Here in the Pacific Northwest, winter is marked by chilly rain. When our summers are dry like this year, we actually find ourselves longing for cold wet nights with the sound of water gushing down the gutters. It’s true. We have webbed feet and we quack when we walk. Umbrellas are a rare sight though it can rain for 30 days and 30 nights straight. A tiny break in the deluge brings everyone out for a walk or yard work or just a quick visit. The sun is appreciated more in its brief appearances than it was all summer long.
However, we do take comfort in our food. In fact, many of us in Portland are food obsessed. Well, maybe that is an overstatement. Mmmmmm, no, it’s a fact. We don’t eat to live, we live to eat and wake up tomorrow to do the same thing over again. Organic fruits and vegetables and healthy grains, local meats, eggs and dairy are much the norm. We like our Dave’s Killer Bread and Freddy Guys hazelnuts. Our farmer’s markets get mobbed when in season and many of our front lawns are vegetable gardens.
Keeping all that in mind, too much holiday food makes me long for something more comforting and healthy. For me, comforting either comes in a nice soup pot or a casserole dish. Finding what’s available in the fridge, I’m usually able to concoct something edible.
- 2 oz fiber plus penne
- 4 oz boneless, skinless chicken breast, cubed
- 1 small bunch of broccoli
- 1/2 Cup chopped artichoke hearts (I used marinated in vinegar)
- 1/4 cup olive oil mayonnaise
- 1 oz shredded cheddar
- 1 oz shredded Parmesan cheese
- olive oil
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly butter or oil a 1 quart casserole.
Saute the chicken in a hot skillet in a little olive oil. Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to directions, adding the chopped broccoli during the last few minutes. Chop the artichoke hearts.
Mix everything together with about 1/2 the cheese and place in the casserole dish. Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top. Pop it in the oven for about 25 minutes or until it’s all bubbly and the top is starting to brown.