Pantry Cooking – Chicken Alfredo Casserole & Couscous with… (edible) weeds

chicken pie5couscous

So it’s official. I’ve moved into my new apartment for a week and three days. The kitchen is much nicer, lots of natural light pouring in early in the morning, and it’s roomier too, with two sinks and more counter space. This last week I’ve spent a good portion of time cleaning (old apartment, new apartment, and together with the fiance and a friend, their apartment). My boss was nice enough to let me take home some bleach from work. Much as I couldn’t stand the smell of chemicals, there are times when strong chemicals seem to fit the bill. This was one of them. I bleached the floor where the old freezer was (it smelled of dead things and mold. Actually, there were dead things and mold. I won’t tell you what the live things were), scrubbed the shower stall, and inserted a new, stinky, bad-for-you PVC shower curtain. It’s just for a year, so I’m okay with it (read the book ‘Toxin Toxout’ to learn how PVC can be harmful to health).

Anyway, I digress.

The last while I had been cooking my way through the freezer and pantry at the old apartment. The week before leaving the old apartment, I cooked up the couscous dish you see above, along with lamb Ben brought back from the market, with steamed potatoes. The potatoes were on the over-steamed side. Oh well. I didn’t have any vegetables left and was really craving vegetables. So, inspired by the Netflix series ‘Chef’s Table,’ where a Scandinavian cook gathered what was available on the land, I gathered a handful of edible weeds. That’s right, edible weeds. Dandelion leaves (thanks Nat 😉 ), lambs quarters and another one whose name escapes me. Mixed together with honey, curry powder, sunflower seeds, raisins, and red chili flakes.

The other dish, shown above, is a chicken casserole cooked in Alfredo sauce topped with scalloped potatoes baked in a cast iron skillet. In the spirit of cleaning out the pantry and hospitality, I defrosted three chicken breasts, diced, seared, and cooked over medium heat on the stove, and flavored with pesto sauce. At the same time I cooked approx. 200g macaroni, mixed that in with the chicken in the skillet and poured Alfredo sauce over top. Meanwhile, I pre-baked slices of potatoes, which were then used as a topping over the casserole, sprinkled bread crumbs and shredded cheese over top, and stuck it in the oven for 20 minutes at 375F. It fed four adults. 🙂

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