Wednesday, June 15, 2011

April Cooks (don't die of shock now!)

In the last few months I have lost my desire to cook anything. Coming home of a night I am always hopeful that the husband will have cooked a meal that is just being served as I come in the door.

Each night I am biterly disappointed. Which means we often eat pretty plain boring meals that go along the lines of meat and veggies or pasta. Baked beans on toast is also a staple meal in our house these days too.

So, my little ears pricked up when I was watching Everyday Gourmet and there was a recipe for a healthy Creamy Chicken and Pumpkin Pasta. It really is healthy, even the people at Weight Watchers say so! It seemed easy enough, so I thought I would give it a go, and bring in an extra guinea pig named StepDad.

300g of Butternut Pumpkin cut into cubes (I used more, as I like pumpkin)
250g of Cherry Tomatoes
160g of Penne pasta (I used more, as I wasn't sure how hungry the husband would be - turns out I needn't have bothered, as there was heaps left over)
250g of chicken breast, thinly sliced
1 Spanish Onion, diced
1 clove of Garlic (I use the stuff in a tube, and just gave it a good squirt)
1 tablespoon of Cornflour
1 tin of Evaporated Lite Milk
Parmasen to serve
(the actual recipe also called for pitted olives, but I am not a fan, so I omitted them, and some oil, but I don't really use it when cooking as our cookware is non-stick and I find it gives me an upset tummy).

Pre-heat your oven to 200 degrees (fan forced)

Chop up the pumpkin and toss into a oven proof dish, and pop into the oven

Measure out the pasta (a very foreign concept to me, I normally just tip it into the water) and put it on to cook

Halve all the cherry tomatos and cast aside for now

Dice the onion - don't do as I did and also dice your finger, it hurts!

 Slice the chicken. I used tenderloins, so I just cut them into smaller strips. Brown off on the stovetop

The pumpkin should be starting to nicely roast (it has been around 20 minutes by now). Throw in the cherry tomatoes for 10 minutes or so, shaking the dish somewhere in the middle.

Put the cornflour and a little bit of the Evaporative Milk into a jug and stir to make a smooth liquid.

Add the rest of the milk and give it another stir just to make double sure it is mixed together properly.

Add the onion and garlic to the chicken. The recipe said to remove the chicken, but that seemed like hard work, so I didn't bother. Don't think it made much difference personally.

Once the onion has started to go transparent, add the Evaporative Milk. Allow the milk to come to the boil and start to thicken

Quickly drain your pasta, as that milk thickens quickly!

Add the pasta to the creamy chicken goodness.

Finally, add the pumpkin and tomatoes to the chicken and toss together gently.

And put into a bowl to serve with a little parmesan on top

My guinea pigs were most happy with it, they both licked their bowls clean, so I take that as a good sign. Next time I wouldn't bother with the cornflour as it made the sauce a bit too thick for my liking, and I would replace cherry tomatoes with sundried tomatoes. But all in all it was a cheap (under $10 to feed 4 people), easy meal, that will be made again in this kitchen.
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