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Healthy Recipes

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Chili, Chicken and Cheddar Baked Pasta

Here is an unusual combination which can be used as a main course or as a hearty one-pot meal. Among the many healthy ingredients are jalapeno, scallions, red and green bell peppers and sea salt. Don't be surprised to have dinner guests asking for seconds.

Ingredients:

1 pound farfalle (bow-tie) pasta
1 tablespoon butter
1 cup diced red bell pepper
1 cup diced green bell pepper
1 teaspoon minced jalapeno chili pepper
1/2 cup diced Canadian bacon
1/2 cup chopped scallions
1 teaspoon adobo sauce
2 tablespoons non- bleached all-purpose flour (preferably wheat)
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
Sea salt to taste
2 cups organic reduced-fat 2% milk
1 cup shredded low-fat Cheddar cheese
1 cup shredded low-fat Monterey jack cheese
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves
1 1/2 cups diced cooked chicken breast (preferably organic)

(As always, for the very healthiest versions of any recipe choose organic content as much as possible.)

Instructions:

1. Preheat the oven to 400F. Spray a large baking dish with olive oil.
2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until it is al dente, about 10 minutes. Drain and set aside.
3. Meanwhile, in a large soup pot, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the bell peppers, chili pepper and bacon and cook until the peppers soften, about 4 minutes. Add the scallions and cook 1 minute more.
4. Stir in the adobo sauce, flour, chili powder and cumin and cook for 1 minute.
5. Gradually whisk in the milk and simmer until the sauce thickens, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in 3/4 cup of each cheese and cilantro. Stir in the cooked pasta and chicken.
6. Spoon the pasta mixture into the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top. Bake until the cheese is melted and bubbly, about 10 to 15 minutes.

Note: This can be prepared in advance and stored unbaked in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.

Taken from Herbal Musings

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