Believe it or not, I’m still writing about my marathon cooking weekend and its results. I only wish I could take better food porn pictures and remember to keep my camera handy during prep. I’ll work on it for future posts!
The first recipe was one from OAMM called Mock Gluten Free and Dairy Free Hamburger Helper. While I’m not the slightest bit interested in being gluten or dairy free (cheese, like bacon, makes everything better), the idea of a healthier Hamburger Helper certainly is appealing. I followed the recipe directions but substituted the high-test stuff for anything that was supposed to be ‘free’.
And, well…quite frankly, it’s terrible. It had absolutely no flavor upon completion. I added a bunch more salt without significant improvement, so in an effort to save the dish I dumped in about a cup of shredded cheddar and let it melt and mix in. That improved the dish somewhat, but it’s still not a dish I would make again. The addition of carrot and sweet potato gave the dish a strange sweet yet flavorless taste and an odd consistency. Perhaps to all the ‘free’ people out there, this is an alternative that at least makes Hamburger Helper available for consumption, but I can’t imagine this alternative is anywhere near as satisfying as another option (perhaps I’m wrong). For the non-free people, just get the good, fattening stuff and make your own mac, hamburger, and cheese sauce. Just don’t eat too much of it too often!
The next dish was one I saw on Facebook via Tasty called, specifically enough, One-Pot Creamy Chicken Bacon Pesto Pasta. Way to name your recipe for exactly what it contains, Tasty!
It should be called something like Amazeballs Easy One Pot Chicken Alfredo. Chicken and bacon get cooked and combined with a cream sauce base and spices. Milk is used to cook down the noodles and the dish is finished with a load of Parmesan cheese. It’s easy, convenient, and delicious. It should maybe be called a one-large-pot-plus-one-bowl recipe, but I’m just nitpicking here. Definitely one I’d make again. Even the father gave it approval despite the dreaded green stuff (AKA spinach) threading its way through the dish.
Next time I’d make it in a bigger pot (more room for the noodles to cook), add more chicken (two breasts just isn’t enough!), and maybe cut down on the bacon (something I never thought I’d say) or not buy such heavily smokey bacon. This dish freezes and reheats very well, but the smokiness is accentuated after it sits for a few days and obscures the other flavors.
The last recipe is Slow Cooker Creamy Italian Chicken, and why the HECK am I only learning about this recipe now instead of back when I was in school? Four ingredients and leave it alone to cook would have been right up my alley!!
Dump cream of chicken soup, cream cheese, and italian dressing mix together and add pieces of chicken. My slow cooker tends to run quite hot, so even on low this dish only took a few hours to cook.
It doesn’t look like much in the pot, but put over rice or pasta and this dish is a creamy and succulent meal all on its own. The sauce is very smooth and thick and doesn’t taste like Italian dressing (something I was worried about) but rather more of an alfredo-type sauce. I put mine over some bismati rice I had in the cupboard and parceled the whole thing into pint or half pint jars that I then vacuum sealed.
It doesn’t look like much, but I’m really looking forward to diving into this nugget of deliciousness very soon.