Archive | September 2013

Creamy Pink Pasta with Shrimp & Spinach

Forgive me on the recipe name here, not my best work.  This dish was fantastic, we will definitely be making it again.  Although “creamy” may make you step away from this recipe, the “cream” is just Greek yogurt!  I fooled Mr. Applebutter once again. ;-)

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Creamy Pink Pasta with Shrimp- adapted from back to her roots

Serves: 6

12 oz whole wheat spiral noodles

1 tbsp. olive oil

4 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper

1 tbsp. Italian seasoning

8 oz. mushrooms, diced

2 cups grape tomatoes, halved

4 cups fresh spinach, roughly chopped

10 oz. shrimp, peeled & deveined

1 cup marinara sauce

5 oz. plain 0% Greek yogurt

1/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated

2 oz fat free crumbled feta cheese

Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

  1. Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain and set aside.
  2. In a large skillet with a lid, heat olive oil over medium-low heat. Add in garlic and red pepper flakes, cook for 2 minutes or until garlic begins to soften.
  3. Add in mushrooms and grape tomatoes. Cook for 5-10 minutes, until mushrooms soften.
  4. Turn heat up to medium-high and add in shrimp. Cook for 2-5 minutes, or until shrimp are pink and opaque. Remove from heat, add in spinach and cover skillet. Let spinach wilt for about 5 minutes.
  5. Remove lid and place skillet back over low heat. Add the pasta, Greek yogurt and marinara sauce. Stir until sauce is mixed well and all pasta and veggies are coated.   Add Italian seasoning and feta cheese.  Mix well.
  6. Heat until just warmed through. Divide into pasta bowls and serve topped with parmesan cheese.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

Note: Depending on your taste, you may need to increase or decrease the amount of “sauce” (pasta/yogurt mixture). 

Nutrition Facts (per serving): 357 calories, 7g fat (2g saturated), 45g carbohydrate (8g fiber), 26g protein

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Mediterranean Lentil- Chicken Bowls

I’m so excited to be back with a new post! Even though I’m pretty sure it’s just my mom and a few others that read this blog (Hi mom!), I love when I find a winning recipe that I can share. This one will be repeated for sure in our house. Despite Mr. Applebutter always being skeptical of lentils, he had seconds! I’ve been trying to work lentils into more dishes because they are an amazing source of fiber & protein with very little fat. Hence, a good replacement for meat on nights I’m trying to go vegetarian. However, I threw some leftover boneless chicken in this dish for added protein. So far I’ve done lentil taco’s and lentil soup, but I wanted to try something new this time. If you’re new to lentils, they are very easy to prepare so don’t be afraid to try them. Rinse them in a strainer and you’re set to go with however the recipe suggests that you cook them.

Enjoy!

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Mediterranean Lentil-Chicken Bowls- slightly adapted from Alida’s Kitchen

Serves: 4

1/2 cup chopped red onion

2 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley, plus 3 parsley sprigs (for cooking water)

1 garlic clove, minced

1 cup dried lentils, rinsed

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts

1 cup halved grape tomatoes

1/2 cup diced cucumber

1/2 cup feta cheese, divided

salt and pepper to taste

Balsamic vinaigrette:

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon water

3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

2 teaspoons Honey Dijon mustard

1 garlic clove

Instructions:

  1. Sprinkle chicken breasts with salt and pepper and cook in slow cooker with 1/4 cup water on LOW for 6-8 hours until cooked through. Chop chicken and set aside.
  2. Boil 2 1/2 cups water in a medium pot. Once boiling, add 1 cup lentils, 3 parsley sprigs and 1 garlic clove to cooking water. Return to boil and then simmer 20-25 minutes. Drain and discard parsley sprigs. Combine lentils and chopped chicken in medium sized bowl.
  3. Dice and chop veggies while lentils cook.
  4. In a small bowl, mix together ingredients for balsamic vinaigrette. Heat vinaigrette over low heat in same pot that lentils were cooked in. Once heated (but do not boil), pour over lentils and chicken. Add cucumbers, grape tomatoes, feta cheese, red onion, and salt & pepper to taste. Mix well.

Nutrition Facts (per serving): 280 calories, 9g fat (3g saturated), 18g carbohydrate (5g fiber), 30g protein

Since I’ve been gone…

So, a couple of things happened to explain my disappearance…

1) We adopted this little guy from a kill shelter (It hurts to even say it!)…

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He’s the happiest little face to come home to, and the cuddliest snuggle bug.. He’s also a LOT of work. Until now, I couldn’t make a very simple meal without him getting into something, let alone a blog-worthy meal. Despite the struggle, he is our best investment ever and we have many years of unconditional love ahead of us. I hope his cute little face makes up for abandoning my blog.

2) I got a job…teaching pre-school children, their parents and the daycare center staff nutrition. If I could have dreamed up a job, this would be it. I feel so lucky. Regardless, a new job is a new job and learning the ropes takes time.

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3) I’m officially a registered dietitian!! In addition to the above two things, I had to promise myself I would spend all free time studying. To pass this test meant everything to me, so I don’t regret it!

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I hope you will still read, even though I’ve been very unaccountable! However, being realistic, I will be posting once a week instead of twice. As much as I love finally being in the real world, I’ll admit it is tough finding the energy to cook creatively every night. If you read this, thank you. I felt missed when I was gone and that’s a GREAT feeling!