So how’s everybody’s Saturday going??
My Saturday turned out to be pretty fantastic, despite a less-than-stellar turnout for our garage sale today. Even though we only ended up making $15.00 (a full $100 LESS than yesterday!), we still have a way to get rid of almost ALL of our leftovers, thanks to Jay’s mom. Thank GOODNESS…and good riddance!! 😀
After closing up shop at the sale, I decided to pop in our wedding video and watch that. I’ve been wanting to watch it for a while now, and boy I’ll tell ya…that video gets me every time. This resulted in a good hour and a half of my afternoon with me simultaneously laughing and balling my eyes out. Happy tears of course! 😀
After an unexpected afternoon nap (which I hardly ever do, but think I need to try it more often) it was time to start making some dinner.
And let me tell you…tonight’s dinner was, in one word: epic.
While getting things prepped in the kitchen, I sipped on a fab glass of vino. In my opinion, it’s the best way to cook. 😉
And apparently, it also helps in the creation of one phenomenal meal…
Had I anticipated this becoming such a great concoction, I probably would have taken some photos of my prep, but unfortunately that didn’t happen. Here’s how things went down…
-Earlier in the day, I roasted up a big batch of veggies under the assumption they would probably be used tonight. I just wasn’t sure how.
-Then, I realized we had a big pack of chicken breasts in the fridge that needed to be separated and frozen, so I figured that I would incorporate some of that too.
-Then a commercial for Olive Garden came on television, and a huge hankering for pasta came swarming over me…
–aaaaand the rest is history.
I think one of my favorite parts about this meal is that it was created entirely without a recipe. I was a free woman in the kitchen, and I LOVED IT. I wish I had that confidence all the time!
And do you want to know the best part of this meal?? It even incorporated my current food obsession: pumpkin!! 😯
(Jay still doesn’t know there was pumpkin in the recipe…mwaaahahaha!) 😉
Check out the stringy cheese…mmmmm. 😛
I really didn’t do too much measuring of anything, but I have a pretty good idea; so without further ado, let me share with you my fabulous creation for…
Get sneaky with this recipe, which incorporates canned pumpkin! You can barely taste it, but you're getting an added dose of veggies in your dinner - it's a win win!
- 8-10 oz. pasta of your choice
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 large boneless & skinless chicken breast, cut into bite sized pieces
- 1/2 small onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 cups roasted veggies (I used zucchini, yellow squash, broccoli, & carrots)
- 1 cup frozen peas, thawed
- 1 1/2 cups marinara sauce
- 2/3 cup canned pumpkin
- 1 to 1-1/2 cups part skim mozzarella, freshly shredded
- 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese
- 1 tsp dried basil
- Salt & pepper
- Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Cook pasta al dente, drain & set aside.
- Heat olive oil in a pan. Saute chicken pieces a few minutes & then add onion & garlic. Cook for a few minutes until almost cooked through.
- In a large bowl, toss the drained pasta with the roasted vegetables, cooked chicken mixture, marinara sauce, pumpkin, cheeses, peas, dried basil, salt, pepper. Using a wooden spoon, gently mix, until all the pasta is coated with the sauce and the ingredients are combined.
- Pour the pasta into an 11x7 inch pan sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Top with a light sprinkling of mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses.
- Bake until top is golden and cheese melts, about 25 minutes.
I served our baked pasta dish with some simple mixed greens, drizzled with a little Ken’s Light Balsamic Vinaigrette. It turned out to be the perfect accompaniment!
And better yet, my “wing-it” portions ended up leaving us with tons of leftovers…which is A-OK with me!
Jay and I are planning on spending the rest of our evening low-key, on the couch, catching up with our DVR, and enjoying a little dessert that came our way today…
Jay’s parents took a trip out to Vermont today, and on their way back, stopped by to drop off some goodies they picked up for us. Jay got a box of his favorites, chocolate-covered cherries, while I got an assortment of various caramel-filled chocolates. Ummm, could it get any better???
Actually, it did…when I realized there was a whole bottom layer in the box. 😯
Looks like a perfect way to end my Saturday!
Question for the Night:
Do you ever use pumpkin in savory dishes?
I need to try this more often!