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Wed, Nov. 20

Noodling around with a college staple

Who would have ever thought that ramen noodles, the old college standby, would end up on the dinner table? In this economy, ramen makes sense, and it is easy to prepare and filling for the family dinner.

SAUSAGE, BROCCOLI

AND NOODLES

3 packages (3 oz. each)

ramen noodle soup,

chicken flavor

1/4 cup reduced fat sour cream

1 tbsp. cornstarch

3 links sweet Italian turkey

sausage, casings removed

3 cup frozen baby broccoli florets, thawed

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook noodles for 2 minutes, reserving seasoning packets for later; drain and set aside. In a small bowl, stir together sour cream and cornstarch; set aside.

Cook sausage in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat, breaking up with a spoon, for 5 minutes or until cooked through.

Add broccoli, 1 cup water and 1 1/2 tsp. of ramen chicken seasoning to skillet. Cover and simmer over medium heat for 3 minutes or until broccoli is cooked through.

Remove cover and stir sour cream mixture into skillet. Cook for 1 minute or until sauce has thickened. Add noodles back to skillet and toss to coat with sauce. Serve immediately. Serves 4.

NOTE: I could see this using substitutes for vegetables if broccoli is not your favorite.

CHICKEN MILANO

1 tbsp. olive oil

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, chopped

2 tsp. minced garlic

1 cup jarred sun-dried

tomatoes, chopped and drained

1 cup lower-sodium

chicken broth

2 tbsp. chopped basil, fresh

1/8 tsp. pepper

2 packages chicken ramen noodles with 1 seasoning

packet

Heat oil in skillet; add chicken and garlic and cook until chicken is done, about 15 minutes. Add tomatoes, chicken broth, basil and pepper. Simmer over low heat 5 minutes.

Cook noodles in water according to package directions; drain. Add 1 seasoning packet. Serve chicken mixture over warm noodles. Serves 4.

MACARONI AND CHEESE WITH CHICKEN

(Comfort food with a plus.)

3 tbsp. unsalted butter, plus

more for baking dish

Fine sea salt and freshly

ground pepper

1/2 pound penne pasta

1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

1 small onion, thinly sliced

1 1/2 cup coarsely grated

smoked mozzarella

1 1/2 cup shredded roast

chicken (store bought or leftovers)

1 cup finely grated parmigiano-reggiano

1 tbsp. finely chopped fresh rosemary

3 tbsp. all purpose flour

2 1/2 cup whole milk, heated to simmer

2 garlic cloves

Preheat oven to 450. Butter a 1 1/2 tbsp. gratin or baking dish. In large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta until al dente, about 11 minutes. Drain, run under cold water and drain again. Transfer to large bowl. In skillet over medium heat, heat oil. Add onion and pinch of salt, reduce heat to medium-low and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and lightly golden, about 10 minutes.

Add onion to pasta and stir to combine. Add mozzarella, chicken, 2/3 cup parmesan and rosemary; stir to combine.

In medium heavy saucepan over medium-low heat, melt butter. Add flour and cook over low heat, whisking, for 3 minutes. Add hot milk, whisking vigorously, then add garlic and 1 1/2 tsp. salt. Bring mixture to a simmer, whisking; then reduce heat and gently simmer, whisking occasionally, until béchamel (white sauce which should coat back of spoon), about 10 minutes. (Watch carefully, to avoid scorching) Discard garlic before adding béchamel to pasta, season with salt and pepper.

Transfer into baking dish and smooth top. Sprinkle with remaining 1/3 cup parmesan and more pepper. Bake until bubbling and golden, 12-15 minutes before serving. Let sit for 15 minutes before serving.

CHEESY CHICKEN

CRUNCHERS

Especially for the kids when they are gobbling candy this weekend and you want to get some nutritious food in them!

1 cup all-purpose flour

Salt and pepper

4 egg whites

1/2 cup reduced fat milk (2%)

1 1/2 cup cornflakes

1 cup (4 oz.) reduced-fat

shredded cheddar cheese

6 chicken breast fillets cut

into strips

Non-stick cooking spray

Preheat oven to 375. Set up three bowls with the following: flour mixed with pinch of salt and pepper; and egg wash, made by beating the egg whites and milk together; and cornflakes mixed with cheese.

Coat a 13 x 9 inch baking pan with non-stick cooking spray. Dip chicken pieces in flour, then into egg-wash, then roll in the cheesy-flakes mixture, coating the entire piece of chicken, and place on baking pan. Discard any unused cornflake mixture after coating chicken.

Bake 25 minutes, turning halfway through to ensure even browning. Serve with ketchup or barbecue sauce, if desired, or ranch dressing for dipping.

NOTE: With adult supervision, kids could help with this recipe.

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