Cooking when you have a police officer in the family can be difficult! Even if you are fortunate enough to have your officer on a day time schedule the chances that he will actually get to eat dinner with you and the family are rare. My officer, Officer Hottie, works day shift but still doesn't get home until about two hours after we've eaten dinner so the meals I make need to taste good cold (as he is usually starving the second he walks in the door) and reheated (since I try to make enough to send with him to work the next day).

I hope you can find some meals here that your family will enjoy as much as ours.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Three Cheese Chicken Penne Florentine

When I saw this recipe in the Camp Gilead 60th Anniversary Commemorative Cookbook I earmarked it right away. Generally speaking I try to limit our amount of dairy as Little J is fairly sensitive and will get all congested. Sometimes, however, I could care less about a little congestion and I embrace dairy and all its cheesy glorious goodness. So Little J, my apologies. I know you won't complain tonight, but tomorrow when you can't breathe through your nose you may have some words for me.

You will need ...

1 tsp olive oil
cooking spray
3 c thinly slice mushrooms
1 c chopped onion
1 c chopped red bell pepper
1 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper
1 (16 oz) container fat free cottage cheese
4 cups hot cooked whole wheat penne pasta
2 cups cooked, cubed or shredded chicken
1 c grated cheddar cheese, divided
1/2 c grated parmesan, divided
1/2 c milk
1 (10 3/4 oz) can cream of chicken soup

Chop up your bell peppers ...

... and slice up your mushrooms ...

... and dice up your onion ...

...and add them all to a pan, over medium heat with just a bit of olive oil.

While the veggies are getting tender, take your spinach ... 

and chop it up. Just a course chop. Don't worry about being too fancy. 

I forgot about the noodles. I usually forget something. At least I remembered before it was too late. Before you start anything, start a large pot of water to boil. Add your noodles.

While the noodles are boiling, and the veggies are cooking, put your cottage cheese in a food processor and blend it up until it is nice and smooth.

When your veggies are nice and tender ... 

add the chopped spinach, pepper and oregano. Stir it around a bit until the spinach starts to wilt.

While the spinach is working on wilting, chop or shred your chicken.

To a bowl, add your chicken, the soup, the cottage cheese, the parmesan and cheddar cheeses and milk.

and mix it all up! Pretty!!

Your noodles should be done by now, and your spinach should be wilted. Take your drained hot noodles ...

and your hot veggies and add them to your bowl of cheesy creaminess.

Mix everything together and add it to a greased 9x13 pan.

Pop it into a 425 oven for 30 minutes.

While it bakes take care of this situation ...
(I'm mean, really Mrs. Hottie. You in-laws are coming over. Have you no shame?)

Ah, but when you present your in-laws with a meal this delicious, they're bound to overlook the dirty dishes and maybe ... just maybe ... do them for you. Weirder things have happened!

For a printable version click HERE

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