Roasted Chicken & Butternut Squash Pasta

By Jordan R.

Jordan is one of my instagram pals that never ceases to amaze me with her beautiful and healthy food photos. I asked her to share this recipe because it is perfect for Fall!

This is a recipe with which you can really play around. Use different squashes, pastas, and cheeses to make this recipe your own. The mixture of whole wheat pasta, lean chicken breast, and a variety of vegetables is sure to keep your waistline in check during the indulgent months of Fall. Here is the basic blueprint for a delicious autumn squash pasta:

(Servings for one person)1/4 butternut squash

Extra virgin olive oil

salt

pepper

1 tbsp sage

3 oz of chicken breast

2 oz. whole wheat spaghetti pasta

5 asparagus spears

1 c. eggplant

1 tbsp. balsamic vinaigrette

1 tsp. minced garlic

Parmesan cheese (or another grated or shredded low-fat cheese)

Basil

 

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.2. Coat butternut squash lightly with olive oil, about 1 tsp. of sage, salt, and pepper, then place in a shallow pan. Place the pan in the oven and roast for 30 minutes, or until tender.

3. Coat chicken breast lightly with olive oil, sage, salt and pepper. Place on a broiling pan and broil for 20 min. or until chicken is cooked.

4. Cook noodles according to directions on package.

5. Coat eggplant lightly with olive oil, about 1 tsp. of sage, salt and pepper. When the squash is halfway done roasting, at about 15 minutes, place the eggplant in the pan with the squash.

6. Repeat for asparagus. Place asparagus in the pan with the other vegetables for the remaining 5-7 minutes.

7. Once cool, place chicken and veggies on a cutting board and chop them all into 1″-1 1/2″ cubes. Cut asparagus into about 5 parts each.

8. Heat a large wok or skillet. Pour a nickel-sized amount of olive oil in the skillet. When heated, place vegetables, chicken, and pasta in the skillet. Toss with balsamic vinaigrette, garlic, and the rest of the sage. Add basil, salt, and pepper to taste.

9. Serve on a plate, topped with your favorite cheese. (I used a little bit of feta cheese in the picture!)

 

Oven Roasted Broccoli & Glazed Salmon

I’ve been a vegetarian for years, and I love it. But, I also love to entertain and cook for others. I think it’s important that I continue to have some non-vegetarian items in my repertoire. The key to delicious meat and seafood is savoriness and moisture level, in my opinion. Some people cannot stand things like the white meat of poultry, or fleshy fish like salmon, because too many times it has been prepared in a dry and lifeless way. Roasting food is a wonderful way to soak in flavor and make some of the toughest vegetables tender and flavorful. This recipe calls  for few ingredients, has minimal prep time, and very much healthy. My simplistic meal creation is made from Asian-inspired flavors and will be done cooking by the time you’ve set the table and slipped into more comfortable attire!

Ingredients

  • Salmon steak
  • Light soy sauce
  • Sugar
  • Sesame oil
  • Sea Salt
  • Minced garlic (I used garlic and ginger from a jar. They tend to fair well in the oven without burning)
  • Minced ginger
  • 2 cups of fresh broccoli
Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375F.
  2. Thoroughly wash broccoli and cut into smaller florets and place into a large mixing bowl. Toss with 2 TBSP sesame oil, 1 TBSP chopped garlic, and 1 TBSP minced ginger and sea salt to taste.
  3. Evenly spread coated broccoli on a cookie sheet and bake for 15 to 20 minutes.
  4. Mix 1 TBSP soy sauce, 1 TBSP sesame oil, 1 tsp of garlic, 1 tsp of ginger, and a pinch of sugar.
  5. Oil cookie sheet and place salmon down. Lightly sprinkle each steak with sea salt. Generously brush one side of salmon steak with glaze. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes at 375F. Keep an eye on this. The times vary by the oven and size of the salmon steak.

Spicy & Romantic Pesto Pasta

If I had to sum up romance in a sentence, I would say it is taking that which is familiar and ordinary, and continually making it extraordinary through the expression of love. This is eternally true for all aspects of life, and in my case– cooking.I wanted to come up with a delicious recipe that could be used to celebrate Valentine’s day by making others feel loved. If we can put love into the details of what we do by thoughtfulness and creativity, we will never grow bored. With this dish, you have familiar ingredients, with added spice to surprise the taste buds, and undoubtedly, the lucky receiver of this incredible dish!

I rule-bend  a lot in the kitchen, because following traditional recipes leaves me unsatisfied. The chemist in me questions high calorie ingredients and pushes to explore and find new ingredients that don’t skimp on the flavor. Trust me on this: leave nothing out! This has got to be one of the most sensual and delicious dishes I’ve had in a while, and no reservation was necessary!

Serves 7

You will need:

  • food processor (If you do not have a food processor or a good blender, skip the pesto step and buy pesto already made. Sun dried tomato pesto is preferred)
  • 1 box of whole wheat thin spaghetti
  • 1tsp 21 seasoning salute
  • 1 cup of fresh basil leaves
  • 3 large jalapenos
  • approximately 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 5 or 6 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tsp coarse sea salt
  • red pepper flakes, add as desired
  • black pepper
  • 3 to 4 cups of fresh baby spinach
  • 3 red bell peppers (washed, seeded and cut into thin strips)
  • 5 sun ripened tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup raw pine nuts
  • the juice of 1/4 lemon
  • 1/8 cup shredded Parmesan
  • 2 tsp cilantro
  • Your choice of protein (My recommendation would be shrimp for this dish, but you have many options spicy Italian seitan was used for mine)

1. Cook pasta according to al dente instructions. We want our pasta nice and hearty and able to be tossed with ease.

2. For spicy pesto, add the following ingredients to your food processor: fresh basil leaves, 2.5 jalapenos, 1/8 cup olive oil, garlic, sun ripened tomatoes, pine nuts, lemon juice, 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes, Parmesan and cilantro. Also, add salt and pepper to taste. I used about 1/2 tsp of salt and a dash of pepper.

3. Pulse food processor until the ingredients are minced finely and almost the texture of puree.

4. In a large skillet, use about 1 TBSP olive oil and brown your protein on medium high heat. I used a dash of salt and pepper, and 21 Seasoning Solute generously.  ). Once protein has browned, add bell peppers and cook for about 1 to 2 minutes. For additional spice, finely chop additional jalapeno and add to saute. Add baby spinach last, as it wilts the fastest. Remove from heat.

5. Add cooked and rinsed noodles to skillet of protein and vegetables and toss well. Add pesto sauce and serve with additional basil leaves as garnish.

Spicy Pesto Pasta with Italian Seitan Sausage

Nutritional info per serving:

(without protein added)

Calories: 320  Protein: 10g  Fat:10g

I will follow up with a very spicy dessert. Click the button above to subcribe!