~my thoughts about life~

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

What's for Dinner?

I've been talking a lot lately about changing our typical dinnertime routine.  I'm sick of the stress over what to make, followed by the complaints from my family about what I made.  I'm sick of the kids not eating, sick of the husband half-heartedly eating, and sick of having to clean up after it all.  I decided to lay down the law, list my demands, and try out some new recipes while trying to conform my picky eaters to a normal family.

Pinterest is a great site to find new recipes.  We are extremely picky eaters, so I can only even consider about 1/50 of the recipes on there.  I'm not going overboard here...just trying to stick to somewhat normal things.

This week I tried Italian Chicken Casserole.  I would describe it as a creamy chicken spaghetti.  It is very similar to the Mexican Spaghetti I make, but with Italian flavor instead of Mexican.  Plus, there are no "cream of" soups, which I'm totally over at this point.  I can always taste the fakeness of that soup when I use it in a recipe.

The verdict:  Awesome!  I really enjoyed it.  Hubby said it was good, but 3 of the kids had to be force fed.  Big Sis said that it honestly wasn't that bad.  It's something I'll bring back again with no concerns that it's another thing added to the list of things my children hate.  And by the way, it's definitely not low fat.

Italian Chicken Casserole

2 T olive oil
1 C onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic
3 C cooked chicken, cubed
2 (14 oz.) cans diced tomatoes with garlic, basil, and oregano
1 C heavy cream
3 oz. cream cheese
2 C shredded Mozzarella
8 oz. angel hair pasta, cooked

Preheat oven to 350.  Spray a 9x13" baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.

In a large skillet, heat oil.  Add onion and garlic; cook 3 minutes.  Stir in chicken, tomatoes, and cream.  Bring to a boil.  Simmer 10 minutes, or until slightly thickened.  Add cream cheese and 1 C Mozzarella.  Cook, stirring constantly, until the cheeses are melted.  Add cooked pasta, tossing gently.  Spoon into prepared dish.  Sprinkle with remaining cheese.  Bake 30 minutes.

My notes:  I dialed down the onion and the garlic, as I always do.  I salted the chicken when I cooked it, as some of the commenters said it needed salt.  I didn't actually measure my chicken, but I think it could have used a bit less.  The chicken seemed to overwhelm the dish a bit.  Several commenters said that their family did not like the chunks of tomatoes and they used pasta sauce instead.  I used my potato masher to crush as many tomatoes as possible.  The kids still complained about the chunks, but I loved it that way.  I also used a half pint of cream, without measuring.  Is that a full cup?

I had leftovers for lunch today, and while it was a tad bit dry from being refrigerated, it was still delicious.  I recommend giving this one a try.


Jo said...

I have the same issue ... veggies are not popular at all and always causes an argument. The man, doesn't even eat his ½ the time. The only things that go down well are creamy, pastas etc ... you know the really healthy options :)

Linda said...

Do you like pork? Here's a super-easy recipe and oh. my. gosh. is it good!

Kaluah Pork (no alcohol, contrary to the name)

*1 pork roast (of your choice), about 2 lbs or more
*Hawaiian sea salt (I couldn't find any here in NY so I just used reg. sea salt)
*liquid smoke

Put slits in the meat and for every two lbs of meat, rub two tbsp salt on meat.

Put meat in crock pot (don't add liquid)

sprinkle two tbsp (for each 2 lbs meat) of liquid smoke over meat.

set crock pot on low and cook for 16 hours (yes, 16, it's not a typo).

Meat will make its own liquid.

If you like cabbage, par cook some cabbage and add to the liquid a few hours before serving.

Serve with rice.

The next time I make this, I'll try to remember to take a pic and blog about it. It's so easy and so, so good.