Thursday, May 17, 2012

Penne Rosa with Chicken...

Well, it's that time again...time for a month's worth of cooking in an afternoon!  Woot!  There are a couple of unusual things about this month: 

1) Calories are a little higher than I typically plan for (still not unreasonable for a lunch or dinner, but higher than normal)...partly because I had a mathematical error on the Tortellini with Walnut & Mascarpone (posted later), partly because I found some recipes that I really wanted to try (calories be damned), and partly because I've been finding myself more prone to snacking between meals lately, and I'm hoping having something a little more substantial will curb the urge to snack...those snacks add up!

2) I found myself substituting a quite a bit for recipes this month.  Chicken for shrimp (I have a texture issue with shrimp...I know, I'm crazy), swiss chard for spinach (my sister's visiting this weekend and she's deathly allergic to spinach, so I prefer not to have it in the house at all when she's here to avoid potential disasters), etc. etc.  Before I started this whole cooking en masse thing, I probably wouldn't have had the courage to substitute (I love me a good recipe...I'm great at following directions!), but the further along I get, the more comfortable I'm feeling with it.

That said, this was one of the recipes I altered most.  I found the original at Back to Her Roots.  It featured spinach and shrimp, so if you're not deathly allergic to spinach and you don't have a massive texture issue with shrimp, I highly recommend you try the original.  lol :)  It looked delicious in the pics, and the calories were pretty reasonable, so I knew I wanted to make it this month!  Here's the recipe:

Penne Rosa with Chicken
6 servings, 375 calories each

- 12 oz. whole wheat penne
- 1 T olive oil
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 8 oz. button mushrooms, sliced
- 2 med. tomatoes, chopped
- 4 c. swiss chard, roughly chopped
- 1 lb. boneless chicken breast tenderloins
- 1/2 c. pasta sauce
- 1/3 c. Greek Yogurt (0% plain)
- 1/4 c. shredded parmesan
- Pinch red pepper flakes
- Salt & Pepper, to taste

Cook penne according to package directions (skip the salt and/or any oil they suggest to add).  In a large skillet (one that you have a lid for!) over medium high, heat the olive oil.  Add chicken (seasoned to taste) and sear on each side.  Add tomatoes, mushrooms, garlic, and seasonings and let cook down until chicken is tender and vegetables have released liquid.  You could leave the chicken pieces whole, since they're pretty small, but I just grabbed two forks and pulled mine apart into smaller pieces in the pan.  Add in swiss chard and cover to let wilt for 2-3 minutes.  Turn heat to low.  Stir in drained pasta, greek yogurt, and pasta sauce.  Top with shredded parmesan for serving.

I thought the portion size was fine to not need any other side with it, although if you wanted to squeeze 8 portions out of it, you could add some garlic bread or some other side dish pretty easily.  It looks and smells delicious, but I restrained myself from tasting it...we'll see when I heat up my first portion in a couple of days.  As always, I'll update sometime mid-month to let you know how it turned out!

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