Thursday, May 24, 2012

recipe: Mexighetti Bake LITE

In my eyes, my mom invented the Mexighetti Bake.  Now, I realize that there are many versions of this dish floating around the world, but humor me.  My mom INVENTED IT.

Now, her version is wonderful.  Luscious and gooey and extremely FATTENING.  So I tried to lighten up.  After a few tries, I think I've finally come up with the perfect Mexighetti Bake LITE. 

At least, we love it!

If you know me at all, you know that I try to use unprocessed foods when I can.  This recipe has Velveeta.  Not a ton, but it's got it.  Velveeta is NOT an unprocessed food... but I haven't been able to recreate Mexighetti without it.  It also has some Healthy Request Cream of Chicken.  You can totally make your own roux, but I was a little short on time and it was in the pantry.  I think it would be better with your own roux, but it is perfectly fine and dandy with something from a can.  I'm believe that if you eat clean and healthy 80% of the time, then you can splurge the other 20% without regrets.

My problem is splurging more than 20%, but that's another story...

Anyway, here's my take on Mexighetti Bake LITE.  It's easy, budget-friendly, fast, and pretty low in cals.


Mexibake LITE

Stats: ~325 cals per serving
Serves: 8

8 oz pasta
shredded chicken (I use about 1 to 1.5 cups cooked OR 0.7 to 1.0 lb raw chicken)
12 oz broccoli florets (you can also use frozen mixed veggies, frozen broccoli or cauliflower... get creative!)
1 can Rotel
1 can Healthy Request Cream of Chicken (or equivalent amount of homemade roux/cream of chicken)
6 oz 2% Velveeta
1 cup shredded cheese (any flavor!)
1/8 c. breadcrumbs
Cooking spray

1.  If chicken is already cooked and shredded, skip this step.  If chicken is raw, boil in water or broth until it's cooked; shred or chop into bite-sized pieces.  SAVE THE WATER/BROTH!!!

2.  Chop broccoli into bite-sized florets.

3.  Using the same water or broth you cooked the chicken in, boil the pasta until it's almost cooked.  Add in the broccoli for the last 3-4 minutes.

4.  Drain pasta/broccoli, and pour back into the pan.  Add the Rotel, chicken, and cream of chicken.  Don't use a tiny pan like I did... use a big one so you can have room to toss.  I didn't have room, so I had to add the cream of chicken separately.  Also, the pasta and broccoli will cook better in a large pot, where they have more room to do their thang.  I was just in a hurry last night and grabbed the first pot I saw without thinking ahead.  Oops!

5.  Toss, mix well, and pour into 9"x13" baking dish.

6.  Usually, I add the Velveeta first, and then sprinkle the shredded cheese, and top with bread crumbs.  I mixed up the cheese and Velveeta, and it tasted fine.  So, just throw the cheeses on there and call it good.  Then top with bread crumbs and spray with cooking spray. 

7.  Stick it in the oven at 350 for 10-15 minutes, until cheeses are melted and you can see a little bubbling going on.  Turn the broiler on, and let cook under broiler for a couple minutes, until it starts to brown.  DON'T BURN!

8.  Let sit for a few minutes before you eat it.  Just stare in awe at its gooey-ness.  YUM!

let's get a close up...  mmmm!

Dinner was 1/8 of the mexibake LITE, two lightly broiled apricots, and a glass of water mixed with Emergen-C for my scratchy throat.


No comments:

Post a Comment