I know, a title in all caps. I’m not joking around. This week has been absolutely bananas. My work week was a black hole, where I sat in either a poorly lit, sweltering hot sequestering room with my clients, or a poorly lit, emotionally tense court room. I didn’t see my main office for two straight days which meant my desk was actually buried at one point under sticky notes with calls to return, book chapters to edit, notes to be written, and my sad little breakfast which didn’t get eaten until 1130 when I ate it as dessert from my lunch. The glamorous life of a child trauma therapist. Don’t be too jealous. It has all culminated in me feeling a bit out of sorts. And now here it is, a Friday afternoon at 3:30pm, and my To Do list is mocking me, and it’s unlikely I’ll be crossing anything else off it today. So naturally I would write on my blog rather than do something a bit more important. Eh.

I have a recipe that I have been wanting to share because of its equal parts easy and deliciousness. What better time to post it than on a Friday when I’m tired, busy, and feel like I have very few neurons firing effectively in my brain. A friend of mine was telling me last week about this great 4 course meal she prepared for her husband. It sounded glorious. I hated her.

This Chicken and Vegetables Macaroni Bake really couldn’t get much easier. It started out as a recipe for Chicken and Asparagus Penne, but my asparagus looked moldy  questionable, we had only one half full box of macaroni in our entire pantry, and I had some tomatoes that I wanted to use before they joined the asparagus. I also had about 15 minutes to make a meal happen. Typical Wednesday night. If I could salvage this meal, then you are physically incapable of screwing it up. I promise.

Ingredients
  • 4 chicken breasts, cleaned up and cubed
  • one bag of steamable frozen broccoli
  • one pint of cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 8oz elbow macaroni
  • olive oil
  • shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup chardonnay (more for drinking)
  • 1-2 tsp of minced garlic
Directions
  1. Pour olive oil, the chardonnay, and the garlic into a skillet Add your cubed chicken to begin browning.
  2. While browning your chicken, boil water and cook the pasta according to the box directions. Also steam your broccoli.
  3. Once your chicken is brown and your pasta is cooked, combine with the broccoli and cherry tomatoes in a 9×13 glass baking dish. photo 1
  4. Pour about 1/4 cup olive oil over the mixture and mix around so that everything looks coated.
  5. Sprinkle about 1 cup cheese over the top.
  6. Put in the oven and broil for about 5 minutes, or until the cheese starts to brown.

photo 2

photo 3

Now tell me that last picture doesn’t restore the faith you have in yourself to pull together an edible meal. I felt so good about this that initially I didn’t even remember that mere moments before I was trying to decide just how questionable the asparagus actually was. I barely batted an eye when my husband got home and reminded me that he had sworn off carbs for the week. I enjoyed every single, slippery half circle noodle, which is a special kind of victory if you’ve ever tried to eat an oily elbow macaroni. It went lovely with the rest of the chardonnay, too, in case you were wondering.

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