Cooking · Dinner

Saturday Night: Penne, Kale & Chicken Recipe

We have had a busy weekend, but I still made time to cook on Saturday night. This recipe came to me in a funny way. We were heading out to Home Depot to buy bags and bags of mulch for the front yard, and I realized that we needed something for dinner. I quickly went onto the iPad and found Pintrest. I looked at some of the beautiful food pictures I have pinned, and found one that had pasta, vegetables and some sort of protein. I found it and it took me to a blog I had never visited before. The photos were beautiful and I immediately thought we would really like this recipe.

You can find the original recipe here.

After our round trip to Home Depot, we stopped by Market Basket to get what we needed for this recipe. Another first this weekend! I had never been to Market Basket, and I am rather excited about this grocery store because one is opening up in my neighborhood. Sweet!

We have a habit of going to the grocery store on Saturday nights. It works out pretty well for us, and in this area it does not tend to be a very busy time to do one’s shopping. We were in and out rather quickly, and it was a painless experience. The produce at this Market Basket was great and we were really pleased with everything (including the organic chicken) we bought for dinner.

When we got home I got to chopping immediately. I was starving and really needed to get this meal started ASAP. First step, chopping the onion. Then I minced three cloves of garlic, cut up and chopped the red pepper (I snacked on a couple of pieces!), and grated the carrot. I started cooking the onion and red pepper first, and after the onion was softened and turning translucent I added the carrots and garlic. As the first ingredients cooked, I trimmed and washed the kale, then I chopped it. I just loved all of the colors – the vegetables were beautiful and healthy!

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I also grated the lemon peel. I just love adding citrus to ingredients like this.

I was not a prolific photographer as I was preparing this meal, I must admit. I was more into preparing this food so that I could eat it before the hunger really got to me. I had to snack on a couple of blue corn chips and hummus while I was chopping and cooking. I went for a 3 1/2 mile run earlier in the day, and after helping to move 25 bags of mulch, I was very hungry. While all of the vegetables cooked in my pan, the water was boiling to cook the pasta. Once the pasta was done, everything came together quickly. I added much less ricotta cheese than the original recipe called for. I would have added more red pepper and more kale, too. We added two fully cooked chicken breast, some reduced fat mozzarella cheese, and parmesan cheese to the mix. I topped the baking dish with cheese, and popped it into the oven to bake at 350 for 30 minutes as the recipe called for. When the dish came out, we were really excited to eat!

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The kitchen smelled so wonderful as this was cooking, and we were so excited to watch the Red Sox and eat our penne, chicken and kale bake. My plate looked pretty good. It was 8:45 when we finally sat down to eat, and I savored every bite.

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If these are ingredients that you like, I would highly recommend trying this recipe at home. It was easy and so satisfying. A perfect meal and I will be taking left overs for lunch at least for a day or two this week. (That is, if there is any left in the fridge by the time I pack my lunch for Monday!) It was even better when we had it at lunch today – the over night gave all of the ingredients a chance to come together. Seriously good stuff.

Enjoy the rest of your Sunday. I don’t know about you – but this weekend flew by. See you soon!

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