When my daughter entered the world on Thanksgiving Day last year, I quickly realized how little time I would have to spend in the kitchen preparing meals for our family. Thankfully, several generous family members and friends provided meals during those first joyful, yet sleep deprived days at home. Now that I’m back at work, quick, easy and cheap dinners are a must! One dish that satisfies our weekly craving for Mexican food is a simple meal of black beans and rice. Try this economical dish topped with shredded cheddar cheese, salsa and low-fat sour cream and you’ll have a nutritious meal on the table before the baby cries.
When I have a little extra time (and someone else is holding the baby) I’ll make a large batch of one of my husband’s favorites, Cheesy Chicken Spaghetti. This recipe is easy to double, and it freezes and reheats well.
Cheesy Chicken Spaghetti
- 1 package spaghetti, broken
- 2 cups cubed cooked chicken OR canned chicken (2 large cans)
- 2 cups (8 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese, divided
- 1 can (10 3/4 ounces) condensed cream of chicken soup, undiluted
- 1 cup milk
- 1 tablespoon diced pimentos OR 1/4 cup chopped green peppers, optional
- Salt and pepper to taste
Cook spaghetti according to package directions. In a large bowl, combine chicken, 1 cup cheese, soup, milk, pimentos/green peppers (if desired), salt and pepper. Add drained spaghetti to chicken mixture and toss to coat. Pour in greased 9-x-13-inch baking dish. Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top. Baked uncovered at 350° for 20-25 minutes or until heated through.
If you’re feeling extra ambitious, this easy, make-ahead Frozen Key Lime and Strawberry Pie is the perfect sweet ending to any meal.
Guest post by Sarah White, MS, RD, LDN
Sarah White is a Registered Dietitian in Tennessee where she works as a pediatric dietitian at East Tennessee Children’s Hospital. Through her involvement in the Healthy Ways Clinic and various community efforts, Sarah helps children and teens lead healthier lifestyles.