Twenty Three Years Later


I remember being an extremely picky eater as a child. I used to go to this day-care type ordeal when I was probably 3 or 4 years old out by my grandma’s house. I would stay the night out there so she could take me in the morning and then I would come back and have lunch with her and spend the day there. EVERY SINGLE TIME I ate lunch there, I had PB&J on Rye bread with Cheetos. It never changed. And I’m sure it was because I refused to eat anything else.

Another famous meal of mine was chicken tenders (and macaroni and cheese). Any time we went out to a restaurant, even if it was Mexican or Chinese, I ordered chicken tenders. The worst part about my picky childhood habits was that I carried them with me all the way through high school and early college. I seriously only ate about ten foods. I hated most vegetables (though I’ve always loved fruit) and only ate chicken and hamburgers. I’m sure I would have developed my new pallet much earlier in life if I wasn’t so darn stubborn. I refused to even try foods up until two summers ago when I studied in Italy. I promised when I got there that I would eat everything offered to me (obviously I would have passed on drugs) in order to fully immerse myself in the Italian culture.

In order to enjoy a family sit down dinner, my dad created a dish that everyone could enjoy. At the time, I would only eat chicken, broccoli, and pasta. Why not throw them all together and make something good for all four of us? To this day, twenty-three years later, it’s still my favorite meal. It’s best when served with our garlic cheese bread, but I left that part out for health’s sake. I did throw in a couple breadsticks I found in the freezer though. I could eat this every day and be in heaven. It’s so simple but it’s been around my entire life. I remember eating this at least once a week growing up and I requested it every time I came home from college. Finally, I learned to make it myself for those days when I’m really craving it! I made my version this week and Luke and I both cleaned our bowls. This is my first family recipe I’ve shared on here and I hope you all enjoy it as much as we have!


Photo by Allyson Grillo

Chicken Broccoli Pasta

by Allyson Grillo


2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1 1/2 inch cubes

2 cups broccoli

6 oz angel hair pasta 

2 tablespoons olive oil

3 cloves garlic

1/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth (depending on how much extra “juice” you want for your pasta)

pepper to taste

grated parmasen for serving



Heat pan on medium-high, add olive oil. Add garlic and saute for about a minute or two. Add chicken and pepper to taste. Cook chicken until through then add broccoli and chicken broth. Cover and simmer on low for about ten minutes.

In the meantime, boil a pot of water and cook pasta accordingly. When al dente, drain pasta and serve in preferred dish. Top with the chicken and broccoli mixture and then top with grated parmesan cheese. 


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