Sunday, November 3, 2013

Chicken Pasta Primavera in a White Wine Garlic Cream Sauce

Inspired by a meal the hubs had while traveling out of town, of all places, a Hilton Garden Inn. After explaining what he had I put together this creation and he loved it. 

1 lb skinless boneless chicken breasts
Garlic Powder
Italian Seasoning
Olive oil
3-4 garlic cloves, minced
8oz pkg sliced mushrooms
1 orange bell pepper, sliced thin
1 small Vidalia onion, sliced thin
White wine, such as Chardonnay, 500ml, about 3 glasses.
½ can of low sodium chicken broth
1 tblsp cornstarch mixed with about ¼ c water
A few bunches of fresh spinach, sliced
1 lb of fettucine or favorite pasta
Splash of cream (a little less then 1/4 c)
Fresh parmesan cheese
Shaved almonds (for garnish, optional)

Place chicken between 2 pieces of wax paper. With a mallet, flatten out chicken just to uniform thickness. This helps the chicken cook evenly as well as come out tender. Season with salt, pepper, garlic powder & Italian seasoning. Let sit at room temp for ½ hour (my number one rule when cooking or grilling any meat).

Heat up water to boil for the pasta so you don’t have to at last minute. Heat a little olive oil in large sauté pan. Heat garlic until fragrant. Add the vegetables except for spinach and sauté until tender, about 8-10 minutes. Remove & set aside. Heat a little more olive oil in same pan. Add chicken breasts & cook over medium high heat for about 5 minutes per side. Set aside on plate to rest so all juices return to center.

Your pasta should be up to a boil now.

Your pan should be nice & brown. This is when you deglaze the pan to get up all that goodness. Pour in the wine & chicken broth & scrape up all the brown bits. Heat to a boil.  Meanwhile, slice the chicken on a thin slant.

Whisk the cornstarch mixture into the wine broth mixture & let it continue to boil for a minute or two. This is to thicken liquid just a little although this is not a very thick sauce. Add the cream, salt & pepper to taste. Add in the veggies, sliced chicken & spinach. Allow to heat through for a minute. Lower heat and add your pasta. Toss until thoroughly coated. Add some fresh parmesan cheese.

Garnish with shaved almonds and serve with more parmesan cheese and red pepper flakes.

Food for Thought

Use any pasta you'd like. Our fav for this dish is fettucine. Also, feel free to use the frozen pkg of bell peppers & onions for the veggies. This includes green & red pepper. You can add a little butter to the sauce to make it a little richer. It just depends on how healthy you want to keep it. I omitted the butter and it was just as good. This dish is even better the next day!

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Chicken & Mushrooms in a Light White Wine Garlic Sauce

1 pkg medium egg noodles
1 to 1 1/4 lbs skinless, boneless chicken, cut into 1 inch pieces
4 tblsp whole grain brown rice flour
Salt, Pepper, Garlic Powder
3-4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2-3 large cloves garlic, minced
16oz freshly sliced mushrooms
1 cup dry white wine
1 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1 tsp tarragon
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese for serving

Red pepper flakes (optional)

Cook noodles according to package directions. Drain & keep warm.
Place chicken in a shallow dish. Combine 3 tablespoons flour, a little salt, pepper & garlic powder, stirring well with a whisk. Sprinkle flour mixture over chicken; toss to coat.
Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken to pan; sauté 4 minutes or until browned. Remove chicken from pan. Add remaining 1-2 tablespoons oil to pan. Add garlic, tarragon & mushrooms to pan; sauté for 5 minutes or until liquid evaporates & mushrooms darken. Add white wine to pan; cook 1 minute. Stir in remaining 1 tablespoon flour; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in broth, a little salt and pepper; cook 1 minute or until slightly thick, stirring frequently.
Return chicken to the pan. Cover and simmer 2 minutes. Uncover. Stir in noodles & cook 1 minute until thoroughly heated.

Serves about 6.

{Food for Thought}

This is not a saucy dish but everything is nicely coated with the wine/broth mixture. Some are not fans of tarragon but I highly recommend using it as it really lends something nice to the dish. I also loved the little kick from the red pepper flakes. I used Sauvignon Blanc for the wine & a mixture of cremini and white buttons for the mushrooms and wouldn't change a thing. I chose to use whole grain flour to healthify the dish further & it was wonderful. You could go even further by using whole grain pasta. I didn't because some people in the family don't enjoy it as I do.

Friday, April 5, 2013

New England Clam Chowder

This is not the best picture but that's because this chowder was so good I didn't have the patience to snap a few more and position a nice lump of clams in the middle or sprinkle with fresh parsley, let's say. But delicious it was and that's all that matters.

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 medium onion, finely diced
2 celery stalks (reserve tender leaves) trimmed, quartered lengthwise, then sliced into 1/4-inch pieces
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups vegetable stock
4 (10-ounce) cans chopped clams in juice
1 cup heavy cream
2 bay leaves
1 pound Idaho potatoes, cut into 1/2- inch cubes

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Heat the butter in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion and celery and saute until softened, mixing often. Stir in the flour to distribute evenly. Add the stock, juice from 4 cans of chopped clams (reserve clams), cream, bay leaves, and potatoes and stir to combine. Bring to a simmer, stirring consistently (the mixture will thicken), then reduce the heat to medium-low and cook 20 minutes, stirring often, until the potatoes are nice and tender. Then add clams and season to taste with salt and pepper, cook until clams are just firm, another 2 minutes.

Serves 2-4. I doubled for 6 people and had a nice amount leftover.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Veggie for Your Thoughts?

{Re-post & updated from 3/10}

Other than a sinus infection that kept me from going to the SITS Bloggy Boot Camp in MD, my absence has been all good. Been busy with get togethers, quality family time & not to mention an exciting home improvement project.

I have to get together some before & after pics. Until then, here is other kitchen news that's simply wonderful. I am bringing you not 1 but 2 veggie packed appies today.

I served these asparagus spears as an appetizer when we had all our parents over for dinner a few weeks ago. Prosciutto wrapped asparagus is fairly popular but to make it a bit more savory I added just a schmear of cream cheese inside each spear. These will definitely be on my regular appetizer rotation!!!!

Baked in Oven
From the Grill


{ Printable Recipe Here }

½ lb prosciutto, sliced thin, fresh from the deli
6oz pkg garlic & herb cream cheese, softened
1 pkg of fresh asparagus, rough ends snapped off

Pre-heat oven to 450. Place one prosciutto slice on a cutting board the long way. Using a butter knife or spoon, spread most of the slice with a thin layer of cheese. I usually place the asparagus on an angle & at the bottom of the slice of meat, with the asparagus tip exposed on the right. Then roll it up & away from you, staying on the angle. This will not only keep both ends of the veggie exposed, which I love, but it will also distribute the meat nicely in an overlap.

Arrange spears in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake 15 minutes until tender. Put under broiler for 1-2 minutes to crisp up prosciutto if necessary. This will yield a perfectly tender but slightly crisp spear.

UPDATED 3.17.13: Because the oven was occupied I decided to grill these babies & I loved them even more. The prosciutto gets a little crispy & you can never go wrong with the grill taste. If you chose this method then parbake the asparagus in the microwave for about 4 minutes, letting them cool before assembling. Then grill over low to medium heat for just a few minutes on each side.

~ ~ ~      ~ ~ ~      ~ ~ ~

And if you looking for a really healthy but satisfying dip: I made this dip one day just for myself because curiosity got the best of me. It definitely is a healthy dip & tastes like a healthy dip. I have found when I am working out & eating right I crave things like this. But if you're on a bad streak, you won't appreciate it at all. I definitely plan on making it again & using healthier homemade corn chips to go with it.


{ Printable Recipe Here }

2 tblsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 6oz bags baby spinach
1 15oz can Cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1 tblsp fresh lemon juice
1 tblsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

In a large nonstick skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil, over medium heat. Add the garlic & cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add 1/2 of the spinach & cook for 2 minutes until wilted. Repeat with the remaining spinach. Let the mixture cool for a few minutes.

Place the remaining olive oil, spinach mixture, cannellini beans, lemon juice, balsamic vinegar, salt & pepper in the bowl of a food processor. Blend until the mixture is smooth. Transfer to a small serving bowl. Serve with endive spears, crostini or pita chips.

{ Food for Thought }

Again, this was super healthy & tasted as such. If you did want to up the bad factor a bit I can see adding just a little mozzarella cheese or low fat sour cream to it.

~ ~ ~      ~ ~ ~      ~ ~ ~

So, tell me, what's new in your world? I'll be coming around to check in & catch up but let me know if I've missed anything good. Pretty please!!!!!!!!

Linking Deliciously to Tempt My Tummy Tuesdays!