It's been unusually cold and rainy here in Phoenix. Enough so that we had to dig through our closets and find our thick, cozy sweaters and dust them off accordingly. Even thought it has been in the low 40's when I wake up and head to work around 6 a.m. I still feel a bit silly piling on my mismatched layers of sweaters and jackets. It doesn't help that the only pair of mittens I own are both left handed. Odd. and the only scarf I own is way dated and thread bear. I have to wrap it tightly around my neck several times to keep warm, which isn't easy to do wearing 2 left handed mittens.
So needless to say, I have been on a bit of a soup binge for the last couple of weeks. I love soup and have to get my fill before the temperatures jump to 80 next week. True story. Love Phoenix.
I have the only kids in the Universe who aren't fans of spaghetti and meatballs. Maybe if I used a sugary pasta sauce instead of a home made marinara?
They did love this pasta that I whipped up using one of the many boxes of healthy pasta that Barilla was kind enough to send me. This one is a "White Fiber" pasta and I dolled it up by roasting an squash and then blending it up with some apple cider.
Just sweet enough to be a yummy dinner that everyone liked.
Prep time 20 minutes Cook time 50 minutes Serves 6
Ingredients:1 package Barilla White Fiber Penne Pasta1 small acorn or butternut squash2 chicken breasts1 small bunch Swiss or rainbow chard (preferably Organic)1 handful walnuts, chopped1 apple (Fuji, Macintosh, gala) diced1 cup apple cider or juice1/2 cup chicken broth (or water)3 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar divided. (I used a white balsamic-cranberry)1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil divided1 teaspoon saltfreshly cracked pepper to taste (I used white pepper)
Putting it all together:
Preheat oven to 400F.
Using a sharp paring knife, cut skin off of squash. Cut squash in half lengthwise and scoop out seeds and strings. Cut into 1 inch pieces and place on grill pan Bake at 400F for 30 minutes until a fork pierces flesh easily and squash is browned. Remove from oven, set aside to let cool slightly.
Cut chicken into thin strips. Place in small bowl and add 1 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar, 1 teaspoon oil and a dash of cracked pepper. Grill for 5-7 minutes on a hot grill pan, turning once. Remove, set aside.
Meanwhile, wash chard and remove stems. Chop stems into 1/2 inch pieces, set aside. Chop leaves of chard into small pieces. In a hot skillet add 1 tablespoon oil. Add chard stems, cook 2 minutes. Add leaves, cook 5 more minutes stirring occasionally. Add chopped apples. Cook 3-5 minutes. Add 2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar, toss to coat. Cover and remove from heat.
Cook pasta according to package directions.
Place half of the cooked squash in a blender. Add apple cider, broth and salt. Blend till smooth and creamy adjusting liquid to desired consistency. Drain pasta. Return to pot, turn off heat. Add squash mixture, toss to coat. Add chard, apple and squash pieces to pasta, toss to combine.
Top with chicken. Adjust salt and pepper to taste.
Pasta can be a great source of good carbohydrates to fuel your body for exercise. When I make pasta I like to add lots of veggies, fruits and healthy toppings like nuts and good cheeses such as
Romano and Parmesan.
Barilla sent me a nice variety of their healthy pastas. I've cooked with Barilla Plus a few times before in my Pasta with White Clam Sauce. They are offering to send a box full of a variety of their healthy pastas and an apron to TWO lucky Simply Healthy Family readers.
Barilla Pasta is a nutrient-rich, complex carbohydrate that is a good source of thiamin, folic acid, iron, riboflavin and niacin. It’s low in sodium and naturally cholesterol free.
Barilla PLUS offers a taste, color and texture as good as traditional Barilla pastas, and is a good source of protein, ALA omega-3 and fiber. It delivers 44 percent more protein and almost twice as much fiber than traditional pasta.
This time around I used the White Fiber pasta which they claim tastes just like regular pasta but with 3 X's the fiber and provides 30% of the DRV for whole grains all from natural ingredients. Our family loved it!
With Barilla White Fiber, eating well can be fun for the whole family. Available in
three varieties, Mini Rotini, Mini Shells and Mini Penne, Barilla White Fiber looks
and tastes just like regular pasta, letting your whole family enjoy their favorite pasta
meals, while also providing them with a hidden boost of the fiber and whole grains
In order to win:
Leave a comment below telling me what your favorite healthy pasta dish is.
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TWO winners will be chosen at random on Thursday, January 31st. Winners will be notified by email so make sure you leave a valid email address in your comment.
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