Thursday, September 6, 2012

Cheesy Southwest Chicken Pasta Casserole


Happy Thur-Friday to you! I like the weeks that I have Fridays off. I especially like the weeks that I have Monday AND Friday off. I really think that we should try to see if Congress will pass a law that will allow the work week to only be three days and have a 4 day weekend. Anyone else with me? Let me know where to send the petition and I'll get right on that.

Dinner tonight was a recipe that I have wanted to make for a few weeks. If you've paid attention to my weekly menu plan, you might have noticed that this was originally listed on it for the last three weeks. One thing or another came up and I just wasn't able to make it. I knew that there was a little bit of prep time that would go into making this dish and we've been so busy that I haven't had a lot of time to spend prepping dinner, only cooking it. I was very pleased with the way this turned out though. It had so many delicious flavors going on at once. Here's the recipe:

CHEESY SOUTHWEST CHICKEN PASTA CASSEROLE
adapted from Lauren's Latest
Servings: 6
Points+: 8


1/4 lb. pasta (I used mini shells)
2 T. light butter
3/4 c. onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 green bell pepper, diced
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped (I didn't have, so I didn't use)
1 c. frozen corn, thawed
1/4 c. all purpose flour
1 c. chicken broth
1 c. low fat milk milk
1 t. ground cumin
1/2 t. chili powder
salt & pepper, to taste
1/4 c. fat-free half and half
1/2 c. grated 2% milk cheddar cheese
1/4 c. grated 2% milk mozzarella cheese
1 c. chicken breast, cooked and shredded
3/4 c. crushed tortilla chips

Start by boiling a large pot of water and cooking the pasta for half the time recommended on the box. Drain and set aside. In the same hot pot, melt butter and saute onions, garlic, peppers, jalapenos and corn until tender, 7 minutes or so. Sprinkle in flour and stir. Cook 2 minutes, then pour in chicken stock or milk. Increase heat to thicken sauce, then sprinkle in cumin, chili powder, salt, pepper, cheeses, half and half, chicken and cooked pasta. Stir to combine and pour into large casserole dish that has been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Top with crushed tortilla chips and bake at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes or until hot and bubbly. Serve.


EXERCISE:
I was a little sore from the strength workout that I did last night so I didn't want to do too much, but I still wanted to get a workout in. So I decided to do Walk Away the Pounds - 2 Miles. This is really one of my favorite workouts when I want to get in a workout that isn't too intense, but still more than a yoga video. If you haven't tried it yet, you really should.

So long for today...

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