Cheesy Chicken Penne

I’ve been trying a new thing lately.  I think of 5 or so meals and write them down on the refrigerator.  Then I check if I have ingredients for them, or I write myself a grocery list for it.  I do try to take into account leftovers, etc.  For example, one time I had roast and potatoes as a meal idea.  I used the leftover roast to make some beef enchiladas, so I made sure to have the ingredients for that, also.  (The enchiladas I ended up just throwing in the freezer to eat later!)  Then we’ll try our best to eat everything on the list before I will go and buy anything else from the store.  This is our attempt to have better/healthier “family” meals at home and keeping our spending down.

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As I’ve been thinking of meals that we like, I am reminded how much of a beef and potato kind of people we are.  So I’ve decided to try to pick 1 new recipe each time I do this, something a little bit more out of our comfort zone.  I’m not sure how long it will last, but at least I’m getting a good grocery list… and hopefully I’ll remember why it was that I bought 3 packages of taco shells.

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Our newest experiment was a cheesy chicken penne.  I actually bought some penne pasta on an impulse buy – ironic how thats exactly what I’m trying to stop doing – some time ago.  I saw them in the store and decided that I should try it.  I wanted to do some sort of a chicken because we eat a lot of beef.  We also do quite a bit of red sauces, so I ended up Googling some chicken penne recipes.  I’m not going to lie, I was not very happy with what I found.  I did a lot of looking; I guess I’m kinda picky!  A lot of them had weird spices that I probably couldn’t even find in the grocery store, or had yucky vegetables (think spinach.)  So I ended up improvising a little bit and mashed some recipe ideas all together.

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Well it was a pretty good turnout, Drew was a big fan.  I ended up with some alfredo sauce (which I’m actually not very fond of, but my husband is) as opposed to a red sauce.  I chose a plain alfredo – I thought I was being bold enough for one meal already – but I think next time I might try a garlic/cheesy or even a mushroom alfredo sauce.  I made this while Drew was still working and put it in the oven to keep warm until he came home.

~ T ~

Cheesy Chicken Penne
Serves 2-4

Ingredients
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, thawed
Italian salad dressing
penne pasta (I used half the box, it was plenty)
jar of alfredo sauce
bag of shredded Italian cheeses
tomatoes (I actually forgot to do this, I don’t eat them but Drew would have liked it)
garlic (real gloves or garlic salt)

Preparation
Marinate chicken breasts in Italian salad dressing for 30 minutes in the refrigerator.  Cook on a George Foreman or outdoor grill until done.  Cut into slices.  Cook desired amount of pasta according to the directions on the box.  Drain and put into serving pan.  Cover the pasta with Alfredo sauce.  Add diced tomatoes and sliced chicken on top.  Sprinkle the garlic on the chicken.  Cover with cheese.  Warm in microwave or oven until cheeses are melted.

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