School has started, which means that not only is school back in session, but we have extremely busy schedules after school as well, including sports, dance, tutoring, piano, Girl/Boy Scouts… and the activities go on and on. As a mother of a preschooler and a toddler, I am now beginning to experience life after school… or the lack thereof.
I find that keeping a straight house, activities in line, dinner on the table and looking halfway respectable when Daddy gets home is a fairy tale come true. With that said, though, dinner does not have to be stressful ~ looking at the clock at 5:30 in the afternoon and still having no idea what to feed your family! Trust me, I’ve been there.
Country Crock Original spread was always a staple in my home when I was growing up. I actually knew nothing different!
Country Crock Spread Product Information:
Recently, I was challenged by Country Crock Original Spread to show our readers how dinner can be quick and simple during such a hectic time in our lives! One word: Casseroles!
Casseroles are quick and easy to prepare and then there is usually enough extra for leftovers! Two meals with one prep ~ Fabulous!
One of the many wonderful things about Country Crock Original Spread is that they make it easy for us ~ lots of recipes on their website!
I chose to make the Easy Mac & Cheese Veggie Chicken Casserole….Mmm..
I made a few of my own small substitutions (which you can see below).
- 4 Tbsp. Country Crock® Spread, melted, divided ~ 3tbsp. / 1 tbsp.
- 1 cup 2% milk (I used Skim Milk)
- 8 ounces dry pasta, cooked and drained
- 2 cups diced cooked chicken
- 4 cups assorted frozen vegetables, thawed (I used a mix of peas, carrots and green beans)
- 2 1/4 cups finely shredded low fat cheddar cheese
- 1/4 cup plain dry bread crumbs (mine were infused with garlic and herbs and I used about a cup!)
- 1 Tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese (I used shakeable Parmesan & Asiago cheese blend)
- Preheat oven to 400°.
- Combine 3 tablespoons Country Crock® Spread, milk, rotini, chicken, vegetables and cheddar cheese in 8-inch baking dish.
- Combine bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese and remaining Spread in small bowl; sprinkle over top of casserole.
- Bake until heated through and crumbs are toasted, about 30 minutes.
Quick Tips and Tricks for a faster casserole
So here are some other quick tips for easy and fun casserole dinners ~ Great for weekly meal planning too!
* Precook your chicken. Buy your chicken breasts in bulk and at some point in the week, cook all your chicken at one time and cube it up. Separate into 1 lb. increments in freezable storage bags. Store in the refrigerator or freeze it until you need it. One way I cook all my chicken quick is using my stoneware Deep Covered Baker ~ Simply place all your chicken in the baker, place in the microwave and about 15 minutes later, the chicken is cooked through and I have to do is dice or shred it up!
* Precook your pasta! Same as the chicken, cook the pasta in bulk and divide into Tupperware containers or plastic storage bags for the week. Then you simply can pull out some of the cooked pasta and place in the casserole dish!
* Make it easy on yourself. If using shakeable Parmesan cheese is easier than grating fresh Parmesan….do it!
Country Crock Original Spread is an easy and affordable way to provide a healthy meal to your family, even when time is tight! It tastes great and can be found in nearly every shopping market nationwide. The casserole was a fun challenge to try Country Crock Original Spread, once again, and have a nice and quick prep for a great family meal!
I always find it quite nice when I learn of a way in which a company is paying their success forward to help others.
For the third consecutive year, Country Crock is a proud sponsor of Wounded Warrior Project (WWP) and its mission to honor and empower Wounded Warriors. Additionally, Country Crock has committed over $100,000 to the nonprofit organization to further its good work.
WWP programs are structured specifically to engage warriors, nurture their minds and bodies and encourage their economic empowerment. Warrior families and caregivers are provided comfort, care and education to help support the recovery of their wounded service members. All programs are provided free of charge to warriors and their families.
WWP is a national organization established to raise awareness of and provide aid for wounded service members and their families. From encouraging a healthy lifestyle to pursuing a new career, it’s important for wounded returning veterans to be well equipped to take on all the challenges that come with readjusting to life back home.