Sunday, April 27, 2014

Southwest Chicken Pasta Salad

I was actually going to make this for my dinner on Saturday night but, I got home so late from running all of my errands that I thought Id just pre-make my dinner for the week.  It's actually something I used to do all the time but then I got a grill pan.  Haha!

Recipe adapted from BHG
Yields 8 servings
312 calories per serving

1 package Perdue Fresh Cuts (I used the Grilled variety)
1 package whole wheat rotini
4 oz lowfat cream cheese, softened
1 jar salsa
1 avocado, seeded, peeled, & diced

Cook pasta according to box directions.
Drain well & rinse under cold water.
Place pasta back in the pot.

While pasta is cooking, place cream cheese & half of the salsa in a bowl; mix with a hand blender.

Pour cream cheese mixture over pasta & stir.
Pour remaining salsa in & stir.

Fold in avocado & chicken.

Place salad into a container, cover, & chill for 2 hours.

Sausage & Mushroom Pasta

I love one pot ingredients.  It makes clean up so easy and the cooking process itself so much simpler.

Recipe slightly adapted from Budget Bytes.
Yields 8 servings
153 calories per serving.

2 tbsp olive oil
3 links turkey sausage
2 cloves garlic
1 small onion
8 oz sliced mushrooms
28 oz crushed tomatoes
1 tsp basil
1 tsp oregano
4 c vegetable broth
1 lb whole wheat rotini
1/4 c parmesan

Add the olive oil and sausage links to the pot and cook over medium heat until links are cooked enough to slice into rounds.

Remove the sausage from the pot, cut into rounds, & place back into pot to cook completely..

While the sausage is cooking, mince the garlic & dice the onions.
Add tomatoes, onion, garlic, mushrooms, basil & oregano.
Stir to combine.

Add veggie broth & pasta; stir.
Place a lid on the pot, turn heat up to high, & bring to a rapid boil.
As soon as the pot is boiling, remove lid, stir the pot, & turn down the heat to low.
Simmer for 15 minutes; stir every so often.

Remove lid, sprinkle on parmesan, & stir.
Serve & enjoy!

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Rotini and Cherry Tomatoes

This may look really simple but, it was so flavorful & tasty.  And honestly, I dont even think it needed the cheese.  (You'll NEVER hear this from me.  Im a cheese maniac!)

3/4 lb whole wheat penne
1 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
8 oz part skim mozzarella, shredded

Cook penne according to box directions.
Drain & place in a large bowl.

In a large pan, heat oil over medium heat.
Add garlic & saute for 1 minute.
Add tomatoes, salt, & pepper; saute for 2 minutes.

Pour tomato mixture over pasta and toss.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Flourless Brownies

These are the most amazing brownies Ive ever tasted.  They're moist and sweet and delicious.

Recipe from Skinny Taste
Yields 16 servings
144 calories per serving

1 can black beans, rinsed & drained
2 large eggs
1/2 c cocoa powder
3/4 c sugar
1/2 tsp oil
1 tbsp skim milk
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp coffee grounds
1 c chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350.
Spray a 9x9 pan with cooking spray.
Place all ingredients in the blender and blend until smooth.
Pour batter into pan and bake for 30 minutes.

Let cool completely & cut into squares.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Chicken Cashew Pasta Salad

My lunch this week is kind of a tribute to my best friend.  She and I have been friends since 2nd grade and whenever we'd hang out at her house on a Saturday, we would make chicken salad for lunch. Chicken salad forever makes me think of her.  So, with that said, HAPPY BIRTHDAY LAUREN!

Recipe from Prevention RD
Yields 8 servings
312 calories per serving

8 oz whole wheat rotini
1lb roasted chicken, diced
1/3 c lowfat plain Greek yogurt
1/3 c + 2tbsp olive oil based lowfat mayonanaise
1/4 tsp salt
2/3 c unsalted cashews

Cook pasta according to package directions.
Drain & rinse under cold water & place in a large bowl.

Add chicken to the bowl & stir together.
Add yogurt, mayonnaise, & salt; mix well.
Fold in cashews & chill for up to an hour.

So there you have it.  This recipe was simple & hassle-free, just like my friendship with Lauren.  She's awesome because she's the kind of friend that you pick up right where you left off.  I hope all of you have friends like this.  It's a jewel to carry on your shoulder & in your heart.

(Yeah.  I totally just got completely sappy.  I even teared up a little while typing this.  Not remotely am I sorry.)