Ten Minutes & Dinners Done! Chicken and Vegetables Alfredo.

Some days I just do not want to cook, don't want the mess.  Some days I just don't want to go out and I sure don't want carry out.  What to do?  The solution it seems is look at what I have and make something from the resources at hand.  Friday night was just such a night.  The trick is to not have it seem like what you are serving or for that matter what you are eating is thrown together even thought that is just the case.

I am not usually a big proponent of packaged anything.  The exceptions are few but I do like Knorr Alfredo Sauce Mix and usually have a package or two laid back.  This coupled with cooking spaghetti or your favorite pasta can be your road to success. 

Ingredients for my 10 minute dinner, based on what I found in the refrigerator:

8 ounces spaghetti or other pasta
1 package Knorr Alfredo sauce mix
1 3/4 C. milk
1 T. butter
1 leftover grilled chicken breast
1/4 C. broccoli, previously blanched
1 1/2 C. sugar snap peas, previously blanched
1 1/2 C. cherry tomatoes
salt and pepper to taste as desired

Heat the pasta water and cook the pasta according to the package directions.  Meanwhile prepare the cheese sauce using the milk and butter and reduce to the lowest heat to keep warm.  Place the chicken, broccoli and peas on a microwave safe plate and cover with a very damp paper towel.  Warm up on medium or medium low heat until warmed throughout.  This took about 6-8 minutes.

When it is time to drain the pasta add the tomatoes to the boiling pan then drain them with the pasta.  This will heat them perfectly.  Arrange the warm pasta, vegetables and chicken in a large serving dish and pour the cheese sauce over all.  Yield 3-4 servings.

Note:  I often blanch vegetables to keep them longer when I sense it needs to be done.  That is how I came to have the broccoli and sugar snap peas blanched.  Blanching means to plunge into boiling water then to remove them after a minute or two and plunge them into ice water to stop the cooking, resulting in bright color and a tender crisp product.  Blanching can be part of the process of freezing a vegetable or fruit.  Earlier in the week I blanched string beans for freezing and then did the same with the broccoli and snap peas using the same boiling water.  You just want to use the water for the darkest colored vegetables last.  I also drain them well before putting them away either in the freezer or the refrigerator.  With prices set to skyrocket it pays to use everything you have at hand as well as you can.

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