Firecracker Chicken and Squash Alfredo


I grew up with experimental cooking my whole life. My dad loved to try new things with sauces, seafood, etc. while my mom was the experimental baker in the family. Among other recipes, she has absolutely perfected her world-famous Banana Nut Bread (http://www NULL.sassylassiesbakery! I have had my own good ideas and bad over the years (one of the worst was probably Spam Fried Rice on a backpacking trip in college). However, last week I think I hit the jackpot.

Penny and the kids were up at her Mom’s house for supper and I came downstairs from work looking for leftovers in the fridge. I found some cooked penne pasta, a few crookneck yellow squash, a jar of sliced jalapeño peppers, a half-full jar of roasted garlic Alfredo sauce and two pieces of fried chicken. I was pleased at the prospects of this collection of items, so I got to work.

  • I put the chicken in the toaster oven first.
  • Then I poured some olive oil in a medium frying pan, added a pat of butter (a trick my mom taught me last week) and turned on the heat.
  • I sliced the squash, cut the slices in half and added them to the pan, along with a dozen jalapeño slices.
  • While I was sautéing the veggies, I pour a bowl full of the cooked penne pasta into a large pasta bowl, added a tiny bit of water and microwaved for one minute. I covered the pasta with Alfredo sauce and microwaved for another minute.
  • I like spicy food, so I liberally added Mrs. Dash (a great mix of salt-free spices), cayenne and black pepper to the veggies and on top of the sauce.
  • I took the chicken out of the oven, sliced and chopped it into bite-size pieces.
  • I added the chicken and veggies to the pasta and sauce in the bowl and tossed it lightly with a fork to mix everything.

I don’t know if it was one of those “things-always-taste-better-when-you’re-camping” things or not, but it was one of the best meals I’ve had – and the fact that it was made entirely out of left-overs made it even better!

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