MEMORY MONDAY: surprise

I know. I know.  It’s not Monday.  But the week was a busy one and it pretty much feels like Monday.

My mom was a sucker for a casserole.  It stretched a buck and hid a variety of veggies even the pickiest of eaters could enjoy.  Better yet, it was easy to add rice or pasta so that even if one of the neighbor kids stayed for dinner, there would be plenty to go around.  A family favorite was Chicken Surprise given to my mom by her BFF, D.  It was a tasty little concoction with chicken…duh…broccoli, and a killer sauce that had a base of the cream soup pantry staple.  We LOVED it.  Really.  It was a meal that pretty much everyone in the family would gobble up with out complaint.  Imagine MY surprise when a friend of mine gave me a recipe called chicken divan that was pretty much the same recipe.  Paula Deen had stolen D’s recipe…

Regardless, that recipe, both D’s and Paula’s, will pretty much add 5 pounds to the scale and more than a few inches to your waistline.  After many years of WW, I am pretty good at lightening up a recipe.  I was certain I could work wonders with this one and I did!!  Check out the changes I made below.  I made some common sense swaps, lessoned the amount of pasta (who needs THAT much), and tweaked the sauce a bit.  Even WITH the addition of pasta, the way my mom always made it, I was able to get the points plus value down to 11PP from 19PP.  With my mom’s pasta addition, the full fat version was a whopping TWENTY FOUR points plus.  WOW!

Enjoy this as an all inclusive meal: protein, starch, and veggie.  You can round it out with a fruit dessert or add a light green salad.

LOW FAT Chicken Surprise–11PP

20 oz cooked frozen chopped broccoli
20 oz cooked skinless boneless chicken breast, about 2 lbs raw–trimmed
2 cans low fat cream of chicken soup
1/2 cup light mayo
1/2 cup fat-free plain Greek yogurt
8 oz uncooked pasta (elbows or shells)
3/4 cup 2% shredded cheddar
3 Tbsp l Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter–LIGHT
1 Tbsp lemon juice
3/4 cup whole grain/wheat bread crumbs

  1. Trim and poach the chicken until cooked through.
  2. Dice or shred.
  3. Mix together the yogurt, soup, mayo, and lemon juice.
  4. Cook the pasta until mostly cooked through.
  5. Mix 1/4 of the sauce with the hot pasta.
  6. Mix the additional sauce with the broccoli and the chicken.
  7. Layer the pasta then chicken in a sprayed pan.
  8. Melt margarine and mix with bread crumbs.
  9. Top the casserole with cheese then buttered bread crumbs.
  10. Bake for 30 minutes at 350*

FULL FAT Chicken Surprise–24PP (19PP without pasta)

20 oz cooked frozen chopped broccoli
8 cooked skinless boneless chicken breasts
2 cans cream of chicken soup
1 cup mayo
16 oz uncooked pasta (elbows or shells)
1 cup shredded cheddar
1/4 cup butter
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 cup bread crumbs

  1. Trim and poach the chicken until cooked through.
  2. Dice or shred.
  3. Mix together the soup, mayo, and lemon juice.
  4. Cook the pasta until mostly cooked through.
  5. Mix 1/4 of the sauce with the hot pasta.
  6. Mix the additional sauce with the broccoli and the chicken.
  7. Layer the pasta then chicken in a sprayed pan.
  8. Melt margarine and mix with bread crumbs.
  9. Top the casserole with cheese then buttered bread crumbs.
  10. Bake for 30 minutes at 350*
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