Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Easy Chicken Pasta, The Zone, and Cupcake Wars

I spent four hours yesterday blazing through about 250 pages of my nutritional fitness texts and completing the mandatory quizzes.  My brain is officially on overload.  What has really surprised me about it is that the material is MUCH more dense than I had realized.  The writers/editors/whoevers do not seem to follow much logic in terms of actually defining terms (or acronyms for that matter) prior to just throwing a whole crapload of information out.  I'm also getting nervous that the text is pretty dated...  I'm pretty sure The Zone is not a new trend.  Argh.  Oh well.  Learn it to get certified and then the continuing ed classes had better be more impressive or my money is going elsewhere.

All that reading about nutritional deficiencies led to making a healthy, quick dinner.  Chicken Pasta with Broccoli and Asparagus.  This pasta has no real sauce per se, making it a really clean, yet still flavorful, dish that actually tastes like what it is.

What you need for 2 huge servings or 4 small servings:

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 cup of pasta ((use whatever you like...  I had this gemelli left))
1 head of broccoli ((or about 2 cups))
10 or so asparagus stalks
2 tablespoons of EVOO ((extra virgin olive oil))
1/4 c of chicken broth
1/4 c of diced onion
1 clove of garlic, minced
Black pepper

What to do:

Boil the water for the pasta and cook it according to the package directions.  When finished, drain in a colander.

While that is coming to a boil, heat up a skillet over medium heat with a drizzle of EVOO in it.  Add the chopped onions and garlic and cook for about 4-5 minutes, until the onions are becoming translucent.

While that is cooking, cut the chicken breasts in small pieces.  ((Always be sure to use a separate, designated cutting board for raw meats!  XO, the Salmonella Fairy))  Add them to pan and sautee them around until they are cooked through, about 5 minutes.

Trim the asparagus ((see below)) and chop it into smaller pieces and then "tree" the broccoli.  Add them to the pan with a little bit of chicken broth.  Cover and allow to cook until the broccoli is bright green, stirring it every so often.  I like asparagus "tender-crisp," meaning not turned to mush.  I only let this steam for about 3 minutes.

Tip for asparagus:  You do need to remove the woody stem at the bottom.  Luckily, if you bend a raw piece of asparagus, it will snap exactly where it needs to in order to remove that part.  Mother Nature is one crafty bitch.

Mix together with your drained pasta.  Add another splash of olive oil, a huge squeeze of lemon, crack some black pepper on top, and throw on a little Parmesan.  Done!  This would also be excellent served cold as a salad the next day if it makes it that long.

Nutritional Info:  For 1/4 cup of the pasta and about 4 ounces of the chicken breasts with lite cheese, let's call it about 350 calories.  Victory!


All righty.  I have a menu to finalize for a birthday party on Friday.  The debate is currently raging between White Russian Cupcakes ((with kahlua and vodka)) or Bailey's Irish Creme Cupcakes.  I'm leaning toward just making both and waiting to see what jackassery unfolds.

1 comment:

  1. Without being able to sample them, I'll have to vote for both.