Couscous Casserole

Last night’s dinner was kind of random. I could not figure out what I wanted to eat! It was really strange. But then I got to looking around in the cabinets & came up with a 6 ingredient casserole that is SUPER easy to throw together. These are perfect for weeknight meals, in my opinion. Don’t get me wrong, I love challenging recipes, but not so much during the week.

The recipe I came up with reminded me of something we use to eat all the time while I was growing up- we called it ‘Chicken stuff.’ That was the actual name that we referred to it by. I really don’t know the ‘official’ name for it, maybe something like creamy chicken & mushrooms??? Not too sure! 🙂

Anyways, this casserole is called, Mushroom Couscous Chicken Casserole- say that 3 times fast 😉 It is really simple & easy to put together. All you need is 6 ingredients & you are good to go!!

Mushroom Couscous Chicken Casserole

Ingredients:
-2 -3 cups cooked chicken
-1 can sweet peas
-1 small can mushrooms
-1/2 cup panko crumbs
-1 box wild mushroom & herb Near East Couscous
-1 can reduced fat cream of mushroom soup


(I cooked the chicken with a little bit of liquid smoke (so good!), garlic powder, onion powder, and S&P. )

Preparation:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a large casserole dish with cooking spray. Combine all ingredients EXCEPT panko crumbs, in a large bowl. Mix together until combined.
2. Pour the chicken mixture into the casserole dish & sprinkle panko crumbs over top.
3. Bake for about 20- 30 minutes.

Eat & enjoy!! 😀 Seriously, SO EASY! It did taste like the ‘chicken stuff’ too, which despite the name, is really good. I will have to ask my Mom what the name actually is…and get the recipe because I did like it growing up.

————————————————-

I have a new favorite website that I like to check daily- Fitbie.com. I just found it recently & now I can’t stop reading all of the articles on it. I feel like I need to ‘catch up’ on the older articles. The website is FULL of interesting information about exercising & health. They also offer different workouts as well!

I figured I would highlight some of my favorite articles. Maybe you will learn something new too 😀
The Best & Worst Times to Exercise
They say that the ‘ideal’ time to workout is in the afternoon when your cortisol levels are lower & body temperature is higher. But they offer advice & tips on how to have an optimal workout ANY time of the day!

1. For more motivation– hit the gym EARLY! They say you are more likely to go back if you workout in the morning. You will also not have to worry about fitting it into your afternoon, since you already finished it in the morning.

2. For a better fat burn– one of the MAIN things is to get a good night’s sleep.

Also, if you work out in the morning, you should do it before you eat breakfast- IF your goal is to burn fat. Honestly I just work out in the morning before breakfast because I don’t have time to eat breakfast. I would have to get up like another hour earlier to eat breakfast then workout, so that my stomach would be settled. No thanks, I enjoy my sleep much more 😉

3. For Bigger Muscles– Muscle strength seems to be slowest in the morning & then gradually increases throughout the day.

(^Jamie Eason- LOVE her! I think she has such an ideal body!)
 
If you are working out in the morning though, a good warm up of about 6-8 minutes will help raise your body temperature & get your muscles warmed up & ready for a good workout!

4. For Optimal Performance– The late afternoon- early evening is the ‘peak’ for working out. Your body is at an ideal temperature, your muscles are loose & your flexibility is at it’s greatest.

5. For a Good Night’s Rest– Try breathing exercises or meditation before bed. Try not to workout too close to bed time, but any workout is better than no workout. After a workout your metabolism is raised, & once you go to sleep it slows down.

When do you workout? Would you rather work out at a different time during the day?
Right now I am working out twice a day (upping mileage)- morning (5:30am) & afternoon (1pm)- but when I just workout once a day then I just do it in the morning. I LOVE my morning workout. Of course 5am comes WAY too quick, especially on Mondays, but it’s nice to feel so accomplished at 7am. 😀 Most people are just getting up & you have already knocked out your workout! Love that feeling. And my afternoon workout is during my lunch break at work. There is a beautiful spot right where my office is located that I run at & if it’s raining or I can’t run, then we have a gym on one of the floors in my office building.  Makes the work day go by quicker because my workout kind of breaks it up!

What is your favorite way to warm up before a workout?
I really enjoy running to warm up. If my workout is purely running, then I will start out on a slower speed, like 6.5, which will get me nice & warmed up for a long run. If I am warming up to do a weight workout, then I will run at like a 7.0 for about 10 minutes. I feel nice & warmed up after that!

Well, I’m off! Tonight I’m going to get my hair done- a little trim & some highlights 🙂 Getting it all ready for the wedding! Then after my appointment I am going to my sister’s house because she asked if I could meet up one evening this week to do some ‘wedding talk’ & she is going to cook dinner for me! 🙂 This ALSO means that I get to see my ADORABLE little nephew too!! YES! I’m sure he will make my night 😀

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13 Comments

  1. I usually have to work out in the morning. The longer I put it off, the more excuses I come up with to nt exercise.

    Reply
  2. I love to work out in the morning because it just sets the mood for my whole day. Once I do it, then I feel I accomplished something. Love your couscous casserole! 🙂

    Reply
  3. I tend to like to work out in the morning, but not like get up crazy early in the morning to work out. If the sun isn’t up, I don’t want to be up either, haha!

    Reply
  4. I work out in the evening, but that’s only because I’m not a morning person. Your casserole looks super comforting and delish!

    Reply
  5. My favorite time when I feel the best to workout is mid afternoon. I love to workout in the morning though because I worry about it all day if I don’t. How sad-but certainly true. Working out in the morning really just makes me feel better during the day.

    Reply
  6. Amy @ countrystrong21

     /  March 2, 2011

    I should really work out in the morning because the later in the day I’m scheduled to work out the more likely it is that I would skip it. I currently am shooting to work out in the early afternoon right after my Tues/Thurs class.

    Can I come over to try out all of these yummy looking dishes?? 😉 LOL

    Reply
  7. Oh I bet your hair is going to look SO GOOD with highlights 🙂

    My workout times vary based on my class and work schedules… I always eat first, mostly because my main goal is muscle acquisition and I just cannot lift heavy on an empty stomach! I have low blood pressure so I am at risk for passing out as it is lol!

    I do like to do cardio on an empty stomach though — if I have a whole meal being digested it really slows me down and makes me feel icky.

    Reply
  8. jamie eason ROCKS! love her! thanks for reminding me how much i love couscous.

    Reply
  9. I’m going to be honest with you here…girls with lots of muscles freak me out. But she is obviously in great shape so I will keep my curvy mouth shut=) I like to work out in the am because then it’s done and I feel accomplished! and no chance of talking myself out of it. I did start waking up and eating breakfast before I run at least because if I don’t I feel very weak. Gym workouts I wait until after to eat breakfast. I guess I’m not burning too much fat=/

    Reply
  10. i LOVE PEAS!!!! nice recipe.
    i like working out in the morning on the weekends, but at night during the week. do you know why? no, not optimal performence. optimal babe-watching. hahahaha i’m such a loser.

    Reply
  11. I wish I could get up in the morning but I just have no motivation to wake up so early! If I went to bed earlier I’m sure I could..
    Love couscous – a food so good they named it twice!

    Reply
  12. Bets

     /  March 3, 2011

    i think we ate the same ‘chicken stuff’ growing up – mom called it chicken with mushrooms. love you!! and LOVE the blog!

    Reply
  13. I almost always work out in the morning! It stinks having to wake up at 4:40 but it makes me feel so good after and I don’t have to worry about working out after work! 🙂

    Reply

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