. Uncover and stir. Combine bread crumbs and melted butter; sprinkle atop. Bake, uncovered, 20 to 25 minutes more or until heated through and crumbs are golden brown. Let stand 5 minutes before serving. Serves 4.

Martha:  As you can see I made a few changes, as always.  I used the garlic Alfredo sauce which is a staple in my pantry.  I like the sweet taste of orange and yellow bell peppers as well as the taste of the green so I decided to do as I recommend in my cookbooks and 'Think With My Taste Buds.'  The peppers I sauteed in about 1 Tbsp. of olive oil until they were tender and starting to brown lightly.  The croutons and Parmesan I sprinkled over the dish before the 2nd baking giving the dish another texture.  

This dish turned out so good!  There was a slight sweetness from the peppers, the garlic in the Alfredo gave it another taste with both of them combining beautifully.  My food testers ALL loved it.  

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Chicken Mac & Cheese

This recipe is one that has no specific measurements.  You'll need:

Chicken carcass

I bought a rotisserie chicken a few days ago and after pulling most of the meat off for sandwiches and chicken salad I noticed there was still some left on the bones.  I placed my carcass in a pot, covered it with water, brought it to a boil and then reduced the heat to slow boil.  When the rest of the meat fell off the bone I removed the bones and added noodles to my water.  When the noodles were done I added cheese making - Chicken Mac & Cheese

If you're not sure how much liquid you might need for your noodles, read the package directions and use the amount required for the amount of noodles you plan to use.  If you don't have enough chicken after boiling the carcass, add a little from what you pulled off earlier.  And for the cheese, I cheddar and colby adding as much as I wanted for my taste.  This turned out simply delicious!

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Oriental Chicken

3 pounds chicken (I used 3 large chicken breasts bone with a weight of about 2 ½ lb)

1/3 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup oil
1 teaspoon garlic powder (or 2 fresh garlic cloves, pressed – I used 2 Tbsp. minced garlic)
2 teaspoons five spice powder
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger (I cut this down to ¼ tsp. ginger)
1 tablespoon dry sherry (this I didn’t use)

In a small bowl, combine 1/3 cup soy sauce, 1/4 cup oil, such as light olive oil or peanut oil, 1 teaspoon garlic powder or 2 fresh pressed garlic cloves, 2 teaspoons five-spice powder, 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger and 1 tablespoon dry sherry, and use as a marinade.

Marinate Chicken
In a large plastic or ceramic container with a lid, place the 3 pounds chicken.
Pour the marinade over all the pieces, turning until all the pieces are coated evenly.
Cover and marinate at least 1 hour, and up to overnight.

Cook Chicken

Bake in a 375-degree F. oven (basting once or twice), or grill, for about 45 minutes or until done.

COMMENTS:  As you can see I used a little less chicken, minced garlic, less ginger (too strong for me) and eliminated the sherry.  This marinated for about 24 hrs.  As it baked I would baste with the drippings (not the leftover marinate).  This came out so moist.  The flavors flowed throughout the chicken and was delicious.  I ate some as it was and some on a salad that I drizzled with an oriental dressing, sesame sticks and some roasted peanuts.  This made a wonderful meal.