NOM. NOM. NOM. CHEESE AND CARBS.
I mean who doesn’t love those two together?! It should be one of those corny love pairings- you’re the bacon to my eggs or peanut butter to my jelly… why don’t we start saying you’re the cheese to my carbs? I’m pretty sure I haven’t found that one in the card aisle yet… but if I did I would have bought and gave it to Jake in a heartbeat!
Mac and Cheese
Pretzels with Bier Cheese
Chips and Queso
So many yummy foods that all involve Cheese and Carbs!
Anyways, back to reality and not day dreaming about food…
I am training for my first half marathon since I injured my hip 2.5 years ago. I don’t know about you, but marathon training has me craving lots of CARBS. I tend to avoid cheese before long runs, but this recipe is too good to pass up. I came across it a couple years ago and have tweaked it to my liking. I like to also call it “Adult Mac and Cheese” because it has all the add ins I would have hated as a kid. Just ask my mom, she could never get away with hiding any sort of vegetable in my food!
Tuscan Chicken Mac
- 2 6-8oz chicken breast, thinly sliced
- 1/4 tsp dried parlsey
- 1/4 tsp paprika
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder
- 1/8 tsp ground black pepper
- 3 Tbsp Olive Oil
- 1 small yellow onion
- 3 garlic cloves
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 8 oz sun dried tomatoes
- 3 Tbsp flour
- 2.5 cups low sodium vegetable broth
- 2 cups milk of your choice
- 1 cup half and half
- Fresh herbs (I use basil, thyme and oregano)
- 2.5 cups Cellentani pasta
- 1 cup spinach
- 1/2 cup parmesan cheese,
- 1/2 cup Gruyere-cheddar
- 1/2 cup mozzarella
- Prepare 2 6-8 oz thinly sliced chicken breast. Season both sides with paprika, garlic powder, ground black pepper, salt and parsley.
- In a stove top pan, heat 1-2 Tbsp olive oil. Add in chicken and sear about 5-6 minutes each side. Set aside.
- Mince the the fresh herbs- basil, thyme and oregano. Mince about 1-2 tsp of each.
- Dice the onion and garlic.
- Heat the remainder of the olive oil in a large pot. Add in the onion and garlic. Sauté 2 minutes on high.
- Add in the white wine and sun dried tomatoes. Sauté for 3-5 minutes.
- Stir in 3 Tbsp flour and lower the stove top to medium heat.
- Add in the broth, milk, half and half, macaroni and fresh herbs. Stir all together.
- Simmer for 5 minutes at medium heat. Lower stove top to low-medium heat and cook an additional 10-15 minutes, or until macaroni has softened and absorbed most of the liquids.
- Once the macaroni is softened, stir in the spinach.
- Stir in cheeses, quickly.
- Season with salt and pepper, if needed.
- Slice the chicken and stir it in.
- Eat and enjoy!
I used all white cheeses, but the vegetable broth I used was dark brown so that is why this dish looks more yellow. If you want a more white color, use a lighter colored broth.
If you’re looking to save time, some things you can do beforehand to prep: Dice the onion and garlic and store in a small container. Shred the cheese into a medium sized bowl and cover with plastic wrap. You can store both of these in the fridge overnight.
If your pasta has absorbed all the liquid, when its cooking, and is not softened yet, you can add in 1/4 cup broth.