Lately I've tried to become a little more organized with my meal planning: checking the sales, using coupons and seasonal ingredients, knowing before I walk into the kitchen what I'm going to cook and that all the ingredients are on hand.
A few nights ago, I had a relapse.
There was a package of chicken in the fridge, and some scrounging around the kitchen produced a box of frozen spinach and a can of cannellini beans, as well as a big tub of soy yogurt that needed to be used. Necessity, invention, and half a box of linguine later I nervously put a plate of my creation on the table in front of The Kid. To my surprise, he quickly started stuffing spinach into his face.
Shocked, I asked, "So....how is it?"
"I love it!" he gushed through a mouth full of food.
Normally The Kid simply makes a verdict when he assumes his role as food critic. Either he says "It's good." or "I don't like it." He is firm in his decision, but rarely offers it with any sort enthusiasm or variation. That's when I realized two things: my thrown together meal tasted really good, and The Kid has begun another growth spurt.
It's a familiar pattern. First The Kid spends a week or two eating everything that's not nailed down. Then his clothes get shorter, which is followed by a call from the school nurse about a trip and fall (usually over his own feet) leading to a gash, bruise, bump or contusion somewhere on my child's body.
I really hadn't planned to post this impromptu dish. It's far (very, very far) from photogenic and I wasn't taking notes or using exact measurements while cooking it. What it does have is a lovely savory creaminess and some serious nutritional punch, perfect for a growing boy.
Creamy Chicken Florentine (Growth Spurt Chicken)
olive oil for skillet
paprika, garlic powder, and kosher salt to season
1 1/2 lbs chicken (I used skinless thighs)
1 sweet onion, thinly sliced
10 oz package frozen chopped spinach, thawed
1 C plain soy yogurt
1 can cannellini beans, rinsed
pasta of choice (I used linguine)
Heat olive oil to medium high in a large skillet. Generously season chicken, then brown it in pan. Remove chicken and set aside. Add onion to skillet and sautee until soft. Reduce heat to medium low and stir in spinach, yogurt and beans. Contemplate the paprika and garlic powder, and stir some more of them in, too. When mixture is heated through, return chicken pieces to pan and nestle them into the spinach. Cover pan with a lid, and allow chicken to soak up the goodness for 20 to 30 minutes until completely cooked and juices run clear.
Prepare pasta according to package directions while chicken is cooking. Adjust seasonings if needed, and toss spinach mixture with pasta. Serve in very low light.
I'm boldly sending my ugly chicken to Daphne of More Than Words for this week's Presto Pasta Nights, the always inspirational weekly round up organized by Ruth of Once Upon a Feast.