Friday, January 29, 2010

Two Quick & Easy Favorite Recipes!

Happy Friday Friends!  I'm not sure how I've managed to go all this time without sharing two of our absolute favorite recipes!  Chicken Spaghetti and Banana Pudding!  The really great thing?  Both recipes are absolutely packed with flavor, but low in fat! Not only that, they're easy to prepare and quick, too!  Who doesn't like that!? 

I was first given the Chicken Spaghetti recipe by Cheryl at Hope for Each Day (who is an absolute sweetheart, by the way...).  She knew we were doing Weight Watchers and it was a WW recipe.  I didn't wait long at all to give it a try.  It instantly became a family favorite.

Here is what you need...

8 oz cooked chicken
3 cups spaghetti (I use 7-8 oz of Ronzoni Angel Hair or Thin Spaghetti)
4 oz . Mexican Velveeta (cubed)
1 can 98% fat free cream of mushroom soup
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped bell pepper (optional - we do not use)
1 can Rotel tomatos (we use mild, but if you prefer more spice, you might try medium)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Saute' the onions and peppers.  Cook spaghetti.   

When onions are tender, mix in all other ingredients...
When the cheese has melted and it's well combined, it should look something like this (sometimes it looks a bit more pink than this). 

Lightly oil a casserole dish and pour in your drained, cooked spaghetti...

Pour over the sauce mixture and combine until all spaghetti is well covered. 

Bake for 20 minutes at 400 degrees (I typically cover with foil until the last 5 minutes to keep any spaghetti on the surface from drying out).  Makes 6 servings.  Serve with salad or your favorite steamed veggies. 
I've shared this recipe with so many people and everyone LOVES it!  Bet you will, too! 

(Two great timesavers...when I buy a bag of chicken breasts, I immediately bake most of them in a couple of casserole dishes.  Once finished, I cut them up for several recipes we eat frequently and place them in freezer bags in 1/2 to 1 pound increments.  When you need it, just grab it from the freezer!  Makes a fast recipe even faster!  Another thing I like to do is chop and freeze several onions at once.  I simply peel them, cut them into fourths, chop them in the food processor and then freeze them in individual ziploc bags.  This makes quick work of many recipes (and I only have to wash the food processor once!)   

Now onto dessert! 
I have to tell you, growing up my Mom made the best Banana Pudding...from scratch!  Still one of my favorite things, especially when served warm!  As my hubby could attest, (but out of sweetness probably would not)...I'm not my Mom in the kitchen!  I do enjoy experimenting and making special meals and desserts sometimes, but my comfort zone definitely lies in boxes, mixes & pre-packaged food...thank-you-very-much.  This is about as easy as it gets, and though it doesn't quite taste like Mom's...this one won't add pounds or inches to your waistline!  (This recipe makes enough pudding to fill a large trifle dish, you could essentially cut this recipe in half if you want to make less.)   

You'll need:
1 box reduced fat vanilla wafers (you won't use the whole box)
2 boxes banana cream pudding (sugar free, fat free only comes in small boxes)
4 bananas
3 3/4 cups milk (we always use skim)
2- 8 oz tubs of Cool Whip (we've used Lite, Fat Free and Sugar Free)

Just prepare pudding as per instructions on the box.  Layer beginning with vanilla wafers, pudding, bananas and cool whip...then, repeat.  I like to crush some vanilla wafers and sprinkle over the cool whip on top.  Refrigerate for 1-2 hours...ENJOY!!! 

I'd love to hear if you try either or both of these recipes! 

Now take a moment to visit a new blog friend, Colleen of And Baby Makes Five.  She hosts a weekly recipe swap every Friday! 


Just a little something from Judy said...

I think our posts would go perfectly together. I am always interested in good tasting, low fat recipes, and especially ones like you shared. Both of them I know my family will enjoy. I will let you know when I try them. Thank you for taking the time to share them with us.

Happy@Home said...

Both of your recipes look and sound delicious. I have been on the lookout for low-fat recipes. It always helps to know others have tried them and highly recommend them. I also like your tips on the chicken and onions. Those are great timesaving ideas.
Thanks for sharing your recipes. I plan to try them soon.

Kim@Seasons of My Heart said...

Oh yum-oh my friend!! Thanks so much for sharing these!!! I'll be trying them for sure.

Happy Friday to you!

Jennifer said...

Going grocery shopping this weekend - can't wait to try them both. SO many wonderful memories that come with banana pudding! Have a great weekend:)

Paula (SweetPea) said...

What time is dinner? It'll take several hours for me to get there.

Great recipes. On occasion I've done what you do with chicken with my ground hamburger. Mix hamburger and ground chicken/turkey. Brown it and drain. Freeze into ziplock bags.

Let me ask, why do you bake versus boil your chicken? Like tonight I need to cook some chicken and shred it for a dish I'm making tomorrow YUM---I can email it to you as I just emailed it to someone else.) But I usually boil my chicken breasts then shred. Wondering if baking keeps in the nutrients or something. Reply back please.

Tracy said...

I do that too! (with my ground turkey, ground hamburger, etc.) It's amazing how much faster things to.

I'll send you an e-mail in response to your question, but in case others are wondering...I really have no idea other than it just never occurred to me to boil it! I'm assuming it might even make for moister chicken(?) Do you boil it in water, broth or do you add seasonings? Thanks for the tip! = )

Paula (SweetPea) said...

I boil it in plain ol good American water...tap H2O. No seasons, no broth. I'm not one to EVER wait for the water to boil...not with spaghetti, not macaroni, and not chicken. Nothing. I also usually put my things in the oven before the preheat light is off. Am I impatience or what?

Richella said...

It's so nice to meet you, Tracy!

Thank you for these recipes. I can hardly believe that Chicken Spaghetti is a WW recipe--it looks positively decadent!

Have a wonderful weekend,

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

I will definitely make the spaghetti casserole this week. I'm all about a casserole, especially on a day when it's freezing rain and snow outdoors. Wonder if hubby could make it the grocery on snow shoes to purchase needed items? You think?


fast recipe said...

The dessert looks amazing, I can't wait to try it.

Anonymous said...

I can't believe those are WW recipes. They both look so rich! That casserole looks so good. My girls would go crazy over that. Anything cheesy and spicy in our house is a hit.

I used to make a version of the banana pudding when my girls were little. Can't remember the last time I made it. Yours looks so good, especially displayed in that glass bowl. said...

wow these look so yummy!!! i cannot wait to try both of them!
many blessings

Smelling Coffee said...

Yumm! I used to make this casserole and the fam loved it. I'm so glad you reminded me of this recipe. I made it just like yours (except with the extra fat!). The Banana pudding looks delicious too... Thanks for sharing with us. :-)


Beverly @ My Sew Sweet Studio said...

Those both look yummy and since I am on WW, do you know what the point value is per serving. I could probably figure it out, but just thought you might know. I will try both soon...need to go to grocery store.
Thanks for sharing.

Debra Kaye said...

Tracy...oh my stars these look fabulous! I'm going to try them both. I think even I can do it!!

Love ya!

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Lea said...

oHHHHHHHHHHH IS my tummy ever growling. Great recipes Tracy! I need some comfort food tonight. THIS would be perfect, and wish I had all the fixens. It's lookin like a potpie instead but will get the ingredients when I do my grocery shopping. YOU ARE FILED... in my recipe box! smoochy holykisses

The McLain Family said...

I am with you on the banana pudding! Grandma Hubbs made the best banana pudding of all time!!!!

Wendi@Every Day Miracles said...

Just came back to find this recipe again (Chicken spaghetti). I saw it when you posted it - but needed to come find it again so I can make it! :) Looks so good and I am preparing menus/shopping list for the next couple of weeks. :)