Over the weekend I went to the suburbs to my parents house. It’s been freezing in Chicago and I’ve been wearing lots of sweaters, boots, and layering. I love my parents backyard. They have a grill and a fire pit and in the summer it’s so much fun to grill and then make s’mores. Gosh, I miss summer! I like to think that one of the best parts of living in Chicago is that we get all 4 seasons. Hopefully this winter will be like last year and end in March. In the meantime, I’m going to wear self tanner, bronzer, and my favorite fur jacket.
It’s winter and I think everyone craves comfort food. I came home from a long day at work and a tough workout at Barre Bee Fit and wanted a big bowl of pasta!
how on earth did I think of that?
Well…I only allow myself to eat 1/2 cup of pasta per serving. I knew that wouldn’t be enough to fill me up so I added broccoli… something vibrant and green to give me some nutrients while I stuff my face.
And the colors remind me of spring
- 1/2 cup whole wheat penne pasta (or whatever pasta you like)
- A ton of frozen broccoli florets- idk how much I used, but I added a lot
- 1 wedge of laughing cow light swiss cheese
- 1 tbsp of fat free sour cream
- 2 tsp of grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 tsp of salt
- dash of pepper
Directions:In a large sauce pan boil some water w/ 1 tsp of salt. When the water gets to a boil add the pasta and let cook for about 8 minutes or until half way cooked though. Add the broccoli to the same water as the pasta. Once the pasta and brocoli are tender, rinse and put in a shallow bowl. Add the laughing cow cheese and sour cream to the hot pasta & broccoli. Stir well until the cheese melts. Add the parmesan cheese and pepper.
TIP: Prepare the cheese wedge and sour cream ahead of time by combining them together to make a creamy sauce. This will make the whole mixing process easier.
I can’t take credit for ALL of this recipe… I got the creamy sauce idea from Hungry Girl’s Lisa Lillian.
I know it sounds absolutely disgusting but you should really try it. The sauce tastes like a REAL alfredo sauce and it’s delish. NO JOKE! It’s cheesy, creamy, and super easy, I can’t wait to make this recipe again!
It is such an inconvenience aka my family is forbidding me from driving home in this gorgeous Chicago icy disaster.
When is Summer? Since it’s so darn nasty outside my parents decided to be a cute little tag team and make this delicious veggie soup concoction.
Jan and Marc’s Veggie Soup Concoction
- 2 bone- in skinless chicken breasts
- 1/2 onion chopped
- 2 carrots evenly sliced
- 2 small potatoes diced
- 2 cans of tomato sauce
- 2 cups of water
- 1 15-oz can of chicken broth
- 1 can of red kidney beans
- 1 cup of pasta (any kind you like)
- 1 package of manischewitz soup mix
- 1/4 cup of olive oil (yes, it’s a lot of oil but this is a big recipe!)
In a large pot, take 1/4 cup of olive oil and sear the chicken breast until golden brown on both sides- season well with salt and pepper. Next, add the onion, celery, carrots, and potatoes to the pot and let them saute with the chicken for 10 minutes.
Add the chicken stock, tomato sauce, water, beans, soup mix, and pasta. Bring to a boil and then reduce. Cover with a lid and simmer for 1-2 hours. Remove the chicken breasts from the bone and shred into the soup.
This recipe also works well in the slow cooker. Just throw all ingredients into the slow cooker except for the pasta and turn on low for 6-8 hours or high for 4-6 hours. Don’t forget to remove the chicken breast from the bone and add the pasta.
Stay warm today!