My warm and wonderful Sunday turned into a cold and crappy Monday!
We were supposed to get up into the upper 60s today, but barely reached the mid 50s. HOWEVER, we had a bonus, surprise thunderstorm around noon. I heart thunderstorms! They’re so cozy, no?
Since a run outdoors was out, I headed to the gym after work. It’s probably for the best anyways, because I got a great workout in. I started with a 55 Minute Oasis Treadmill Routine:
Called the “oasis” routine because at 20 minutes, you get to start over at 4.0 mph. Like an oasis in the desert. You get it.
Followed by this quick, stair stepper routine x2:
|Minutes||Steps per Minute|
Woo! BTW, the woman on the treadmill next to me had her incline set to 14 as she walked. 14!!! It inspired me to “take a hike” on the treadmill the next time I go. I did up my incline from 1% to 1.5% for my run, and I think I felt it. I was breathing reeeal heavy.
At any rate, although my brain is screaming for Spring, my heart, apparently, is still stuck on winter. I can’t stop making comfort food for dinner!
I figured why stop now, and made the YUMMIEST casserole for dinner. You’ve got to make it – Make-Ahead Chicken & Spinach Artichoke Casserole!
It is so amazingly delicious and comes together in a snap. Ben and I made it together yesterday, so all I had to do was pop it in the oven tonight!
Spinach & Artichoke Chicken Casserole
Adapted from BHG.com
8oz bow tie pasta
1 Tablespoon butter
salt & pepper
2 small shallots, chopped
2 cups chicken tenders, cut into small chunks
1 1/4 cups skim milk
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese, divided
1-8oz package Colby Jack cheese
1-14oz can quartered artichokes, drained and roughly chopped
1-10pz package chopped, frozen spinach, thawed and wrung out with a dish towel
1 slice whole wheat bread
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 Tablespoon butter, melted
- Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
- Melt 1 Tablespoon butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add shallot and chicken, season with salt and pepper, and cook until chicken is no longer pink in the middle. Remove from heat.
- In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, Italian seasoning and 2 Tablespoons parmesan cheese. Stir in colby jack cheese, artichokes and frozen spinach. Combine egg mixture, chicken and pasta, then pour into a non-stick sprayed 9×13 pan. Cover pan with foil and put into the fridge overnight.
- The next day, bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. While casserole is baking, combine remaining 2 Tablespoons parmesan cheese, bread slice and paprika into a food processor. Pulse until you have bread crumbs. Stir in melted butter.
- After 20 minutes, top casserole with breadcrumb mixture and bake, uncovered, for 10 more minutes, or until breadcrumbs are crunchy. Serve!
Mmm! Mmm! Mmm! Mmm! Mmm! Such great flavors!
Creamy, cheesy, chewy & hearty. I love that crunchy topping too. By my calculations, only 330 calories a serving, to boot!
You know what, although it’s technically a “casserole-type” dish, this was surprisingly light. I think it’s the spinach in there. So yummy. Colorful too!
Served with a side of roasted asparagus. Just some spears topped with olive oil and garlic salt, then popped into the oven with the casserole for the last 10 minutes.
I need to put the leftovers away ASAP, because this is totally the type of dish you stand over and pick at with your fork. You’ve been there…
In other news, I felt something tickling my foot this afternoon as I happily worked away on a spreadsheet at work. I kicked, thinking whatever it was, dust, lint, etc. would launch off from the force. Um no. The tickling persisted. I looked down to see…an ant.
An ant crawling on my foot.
Disgusting!! Ants don’t really gross me out as much as spiders, flies, praying manti…but seriously – tickling my foot? No.
2 minutes later I noticed something crawling out of the corner of my eye. Another ant. 5 seconds later – one crawling down my wall calendar! It was an infestation!!
Luckily someone wielding a wicked bottle of Raid came to my rescue a short time later, but still, gross. I hate the thought of those tiny little buggers crawling all over my stuff, into my water and onto my food. Right?!
That got us talking – would you rather have an infestation of bugs or mice?
The answer might not be as clear as you think. Sure – rodents are absolutely filthy, but they don’t (usually) crawl all over you. Insects, on the other hand, have no boundaries.
I think I pick mice.
Off to do some housework – had too much fun playing outdoors this weekend and blew off my chores. C’est la vie.