Friday, January 20, 2012

Quick eats: Potato and chicken casserole, or Thanksgiving on a plate

A lot of times when I get home from working out, it's 7 p.m. or later. So, I have about a half hour until I'm starving. Or less. Usually what that means is a pound of cooked meat, a cup or two of vegetables, a can of cream soup, maybe a cup of whole wheat pasta, and a topping -- potatoes, pie crust or bread crumbs with grated cheese, in a baking dish.

Say what you want about cream soup, but it's a useful ingredient, and a Midwest staple. I buy mine at Aldi, and splurge for the reduced fat kind. Yes it has hydrolyzed whatever, and probably some other unhealthy stuff in it, and if I figure out how to make a quick homemade version of this without it taking an hour, I will let you know. Until then, long live cream soup!!

(It's paragraphs like these that let you know this is not a professional cooking blog, am I right? Who says "long live cream soup" ?? Probably not even Paula Deen...)

Back to the point, it's a fairly quick casserole, and we usually have a salad or steamed vegetable with it. It's not exciting, but it is filling and fairly healthy.

Last night it turned out to be what hubby described as Thanksgiving on a plate. I used some frozen cooked chicken, and also some Irish cheddar I had in the fridge. As for steaming, I use a Pampered Chef micro cooker, and it only takes about 2 minutes to steam the carrots with that. So, here is the recipe, such as it is.

1 lb. cooked, cubed chicken
1 cup sliced carrots, slightly steamed
1 can mushrooms, drained
1 can reduced fat cream of chicken soup
1/2 t. Bicentennial or poultry seasoning
salt and pepper
1 1/2 cups mashed potatoes
1 cup shredded cheddar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9-in. pie plate. Mix first six ingredients, and place in pie plate. Top with mashed potatoes and cheddar. Bake for 25 minutes.

Serve immediately with steamed vegetables or a salad. Follow that up with the brownie bites that you conveniently keep forgetting to take to work. Tell yourself you worked out, so it's okay to eat two... or four... :)

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