In the Kitchen

pesto pasta bake

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

If you’re like me and didn’t wear green, you can at least say you ate some green with this easy pasta recipe! 

Pesto Pasta Bake | Atwell Adventures.001
Here’s what you’ll need {this makes one round 8” baking dish – or two meals for the two of us}…

  • 1/2 Box of Spaghetti
  • 2 Zucchini
  • Jar of Pesto
  • 1 1/4 cup of Shredded Cheese
  • Optional: Pre-cooked chicken {I like this pasta with chicken but it could be left out if you wanted to save time.  My go to chicken is Italian Chicken: bake frozen tenderloins in Italian dressing at 175 for 4-5 hours}

And here’s how you make it.

  1. Peel zucchini and slice to thin vertical slices.
  2. Bring noodles to a boil.  Add zucchini to cook with noodles the last 2-3 minutes.
  3. Drain noodles and zucchini. Move to mixing bowl. {I know, I know… your next food photographer, right?}Pesto Pasta Bake | Atwell Adventures.002
  4. Add shredded chicken, pesto sauce, and 1 cup of cheese to noodles and zucchini. Mix together.Pesto Pasta Bake | Atwell Adventures.003
  5. Pour into a baking dish {cheese on the counter not required}, cover with foil, and bake at 400 for 25 minutes. Pesto Pasta Bake | Atwell Adventures.004
  6. Remove from oven, sprinkle with remaining cheese, and bake for an additional 5 minutes, broiling on high for the last minute.
  7. Let stand for 5 minutes, and serve!  {trust me, it tastes much better than it photographs}

Pesto Pasta Bake | Atwell Adventures.005.jpg

In the Kitchen

mixing it up – green smoothie

If you follow me on Instagram, you probably saw that I FINALLY used my Vitamix in January.

After having it for 3 months and being scared of the clean up process I took the plunge.

And you know what? It’s a BREEZE to clean up. Seriously. I’ve wasted months of not using this!

So to makeup for lost time, I told G that February was going to be my month of experimenting with my new BFF.

So far in January and February, I’ve made soup, peanut butter, and two smoothies – one of which I will tell you about today!

For my green smoothie {currently my favorite} I use the following recipe:

  • few slices of frozen peaches {they act as my “ice”}
  • an apple {cut into quarters}
  • an orange {peeled and cut into quarters}
  • a half of a banana
  • 1-2 cups of spinach
  • 10 ounces of cold water

green smoothie ingredients | Atwell Adventures

And when I finish mixing it all together in my best friend Vitamix, I’m left with about 32 ounces of this green beauty.  It’s thicker than a juice, but the smoothest smoothie.

green smoothie | Atwell Adventures

Do you have a favorite Vitamix recipe?  I’ve got lots of things on my list to try!

In the Kitchen

easy barbecue chicken

When I’m planning out meals for the upcoming week, I also try to look at the weather report.  I guess my thought is, if its too warm outside, I’m not going to want cook {or eat} something really heavy and hot like a baked pasta. Everyone does this right?  🙂

So last week when I checked the forecast and saw that we might be getting snow, I planned on making crockpot barbecue chicken. When the forecast was right and the snow started falling, I was happy to have all things on hand for this meal.  Bonus: it might have been the easiest thing I’ve ever made.

To make this all you need is a crockpot, barbecue sauce, and chicken {I use frozen tenderloins}.  See, I told you this was going to be easy.

First you’ll want to spray down your crockpot with cooking spray. This will make clean up faster {and that’s always a win in my book}. Once you’ve done that go ahead and turn your crock pot timer to 8 hours and set it on the low setting.  Next, use your favorite barbecue sauce and pour it in the bottom of the crockpot {note: it won’t cover the base; I used about 1/4 cup}. Once you’ve got your sauce base, lay your chicken on top and then add more sauce {be more generous with your sauce this time}. After 7.5 hours, while the chicken is still in the crockpot, shred the meat {it will shred easily}. Once finished shredding, let it cook for 30 more minutes so that it soaks up the remaining sauce.

We ate our chicken with roasted potatoes and a cucumber salad; warm and filling for our snow day!