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!)

 

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I Heart Summer Salad

I have for as long as I can remember loved summer—the smell of barbecues, sun-kissed skin, vacations, delicious sweet fruits, and the sun staying out longer than any time of the year. This salad is light, yet filling– and adds enough sweetness to appeal to your sweet tooth, yet just enough fiber to keep you right on track with your health. I am celebrating summer, because even if most of us are too old to enjoy summer vacation from school or all day pool parties, we can all use an extra hour or two of sunshine. Happy 1st day of summer, everyone!
Ingredients (per salad)

  • 1 cup baby spinach
  • 1 cup baby arugula
  • ¼ cup cubed cucumber
  • 1 TBSP Balsamic vinegar
  • 1 small plum, seeded, sliced
  • 1 apricot, seeded, sliced
  • 1 thin slice of red onion, rings separated
  • 1/8 cup of mint leaves
  • ¼ cup feta cheese
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • Dash of ground black pepper
  • 2 to 3 TBSP lemon juice
  • 8 to 10 Kalamata olives
  • 1 TBSP grapeseed oil or olive oil

 

Instructions

 

In a large mixing bowl, toss spinach, arugula, cucumber and mint leaves with 2 TBSP lemon, sea salt and 1 TBSP grapeseed oil. Once well tossed, move salad to the plate or bowl in which it will be served. Top the salad with layers of plum and apricot slices, thin onion rings, feta, olives and additional lemon juice for added flavor. Last, drizzle balsamic vinegar over the entire salad and serve.

 Check out the video below to find out about the delicious dark cherry balsamic vinegar I used for my salad for from Pastamore:

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hul3HMEZERo&feature=plcp

Capellini Verdi

I was watching one of Alton Brown’s episodes of Good Eats a few months ago and he mentioned that the average person never deviates from about 100 food items when they shop at the grocery store. It makes sense, too. Even if we use our groceries in different ways, for the most part what we buy is exactly the same each time. I think some of us have even a shorter list that we never stray from! Aside from not knowing about different items or how to use them, no one really has that much time to spend in a grocery store. Even if we do not write a list out, we have a mental list and we make it through each aisle fast enough to never have allowed our eyes to wander. I haven’t forgotten what Alton said, and I have made extra effort to purchase at least one new item per week.

Whenever I am in the refrigerated section of a grocery store, I always see different types of pastas. They are right next to the cookie dough and canned biscuits. I have become so accustomed to buying dry noodles growing up, that the fresh ones never have interested me. Although they expire faster than the easy-to-stock dry noodles, there are a few benefits. These noodles are fresh from the pasta maker and already tender. It only takes 1 minute to gently boil them and they are ready to eat! Also, for those who can never quite time their noodles–this is fantastic and every single time you will have tender and springy noodles ready to go. The flavor and texture of the noodles will make your guests wonder where you are hiding the pasta maker and where you find the time!

I whipped up this quick recipe based on ingredients that are always on my grocery list each week. Most of the items are green, but as I always say– you can make a few variations as needed. Prep and cook time is shortened significantly thanks to quick-wilt veggies and my new love of fresh pasta!

You will need:

  • 8 oz of capellini noodles (angel hair)
  • 2 fresh cups of baby spinach
  • 1 cup of partially thawed peas
  • 1/2 cup of feta
  • 1/2 cup kalamata olives
  • basil, dry or fresh
  • 21 seasoning
  • sea salt
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • 12 oz cooked and shredded chicken (I used meatless chicken from Trader Joe’s)

  1. Begin boiling water for pasta. Add olive oil to prevent noodles from sticking.
  2. Add 2 tbsps of olive oil to a skillet on medium high heat. Begin to sautee spinach. As the spinach starts to wilt, add peas, chicken and 1/2 tsp basil, 1/2 tsp 21 seasoning and salt to taste. Cook time should be about 5 minutes.
  3. Once water is boiling, add pasta and cook according to instructions. Drain and rinse will cold water to discontinue cooking.
  4. In a large bowl, (I prefer a strainer to help drain excess oils) combine mixture from skillet and noodles. Add kalamata olives and top with feta once on serving plate. An additional tbsp of olive oil may be needed if the olives are not the type that are stored in extra virgin olive oil.


*When you try this recipe I would love to see your final product. Tweet a pic to @divinehostess or email it to thedivinehostess@gmail.com

Mediterranean Salad

“A lot of times we eat salads that are drowned in ranch or italian dressing and we hardly stop to look down at the withered heap we so poorly categorize as healthy food. A good salad won’t need to be drowned by dressing. A good salad will be the main event–crisp, zingy, refreshing, and the dressing will only serve to compliment…” -Fifi

When I go to restaurants, there isn’t a type of salad that I don’t like. At Japanese restaurants I enjoy cool seaweed salad, & I have had the assortment of slaws in American & even Thai cuisine. My irritation is with salads that are soaked soggy with dressing, or full of chunks of wilted vegetables. Without wilting & bruises, vegetables are at their finest & provide us with the maximum nutritional value. There is no shame in being a food snob when it comes to choosing your produce. I take my time at the market choosing the vegetables that are firm and with the least amount of  blemishes. At home I take out a bottle of olive oil, balsamic vinaigrette, & my choice of seasoning and I can immediately toss my salad just enough to cover the contents.  My Mediterranean salad was a hit this past Sunday at Gram’s birthday party. It’s often nice to balance the the hot and hearty dishes out with something light and fit.

You will need:

  • 2 cups of romaine lettuce roughly torn
  • 1/3 cup Kalamata olives pitted

    Mediterranean Salad (Beets not pictured)

  • 1 cup of grape tomatoes
  • 1 medium red onion
  • 1/4 cup feta cheese crumbles
  • 2 medium cucumbers
  • 1 can of pickled beets
  • 1 lemon

For dressing:

  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • Salt & pepper to taste

*Whisk contents together

1. Start with your bed of lettuce. Lettuce is not a must for salads. in fact, I was going to use artichokes in place of lettuce, but did not have the time to buy them. Roughly tear up or cut your lettuce.

2. Wash cucumbers & cut down the middle lengthwise and then cut down the middle lengthwise again. Chunks should be about 1.4 inch thick. Spread half the cucumbers as a layer over lettuce. Generously add a layer of washed grape tomatoes (much easier to fork than cherry tomatoes).

3. Cut 2/3 of the medium onion into rings and spread as a layer. Follow up with feta, and roughly chopped olives. Last add pickled beets.

4. When complete, drizzle the salad with half the dressing and leave the rest aside for guests as they serve themselves. Salad.

This dished was served with baked lemon chicken. Also goes well with any grilled meat.