Take out Tuesday, Loaded with Fruits & Vegetables!

Guess how many different fruits and vegetables are in this meal featuring an old favorite, Chicken Spaghetti?  10!   A rainbow of colors and flavors come together to make this familiar dish a little more flavorful and healthier! With a side salad full of fresh romaine, spinach, fruit and berries you will have a full day’s worth of vitamins and antioxidants.

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We also had some sauteed artichokes, which are the funny looking brown edged blobs on the plate!

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I have actually never made chicken spaghetti, or Rotel chicken as it’s sometimes called, but I finally got around to trying it.  This dish is perfect for Take out Tuesday as it can be made ahead of time and baked later or delivered to a friend with baking instructions.

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Barilla Plus Thin Spaghetti is my go to choice when I want to use spaghetti.  This is a multigrain pasta with protein and Omega 3 and I like the size of thin spaghetti. It is lighter than regular spaghetti, but strong enough for mixing well with other ingredients.  Angel Hair pasta can get clumpy and hard to mix.

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You also need chicken, a cream soup, and some Velveeta cheese.  Let’s chat about Velveeta for a moment.  Yes it is a processed cheese.  However even the full fat version has 1/3 fewer calories and 1/2 of the fat of Cheddar cheese.  It also melts like a dream so you can achieve a smooth velvety sauce with less.  Just sayin‘…also, if you are against store bought cream soups, then just make your own white sauce.  You can see a tutorial and a great chicken tetrazzini recipe by clicking here.

FYI, Campbell’s Healthy Request Cream of Celery Soup has 60 calories per serving and 2 grams of fatThe soup in this recipe for 6 would only attribute 25 calories and less than 1 gram of fat per serving.  Considerably less than a homemade white sauce.

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To begin making the Rotel chicken, you poach the chicken in water over low heat until done.  This takes a while so plan to be around.  Low and slow makes for tender chicken and the water turns into chicken broth that will be used to cook the pasta for extra flavor.  If you’re in a hurry, saute the chicken quickly in a skillet and use canned broth for cooking the pasta.

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Saute the onions and peppers in a skillet with a little Olive oil over medium heat until they are soft.  I would have added mushrooms and celery too if I had had any…the more the merrier!

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Add the Rotel, soup and tomatoes.

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Add the cheese.

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Lower heat and cook and stir until a sauce forms.  Set aside.  Cook the pasta until just done.

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Put 1/2 of the spaghetti in a large mixing bowl and top with chicken

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Pour sauce over all and stir gently. Incorporate the remaining pasta and turn into a sprayed baking dish.  A 9×9″ square was just right.

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I topped this with just a sprinkle of Cheddar cheese because I happened to have about an ounce already grated.  You could also top with fresh bread crumbs.

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After baking at 325 for about 50 minutes, this gorgeous dish of yumminess came out of the oven.  I encourage you to try this if this recipe is not already in your recipe box, we couldn’t believe how FLAVORFUL this was.  The Rotel tomatoes and green chiles gave it just a kick of heat to make it interesting but mild enough even for sensitive palettes. You can taste the tomatoes and the peppers and onions add a subtle flavor.

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These recipes are on the February Paint Bucket

as CHICKEN SPAGHETTI, SAUTEED ARTICHOKE HEARTS, APPLE, CHERRY & PECAN SALAD {Pioneer Woman}

MAIN bktSIDES bkt

Here is the recipe for the chicken:

ROTEL CHICKEN WITH VEGETABLES                   for a printable version click here

2 whole boneless chicken breasts, cut in half

1/2 yellow onion, chopped

1/2 red pepper, chopped

1/2 yellow pepper, chopped

10-12 grape tomatoes, halved

1 can Rotel diced tomatoes with green chiles

1 can Cream of Celery, Mushroom or Chicken Soup

6 oz Velveeta cheese

8 oz thin spaghetti

Place chicken into a sauce pan and add water to cover.  Simmer over low heat, 60-90 minutes.  Low and slow makes the chicken tender.  Remove chicken and turn the heat up to high and bring the water, which is now chicken broth, to a boil.  Add 1 T salt and spaghetti and cook until just done.  Do not overcook.  Drain pasta and chop chicken.  Saute onion and peppers in a skillet with a drizzle of Olive oil.  Season with salt and pepper. Add Rotel, tomatoes, soup and cheese.  Cook and stir until cheese has melted.  Place 1/2 of spaghetti into a large mixing bowl.  Add the chicken. Pour sauce over all and stir gently.  Add the rest of the pasta gradually, stirring until it has the sauce to pasta ratio you like.  I kept mine pretty creamy so it wouldn’t dry out during baking.  At this point the casserole can be refrigerated for up to 2 days.  Bake at 325 for 45-60 minutes.  Serves 4-6

The salad is easily portable too. 

The salad is just a mix of torn crisp romaine and baby spinach.  I topped it with chopped fresh apple, orange segments, blueberries, dried cherries and butter toasted almonds.

Just make up the dressing in a ball jar and tote it along to dress the salad where ever it’s going!

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I make this ALL the time, it takes only a minute and it is great on anything!

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Put all the ingredients in a bowl and toss with dressing to taste.

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I topped this with some butter toasted almonds.  Make your own and store them in a jar for future use. You can see the method by clicking here.

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The oranges, apples, dried cherries and almond give this salad so much flavor you don’t really need much dressing.

Here is the salad dressing recipe:

M&M DRESSING {Mustard & Maple} from the Pioneer Woman

for a printable version click here

1 Tablespoon (heaping) Dijon Mustard
1 Tablespoon Maple Syrup, I use Michele’s Butter Pecan Maple Syrup
1 teaspoon Apple Cider Vinegar
1/4 cup Olive Oil
Salt And Pepper, to taste

In a small jar, mix Dijon, maple syrup, vinegar, olive oil, and salt and pepper. Put the lid on the jar and shake well to mix.

Store in refrigerator.  Let dressing sit out before using if necessary to mix after chilling.

And just because I had been thinking about these artichoke hearts for quite a while, I decided to add them to our menu too, talk about EASY!!

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Drain 1 can of artichoke hearts and cut them in half.  I served 3-4 halves per person and put the rest in a jar in the fridge for another use.  These would be a great appetizer or an “amuse bouche” at your next party!  Do you have any of those fancy ceramic appetizer serving spoons? These would be so PERFECT for that!

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Saute the artichokes in a hot skillet, cut side down in a little Olive oil.  I used lemon flavored Olive oil.  Turn after 2 minutes and top with freshly shaved Parmesan.  Cook for another 2 minutes and serve immediately.

Here’s the recipe:

SAUTEED ARTICHOKE HEARTS WITH PARMESAN              for a printable version click here

1 can artichoke hearts

Olive oil

lemon

fresh shaved Parmesan

Sea salt

Rinse and drain artichokes.  Slice in 1/2  and drizzle with lemon juice. Heat skillet over medium high to high heat and add 2 T olive oil.  When oil is hot add artichoke halves, cut side down and cook for 2 minutes.  Flip over, top with Parmesan and cook  2 more minutes.  Sprinkle with a large grain salt, such as Kosher or sea salt, and serve immediately.  Serving size is 3-4 halves per person. 1 can yields about 6 servings

This meal is LOADED  with healthy vegetables and is a delicious way to incorporate more into your menu. Do you have a tip for incorporating more nutrition into your favorite dishes?

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The salad bowl is from JMdesigns

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I’m joining some of these great parties this week:

the Tablescaper for SEASONAL SUNDAY

Between Naps on the Porch for METAMORPHIS MONDAY & TABLESCAPE THURSDAY

Stone Gable for ON THE MENU MONDAY and TUTORIALS, TIPS & TIDBITS THURSDAY

The Gunny Sack for WHAT’S IN THE GUNNY SACK?

Memories by the Mile for TUESDAY TRIVIA

Savvy Southern Style for WOW US WEDNESDAY

Cuisine Kathleen for LET’S DISH

Rattlebridge Farms for FOODIE FRIDAY

Alderberry Hill for MAKE THE SCENE MONDAY

The Dedicated House for MAKE IT PRETTY MONDAY

No Minimalist Here for OPEN HOUSE THURSDAY

The Busy Bee’s for THURSDAY BLOG HOP

Crafts ala mode for WHAT TO DO WEEKENDS

check out these amazing blogs!

Comments
6 Responses to “Take out Tuesday, Loaded with Fruits & Vegetables!”
  1. That sounds so delicious! What a great dinner!

    Like

  2. Barbara F. says:

    This entire meal is right up my alley! Yummy yum yum! I want to make everything right down to those artichokes, love them, my mom made them like that all the time! I agree about using Velveeta. And Rotel is such an underutilized product. Good in so many dishes. Visiting from Foodie Friday. xo

    Like

  3. Barbara F. says:

    Forgot to mention I am your newest follower, too. xo

    Like

  4. Appreciate it for sharing this excellent internet site.

    Like

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