Lightened Chicken Divan With Quinoa

Quinoa is totally the cool kid in school right now. The topic of every conversation. Exotic. Mysterious. You aren’t sure exactly how to pronounce their name. Ok, ok…you totally do know how. But I didn’t. I had an entire conversation calling it “qwi-no-ah”. Then my sister set me straight. She’s been all over this stuff for years. Keen-wah? Seriously? Ok then. Did you know that once you tell a 5-year-old how something is pronounced, there’s practically no earthly way to convince them otherwise? Apparently “Mommy was wrong” doesn’t hold mustard with my kids. I’ll have to be careful what I tell them as fact lest they sprout off totally false information and give me all the credit.

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Butternut Squash Ravioli

This is not a “homemade” meal. I mean, I had to boil the water, but that’s about it.

Sometimes – I just am not feelin’ it when it comes to dinner time. Frequently that happens to fall on Friday night. Costco to the rescue. The other day I was there and stopped by one of their sample tables. Normally I do not eat the samples at Costco. I don’t know why, it just is gross to me. I know, there’s no reason I should feel that way, but I do. Anyway – I saw these two items paired together and it just seemed intriguing, so I stopped for a nibble.

Butternut Squash + Chicken Ravioli


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Penne With Chicken & Asparagus

Penne with Chicken and Asparagus

  • 1 (16 ounce) package dried penne pasta
  • 5 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 2 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves – cut into cubes
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • garlic powder to taste
  • 1/2 cup low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 bunch slender asparagus spears, trimmed, cut on diagonal into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 red bell pepper chopped into chunks
  • 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese


  1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to boil. Add pasta, and cook until al dente, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain, and set aside.
  2. Warm 3 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Stir in chicken, and season with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Cook until chicken is cooked through and browned, about 5 minutes. Remove chicken to paper towels.
  3. Pour vegetable broth into the skillet. Then stir in asparagus, garlic, and a pinch more garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Cover, and steam 5 minutes – add bell pepper and re-cover, steaming until the asparagus is just tender, about 5 more. Return chicken to the skillet, and warm through.
  4. Stir chicken mixture into pasta, and mix well. Let sit about 5 minutes. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons olive oil, stir again, then sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
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