I love pasta. Pretty much any kind will do. One problem with that is the health factor, or lack there of. Between the noodles, the sauce, and the inevitable cheese, it's not always a very health conscious meal. The good news? It can be! I found this recipe for Lemon Cream Pasta With Chicken from my favorite recipe site, Allrecipes, the other day, and with a few simple changes, it became a healthy and delicous meal that my whole family enjoyed.
You can find the original recipe here at Allrecipes.com, and here it is in a healthier form:
Lemon Cream Chicken Pasta
3 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1 lemon, quartered
2 teaspoons garlic powder, divided
1 teaspoon ground black pepper, divided
2 (14.5 ounce) cans reduced sodium chicken broth
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 (8 ounce) package whole wheat pasta (rotelle or penne works best)
1 cup almond milk
1 red pepper
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Place chicken in a lightly greased baking dish. Squeeze lemon over both sides of the chicken breasts and season both sides using 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder and 3/4 teaspoon pepper. Bake for 40 minutes, or until juices run clear and chicken is no longer pink inside.
2. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, season the chicken broth with the remaining 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Bring to a boil and add lemon juice and pasta. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until all liquid is absorbed, about 25 minutes.
3. Cut cooked chicken into bite-sized pieces and stir into cooked pasta, along with the almond milk, thinly sliced red pepper, and lemon zest. Cook, stirring, over low heat for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand 5 minutes. Stir thoroughly before serving.
Although reduced sodium chicken broth still has a higher amount of sodium than I'd like, it's a good way to at least reduce some of the sodium content in the recipe. And have you ever tried almond milk?! If you haven't, do yourself a favor and try it! I've only recently been hooked on it. I've never been one to drink a glass of cow's milk, which I know is terrible, but other than on cereal or with chocolate added to it, I have to say I'm not a fan. When I was introduced to almond milk, my milk world changed for the better! My older sister and I joke that now we have a problem with drinking too much milk rather than not enough! It has a small amount of fat content, which is slightly more than skim milk, but is sooooo good. Think regular milk with a hint of almond flavoring. Mmmmm... Anyway, don't be scared of it, it's delicious! And from what we've tested so far, it's great in recipes and cream sauces as a substitute for cream.
I chose to add red peppers to the original recipe, but asparagus would also be great.
If you make this I'd love to hear how it goes!