Today I took delivery of our first ever Muscle Food delivery. Various friends have raved about this company and their products. We don’t eat that much meat, so when I do eat meat, I like to eat something that’s really great quality (and value). The quality is sadly lacking when we purchase supermarket chicken and we don’t have a local butcher any longer.
The delivery arrived (6kg of chicken breast fillets for goodness sake, and they are LARGE – 220g each!) Tonight was the opportunity to try out the quality.
I have to say I was thoroughly impressed. The chicken hardly shrunk at all during the cooking process and was juicy and flavoursome.
This pasta bake creates quite a lot of washing up with the various cooking stages – but I made a very large (6 portion) dish and then freeze the remains in smaller dishes for another time. So this recipe does three meals for two.
Chicken Pasta Bake with added vegetables – 430 calories
Preparation Time: 30 mins
Cooking Time: 30 mins
Calories per serving: 430.3
Penne, Wholewheat -300g
Chicken, Breast, Fillet -455g
Cauliflower, Raw -400g
Spinach, Frozen, Average-120g
Butter, Fresh, Average-30g
Flour, Plain, Average-3 Tbsps/45g
Milk, Semi Skimmed, Average-400ml
Chicken Stock Cube -1 Cube/6g
Mature Cheddar Cheese, Grated -50g
Mozzarella Cheese, Grated -50g
Olive Oil -2 Tsps/10ml
Cook the pasta in a VERY LARGE saucepan as per the packet directions, once cooked drain thoroughly and set aside. The reason for the very large saucepan will become clear at the end of the recipe, so no need to wash this up yet!
Cut chicken into large chunks (2cm). Heat olive oil in a pan and brown your chicken. Once browned, set aside.
Cut the cauliflower into bite sized pieces, cook until al dente – I use a microwave steamer for this.
Add the butter to a pan, heat over a medium/low heat until melted. Heat your milk and stock cube in the microwave (about 2 mins) – you don’t have to, but the sauce making is much faster with warmed milk and stock.
Add the flour to the melted butter and cook off for the basis of your roux/white sauce. Gradually add the milk and stock to create a thick velvety sauce. Add 50g mature (grated) cheddar cheese to the white sauce and allow to melt into the sauce. Once done remove from the heat (you do not want a white sauce to boil, as it goes runny).
Check the cauliflower is tender and add the frozen spinach to the pot, cover and let steam until spinach is thawed for a few minutes.
Drain the water from the cauliflower and spinach.
Add the cooked vegetables, cheese sauce, pasta and chicken to one very large saucepan.
Mix the sauce mixture and with the cooked pasta and browned chicken, add one more handful of spinach if desired and mix through.
Place the pasta mix into a baking/lasagna dish, top with grated Mozzarella cheese.
Bake in an oven at 180 degrees for 20 – 30 mins, until cheese, is melted and golden.
Nutrition Data Per Serving
Calories (kcal) 430.3
Carbohydrate (g) 43.9
Fat (g) 13.8
Fibre (g) 6.4
Fruit & Veg 1.2
Protein (g) 32.6