Saturday, July 30, 2011

What to do with Leftovers?

I apologize that I forgot to take a picture for this post, but I wanted to share my quick meal from this week using leftover chicken breast.

One night we had grilled chicken, but I made too much and had three chicken breasts leftover. The next night was a busy one for me. Wednesday, my husband worked until 8:00 p.m., I wanted to take an aerobics class at 5:45 p.m. at the gym, I didn't get off work until 5:00...what about dinner?

Here is what I did....I worked from home until 5:00 p.m. While preparing the Chicken Spaghetti, I gave my kids a bowl of fresh fruit (already cut up) for snack to hold them over until we got back from the gym. They were snacking, I was cutting up 1/4 onion, 1 bundle of broccoli, 4 cloves of garlic, 1 sweet red bell pepper. I sauteed for about 5 minutes in 1T olive oil. While that was sauteing, I heated up a jar of cheese whiz (not the best choice...working on alternative suggestion) until soft in microwave and cooked a box of Barilla whole grain bow ties for 10 minutes. Since I had shredded/sliced my cooked chicken breasts before putting them in the refrigerator the night before, that was ready to use. I stirred the cheese whiz and pasta together, then mixed in the vegetables and chicken with 3/4 cup of low sodium organic chicken broth...topped with 2% shredded cheese. I covered the casserole dish with foil and put in the refrigerator. This took about 15 minutes to put together.

We dashed off to the gym for my aerobics class and fun club time for the kids. When we got home an hour later, I turned the oven on to 350 degrees while I showered. Then popped the casserole into the oven for 25 minutes. While that heated up, I gave my girls their evening bath and set the table. By the time it was heated and ready to eat, it was about 7:30 p.m. Since they had the fruit at 5:00 p.m. a late dinner was ok...everyone was already dressed and ready for bed...all we had to do was eat and brush our teeth!

The casserole was nicely presented with the neutral colors of the cheese and whole grain noodles offset by the bold, slightly cooked colors of the green broccoli and red bell pepper. Sorry I forgot the helps so much!!! Since the dish had the whole grains, protein, vegetables and dairy, it was a complete meal and no sides are needed. I did throw in some watermelon as a side since we love fruit. Kids were in bed by 8:30 p.m. and after clean up, I was in bed by 9:30 p.m. Yea! Busy MOM!

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