Not My Typical Dinner

So a friend and his wife came over to hang out and he pointed out that my BOY might be less likely to hit up fast food on his way home from work if there were options other than black bean burgers and parsnip chips at home.  He also made some quote about two unhappy parties reaching compromise….which got me thinking about my recent menu selections.  Definitely a lot of vegetarian dishes for dinner.  With that being said, I decided to try a new approach to dinner. I saw this recipe in Clean Eating Magazine. I thought it looked fabulous and I loved the idea of a hearty casserole to warm up this wintery weather.


First step is making the pasta.  I couldn’t find farro at a few stores, so I went with whole-wheat farfalle.




While that was cooking, I started by chopping and sautéing my vegetables.




Then I added 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth.


IMG_0381 IMG_0382


I brought the broth to a boil and then let it simmer.  I used half the veggie and 3/4 of the liquid mixtures in my food processor with a cloth over the top to keep the steam from escaping.  I had to guess on my portions and then added sour cream and the other ingredients.  Then, I returned the sour cream mixture to the pot, along with the pasta, chicken, and peas.


IMG_0385 IMG_0387


I stirred everything together and poured the casserole into my greased baking dish, topping the casserole with the rest of the cheese.  FYI,  I had trouble finding graded Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, but the nice people at Whole Foods made some for me.




I pulled it out of the oven after 25 minutes. It looked good and smelled incredible!




We had a few house guests who were snowed in at our house and stayed for dinner.  Everyone enjoyed the meal (even the side of veggies).  Plus we had some extra Pumpkin Blondies for dessert!



Chicken Tetrazzini Casserole


Olive oil cooking spray

1/2 lb (8 oz) whole-wheat or farro short pasta

1 Tbsp olive oil

6 oz cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced (about 2 cups)

1/4 cup finely diced sweet onion

1 medium carrot, peeled, halved length-wise and thinly sliced (about 1/2 cup)

1/2 Tsp sea salt

2 cups low-fat, low-sodium chicken broth

1/3 cup low-fat sour cream

3 Tbsp finely chopped fresh parsley

1 oz Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, finely graded (about 1/3 cup), divided

2 Tsp finely chopped fresh tarragon

1/2 Tsp finely grated lemon zest

1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice

5 oz roasted chicken breast, torn into bite-size pieces (about 1 cup)

3/4 cup frozen peas

1/4 cup roughly chopped raw almonds, optional


ONE: Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Lightly mist an 11-cup (2.6 L) casserole dish with cooking spray; set aside.

TWO: Cook pasta to al dente according to package directions, drain, rinse under cold running water and drain again; set aside.

THREE: Meanwhile, heat oil in a large nonstick skillet or Dutch oven over high heat.  Add mushrooms, onion and carrot and cook, stirring for 1 minute.  Add salt and continue to cook, stirring until mushrooms are golden brown and carrot has softened, about 4 minutes.  Add broth, bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium and simmer gently until carrot is tender, about 5 minutes.  Transfer three quarters of broth and half of vegetable mixture to a blender and puree until smooth.  Add sour cream, parsley, half of Parmigiano-Reggiano, terragon, lemon zest and juice and pulse blender until mixed.  Return pureed mixture to skillet and toss with pasta, chicken, and peas.  Transfer mixture to prepared casserole dish, and sprinkle remaining half of cheese and almonds if desired over the top.  Bake until sauce is bubbling and top is golden brown, about 20 to 25 minutes.

MAKE AHEAD: Casserole can be assembled, wrapped tightly in plastic wrap and stored in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours.


Nutrition (per 1 1/2 cup serving including almonds)

Calories: 269, Total fat: 7 g, Carbs: 36 g, Fiber: 5 g, Sugars: 4 g, Protein: 16 g, Sodium: 226 mg, Cholesterol: 27 mg

2 thoughts on “Not My Typical Dinner

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s