Chicken and Broccoli Shells

Chicken and Broccoli Shells | marissabaker.wordpress.comThis recipe is one of the answers to the question, “What do you do with broccoli heads the size of bowling balls?” Seriously, that’s how big these things are. I’ve never seen broccoli grow this large. We weren’t able to use it all before they started to bloom, but the plants we cut are already producing side-shoot broccoli heads. If you’ve grown broccoli, you know the second heads are significantly smaller than the first ones. For these plants, that means they are size of broccoli you see in the grocery store.

Chicken and Broccoli Shells

2 whole skinless, boneless chicken breasts cut in 1″ cubes

2 teaspoons vegetable oil

1 1⁄2 cups chopped broccoli, fresh or frozen

2 cups chicken broth

1 can (10.5 ounces) cream of chicken soup

1/2 teaspoon pepper

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 cups small shell pasta, uncooked

1 cup (4 ounces) cheddar cheese, shredded

Heat oil in skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken and cook until no longer pink. Add broccoli, broth, soup, pepper, garlic and pasta. Bring to a boil.

Chicken and Broccoli Shells | marissabaker.wordpress.com

Reduce heat to lowest setting, cover, and simmer for 15-20 minutes, or until pasta is tender. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking. Check near the end of cooking and add a small amount of water, if needed. Stir in cheese during last two minutes of cooking.

Chicken and Broccoli Shells | marissabaker.wordpress.com

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Italian Tuna Melt

Italian Tuna Melt recipe by marissabaker.wordpress.comThis is an Italian version of the Tuna and Pasta Cheddar Melt that I posted several weeks ago. These are quick and easy meals that take me about 20 minutes from start to finish, so they are a popular choice for lunch around here.

Italian Tuna Melt recipe by marissabaker.wordpress.com
tastes great with chicken, too

I had a bit more time a couple days ago and tried this with chicken, which had an excellent flavor. It’s not as fast of a meal option, but if you want to try that variation all you have to to is cook about 1 pound of cubed chicken in olive oil and then remove it from the skillet before cooking the pasta. Add the cooked chicken at the same time as you would the tuna.

Oh, one more thing. The recipe says to crush croutons over the pasta, but I was out so I just seasoned some breadcrumbs like I did for the Cottage Cheese Chicken Bake.

Italian Tuna Melt

2 1/2 cups chicken broth

3 cups uncooked rotini pasta

Italian Tuna Melt recipe by marissabaker.wordpress.com1 can cream of chicken soup or substitute

1 cup milk

2, 5-ounce cans of tuna

1 teaspoon parsley flakes

1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning

1/4 teaspoon basil

1/4 cup Parmesan cheese

3/4 cup mozzarella cheese

6 garlic and cheese croutons

Heat the broth and water in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat to a boil. Stir in the pasta. Reduce the heat to medium. Cook until the pasta is tender, stirring often. Do not drain. Stir the thickened soup, 1 cup milk and tuna into the skillet with the pasta.

Italian Tuna Melt recipe by marissabaker.wordpress.comStir in spices and Parmesan cheese, then sprinkle the mozzarella over the top. Crush croutons. Sprinkle over the tuna mixture and cook until the cheese has melted and mixture is hot and bubbling.

Italian Tuna Melt recipe by marissabaker.wordpress.com

Tuna and Pasta Cheddar Melt

Tuna and Pasta Cheddar Melt recipe. marissabaker.wordpress.comI think I found the original for this recipe on a site for Campbell’s soup, but I changed its ingredients to add carrots and use this cream soup substitute from Center Cut Cook instead of canned soup. Haven’t tried the soup yet in any of my other recipes that call for cream of chicken, but I plan to. The texture is perfect, though the color and taste is a bit different.

Tuna and Pasta Cheddar Melt

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2 1/2 cups chicken broth

3 cups uncooked rotini pasta

2 tablespoons butter

3 tablespoons flour

Tuna and Pasta Cheddar Melt recipe. marissabaker.wordpress.com1/2 cup chicken broth

1/2 cup milk

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1 cup milk

2, 5-ounce cans of tuna

1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese (about 4 ounces)

2 tablespoons dry bread crumbs

2 teaspoons butter, melted

Heat the broth and water in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat to a boil. Stir in the pasta. Reduce the heat to medium. Cook until the pasta is tender, stirring often. Do not drain.

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Tuna and Pasta Cheddar Melt recipe. marissabaker.wordpress.com
cream of soup substitute

Meanwhile, in a small sauce pan, melt butter over medium-low heat. Whisk in flour and let cook for 1-2 minutes. Slowly stir in 1/2 cup chicken broth, then 1/2 cup milk. Whisk until it begins to thicken. Let it simmer for a few minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Tuna and Pasta Cheddar Melt recipe. marissabaker.wordpress.com

Stir the thickened soup, 1 cup milk and tuna into the skillet with the pasta. Stir in 1/2 cup of cheese, then sprinkle the rest over the top. Stir the bread crumbs and butter in a small bowl. Sprinkle over the tuna mixture and cook until the mixture is hot and bubbling.

Tuna and Pasta Cheddar Melt recipe. marissabaker.wordpress.com

Chicken Divan

Chicken Divan recipe by marissabaker.wordpress.comI wish I could tell you the name of the recipe book I found this in, but it’s old and the front and back covers have long since been lost. Regardless, it is an easy dish that has become a popular choice in our house. Evey time I say I’m not sure what to make for lunch, my brother tells me to bake chicken divan. There’s rarely left overs here, but it does heat up well the next day.

In other news, there’s a Scarlet Pimpernel Quotation Challenge and Giveaway running now until Feb. 14 on Musings of an Introvert for the Anthony Andrew’s blog hop. If you’re interested, make your way over there and see how many quotations you can complete.

Chicken Divan

Chicken Divan recipe by marissabaker.wordpress.com
If using brown rice, start it cooking about the same time as the chicken

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1 teaspoon olive oil

4 cups chicken, cut into small pieces

4 cups chopped carrots, cauliflower, and broccoli

1 teaspoon curry powder

1 can cream of chicken soup

½ cup mayonnaise

1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Heat olive oil in skillet over medium heat. Cook chicken until done.

Chicken Divan recipe by marissabaker.wordpress.com
Spread sauce evenly over the chicken and vegetables

Meanwhile, place vegetables with water in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Let cook for a couple minutes. Drain vegetables.

Place vegetables on the bottom of a 9×13-in. baking pan . Top with cooked chicken. Mix cream of chicken soup, curry powder, and mayonnaise. Spread over chicken mixture. Top with cheddar cheese.

Cover with aluminum foil and bake 20 minutes at 350°F. Remove foil and book another 5 to 10 minutes, or until cheese is melted and starting brown and sauce is bubbling around the edges. Serve with rice.

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Chicken Divan recipe by marissabaker.wordpress.com
Fresh from the oven

Brown Rice Pilaf

"Brown Rice Pilaf" by marissabaker.wordpress.comWhen served with a few pieces of chicken, this brown rice pilaf is one of my favorite meals. The original recipe (the origin of which I have lost track of) called for long grain or basmati rice — I’ve always used the brown rice that we keep on hand to serve with stir-fries. It has to cook longer than the original 15-20 minutes, but it’s healthy and it tastes good. There are several variations you could try on this recipe, though I like the one with basil and carrots so much that I haven’t played around with it too much. I have kept substitutions suggested by the original recipe in parenthesis if you want to experiment with some of them.

Brown Rice Pilaf

"Brown Rice Pilaf" by marissabaker.wordpress.com
Cook the rice and garlic in hot butter

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1 cup brown rice

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 tablespoons butter

2 cups chicken broth

¼ cup shredded carrots (can substitute mushrooms, sweet peppers, or zucchini)

"Brown Rice Pilaf" by marissabaker.wordpress.com
Add liquid, carrots, and basil

¼ cup rice wine (can substitute apple juice, dry white wine, or water)

¼ teaspoon dried basil (can substitute oregano or thyme)

½ cup slivered almonds (can substitute green onions, chopped walnuts, or pine nuts)

Melt butter in a medium sauce pan. Add garlic and uncooked rice. Stir in hot butter for 3 minutes. Slowly add chicken broth, then stir in carrots, wine and dried herb.

Bring mixture to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 30-45 minutes or until rice is tender and liquid is absorbed. Add slivered almonds and serve.

"Brown Rice Pilaf" by marissabaker.wordpress.com. For the chicken, I pour some rice wine in a baking dish, add garlic and basil, then add the chicken. Shake some basil and garlic over the chicken and top with mozzarella cheese or crushed garlic and cheese croutons
For the chicken, I pour some rice wine in a baking dish, add garlic and basil, then add the chicken. Shake some basil and garlic over the chicken and top with mozzarella cheese or crushed garlic and cheese croutons

Top 5 Recipes of 2013

I was reading a Top 10 recipes post from another blogger, which gave me the idea to start off this new year of blogging by sharing a list of my most popular recipes from 2013. Since I didn’t have a full year’s worth of recipe posts, I decided to post my top 5 instead of top 10. Honorable Mention: No Bake Blueberry Cheesecake was only one view away from being tied with General Tso’s Chicken for 5th place.

  1. Cheesy Broccoli Cauliflower Casserole
  2. Bowtie Pasta Bake
  3. Sweet Potato Casserole
  4. Unleavened Banana Bread
  5. General Tso’s Chicken
Top 5 Recipies of 2013 by marissabaker.wordpress.com
A tasty side-dish that can be made in the microwave or oven. Click here for the recipe.
Top 5 Recipies of 2013 by marissabaker.wordpress.com
One of my favorite pasta dishes. I’ve also made it with turkey and penne. Click here for the recipe.
Top 5 Recipies of 2013 by marissabaker.wordpress.com
My family agrees this is the best sweet potato casserole recipe. For a little extra flavor, try adding 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon to the filling. Click here for the recipe.
Top 5 Recipies of 2013 by marissabaker.wordpress.com
I was a little surprised to see this recipe was so popular. It’s one of my favorites, but I didn’t expect so many people to be looking for unleavened bread recipes. Click here for the recipe.
Top 5 Recipies of 2013 by marissabaker.wordpress.com
It seems fitting that the most popular Chinese recipe in our house should be one of the most popular recipes on my blog. Click here for the recipe.