Tag Archives: Dinner

Recipe: Whole Wheat Spaghetti with Creamy Chicken and Broccoli

Every once in a while, I get lucky in the kitchen and make something good out of things I just throw into a pot. Yesterday was one of those times.

We had a power outage early yesterday evening. It only lasted a little over an hour, but I was left with barely any time to make dinner. I have this thing about not opening the fridge when the power is out (thanks to my mom and the frequent Manila blackouts of the 90’s,) so I really didn’t move until the electricity came back on. Then the mad dash to make dinner began. It’s a good thing I stocked up on some of my essential pantry staples over the week, and was equipped to make something on the fly. 

And so my Whole Wheat Spaghetti with Creamy Chicken and Broccoli was born. This is one of those dishes that’s so simple and easy to make, it doesn’t actually need a recipe. But in case you want to try making it yourself (and also so I remember how to do it next time haha,) I’m writing it down here.

Before anything else, a quick tip when making simple recipes with few ingredients. Quality matters. Because your dish doesn’t contain much, most if not all flavors can and will stand out. So if you put something in there that’s not that good, you’ll taste it. Trust me on this. Okay, moving on.

Quick. Easy. Healthy. Delicious. My idea of an awesome dinner.

This recipe starts with 250g of whole wheat spaghetti. I bought mine from Earth Origins, my go-to place for organic, healthier eats. We’re all out of gluten-free pasta at home, and I think that this might be the next best thing. It doesn’t look like our skin is reacting badly to it. Maybe our problem isn’t exactly with gluten, but more specifically with bad, over-processed, commercial gluten. That’s something worth exploring.

Boil the pasta as you normally would. Make sure to salt your water. I didn’t start doing that until my brilliant Pinay-American-Italian friend, MommaNManila Mish, told me to. It has made my pasta so much better. Cook until al dente. I always pull out a noodle and take a bite just to be sure it’s cooked just right. That rhymes. I don’t put oil in my water or on the noodles after they’re done, but some people do. You could, too. That also rhymes.

Set aside the noodles, and set aside some pasta water because you will need it later. 

In the same pot (yay for less-mess cooking!) heat some good olive oil. I used Molinera EVOO for this. I recently switched to this from another brand that got voted “Not good” by my trusted circle of cooking mommy friends. It’s worth it. Once the oil is hot, saut√© onions then garlic in that order. Onions first so the garlic doesn’t burn. 

Next, add one cup of your favorite chicken that’s been shredded. I used leftover Baliwag lechon manok for this. You can use homemade roasted chicken, your favorite rotisserie chicken, whatever. When I buy from Baliwag, I usually take the chicken home whole. That way I can slice it up myself and keep the bones of the body intact for when I make stock. When we’re all done eating, I shred whatever meat is left, put it in a jar, and stick in the freezer for future use. This recipe is what I mean by future use.

Once the chicken is nicely warmed up, add cut up broccoli florets. I have no idea how much broccoli I used here, to be honest. You can just use as much as you want to use. I’m not kidding. I told you this recipe was simple. My broccoli is also from Earth Origins. I like buying this particular veggie organic because it’s hard to clean, and I always worry that there’s still pesticide and chemical residue in there somewhere that I missed. So yes, for broccoli, go organic.

After tossing the broccoli and chicken together for a bit, add liquid to the pot. I used 1/2 cup of homemade veggie stock plus about 1/4 cup of pasta water. The pasta water helps thicken the sauce. I make the veggie stock myself using vegetable scraps. It’s unsalted. I salt as needed when I cook. Don’t forget that the pasta water is salted. Taste as you go along. You can use plain water if you don’t have stock. You can even use all pasta water. It’s really up to you.

Bring the pot to a boil, lower the heat, then add cream. I used about half a small brick of all-purpose cream. I also added 1/4 cup of yogurt because I find that it cuts through the richness of the cream, and gives the sauce a tiny hint of tartness, which I really like. I used homemade yogurt but you can use any PLAIN yogurt. Emphasis on plain. Unsweetened. You can also add some lemon juice instead of yogurt. This works, too. Just enough so the cream isn’t nakakaumay. What is nakakaumay in English?

Next, add a teaspoon or two of pesto into the pot. I used bottled pesto for this because I don’t really make everything from scratch haha. This adds a nice herby, green taste to the creamy sauce. Stir a little, then add a some Parmesan cheese into the sauce. Just eyeball it. Add as much as you want. This helps make the sauce thicker, and also saltier. I don’t add any more salt to this dish. The cheese and pasta water are enough for me.

Simmer for a few minutes. Season with pepper and your favorite herbs. Once the sauce tastes right, and is as thick as you want it to be (I wait until it coats a spoon nicely,) add the noodles back into the pot. Mix, mix, turn off the heat, add more cheese on top, and you’re done. The whole process took me 30 minutes, including ingredient prep. How easy is that?

Don’t you just love quick and easy dinner recipes? Let me know if you try making this, okay?

Whole Wheat Spaghetti with Creamy Chicken and Broccoli
Serves 4
A quick and easy dinner recipe made with pantry staples and leftovers.
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Total Time
30 min
Total Time
30 min
  1. 250g Whole Wheat Spaghetti
  2. Half a head of garlic, minced
  3. 1 Small red onion, finely chopped
  4. 1 cup Shredded leftover roasted chicken
  5. 1-2 cups Cut up broccoli florets
  6. 1/2 cup Vegetable stock
  7. 1/4 cup Pasta water (from cooking the noodles)
  8. 1/4 cup All-purpose cream
  9. 1/4 cup Plain yogurt
  10. 1-2 teaspoons Prepared pesto sauce
  11. Parmesan cheese
  12. Black pepper
  13. Fresh or dried herbs for seasoning (Oregano, thyme, basil)
  1. In a medium-sized pot, cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside. Save pasta water.
  2. In the same pot, heat olive oil. Then, saute onions and garlic.
  3. Add shredded chicken and toss until warmed and slightly browned. Add broccoli, and toss for a few seconds.
  4. Pour in veggie stock and pasta water. Bring to a boil. Lower the heat, then add cream and yogurt. Stir and allow to simmer for a few minutes.
  5. Add pesto, then Parmesan cheese into the sauce. Mix well. Simmer a little more. Season with pepper and herbs.
  6. Add spaghetti back into the pot. Mix into the sauce. Top with more cheese. Remove from heat.
  7. Serve with a smile and a side salad. Garlic bread, too, if you wish. Enjoy!
At Home With MrsC http://www.mrspcuyugan.com/

Date Night At Yabu House of Katsu

I’ve had a really unusual week. It all started with being stuck in traffic for two hours on Monday because I scheduled a rare morning meeting outside of Alabang on that day. Obviously the week was already starting off on a bad note, then my computer display started acting up, not showing colors correctly. MrC and I had to take it to the repair shop on Tuesday, and I was told that I would be without a computer for one to two weeks. This obviously upset me, but I wouldn’t let the situation get the better of me. Instead, I decided to make the most out of my technology-free days and fill them with family fun and me-time.

I immediately felt better when I remembered that MrC and I were having dinner at the soon to open Alabang Town Center branch of Yabu House of Katsu that Tuesday night. I won one of those online contests that got us a complimentary dinner for two at a private tasting event before the restaurant officially opened to the public. This was our third Yabu experience, and prior to this we had visited their SM Megamall and Southmall branches. Each time, the entire family really enjoyed the food and the excellent service. I, personally, have yet to leave a Yabu restaurant unhappy.

I took a quick nap before dinner, which helped put me in an even better mood. At 7pm, MrC and I headed to ATC, all excited over our free meal. We were seated right away when we arrived, and were told to order whatever we wanted from the menu. We kinda went overboard and ended up with a P1,300 dinner for two. I mean, really,wouldn’t you have ordered a lot? We got a set of appetizers, a plate of katsu each, Rosu for me and Hire for him, in the larger sizes no less, plus drinks. We also got an extra Layu sauce which is this amazing chili garlic dipping sauce that’s nice to alternate with Yabu’s tonkatsu sauce. It may not sound like a lot, but I will let the photos show you that it actually was.

Yabu (1 of 10)
Appetizers – Baby Octopus in Sweet-Savory Sauce + Superior Egg and Potato Salad

Continue reading Date Night At Yabu House of Katsu

The Food Coma That Was This Weekend

I’m supposed to be on a diet, but it’s really hard to do that when the de Castro family is celebrating. Birthdays in our family have always been treated as week-long occasions, a cause for prolonged partying, wating, drinking and all-out merriment. This weekend, we celebrated 3 birthdays and a death anniversary in true de Castro fashion – with great food and family.

Friday Night – Dinner in Sanlo
November is a big month for my dad’s side of the family. He and his three siblings celebrate their birthdays this month, and we also get together for my grandfather’s death anniversary. Each year at around this time, we have dinner in my grandparents’ house in Makati. For this year’s potluck, we had a huge spread consisting of a tossed salad, a nice turkey with bread and apple stuffing and cranberry jelly, meat and cheese lasagna, vegetarian lasagna, chicken and garlic sotanghon, and a mango pavlova for dessert. The food was lovingly prepared by my mom, Tita Nini and Tita Chiqui. I was actually pretty tired that night and didn’t really move much, so I was pleasantly surprised to discover that Mr C took photos of the all the food. I think I’m starting to rub off on him.

Mom’s Cheesy Beef Lasagna
Garlic and Chicken Sotanghon
Tita Chiqui’s Veggie Lasagna
Tossed Salad
The Entire Spread

Saturday Night – Dad’s Birthday Dinner at Dampa

My friends Gina and Salie from Frontrunner Productions always make sure that I didn’t go hungry when I do events with them. Last Saturday, I did the script and live continuity for my a project with them at Cuneta Astrodome. I was treated to styro packed prod meals prepared by Salie’s mom. Styro meals bring back memories of fun times with good friends from the events agency I used to work for, and so I enjoyed my lunch and meryenda oh so much. To think I wasn’t all that hungry since Mr C and I had a drive thru Mc Donald’s breakfast meal on our way to the event. After the show, we grabbed some coffee at Starbucks on our way home. I was actually pretty stuffed from all the eating, but then dad announced that he wanted to have dinner at Dampa for his birthday. And who can say no to chili garlic shrimp?

La Familia
Time to order!
Being silly while waiting for the food
Pow! Pow! Pow!
The birthday boy
Starting to get hAngry
Sawsawan condiments
Toyo calamansi dipping sauce
Pancit for long life
Grilled Liempo
My favorite chili garlic shrimp!

Sunday Morning – Breakfast with the Boys at Starbucks

I was hoping to visit Soderno this morning, but since schedules were a bit tight, I’m gonna have to postpone that visit for another day. Instead, because I was so excited to get my 2012 planner already, I treated the boys to a late breakfast at Starbucks Madrigal. Got to eat my fave sandwiches, have yummy Christmas coffee, and take home my new planner. Totally a great start to my Sunday! I thought today would be the start of my detox but I was completely wrong. After our big breakfast, we had leftover lasagna and homemade lemon merengue pie for lunch, then Chicboy takeout and chocolate cake for dinner.

Starbs Madrigal – still my fave branch in Alabang
Got free Peppermint Mocha Frap shots
I ordered the Spam classic, egg and cheese on cornmeal bread
The kiddo had a Belgian waffle with strawberry syrup
Liking his breakfast
Toffee Nut Latte for me, Double Espresso for Mr C
Mr C’s choice was the Spinach and Artichoke, Mushroom and Mozzarella on Rye

It’s been a fun, calorie-filled weekend. Diet and detox starts tomorrow for real. Tomorrow marks the start of my 12-month membership at Gold’s Gym and the first day of my Zumba Fitness class. Gotta get ready for the calorie fest that Christmas is certain to be.

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Aling Tonya’s

Seaside, Daang Hari Road
Brgy Almanza Uno, Las Pinas
(02) 846-9699

Starbucks Madrigal

Molito Commercial Complex, Madrigal Ave,
Ayala Alabang, Muntinlupa
(02) 772-3533