Healthy Chicken Noodle Casserole

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It wouldn’t be fair of me to not share this recipe with you about making a “healthy”, yet creamy, chicken noodle casserole.  Really, it wouldn’t.  In fact, you can take this recipe and make it even healthier if you chose to do so.  But I’ll get to that in a minute

You see, I prepare this dish with the most basic of ingredients.  Things any regular cook would have sitting in their refrigerator & pantry shelves, making the ease of this dish astonishing.  I know every blogger will tell you this exact thing, however, I am being sincere.

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Eating this dish nearly had me feeling, like I was being unfaithful to the real stuff.
Nearly.
I think I will forego the delicate foreplay of spinning a story to accompany this post, and instead just jump right in here.  If you have a stay-in weekend ahead of you, do yourself a favor and make it. 
Just don’t be surprised if it is completely eaten by the end of the night.

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Healthy Chicken Noodle Casserole

Ingredients

2 medium carrots (diced, small)
1/2 of one medium onion (diced, small)
2 tablespoons of olive oil
2 tablespoons of all purpose flour
4oz of Fat-Free cream cheese
1 package of egg noodles (16oz)
1 cup of frozen peas
1 large can of chicken, drained and flaked w/fork  (found by the Tuna, usually)
2 3/4 cups whole milk
1 1/2 tablespoons of Dijon mustard
1/2 cup of grated parmesan divided
Salt & Pepper to taste
(To use healthier substitutes, use skim milk instead of whole milk, and use 8oz of wheat noodles instead of 16oz of white) Just know that using skim milk will give a slightly less creamy texture, but it still tastes great.

Method
Boil noodles according to package directions, drain and set aside.

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat.  Throw in the diced carrots and onion and cook for about 10 minutes or until the carrots are tender. 
Once the carrots are tender, stir in your flour, and cook for 2 minutes to get the flour taste out.
Then slowly pour in the milk and bring it to a soft boil, stirring constantly until it begins to slightly thicken.  Once it has thickened, slightly, throw in the cream cheese, 1/4 cup of parmesan cheese, and Dijon mustard.  Stir around until it has completely melted.  Add salt and pepper to taste.
Now add your peas, chicken, and cooked noodles and stir to combine.
After it has been combined, pour the mix into a baking dish and sprinkle 1/4 cup of remaining parmesan on the top.  Broil until slightly browned and bubbly on top.
Serve warm. 
Like what you see?  Then check out a few of my other recipes, here

Grilled Chicken Marinade

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You never know where your pantry, full of ingredients, will take you.  A dash of this and a sprinkle of that can bring a recipe together that will pull your family around the dinner table, time and time, again.
As usual, a few days before grocery shopping, I stood in front of my open fridge, a crumpled facial expression that was daring to create new wrinkles.  I tapped the handle with my fingers, thinking of what I could possibly pull off, that two picky toddlers, a teenage boy, and one man-child would eat and be satisfied. 

It wasn’t too much longer, before I had a handful of basic ingredients that sat, waiting to be combined, on the kitchen counter.  And as I threw everything into a plastic bag, I simultaneously said a silent prayer and crossed my fingers that this would taste good.

And it did. 
Ever since I made it, we’ve come back to it, and even used this marinade on pork chops.  No matter the meat you choose, it will taste full of flavor.  However, chicken is my favorite.

Grilled Chicken Marinade
Ingredient List
1/4 Cup of Pale Ale Beer
1/4 Cup of Fresh Lemon Juice
1 Tablespoon of Olive Oil
1 Tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce
1 Tablespoon of Dried Parsley Flakes
1/2 Tablespoon of minced Garlic
2 teaspoons of Dried Oregano
1/2 teaspoon of Cumin
Pinch of Salt
1-2 lbs of Thawed Skinless Chicken Breasts

Method
Place everything into a plastic bag and massage the chicken around with your hands until the chicken is well coated.  Let the chicken sit inside of the refrigerator for 1-2 hours, and then grill the chicken until cooked and the juices run clear.  **For best results, grill the chicken on an outdoor grill. 
I usually serve it on corn tortillas with cheese and lettuce, sometimes salsa.  I also serve it with some sort of rice.
I hope you enjoy it!