Friday, January 11, 2013

Fun Food Friday!- Chicken Broccoli Bake

I have decided that I need a hobby.  I take care of 3 of the cutest boys around all day every day, and I absolutely love it and wouldn't trade doing that for anything.  But I've realized that I don't really have a hobby.  Steve's hobby is golfing, so during the warmer months he goes golfing as often as he can.  I don't have anything like that so I've decided it's time to start something.  My hobby has certain criteria it must meet.  #1- I have to be able to do it while taking care of 3 of the cutest boys around all day every day. :)  #2- It needs to be cheap- I'm Dutch and don't like having to spend a lot of money :).  #3- It needs to be something I enjoy and don't have to take a lot of time learning how to do it.  So here's what I've come up with- food blogging.  I love to cook and bake.  I also like to take pictures.  So why not combine the two.  I'm a huge Pioneer Woman fan so I'm taking my lead from her on how to food blog.  So I am declaring Fridays as Fun Food Friday on my blog. :)  Now please do not think I consider myself an expert cook.  The only thing I consider myself an expert at is changing diapers.  Cooking is just something I love to do.  So while some of these recipes might be something I've come up with, most of them are from one of my many cookbooks. :) 
For my first Fun Food Friday I'm doing Chicken Broccoli Bake.  When Steve and I got married my VandenHeuvel aunts put together a cookbook for me.  They got recipes both from my side and from Steve's side.  One of the recipes I got from Steve's mom was for this Pizza Spaghetti Casserole.  Steve loves it but I'm not a huge fan of pizza or spaghetti sauce.  So taking the idea from that casserole I came up with this dish.  Now this was the first time I ever put ham in it, but we got a ham from a couple at church for Christmas and had so much leftover after having it at Micah's birthday party, so I decided to put it in and boy oh boy was that a great idea.  So it doesn't need the ham, but if you have some ham sitting in your refrigerator looking for an opportunity to be used, I highly recommend adding it to this dish.  Okay, here we go:

The ingredients: Rotini Pasta, cooked chicken cubes, ham cubes, Alfredo sauce, Parmesan cheese, mozzarella cheese, Italian seasoning, garlic power and broccoli

First, cook a 16oz box of rotini pasta

While the pasta is cooking, steam some broccoli (if you don't have a steamer you can cook it in boiling water)

Drain the pasta (I don't rinse the pasta, if you want to just make sure to rinse it with hot water)

Return pasta to the pot and add the chicken (I used 3 boneless skinless chicken breast, produced about 3 cups of chicken), ham and broccoli

Add the Alfredo sauce.  I used Ragu Light Parmesan Alfredo (trying to be healthy:) ).  You will need about 1 1/2 jars of it.  I used a little more than that since I added ham.  You can decide how wet you want the pasta.  And remember, you can always add more at the end.

Add some shredded Parmesan cheese (about 1 cup)

Add some Garlic powder

And some Italian seasoning.  Now mix it all together.  Again, if it looks dry, add some more sauce.  The pasta will absorb the sauce, so make sure it's not too dry. 

I have discovered that while I love cooking, I don't have time every day to make a meal.  Given the fact that my family cannot eat an entire 9x13 dish unless we have it every day for a week, I've started putting dishes in 2 smaller dishes and freezing one of them.  It works great.  So whatever size you want to make, just put the contents in a greased baking dish.

Add Mozzarella cheese to the top.  You don't need a lot of cheese since there's also cheese in the dish, just enough to cover the top.  If you make the dish earlier in the day or if you are going to freeze it, don't put the cheese on until it is cool or it will start melting. 

Cover the dish with foil (so the cheese won't burn).  Make it kind of bubblie so the foil isn't touching the cheese.  Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes (if you've made the dish earlier in the day or if it's the one you have thawed from the freezer you will need to cook it longer).  Remove the foil for the last 5 minutes of baking.

The finished product.

Micah approves :)

1 comment:

  1. Looks pretty delicious! Hoping that one headed for the freezer might find it's way to the dinner table when I come next month! MmmMmm!!!