healthy chicken and bell peppers with goat cheese

Hi, everyone! Happy Thursday! Hope your week is thrumming along nicely. 🙂

A little while ago, I promised you this recipe that my mom made for dinner one night during our family reunion in Pittsburgh. Not only is it easy, healthy, and delicious, I love this recipe because it is full of flavor and easily customizable. Don’t like goat cheese? Substitute feta or parmesan, or leave out the cheese altogether. Mom served it over orzo pasta; I like it best over quinoa. Whatever suits your fancy! This also makes great leftovers and heats up well. Hope you enjoy!

chicken and peppers

chicken & bell peppers with goat cheese

– 2 large chicken breasts, or a package of chicken tenders
– 1/2 cup flour
– 2 tbsp olive oil
– 2 bell peppers; I like the combination of orange and yellow
– 1 small onion
– 1 can diced tomatoes
– 1 small can tomato sauce
– 1 tbsp minced garlic
– fresh basil, to taste
– goat cheese {or feta or parmesan, if you prefer}
– salt and pepper, to taste
– pasta or quinoa, for serving

1. Slice the bell peppers and onion into chunks and set aside.

2. Cut the chicken into small pieces. Pour the flour into a pie pan or shallow dish so it is an even layer. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. With your fingers, roll the pieces of chicken in the flour until they are evenly coated.

3. Pour the olive oil into a skillet over medium heat. When oil is hot, pour in the chicken and saute until cooked through. The flour will create a nice golden-brown crispiness. Once chicken is cooked, remove from pan and set aside.

4. In the same olive oil, saute the bell peppers and onion for about 10 minutes, until the peppers are soft and the onion is translucent.

5. Add the diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, minced garlic, and chicken. Cover and simmer on low.

6. Finely chop the basil. Just before serving, add the basil and goat cheese, to your taste.

7. Serve by itself, or over pasta, rice or quinoa.

Cheers! {We enjoyed this for Mother’s Day dinner, pictured below!}

mothers day

my 3 favorite ways to use sauteed spinach

Spinach is SO good for us. This superfood is high in fiber, antioxidants, cancer-fighting flavonoids, vitamin A and vitamin K — promoting healthy bones, skin, vision, brain and nerve function. {Read more here.}

I always put a handful of raw spinach into my smoothies {I promise, you can’t taste it!} and lately I’ve started sauteeing spinach and using it in many of my favorite recipes. To sautee baby spinach, simply spray a frying pan with a bit of olive oil, add minced garlic if desired, and cook the spinach for 3 to  5 minutes on medium-low heat, until the leaves are wilted.

spinach before

spinach after

Here are my top 3 favorite ways to use sauteed spinach {other than as a side by itself, which is also de.li.cious!}

1. Atop a veggie pasta bowl. I love to layer a bit of brown rice pasta, some roasted veggies {zucchini, bell pepper, tomatoes, yum!}, sauteed spinach, and then top the whole she-bang with tomato sauce and a sprinkle of feta cheese. NOM!

pasta bowl

2. Wrapped up inside an enchilada. This would be the perfect way to sneak more veggies into a non-veggie-lover’s diet. I layer some sauteed spinach on top of the ground turkey mixture, pour on some sauce, wrap it up and pop it in the oven to bake.

turkey enchiladas

3. In my morning scrambled eggs. One of my favorite combos of the moment is sauteed spinach, avocado, onion and chicken sausage. A great power-breakfast to get your day off on the right foot!

eggs

Do you eat spinach regularly? If so, I’d love to hear some of your favorite recipes! Any other superfoods you can’t get enough of lately?

springtime veggie pasta bake

Hi everyone! I have a simple, delicious and healthy recipe to share with you today. This meal is simple to make, easily adaptable to your preferences, and is bursting with fresh veggie flavors! Hope you enjoy!

springtime pasta bake

– 1/2 box whole-wheat pasta {I used rotini}
– 1 yellow squash
– 1 green bell pepper
– 2 roma tomatoes
– 1/2 sweet onion
– 1 cup fresh baby spinach
– 1 tbsp minced garlic
– a drizzle of olive oil
– your sauce of choice {I used a combination of tomato sauce & pesto}
– 2 cups shredded cheese {I used an Italian blend}

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Bring a pot of water to a boil and cook the pasta according to package directions.

3. Chop and dice the veggies. Toss them in olive oil and saute them in a large pan on medium heat, until onion and garlic are fragrant and spinach is wilted.

4. Drain the pasta and pour cooked noodles into a large casserole dish. Toss with sauce and veggies until everything is well mixed.

5. Top with shredded cheese.

6. Bake for 15-18 minutes, until cheese is melted and bubbly.

Serve and savor! This is one of those recipes that makes terrific leftovers, too!

pasta bake

What are some of your favorite springtime recipes?

if you liked this post, you might also enjoy:
easy veggie, potato & sausage bake
cilantro-lime quinoa with chicken
tilapia with pineapple salsa

pumpkin pasta

Happy Thursday, everyone! I’m in a super happy mood because my brother Greg is arriving this evening for a long weekend visit! I’m leaving right after I finish teaching to go pick him up at the airport. I am sooooo excited to see him! 🙂

I have another new recipe to share with you today for pumpkin week! I made this last night after seeing a recipe on AllRecipes.com that compared this sauce to “inside-out pumpkin ravioli” … I’ve never had pumpkin ravioli but it sounds really delicious. So I thought I would give this pumpkin pasta sauce a whirl. And I’m so glad I did! It was even better than I expected.

I was starving when I got home from school this evening {a little later than usual because I had a meeting after class for Sycamore Review, the literary magazine I work for} so I discovered an added bonus of this recipe: it comes together pretty quickly! I made the sauce while the pasta was cooking, and the entire thing was ready to eat in about 15-20 minutes.

pumpkin pasta

– 1 package noodles of your choice {I used whole-wheat spaghetti; I think penne would also be delicious}
– 1 tbsp butter
– 1 tbsp flour
– 1 small onion, diced
– 1 tbsp minced garlic
– 1 zucchini, diced
– 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
– 1/2 cup skim milk
– 1 cup pumpkin puree
– 1 tsp onion powder
– 1 tsp garlic powder
– 1 tsp chili powder
– 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
– salt & pepper to taste
– grated Parmesan cheese to taste

1. Bring a pot of water to a boil and cook pasta according to package directions.

2. While pasta is cooking, melt butter in a large pot and saute onion, garlic and zucchini. Add flour and stir to make a rue.

3. Add the chicken broth, milk, and pumpkin. Stir together until well blended.

4. Add the onion powder, garlic powder, chili powder, pumpkin pie spice, and salt and pepper.

5. Simmer for 10-15 minutes, until sauce reaches desired thickness.

6. Drain the pasta. Add sauce to the drained pasta, and toss with the Parmesan cheese. Enjoy!

I served mine with fresh baked French bread. It was the perfect complement to the pasta and I loved mopping up the sauce at the bottom of my bowl with the warm bread. {Something I wouldn’t do in a restaurant, but at home it seems okay!} 🙂

Hope your week is going great! Tomorrow, I’ll have a classic pumpkin recipe for you to wrap up the work week: pumpkin pie!

-Dallas

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– Time: 20 mins
– Cost: about $8

garlic, tomato & olive oil pasta

One thing I love about being home in California is getting to eat my mom’s delicious cooking! Last night she taught me how to make a super quick, inexpensive and easy pasta dish that I immediately knew I had to share with you!

Ingredients:

– 1 box angel hair pasta
– 2 tbsp minced garlic
– 3 roma tomatoes, cut into pieces
– 1/4 cup olive oil
– 1 package chicken breasts
– feta cheese to taste

1. Cut up the chicken breasts into chunks and saute in some olive oil until cooked all the way through.

2. Bring a pot of water to a boil. Cook angel hair pasta for approx. 3 minutes. {Be very careful not to overcook angel hair pasta!}

3. Coat bottom of a pan in olive oil and saute the minced garlic while pasta is cooking.

4. Drain pasta and dump it into the garlic and olive oil mixture. Stir until all the pasta is coated. Add the tomatoes and chicken and mix well.

5. Top with feta cheese if desired.

Ta da! Could not be easier, faster, or tastier! What are some of your favorite quick & healthy recipes?

Till Friday,
Dallas

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Cost: about $15.00
Time: 10 minutes