Creamy Broccoli Cheddar Shells


We are already on Week 8 (out of 11) of our 3rd block of medical school – wow. I can’t believe what a blur this block has been. I don’t know if its because I’m actually really loving this block and what were learning or if its because we’ve been so incredibly busy, but I feel like this block is going by 1000x’s faster than our previous blocks did.

Although I’m glad this block is flying by, its been really tough. The hours have been insane and I’ve been studying crazy hours just to keep my head afloat. I’ve actually managed to run on average 18-20 miles weekly which, for me, is great. Most days I’m studying until 9pm, in bed by 9:45pm, and up at 4:30am. To me, this is normal and I do it every single day.

Despite the long hours and emotional toll – something really amazing happened this week. I got to go to an actual hospital and work alongside actual doctors. A group of us were taught by a few different Anesthesiologists basic intubation techniques, resuscitation techniques, how to perform a Cricothyroidotomy, and many other Anesthesia related procedures. It was amazing. I got to be reassured by every single doctor I worked with that this is the most amazing and powerful career where you change lives daily and that none of them would trade it for anything. To see people so established into their careers saying they still get goosebumps when a patient tells them “because of you, I am alive” makes all of the studying I’m doing worth it.

After that amazing experience, I am once again motivated to study my little heart away and keep on chugging to my ultimate goal – becoming a healer. And with that, I’d like to leave you with an amazing recipe that is super delicious and cheesy, so really, what more could one ask for?

Creamy Broccoli Cheddar Shells

  • 8 oz shell pasta
  • 1 lb chicken breast
  • 12 oz broccoli florets
  • 2 1/2 tbsp butter
  • 1/4 c flour
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • Pepper to taste
  • 3 cups milk
  • 8oz extra sharp cheddar cheese shredded
  • 1 oz Parmesan cheese

The first thing I did was trim the fat off my chicken and cut it into pieces and cooked it thoroughly in a pan. Then boil pasta according to directions listed on package adding broccoli during last 3 – 4 minutes of boiling, drain well. In a pot melt butter over medium heat then stir in flour. Cook mixture stirring constantly for 1 minute. While whisking add in milk, then the garlic powder pepper to taste. Increase heat and cook mixture stirring constantly until it thickens. Remove from heat and cool for 1 minute – add in cheddar and parmesan cheese and stir until melted. Add cooked pasta and broccoli and chicken and toss to evenly coat. As it sits it will thicken, you can thin it with a few tbsp pasta water if desired. 

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