Take out Tuesday, Create A Casserole

I have been going rogue from my meal plan lately, can’t seem to stick with what I had originally decided, sometimes you simply change your mind and aren’t in the mood! When I got home from a busy day it was already 3, and I decided to “create” something for dinner.  This is a little trick I use on myself all the time.  If I think I am CREATING, then I get a second wind and start having fun!

I pulled out some ingredients from the pantry & fridge.

I had a little chicken, a little ham, a little bacon, fresh mushrooms & spinach, celery, green onions, and then I grabbed the Alfredo sauce and pasta.

There are 2 ways to go here, I could do a quick stir fry at the last minute, or assemble the ingredients “casserole style.” Either method  would be delicious and similar in taste, so I opted to go ahead and do it ahead of time so I could just pop it in the oven later.  The disadvantage of the last minute stir fry is that you have pots and pans to deal with after dinner.   I started this at 3:15 and at 3:45 the pans were washed and the casserole was in the fridge until dinner time.  After dinner I can stick the plates in the dishwasher and spend some quality time with my DVR.

I put the celery and the ham on the cutting board [Sorry, sometimes I forget to turn that light off]

and put some ingredients by the stove in line for sauteing…as organized as I strive to be, I cook messy!  I have to keep cleaning up as I go,

so I keep half of my sink full of hot soapy water so I can try to stay ahead of the “Mess Monster”

Ha! Just a little Halloween fun!

While the bacon is frying and the water is coming to a boil, I finish the chopping

set the bacon aside and put the chicken in the skillet to brown

and got the spaghetti into the pot to boil

Things are happening FAST here so DON’T answer the phone or anything now, it will totally break your rhythm!  This is another little trick I play on myself, I challenge myself to see how FAST I can actually do it!  I don’t do this all the time, only when I need some extra motivation!

When the chicken is done remove it to a plate and throw the mushrooms into the skillet using the leftover bacon drippings that was rendered from the bacon originally, and then used to brown the chicken.  PHEW!  Wash a pot or something if you have some down time here…

When the mushrooms have begun to brown toss in the onions and celery and let it cook while you give the chicken a quick chop

Microwave the sauce for a minute to make it workable and drain the pasta and immediately top it with a dollup of Alfredo sauce

Throw the spinach on top of the cooked vegetables and let it hang out for a minute

while you toss the pasta and incorporate the sauce.  Are you keeping up?  I warned you the pace was zippy!

The magic spinach has disappeared and everything’s ready to combine into a beautiful creation!

Add the chopped chicken, ham, and bacon, season with S & P and stir to combine

Put the mixture on top of the pasta and toss gently to combine and distribute ingredients

A dusting of Parmesan, and the dish is ready for baking or refrigerating

Mine got covered and stashed in the fridge for a few hours…

and after baking, uncovered at 350 for 40 minutes, this is the  yummy result!

Sorta irresistible?

A little salad and a slice of toast and the rest is history!

NOTE: this is really a very LIGHT pasta dish.  As pictured, this casserole yielded 3 large servings and I only used 2 servings of multigrain pasta,  1/4 cup of the Alfredo Sauce, 3 slices of bacon and a sprinkling of Parmesan, plus the sauteed chicken, ham and veggies.  All the looks and taste of a decadent dish without the calories! Even Hungry Husband liked it!

This is really sort of a twist on my tettrazini recipe, and it’s basically just a formula

CREATE-A-CASSEROLE   for a printable version click here

Meat+Veggies+Pasta+Sauce+Cheese

Look in your fridge and pull out everything you want to get rid of, chop it up, saute it and mix it together with some cooked pasta, sauce and top with cheese! That’s it, not rocket science here!

Let your imagination GO WILD and have a PLAN B just in case things don’t work out so well!

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Comments
One Response to “Take out Tuesday, Create A Casserole”
  1. thegunnysack says:

    Sounds fantastic! I love pasta and that combination looks amazing!

    Like

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