Thursday, October 3, 2013

Paleo Baked Chicken Ziti (Kid Friendly and Great for a Busy Night)

I gave lots of options to make this adjustable for the entire family.  In our house, I cook the chicken and divide it between one large dish and one small dish.  Our son suffers from uncontrolled acid reflux, so I pack his with veggies and omit the onions, garlic, peppers and sauce.  I add a little of the broth the chicken cooked in, basil and oregano for extra flavor and then melt cheese over his. I generally prepare this a day or two early and then just put it in the oven the night we are eating it.  For an even lazier approach grab a rotisserie chicken on the way home, remove the skin and shred the chicken.

 10 Chicken tenderloins or 4-5 boneless skinless chicken breast baked or slow cooked, remove when the chicken is just short of being cooked through

Tip- I prefer to cook chicken for casseroles in a slow cooker with about 1/2 carton organic reduced sodium vegetable or chicken broth, it is really tender and falls apart.

Chop or shred chicken and place in a large casserole dish lightly greased with FOC or sprayed with sunflower oil
Add a bag of frozen vegetables of choice or any vegetables you have on hand, zucchini, squash, broccoli, etc.
Optional- Large handfuls of cherry tomatoes
1  jar organic tomato sauce (because Organic sauces generally contain less sodium and sugar, you will need to add a few seasonings)
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder (more to taste)
1 Tbsp Oregano or Basil or combo of both (more to taste)
Optional- chopped green bell pepper, chopped onion or minced garlic

 Pre-heat oven to 375 and bake covered for about 25 minutes or until lightly bubbling, check to see if veggies are tender crisp, if not cook additional 10 minutes.  time will vary drastically depending on what veggies you use.  To decrease cooking time, you could steam veggies for a minute or two in the microwave before adding to the casserole.

Optional- Depending on if you follow Paleo or prepare healthy lower fat meals, add 2% mozzarella cheese over the top or vegan mozzarella cheese and return to oven until cheese in melted.   

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