Friday! I didn’t know that you would ever arrive! It’s been one of those weeks.
Next week is finals! And then? Then I have my weekday evenings free. Don’t get me wrong, I love, love, love teaching…but after a year, I’m ready for a break from the evening gig. Ideally, I like to teach during the day so I can do things in the evening like
snuggle on the couch with my husband make killer dinners every night.
And eat…at a table. With real silverware. Maybe even a plate.
Next quarter is looking a lot better — Monday, Wednesday, Friday at the clinics and Tuesday and Thursday teaching. Halleluiah.
The evenings I am home are well-spent. I make things like Creamy Chicken and Artichoke Pasta which was a recipe swap offering from Michelle of The Cooking Nurse – a blog I love! Recipe Swaps are like having the best of the best handed to you, signed, sealed, and delivered. Once again, I wasn’t lead astray.
Unlike Mr. Prevention who went astray the night I made this — Wednesday evening. He came home from work, complaining of hunger, and the next thing I knew he was gone. His car was still here and it was 60 degrees out, so I correctly deduced that he had gone out for a run. I went and did the same, and still…no Mr. Prevention showing.
He finally walked in the door covered…dripping in sweat. He decided to run all the way to our town’s downtown and back again — 7 1/2 miles. What a stud. Guess he’s deciding to get his rear in gear for the 1/2 marathon he’s registered for in May?
“How long until dinner?” he sputtered out through labored breaths.
Would you believe me if I said he went upstairs to draw himself a bath, soak a bit, shower, and then swaggered into the kitchen? Unbelievable…but true.
Point is, most of us don’t have an abundance of time on weekdays to throw together anything time-consuming or laborious, giving meals like this one all the more appeal. As if creamy pasta weren’t enough to woo you…
1 1/2 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed
1 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp butter (I used Melt)
1 1/2 cups fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 tsp onion powder
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 beef bouillon cube
2 cups whole milk
4 oz 1/3 reduced-fat cream cheese
4 oz (1 cup) Parmigiano-Reggiano, shredded
1 can quartered artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
1 1/2 cups grape tomatoes, halved
14.5 oz. whole wheat pasta (shape of choice)
dried parsley (optional)
Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil. Add the pasta. Cook 8-12 minutes, or until al dente.
Meanwhile, heat olive oil in pan. Add chicken to pan and cook until done; set aside.
Melt butter in a pan over medium heat. Add mushrooms and onion powder and saute until slightly softened. Add the garlic cloves and artichokes and cook for 1 minute.
Add the milk and beef bouillon and simmer until bouillon is dissolved. Add the cream cheese and simmer until it is smooth. Add the parmigiano-reggiano cheese and stir until combined.
At this point, combine the pasta, chicken and cream sauce. Add in the grape tomatoes and toss. Sprinkle with dried parsley, if desired.
Yield: 8 servings (about 1 1/2 cups each)
Nutrition Information (per serving): 449 calories; 13.1 g. fat; 73 mg. cholesterol; 538 mg. sodium; 42.8 g. carbohydrate; 4.9 g. fiber; 37.5 g. protein
Result: This was a simple, creamy, enjoyable pasta meal. I love the flavor of the artichoke – I would double it next time 🙂 I think some spinach would work well in this dish, along with additional mushrooms. You can taste the creaminess from the cream cheese, milk, and parmigiano-reggiano. I love that the added chicken helps to spread the meal (Mr. Prevention usually complains that meals like this don’t have enough chicken, so I also upped that reason. He noticed!), keep the carbohydrates controlled, and increases the protein in the dish. Perfect when served with a sprinkle of pepper. Enjoy!
Money Matters: The chicken is the most expensive ingredient – at $2.99/lb on sale, the price comes to $2.49. The Parmigiano-Reggiano is a high-quality cheese which I get on sale for $8.99/lb (I used 1/4 lb — $2.25). I used half a block of cream cheese — $1.10, 2/3rds of a pint of grape tomatoes – $1.75, mushrooms ($1.5o), and a can of artichoke hearts ($1.40). I used Barilla Plus pasta which is $1.10/box at my Kroger. The total cost of the recipe is ~$14.34, making the cost per serving $1.79.
Clinic then happy hour at my favorite pub! Happy weekend!