Homemade Lean Cuisines-First Segment

fullsizeoutput_1ee1.jpegWith Rourke’s new gig, he is currently at home studying for his new products.  He has gone from a lunch everyday with clients to lunch at home.  We both get sick of sandwiches everyday, so I had to come up with a solution.  (There is a lot of togetherness going on here btw!:))

I do not like processed foods.  (Some reasons here!) So, I decided to make my own form of frozen meals that are tasty, healthy and freezer-friendly.  I thought with a variety of meals, either one of us could grab one of these for lunch any given day.

I decided to do one recipe at a time so as not to overwhelm you.  So, be looking for the next segment coming soon!

This one I am calling it “Chicken Veggie Pasta.”  It makes six servings, each 440 calories if you do not include a sprinkle of Parmesan for garnish.  If you add one tablespoon of Parmesan,  you only add 22 more calories.

IMG_3839.JPGI started with four chicken breasts, because I am using two for this recipe and two for the next recipe.

So, you could either cook all four and have two for dinner or lunch with a salad, because they are tasty alone.  Or, you could just use two breasts and halve the seasonings used below, and freeze the other two for later.IMG_3840.JPGPat dry. IMG_3842.JPGSprinkle chicken breasts with 1 tsp. salt, 1/4 tsp. garlic powder, and 1/4 tsp. pepper.IMG_3843.JPGRub seasonings in on both sides.IMG_3847.JPGSpray a grill pan with non-stick spray.  Heat pan on medium-high heat.IMG_3848.JPGGrill 5 minutes each side.  I slightly turn the meat 45 degrees to give pretty grill marks at 2 1/2 minutes.IMG_3855.JPGCover with foil and turn heat to low.  Cook 10 more minutes.  Rest for 5 minutes.IMG_3870.JPGCut two breasts into bite-sized pieces.  Store the other two breasts for later.

fullsizeoutput_1edf.jpegI love using fun-shaped pastas!  You could use any pasta of your liking actually.  I chose to use “trottole.”  Boil according to directions, reserving 1 cup of pasta water before draining.IMG_3863.JPGIMG_3866.JPG

Now for the sauce:IMG_3856.JPGIMG_3861.JPGSlice two zucchini and two yellow squash.  Chop red bell pepper.  Mince one clove of garlic.

Melt 4 tablespoons of butter in a large skillet.  Saute’ bell pepper on medium for 5 minutes.  Add squashes and saute’ for about 15 minutes.  (This would be a good time to start your pasta.) Stir occasionally.

Add garlic and saute’ 1 minute more.IMG_3864.JPGIMG_3865Sprinkle 4 tablespoons of flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, stirring in each one.  Turn up heat to high and add 1 cup pasta water, continuing to stir.  Add 2 cups of chicken broth.  Salt and pepper to taste.  Continue to stir until it thickens.  Add chicken and pasta and incorporate well.

IMG_3868.JPGIMG_3869.JPGIMG_3871.JPGIMG_3872IMG_3873.JPG

fullsizeoutput_1ee2Top with chopped parsley and Parmesan.

Divide between 6 bha-free containers. Top with lids and label with name and calories.IMG_3874.JPGI like these with extra spots for packing in fruit or nuts later.IMG_3875.JPGIMG_3878.JPG

Recipe:

Ingredients:

2 chicken breasts

1 16 ounce package of pasta

2 zucchini, sliced

2 yellow squash, sliced

1 red bell pepper, chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

2 cups of chicken broth

1 tsp. salt, plus more for seasoning

1/4 tsp. garlic powder

1/4 tsp. pepper, plus more for seasoning

Grated Parmesan

Chopped parsley

Directions:

Pat chicken dry with paper towels.  Season with 1 tsp. salt, 1/4 tsp. garlic powder, and 1/4 tsp. pepper.  Spray a grill pan with non-stick spray.  Grill for 5 minutes on both sides on medium-high heat.  Cover with foil, turn heat to low and grill 10 more minutes.  Let rest with foil on for five more minutes.  Cut into bite-sized pieces.

Heat a large pot of water to boil.

Melt 4 tablespoons of butter over medium heat in a large skillet.  Saute’ bell pepper for 5 minutes.  Add squashes and saute’ for 15 minutes.

Add 1 tsp. salt to boiling water.  Add container of pasta and stir.  Bring back to a boil and until tender.  Reserve 1 cup of the pasta water.  Drain pasta in a colander.

Add garlic to large skillet.  Saute’ 1 minute.  Sprinkle 4 tablespoons of flour over veggies, 1 tablespoon at a time, stirring each in well.

Turn heat up to high in skillet and pasta water.  Stir well.  Add chicken broth and stir well until thickened.  Season with salt and pepper.  Add chicken and pasta.  Incorporate well.

Divide between six containers.

(If microwaving straight from the freezer, they take about 5 minutes, stirring half-way through.)

When serving, garnish with 1 tablespoon of grated Parmesan and chopped parsley.

Calories: 440 (462 with Parmesan)

fullsizeoutput_1ee0.jpeg

Bon appetit!

Toodle-oo,

Melanie

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