Saturday, August 6, 2011

KITCHEN KREATION: Cheesy Chicken & Spinach Bake

I have had this casserole recipe rolling around in my head for about a week and finally decided to give it a go. After making the donuts, I decided that I would go ahead and cook our meal for the weekend since I was in such a cooking mood. That way, breakfast, lunch, and dinner would be done all before 10:30. Yes, you read right, BEFORE 10:30.

That left the rest of the day to completely veg out, which I did... LOL

Hubby said our lunch/dinner casserole was great. It was even better today for dinner accompanied with a delicious side salad and a piece of garlic toast.


INGREDIENTS

32 oz. whole wheat penne pasta
2-3 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 jar Ragu Light Parmesan Alfredo sauce
1 can Campbells Healthy Choice Cream of Mushroom sauce
1/2 medium onion - chopped
2 cloves garlic - minced
1 cup fat free (or low fat) mozzarella cheese
2 Tbsp Italian Seasoning
salt & pepper - to taste
cooking spray

DIRECTIONS
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Cook whole wheat pasta according to package directions. When done, drain and set aside.
  3. Lightly spray skillet with cooking spray.
  4. Wash, pat dry, and cut chicken into bite-sized 1 inch pieces
  5. Cook chicken in skillet until almost cooked through (should still be able to see some pink).
  6. Toss in onions, stir and cook until tender.
  7. Make a small clear space in skillet and add garlic. Cook until fragrant, approximately one minute.
  8. Stir well to combine all ingredients.
  9. Spray 9x13 glass baking dish with cooking spray.
  10. In a large mixing bowl, combine chicken and onion mixture, whole wheat pasta, alfredo sauce, cream of mushroom soup, and 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese.
  11. Add Italian seasoning and stir well to combine.
  12. Pour mixture into glass baking dish.
  13. Add additional 1/2 cup of cheese to top of mixture.
  14. Spray aluminum foil with cooking spray, and cover baking dish.
  15. Cook for approximately 30 minutes or until cheese is all melted & bubbly.
  16. After done, let sit for 10 minutes and enjoy!

KITCHEN KREATION: Baked Cinnamon Donuts with Vanilla Glaze


Yum. Yum. Yum.
Since moving up north where there is a Dunkin' Donuts literally on every other corner, I have been fighting this intense urge to give in and have one of those delicious deep fried pieces of sugar covered dough...
(sigh...)
The hubby and I have been doing so good with our workouts that I just didn't want to cave. I know myself and if I give in once, I'll keep going back. Deep fried donuts are like crack to me. Y'all don't want me to end up looking like Pookie from New Jack City, right???

Trust and believe, that is NOT a good look for ANYBODY!!!

So, like anyone else with an addiction, you recognize it and don't put yourself in a situation where you can be tempted. Above all else, you have to stay strong and believe that you can get through whatever cravings are running through your head at that time. So far that's what has been working for me.

So, even though they have a donut shop on every other corner up here in Philly. I have refrained from getting one. I'm quite proud of myself for that, now that I think about it...
Anyway, back to the recipe.

A few months ago, I was on my girl Kristin's blog at IowaGirlEats.com and she was talking about the wonders of baking donuts to make them healthier for you, in other words, "delicious and nutritious". I immediately ordered one of the Wilton donut pans from amazon that she mentioned in her post but never had the chance to make any donuts until this morning.

The recipe came from Kate who has a page on foodbuzz. Her recipe can be found here. I looked at the recipe and thought, hey, I have everything on that list, I'll make those for Saturday morning. Imagine my dismay when I woke up bright and early this morning to realize that I didn't have any all purpose flour. I had cake flour, but no all purpose flour. Who does that? I mean, really...

Before I got too disappointed, however, I looked at the back of the Wilton's donut pan and lo and behold they had a basic donut recipe using cake flour.
Did anyone else hear the angels singing this morning? LOL

I immediately started measuring and whisking things together. What resulted was a delicious dozen of donuts that came out moist, semi-healthy, and they helped to kick that deep fried donut craving right in the butt. Here's my adaptation of both recipes, let me know what you guys think...

INGREDIENTS - FOR DONUTS
2 cups cake flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar (feel free to use the equivalent of Splenda)
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
3/4 cup skim milk
3/4 tsp white vinegar
2 eggs, lightly beaten
3 Tbsp of I Can't Believe It's Not Butter, melted (use real butter for more calories)
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

INGREDIENTS - FOR GLAZE
2 Tbsp skim milk
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 cup powdered sugar


DIRECTIONS
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. In large mixing bowl, sift together cake flour, sugar, baking powder, nutmeg, cinnamon and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a small saucepan bring together the milk, white vinegar, vanilla, egg, and butter.Cook over medium-heat, stirring constantly with a whisk until the butter melts, about one minute. Remove from heat.
  4. Add the milk mixture into the flour mixture; mix until combined.Fill each donut cup approximately 2/3 full.
  5. Bake 7-9 minutes or until the top of teh donuts spring back when touched.
  6. Let cool in pan before removing.
While the donuts are cooling, start working on the glaze.

FOR GLAZE:
  1. Place all the ingredients in a small saucepan and cook over medium-heat, stirring until everything is combined and there are no lumps.
  2. Set the saucepan in a bowl with hot water.
  3. Dip the doughnuts into the glaze, one at a time, and set on a rack, glaze side up. Be sure to place something (parchment paper, wax paper, etc) underneath the rack because some of that glaze will drip off.
  4. Re-dip until you have the glaze thickness you like and enjoy!

Now wasn't that easy???
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