One Pot 3 Cheese & Chicken Pasta Bake

I sure am loving these one pot pasta meals. 

Not that it's hard, but boiling the pasta separate has always seemed 
like somewhat of a hassle.
I don't even precook my lasagna noodles anymore and they turn out great. You can check out how I prepare the noodles here.

Anyway, this was delicious and the pasta was cooked perfectly.

Linked with Foodie Friday and Weekend Potluck.

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One Pot 3 Cheese & Chicken Pasta Bake

1 tbsp oil
4 skinless boneless chicken breasts
Salt and pepper
1 onion, chopped
1/8 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tsp Italian seasoning
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
1 tsp red wine vinegar
1 tsp sugar
3 cups chicken broth
12 oz rigatoni or penne pasta
4 oz Havarti cheese, grated
4 oz mozzarella cheese, grated
1/4 cup heavy cream or half and half
1/2 cup fresh grated parmesan cheese
Fresh chopped parsley or basil, for garnish

Preheat oven to 350*

Heat oil in a large oven proof skillet. Salt and pepper chicken on both sides; brown on both sides 2-3 minutes per side. No need to cook until done because they will continue cooking in the oven. Set aside to rest then cut into bite size pieces.

Add onion, pepper flakes and Italian seasoning to the same skillet with more oil if necessary. Saute until onion is softened, scraping up any bits on the bottom as it cooks. Add garlic and cook 1 minute. Stir in tomato paste to combine and let it cook 20-30 seconds. Add crushed tomatoes, red wine vinegar, sugar and chicken broth. Bring to a boil; stir in pasta and chicken. At this point I taste for seasoning. Just remember you still have the parmesan to add. Cover and bake 20 minutes.

Remove skillet from oven and stir in Havarti, mozzarella and cream. Replace lid and continue baking 15 minutes. Stir, then sprinkle parmesan cheese over the top and continue to bake, uncovered, 10 minutes.

Garnish with basil or parsley, if desired.


Brown Rice Delight

I have the most delicious new snack. It's low fat, healthy and delicious!

I love having left-over brown rice that's been cooked in chicken or beef broth
in the fridge. I enjoy eating it as a snack. Sometimes plain, 
sometimes with just a little drizzle of good balsamic 
or a spoonful of chutney stirred in.

I now have a new favorite way.

I warm the rice to room temperature. Then I section an orange over the rice bowl 
(I've been using cara cara oranges) and squeeze out any leftover orange juice, 
add a little feta and finish with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar.

I can't even find the words to describe the awesomeness of this combination of flavors. 
You must try it for yourself.

Linked with Weekend Potluck and Foodie Friday.
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Pecan Shortbread

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Pecan Shortbread

1/2 cup butter, softened
1/3 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
1 & 1/4 cups flour
1/4 cup + 1 tbsp chopped pecans, divided

Preheat oven to 350°. 

Line an 8-inch square baking pan with foil, leaving an overhang on 2 sides. Spray lightly with oil.

Using an electric mixer at medium speed, beat butter and brown sugar until creamy. Add vanilla and salt. Reduce mixer speed to low and gradually add flour, beating until well-mixed. Stir in 1/4 cup pecans. Mixture will be crumbly. Press dough into bottom of prepared pan. Sprinkle top with 1 tbsp pecans.

Bake until edges are lightly browned, about 25 minutes. Cool in pan for 10 minutes. Using foil, lift shortbread out of pan. Cut into bars.


Turkey-Feta Burgers with Chipotle Lime Mayo

This is one of my very favorite burgers.

And it's made with ground turkey. Trust me in this.

The feta in the burger along with the chipotle lime's awesome!

In fact, it's one of the entire families favorite.
Once you try it you'll go back to it again and again.

Linked with Weekend Potluck and Foodie Friday.

Turkey Feta Burgers w/Chipotle Lime Mayo

1.2 lb ground turkey, 87/13
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1-2 tbsp of milk
1/2 tsp garlic powder
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/3 cup feta, crumbled
4 onion rolls, toasted

Mix turkey, Worcestershire sauce, milk, garlic, salt and pepper with a fork until just blended. Mix in feta and form into 4 patties. Drizzle with olive oil and cook in a skillet or on a grill.

Cut rolls in half and drizzle with olive oil; brown in a skillet.

Serve burgers with chipotle spread, slice of onion and dill pickle slices if desired. I actually like to add a little course grain mustard and ketchup on the bottom roll.

 Chipotle Lime Mayo

Mix 1/2 cup mayo, 1 tsp chipotle/adobo puree, juice of 1/2 lime, salt and pepper.

NOTE: I puree a can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce and store in the refrigerator to use in various sauces and recipes.


Broccoli Mushroom and Brown Rice Casserole

I made this to go with a ham I baked the other day.

I know the lighting is horrible and the pictures leave a lot to be desired, but I had to post 
this so you could have the chance to enjoy it as much as I did.

It makes a delicious side dish and is fast and easy.

If your not a mushroom fan you could always use cream of chicken soup and 
leave out the additional mushrooms, or add chicken for a main course.

Definitely a keeper. Entire family LOVED it!
I even had it for breakfast the next morning.

Linked with Weekend Potluck and Foodie Friday.
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Broccoli Mushroom and Brown Rice Casserole

2 cups cooked brown rice
1/2 onion, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
Pinch of red pepper flakes
1 clove garlic, minced
1 cup chopped mushrooms
2 1/2 cups fresh broccoli florets
1 can cream of mushroom soup (i used 96% fat free)
1/3 cup milk
1 cup of sharp cheddar cheese, divided use
1/4 tsp salt

Heat oven to 375*

Heat 2 tsp of olive oil in a pan; saute onion, celery, and pepper flakes with a pinch of salt and pepper until softened. Add garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes more. Stir in mushrooms and cook until mushrooms are softened, 4-5 minutes.

In a large bowl, stir together *rice(see note), broccoli, soup, milk, 1/2 cup of shredded cheese, salt and pepper. Stir in onion mixture and pour into a 8x8 baking dish sprayed with oil. Cook covered 25 minutes. Sprinkle on remaining 1/2 cup of cheese and cook uncovered 10 minutes.

NOTE:  I cook my rice in chicken broth for added flavor. If you cook your rice in water you may need to adjust the amount of salt by up to 1/2 tsp.