I cut back on carbs. I’m letting that sink in for a minute…because I adore carbs more than I can begin to describe. I’m taking a wild guess and saying that I probably consume the same amount of carbs per week as a small village.
Talk about comfort. Carbohydrates make me incredibly happy. Like Christmas. Only Santa is nowhere to be found and I just eat and eat and eat. Why would I cut back?
Because my Bread & Noodle belly is just that: too bread-ey and noodle-ey. Time to trim that tum. No bread, pasta/noodles, crackers, rice. Wah. Big Wah. But I’m giving myself mini-rewards so if I’m good all week, then I let myself indulge a bit on the weekends. I’m kind of like a 4-year-old like that.
Since I still need to feed the family and I needed a little reward for staying on track all week, sun-dried tomato chicken spaghetti made an appearance over the weekend. I love this dish for many reasons, but mainly because it’s such a pantry-freezer-whatever-you-have-on-hand kind of meal. If you enjoy Tetrazzini, then I think you’d like this dish. This is on my monthly meal rotation so I thought I’d share with you.
First, melt a couple of tablespoons of butter in a large nonstick pan on medium heat. Add flour and a pinch or 2 of salt and freshly ground pepper and stir constantly for a minute. Then slowly pour in chicken broth and half-and-half. Simmer until it thickens, stirring all the while.
I added cooked and diced chicken breasts along with frozen peas, chopped mushrooms, and sun-dried tomatoes. I let some of the oil from the canned sun-dried tomatoes (my favorite is Trader Joe’s) drip into the pan as well. That’s what gives this comfort dish the taste I love. The beauty of dishes like this is that you can add whatever you like to it and if you have veggies to use up, toss those in. If you don’t like peas or mushrooms, no matter, replace them with something you do like. No chicken? Toss in cooked turkey or cubed ham. Mix it all up, coating the chicken and veggies completely.
Toss in cooked spaghetti. We’ve eaten whole wheat pasta for a few years and enjoy it, but you can certainly use whatever spaghetti noodles you prefer.
Slide it into a lightly greased 9×12 dish and top with shredded Colby Jack cheese and pop in the oven for about 20 minutes to heat through and melt the cheese.
I tried to put a smaller portion on a salad plate so I’d feel like I had a large amount as I’ve read one should do when trying to portion control (I have portion control issues as well as carb issues). Nah. I just felt like getting 3 extra servings.
Sun-dried Tomato Chicken Spaghetti
- 8 oz. package spaghetti (I use whole wheat)
- 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cooked and chopped
- olive oil
- 2 tbsp butter
- 2 tbsp flour
- Salt and pepper
- ½ cup chicken broth
- 1 cup half-n-half (use milk if you like; I had ½ a gallon of half-n-half in the fridge, but I've used milk. Half-n-half is better, in my opinion:)
- about 1 cup frozen peas
- about 1 cup sliced and chopped mushrooms
- about ¼ cup sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil, chopped (I add a bit more than ¼ cup and add a bit of the oil as well)
- 1 cup Colby Jack cheese, shredded (or cheddar; whatever you like!)
- Rub a bit of olive oil on chicken breasts and season with salt and pepper. Bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes (until cooked). Chop chicken once cooled. Raise oven temperature to 375 degrees.
- Boil spaghetti until just under al dente. Drain and set aside. Meanwhile, melt butter in large nonstick pan over medium heat. Add flour and a couple pinches of salt and freshly ground pepper. Stir until mixed thoroughly. Slowly add chicken broth and half-n-half to pan. Raise heat slightly to a low simmer and stir constantly until mixture thickens. Stir in peas, mushrooms, chopped chicken, and sun-dried tomatoes. Add a drizzle of the sun-dried tomato oil to taste. Toss until everything is coated. Add spaghetti to pan and toss again. Slide into a lightly greased 9x13 in. pan and top with the shredded cheese. Bake at 375 degrees for about 20 minutes or until heated through and cheese has melted. Serve with a simple salad and enjoy!