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Fast Dinners Good Dinners

Posted Sep 08 2009 12:00am
The last hurrah of summer is over and the grind is on till Thanksgiving break. There will be many hurried meals as we rush to the next meeting, practice or rehearsal. Don't be tempted to go through the drive-thru on those nights, be prepared for them. Refer back to earlier posts on grocery shopping and restock your pantry now.
To give you some help, my next several posts will have some of my favorite fast dinner recipes that rank high in nutrition and are definite crowd pleasers. Keep frozen grilled chicken breast strips or pieces on hand. You can grill and freeze your own or purchase 20 oz. bags at the grocery. These are a great start for any fast dinner, including the following original recipe I created out of need.

Pantry Pasta

8 ounces of your favorite pasta shape
1 to 2 cups grilled chicken, no need to thaw if frozen
1 can black or kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 can diced tomatoes, or one large fresh tomato diced
1/2 medium onion sliced thin
1 can whole corn drained, or 1 cup frozen
1 cup grated cheddar cheese

Boil pasta. While pasta cooks, saute onion in 1 tbsp. olive oil till lightly brown. Add chicken, beans, tomatoes and corn. Let heat through but do not boil while draining pasta. Add pasta to meat mixture. Season to taste with salt, pepper and chili powder, if desired. Sprinkle cheese on top and stir to mix well. Done!

This recipe is easily expanded for a larger crowd. It serves 4 as made above. Experiment with different seasonings. If you have a well stocked pantry and keep frozen grilled chicken on hand, this can be made at a moments notice. As usual, add a fruit or green salad and maybe some bread.
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