Pimento Cheese, Not Your Grandma's Spread

Pimento cheese is one of those foods that has been so corrupted by the food industry that it has become synonymous with other crappy foods like Spam.  I'm not even certain what store bought pimento cheese might contain, nor do I want to find out.  It's a shame because pimento cheese can be a delightful treat, even if it does Read the full post…

Plum Good BBQ Sandwiches

In a few days it will officially be fall but the temperatures are still warm enough for me to continue swimming for a few more days.  The breeze was a little cool but that didn't stop me from swimming several laps this morning and I felt great afterwards!  Have you exercised lately?  With fall's cooler temperatures and fewer insects, you Read the full post…

Shingles Vacine and Treatment

A friend of mine was recently diagnosed with shingles so I felt I should discuss this nasty virus once again.  If you ever had chicken pox, you are at risk for getting shingles and believe me, you don't want it.  Shingles is a painful rash with blisters that scab over and may take 4 weeks or more to heal.  The Read the full post…

Vegetarian Tacos are muy delicioso!

There are times when I think I could easily become a vegetarian, especially when I try a new dish that is as good as the vegetarian tacos I had at Local Lime restaurant in Little Rock and the tofu fried rice at Sai Tai here in Jonesboro.  My husband and I celebrated our 23rd anniversary this past weekend by spending Read the full post…

Midyear Health Check

Summer is winding down , the year is more than half way over and our January resolutions are long forgotten.  It's time for a health reality check.  First of all, how is your health lately?  If you have enjoyed good health, are you thankful?  Take some time to appreciate how wonderful it feels to be healthy, for your family to Read the full post…

Vacation Lessons For A Healthier Life

  I'm back from a lovely beach vacation and I wish I was still there with all my heart.  Wouldn't it be nice if our every day life was as nice as a vacation?  If we could relax, eat well, sleep and exercise just enough without having to worry about bills, work, illnesses and school, our lives would be perfect.  But Read the full post…

Pantry Pasta

[ Post by Lisa Tedder ][ Post on September 25, 2012 ][ In For new Mom's, Pasta ]

While making out my grocery list the other day, I asked my daughter what she’d like to eat this week.  She said she’d like that pasta thingy I make with cooked chicken and stuff.  I knew right away which one she meant.  This is a recipe I came up with myself when my kids were much younger because it is simple and has several things most kids like.  It also uses items you should have on hand at all times: pasta, canned beans, tomatoes, corn and cheese.  Since I use cooked chicken, it uses up leftovers as well.  If you don’t have one ingredient, you can leave it out or substitute whatever you have on hand that sounds good.  This recipe can be easily expanded to feed a crowd or you can cut back to feed just two and best of all, it’s quick.  No, best of all, it is nutritious.  Leftovers are good the next day.


Since I have made this for years, I was surprised that I hadn’t posted it before now.  I checked several times and also checked my posts for jonesboro.com.  No where to be seen.  If you have a well stocked pantry,* you can fix this dinner any time you have leftover chicken.  I have never used any other meat but chicken but I suppose you could try other meat such as beef or pork.  This is a pretty complete meal but you could add a fruit salad and especially a nice crusty bread to round it out.  If you use whole wheat pasta and bread, you get bonus points for nutrition.



Pantry Pasta

8 oz. of your favorite pasta, kids like fun shapes

1 to 2 cups cooked chicken cut in bite sized pieces

1 can beans, drained and rinsed, perhaps black or kidney beans but not green beans

1 can whole kernel corn, drained

1 can diced no salt added tomatoes or 1 pint cherry tomatoes cut in fourths

1 onion, diced

1 cup grated cheese

salt and pepper to taste, additional spices

Bring a large pot of water to boil and cook pasta according to package directions.  Drain and set aside.  While water boils, sauté onion in 1 to 2 Tbsp. oil until lightly browned.  If using fresh tomatoes, add them towards the end while cooking the onions so they cook 2 to 3 minutes.  When onions are brown, add chicken and cook 2 minutes.  Reduce heat, add beans, corn and pasta, stir well and let heat through.  Stir in cheese, salt and pepper.  You can add additional spices according to your taste.  I had fresh basil last night so I added 1 Tbsp. chopped and used green onions in place of a regular onion.  I have added 2 tsp. of chili powder with cheddar cheese before for more of a Tex Mex flavor.  I usually add minced garlic to the onion while cooking as well.  Use your imagination and whatever fresh herbs you have to season this dish.


You can see this is a mix and match kind of dish that uses whatever you have on hand.  You can use canned tomatoes and a few fresh ones if you like.  You can pick your favorite cheese.  Adults like this as well as kids and it’s a good way to get everyone to eat vegetables.


*I have several posts under Diet Tips and Better Eating Ideas on menu planning and how to organize and stock your pantry.

Upadated on September 25, 2012

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