Friday, March 2, 2012

EASY Creamy Chicken & Spinach Pasta

Sometimes I wish I had the Staples easy button in my kitchen.  I would come home from work, press my easy button, and BAM!  My dinner would be ready, complete with healthy veggies and fiber filled creations, the table would be set, and all would be well in the world.  Ahhhh yes...

Unfortunately this will never be a reality (or will it?  We've got robots, no?  It might happen..no?) so the next best thing is the slow cooker (as I've mentioned) and super easy, healthy recipes, like the one I have for you today.  This pasta comes out creamy and tasting like it's going to cost you 1000 calories.  But it doesn't, which my ass is very thankful for.  I believe it's from Chatelaine magazine, but don't quote me on that.


Creamy Chicken and Spinach Pasta
1 T oil
12oz chicken breasts cubed (I used about 5 and cut them up, so much more then 12oz)
1 onion chopped (I used 2)
2 garlic minced
1/2 tsp pepper (who really measures this??)
2 T flour
1 can fat free evaporated milk (I used 2 cans, it needed more sauce)
5c whole wheat penne (I used a whole box, not sure how many cups that is)
1/2 bag spinach (I used a whole bag, small bag)
3/4c diced sweet peppers
1/3c fresh basil (I completely forgot about this, so it was left out)
3 T lemon juice
2 green onions chopped

In a large non-stick skillet heat oil over medium heat.  Brown chicken, and transfer to a bowl.  Drain fat from pan (I didn't do this..there was no fat..).  Add onion, garlic and pepper, and fry for 5 minutes.  Sprinkle with flour and cook stirring for 1 minute (this is just to get the raw flour taste out - you probably won't last a full minute before everything is dried out and on the brink of burning, so 30 seconds is good).  Return chicken and any juices to the pan.  Add milk and cook, stirring, without boiling, until thick enough to coat the back of your spoon, about 5 minutes.  Meanwhile cook the penne (if you don't know how to do this, read the box!).  Add spinach in the last few seconds of cooking, drain all, and return to the pot.  Add chicken mixture, red pepper, basil (oops), lemon juice, and green onions.  Toss to combine and serve.

When my boyfriend tried this, he couldn't believe it was low fat.  Fat free evaporated milk is a GREAT substitute to any cream or milk based recipes.  It's so thick and creamy that you really don't notice the difference.

Hope you enjoy this dish as much as we did!

Until next time...