Friday, August 25, 2017

Healthier Version of Stouffer's Rigatoni with Chicken and Pesto


Sometimes it's great to just pop something in the oven or microwave for dinner.  If it's a frozen dinner the costs are long term.  I love Stouffer's Rigatoni with Chicken and Pesto and we had this with zucchini with spices and cheese.  Both were made in the microwave and it was easy.  The hardest part was slicing the zucchini, which I had to do sitting down.

I thought, this is an easy dinner so why don't I make it from"scratch".  I looked at the ingredients to see what the basics are.  Yikes!  It's amazing how much extra salt, msg and other crap that is put into frozen food.

I had some frozen chicken that I put in the Slow Cooker.  Mixed paprika, pepper, and  with a half a cup of chicken broth (I didn't bother measuring it, just threw it in the Slow Cooker), then I threw the mixture with some crushed garlic over the chicken.

After I cooked the chicken I shredded it and put it aside.  Added pesto, more garlic, milk, orange peel.  I squeezed a section of orange.  I used jar crushed garlic and a jar of pesto.  I sauted mushrooms and pine nuts and mixed it in.  Yes, I could make pesto from scratch and yes I could crush the garlic, but when you have Fibromyalgia or any other illness, there are some concessions that need to be made.

 I mixed the pesto mixture with the chicken and put in the pasta.  It came out watery because I used too much chicken broth (plus the chicken creates it's own broth).  I'd rather it be a bit runny because it insures the chicken doesn't burn.  I put the cheese in a bowl and a bowl of orange quarters as a side dish.

Now that was easy:  chicken, spices, crushed garlic ,chicken broth, pesto and cheese. 

I forgot to take a picture of the finished product.  I'll do that next time.  The recipe came out great!  I would skip the squeeze of oranges and just keep the orange rind in there.  I'd also put in less milk and broth.  

Back to the Stouffer's Rigatoni-

Online, I found a website that breaks down ingredients to ready made food.  Here is the link to this product.  http://www.fooducate.com/app#!page=product&id=5E5FE8FA-593F-11E2-AD7C-1231381A4CEA

There are 5 servings in a box.

INGREDIENTS

blanched rigatoni (water, semolina, wheat gluten), cooked chicken white meat (chicken white mear, water, seasoning [salt, maltodextrin, garlic, sugar, spices, dextrose, yeast extract, carrageenan, orange peel, onion, soybean oil, chicken fat, paprika, chicken broth, dried celery, natural flavor], isolated soy protein, modified food starch, caramel coloring, maltodextrin, sodium phosphate, canola oil) skim milk, parmesan and asiago cheese blend with flavor (parmesan cheese [cultured milk, salt, enzymes], asiago cheese [cultured milk, salt, enzymes], enzyme modified parmesan cheese [cultured milk, water, salt, enzymes], whey, salt), basil, water, soybean oil, extra virgin olive oil, 2% or less of cream, romano cheese ([made from cow'smilk], pasteurized milk, cheese culture, salt, enzymes), garlic puree, modified cornstarch, pine nuts, parsley, sea salt, sugar, datem, spice, citric acid.

Explanations:



DATEM is an acronym for Diacetyl Tartaric Acid Esters of Monoglycerides. This is a dough conditioner used to improve volume and uniformity in breads. 

DATEM is considered safe by the FDA, but a study on rats showed “heart muscle fibrosis and adrenal overgrowth”.

---
Source: Meyer, O. (1992) Combined chronic toxicity/carcinogenicity study with DATEM in rats. Unpublished report No. IT 890451 from the Institute of Toxicology, National Food Agency of Denmark





* FoodPoints are calculated by Fooducate based on fats, carbs, fiber, and protein. They are not an endorsement or approval of the product or its manufacturer.
The fewer points - the better.

Protein is important, but some of the protein you find in this product isn't exactly natural. The protein comes from one of the following sources:

- milk protein concentrate
- whey protein isolate
- soy protein isolate

While it's fine to get some of your protein from supplemented items, keep in mind that they are not "natural" sources and that it's not ideal to get protein only from processed goods.

This product is highly processed. If you'll take a look at its ingredient list, you'll discover new words to add to your vocabulary. Many of theses ingredients are required to increase the shelf life of the product and improve the flavor that disappears when food is not fresh.

People sensitive to MSG may also be sensitive to MSG-like substances. These are glutamates or chemically similar items added to improve a product's taste. 

Here is a short list of common MSG-like substances (see our blog for more):

- Yeast extract
- Autolyzed yeast
- Hydrolyzed proteins

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Saying Good Bye to our Trees




With all the rain we've gotten, this past Winter, our tree started to lean toward the house.  The other tree to the left of it was half dead.  We had a tree company come out and remove our two trees and then we had them remove the stump from the tree that fell in our parkway a few years ago.







As you can see we still have trees in the back of the property.  One of them is a huge Ash tree and the rest are Pepper Trees that keep on creating seedlings.  If we didn't dig out the seedlings I'd have a forest of them.  Right now we have grass because we have a very wet Winter, but by Summer it will be brown again.  Our trees helped keep our house cool so I'm not looking forward to the heat this Summer.  We'll have to find ways to keep the house cool.  I'm thinking a retractable awning would help.  In the meantime, we're going to put the film that helps keep heat out in the Summer and cold out in the Winter.  We have AC units in our bedrooms and one noisy one in the living room.  I'd like to replace the living room one with one like this one:



Now our yard is ready for a pool.  Only one big problem, it would cost over $50,000 to get one.  I'm constantly looking at the Swim Spas that would have a mini-pool with a Jacuzzi.  One can dream right?










Wednesday, March 1, 2017

St. Patrick's Day Background by Hotdigidy Blog





Hot Bligity Blog is the first place I went to for Backgrounds.  I was so excited to find a place that would share images and information for free.  This month's background is from Hot Bligity Blog.

Here are some of their other backgrounds.  They do custom work too.





Here is a link to my St. Patrick Day Images that I've created and saved.















Friday, February 10, 2017

$2500 Scrapbook.com Giveaway


Right now scrapbook.com is having a giveaway for a Craft Room Makeover.  I don't know about you but I can always use organizing stuff and buy a few scrapbooking craft stuff too. 

Say hello to a new year and a newly, redesigned craft room! Scrapbook.com's $2,500 Craft Room Makeover Giveaway is the chance for one (1) Grand Prize Winner to receive an organizational prize bundle valued at $1000! Four (4) lucky Runners Up will receive a $375 shopping spree to the Scrapbook.com Store. What would you spend your winnings on? Dream big and read more to enter this giveaway now! 

Here are some pictures of ideas that I want to do:


First of all I'm moving the big TV armoire into my bedroom since we got a Flat Screen TV for Christmas.  I've been pining ideas on what I want to put into my cabinet.  I have some shelves for organizing stuff, in my closet, that turns into a mess all the time.  





Make a Board like the one they sell at Pottery Barn.


Storage and More.