Ciao everybody! One of the biggest trends in healthy eating and dieting is to cut down on carbs and consume a diet higher in protein but here’s the thing, I LOVE carbs. I mean what’s better than some bread dipped in olive oil or a nice big plate of pasta. Nothing that’s what. Well, here’s the thing-carbs are not bad for you. Remember our basic nutrition lesson? Well, carbohydrates are the body’s number one source of energy. Your body needs carbs in order to survive. The key is to make your carbs healthy. Just like eating lean protein is important, eating healthy carbs is also very important.
I threw together this recipe recently based on a suggestion from a work colleague. It was easy to make and had the perfect balance of lean protein, cabs and veggies. Totally filling and totally healthy! So mangia mangia- it’s good for you!
Healthy Chicken & Pasta Recipe
1/2 box whole wheat penne
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 tablespoon EVOO
1 28 oz canned crushed tomatoes
2 tablespoons tomato sauce
2 cloves of garlic
1 small onion, chopped
1 small pepper, chopped
Herbs to taste- oregano, basil, crushed red pepper
1 head of broccoli or 1 package of broccoli florets, steamed (I have to admit that I steam mine in the microwave-it’s so much easier!)
Grated parmesan cheese
Salt & pepper to taste
1.) Heat a large pot of water in a saucepan to a boil for the pasta. When water is boiling, place penne in water and cook until al dente (no more than 10 minutes).
2.) In a small skillet, spray non-stick spray and heat over medium heat. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. Place chicken in skillet and allow to cook thoroughly (about 5 minutes per side depending upon thickness of chicken). When chicken is cooked, cut into bite-sized pieces.
3.) In another skillet, spread EVOO and allow it to coat pan. Heat skillet over medium heat. Put onion and pepper in pan and allow to saute until onion is translucent. Add in garlic and cook for an additional 30 seconds. Add in canned tomatoes and tomato sauce. Stir to combine. Turn heat down to a simmer.
4.) Canned tomatoes are almost completely unseasoned so now you must season up the sauce. I heavily season mine with dried oregano and crushed red pepper. I also recommend some salt and pepper and even some garlic salt. If you have any basil (fresh or dried), add this in as well.
5.) Top pasta with chicken breast and sauce. Serve with a side of steamed broccoli and sprinkle cheese on top of pasta and broccoli. Enjoy!