Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Cheesy Mushroom Chicken & Spicy Green Beans Dinner

Freezer cooking is such a great idea! No, I haven't branched over into whole meals being prepared and frozen, yet. But only because I do not have a large freezer yet. Some day it will be mine. In the meantime, we try to cook some things ahead of time to help with the week's  menu. This past weekend DH spent several hours baking all the chicken we had in the house, about 16 large rib breasts of chicken. This helps with the weekly cooking because now we have lots of vacuum packed bags of chicken in the freezer all ready to go!

I had thawed a nice bag of chicken today but had no idea what I wanted to make with it. In searching through the fridge I found a head cabbage screaming 'Eat me or I'll die!' I love me some yummy cabbage so of course I was not going to neglect it! I also felt like eating cheesy something so I grabbed the cheddar as well. The pantry and freezer revealed a couple choice ingredients  and I was off and running. This is a one-thing-led-to-another dish that came out beautifully I think. 

I did a few things you wouldn't normally expect in a cheesy dinner but on because I was accomodating the low carbers in our house. I substituted cream/water for milk and cabbage for rice or noodles. Any of these choices would be just as good. You could also omit the mushroom soup if you don't like it and add some milk, more cheese and possibly a thickener like flour or cornstarch. I used the soup to get the consistency I wanted and to use up pantry supplies.

See below for one of my favorite and simple side dishes.

** BEWARE, I'm a throw together cook. Not real solid on the exact measurements of spices and such so use your best judgment and discerning palate to get the taste you desire. **

Cheesy Mushroom Chicken

3+ cooked chicken breasts, meat only
5-7 fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 can cream mushroom soup
1/2 can (use soup can to measure) heavy cream
1/2 can water
1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
5 shakes of cilantro
5 shakes of sage
2-3 shakes of garlic powder
salt & pepper to taste
olive oil

1. Add 3 pats of butter to a deeper skillet to melt. When melted, add 1/2 a head of cabbage, chopped. You can add a drizzle of olive oil or more butter on the top. Sprinkle with salt/pepper.
2. When the cabbage is cooked but not translucent (ie: has a bit of crunch still in it) remove from the pan and put in a bowl to wait.
3. Slice the cooked chicken breasts into strips. Add a bit of olive oil to the pan you just emptied and add in the chicken and fresh mushrooms to heat up.
4. Add in the mushroom soup, cream, water, seasonings. Mix well.
5. After the mixture has heated a bit, grate the cheddar over the pan (or use shredded cheese.) My guesstimate of the amount of cheese is just that. A guess. I grated a 1" x 1" x 3 1/2" piece into the pan. Looked like a loose cup of cheese. Stir in until melted.
6. Serve over the cabbage.

Side dish: Spicy Green Beans

2-3 cups whole green beans (I use frozen)
olive oil
red pepper flakes or jalapeno, diced (most seeds removed)
opt: mushrooms, sliced
1. Put olive oil in the pan and add the frozen beans.
2. Drizzle olive oil over beans and add all spices.
3. Add in mushrooms if you would like them.
4. Cook on medium high until they are bright green. They should be hot and have a snap to them still.
5. Enjoy!

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