Another day, another meal: cooking dinner for sporty kids

The house league baseball boys were in dead last place most of the season.

Somehow, they turned it around, and on Friday night they went to finals.

They will either win the championship, or come in second place.

Huh.

Before my teen had to leave for the diamond that day, he needed a sustaining and filling meal.

So, I cooked. ๐Ÿ˜ฎ๐Ÿ˜‰๐Ÿ˜

Even though we are without a working fridge (again), after spending $600 for a new part a couple of months ago, I still spent Friday morning grocery shopping. I avoid shopping on weekends if at all possible…too busy with hockey, ringette and next year’s baseball tryouts. And homework and play dates and birthday parties…

I will keep the food in the backup fridge in the garage, or in a cooler while the fridge is unusable. Again.

Sigh.

NEVER EVER EVER BUY SAMSUNG FRIDGES

They’re having class action suits in the USA on this expensive, useless model. I hope they succeed because there are plenty fellow Canadians who purchased the same fridge, too. We sure would love some compensation.

No one, including lower, middle or upper management, is interested in our plight. Customer Service at Samsung is horrible. But don’t take it from me, google it.

Anyway. I digress…

This is what I cooked for dinner the other night.

Pasta with chicken and bacon casserole dish

Fry maple smoked bacon (or any bacon) cut into small pieces. Add cubed boneless, skinless chicken until cooked through.

Season with a bit of salt (not too much, bacon is pretty salty), pepper and smoked paprika. Maybe some garlic powder or onion flakes. Whatever you fancy.

Pour some canned tomatoes over the meat. I had half a can left from a previous dish.

Add oregano.

Let simmer.

Then add this:

Rainbow chard fresh from the garden.

Swiss chard in rainbow colours from my garden. Since the nights have gotten cooler, the chard has exploded. Chop small and mix with meat and tomatoes.

Chicken, bacon, tomatoes and chard…

You can use kale or spinach instead of chard.

Simmer more.

Add white wine (I had about a quarter cup left) and some heavy cream (had to use up because of stupid fridge situation).

Adding white wine and cream will make the sauce lighter, and creamier. You can substitute broth for the alcohol.

Sprinkle some grated Parmesan (not a lot), stir, then add some cooked pasta shells. I like the shells because they have pockets for the bits of sauce to get into but any short pasta will do.

If you use gluten free pasta, under cook it slightly because it tends to not hold its shape as well as durum wheat pasta.

Toss with sauce until well coated.

I cooked this dish in an Dutch oven casserole dish thingy on the stove that is oven proof, but if you don’t have that, transfer food into an oven-proof dish (tempered glass, aluminum, etc).

Sprinkle with remaining Parmesan cheese.

Optional: I had some broccoli so I included that as a final step. You can use cauliflower as well, or asparagus, green onions…

Some people like to top with breadcrumbs and cheddar or mozzarella cheese.

Pasta casserole with chicken, bacon and broccoli on a tomato cream sauce.

Bake uncovered for 15 minutes in a 350ยฐ F oven just to heat through and melt the cheese.

If you prepare this dish earlier in the day or make it for the next day, refrigerate (or freeze, packed in foil and wrapped in plastic). It will require longer cooking, first covered, then uncovered during the final minutes.

Didn’t take long to make, perhaps 35 minutes or so…a little longer than usual because I had to run to the cooker on the porch for certain items.

You think my kids liked it?

.

.

.

.

Teen had three plates. Tween had two. Husband had…a few.

This is what was left over. ๐Ÿ˜‹

Edited to add:

Boys played a five inning game, last two in the rain, and my teen came home with this:

Surprise! It never is over till it’s all over…last place team are champions. ๐Ÿ™‚

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