Italian food is my favorite! And guess what? I love pasta! Besides chocolate, its definitely a guilty pleasure of mine! This Chicken and Spinach Béchamel is quick and easy and of course super delish! I love cooking with spinach, because it is rich in vitamins and minerals, it is also concentrated in health-promoting phytonutrients and flavonoids to provide you with powerful antioxidant protection. We all know that spinach is the source of Popeye’s superhuman strength, which of course is a good reason to eat it, right!?! I love to cook, but the most important thing to me when I cook, is to cook meals that are healthy and good for you! There are so many foods out there that taste great, but they are horrible for you and the ingredients have damaging lasting effects! At Fashionably Organic, I have always made my dishes with a healthy spin, so you can feel comfortable eating each and every bite! I hope you enjoy this dish as much as my family did! Bon Appétit!
Organic Whole Wheat Linguine noodles
1 Bag of Organic Spinach
2 Organic Chicken Breast
1/2 sweet onion
2 cloves of garlic
Handful Fresh Basil
Salt and Pepper
Béchamel Sauce (Or 1 jar of Alfredo Sauce)
Place a grill pan with a couple tablespoons of EVOO over a medium high heat and brown each side of the chicken breast about 3 minutes on each side. Then turn to medium heat and cover, for about 15 minutes, while you prepare the pasta and the Béchamel sauce. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the linguine pasta and cook until tender, but still firm to the bite, stirring constantly in the beginning to prevent it from sticking together, about 8 minutes. Meanwhile, in a large saute pan, heat the EVOO over medium high heat. Add the diced sweet onion and saute until soft, about 3 minutes. Add the minced garlic and saute until the garlic is golden brown and the sweet onion is translucent, about 3 minutes (being careful not to burn the garlic). Add the bag of spinach to the pan, season with salt and pepper and cook the spinach down, about 3 minutes. Meanwhile, chop a handful of fresh basil and set aside. Remove the garlic, onion, and spinach and place in a bowl to the side, while you prepare the Béchamel sauce. Once the Béchamel suace is prepared add the spinach, garlic, and onion back into the pan and stir. Drain the pasta and toss in the Béchamel, making sure each strand is coated. Uncover the chicken and shred. Add the shredded chicken and freshly chopped basil to the pasta and toss. Place the pasta in a shallow serving bowl and serve immediately! Garnish with a sprig of fresh basil. (QUICK TIP: If you decide to use a jar of Alfredo sauce, add the jar of Alfredo to the onion, garlic, and spinach. Drain the pasta, shred the chicken, add freshly chopped basil, more salt and pepper to taste, place pasta in a shallow serving bowls and serve immediately. Garnish with a sprig of fresh basil).
Ingredients for Béchamel Sauce:
5 tablespoons of unsalted organic butter
1/2 cup of whole wheat flour
4 cups of organic skim milk (for a richer flavor use whole milk)
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of pepper
Pinch of freshly grate nutmeg
Recipe for Béchamel Sauce:
In a saucepan, melt the organic butter over medium heat. Add the whole wheat flour and whisk until smooth, about 2 minutes. Gradually add the organic skim milk, whisking constantly to prevent any lumps from forming. Simmer over medium heat, whisking constantly, until the sauce is thick, smooth and creamy, about 10 minutes (do not let the Béchamel sauce boil). Remove from the heat and stir in 1/2 teaspoon of salt, 1 teaspoon of pepper and a pinch of nutmeg. If need be, season the sauce with more salt, pepper and nutmeg to taste. (The sauce can be made up to 3 days ahead of time, cool and pour into a mason jar, and refrigerate).
Don’t you just love pasta, especially cheesy pasta?!? This pasta is made with Italian chicken sausage, ricotta, mozzarella, Parmigiano-Reggiano and one of my favorite ingredients, spinach! Spinach is so good for you and in recipes like this you don’t even taste it, but you benefit from all its health benefits. This recipe makes for a great quick and easy family night dinner. You can prepare it ahead of time and put it in the oven 30 minutes before you’re ready to eat!
Olive Oil Spray
½ cup of Parmigiano-Reggiano
1 cup of Ricotta
8 oz part-skim mozzarella, shredded
6 cooked Italian Sausages (you can also us uncooked)
12 oz of brown rice Rigatoni pasta
1 tsp EVOO
2 cloves of minced garlic
½ sweet onion, minced finely
1 bag (about 10 oz) of fresh spinach
4 cups of your favorite Marinara Sauce
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Spray a 9 x 13” baking dish with olive oil spray. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. In a medium bowl, combine the Parmigiano-Reggiano, ricotta, and half of the shredded mozzarella cheese. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, drizzle EVOO and sauté the minced onion until translucent then add the minced garlic, about a minute. Add the fresh spinach and season with salt and pepper and cook the spinach down. Add the cooked/cut sausage to the skillet. (If you are not using precooked sausage, be sure to brown the sausage breaking it up into small bits until cooked through before sauteing the onion, garlic and spinach.) Add the marinara sauce to the skillet of sausage, onion, garlic and spinach and cook on medium high heat for 2-3 minutes, until the mixture thickens, then simmer on low. When the pasta water comes to a boil, cook the brown rice pasta until al dente. Put half of the cooked pasta into the prepared baking dish and top with half of the meat sauce. Spoon the ricotta mixture on top of the sauce in an even layer. Cover with the remaining pasta and the remaining sauce. Top with the remaining mozzarella and Parmigiano-Reggiano. Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for an additional 5 to 10 minutes or until the cheese on top is melted with golden brown edges.
2 Whole Wheat English Muffins, halved
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
2 tablespoons of freshly cut basil
1/2 cup smoked mozzarella, cubed
Salt and Pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.Take two English muffins and cut each in half and place face side up on a baking sheet. Drizzle EVOO over the English muffins and place in the oven for 3 minutes to toast. While the English muffins are toasting cube the smoked mozzarella, chop freshly cut basil by chiffonade, which is just a fancy term for thin shredded strips. On two halves of the English muffins place a few cubes of mozzarella, cherry tomatoes, basil and top with more smoked mozzarella and salt and pepper to taste. On the other two halves of English muffins place a few cubes of smoked mozzarella, then place three pepperonis on each half and top with the remaining smoked mozzarella. Drizzle a little more EVOO over each English muffin, this will help caramelize the cheese. Place the baking sheet in the oven for 10 minutes or until golden brown. You can tell when the pizza is done when the cheese is caramelized and the edges of the English muffins are golden brown. Bon appetit!
No Pasta, Pasta! What’s that you may ask?!? There are very few people in this world that don’t like pasta, unfortunately, I am not one of them, ha ha, but I felt like creating a no pasta, pasta type dish. Something healthy and not too heavy, but full of traditional Italian flavors! This recipe turned out great and you can experiment with flavors by adding fresh basil, rosemary and garlic too! This feeds a crowd, so be sure to invite some friends over and pop a bottle of bubbly!
Begin by placing four chicken breast on a platter. Drizzle a couple tablespoons of EVOO and add salt and pepper to taste. Place your pan on the stove with enough cooking oil to coat the bottom of the pan. Set the temperature to medium-high. Let the oil heat up. For healthy cooking, I like to use extra virgin olive oil (EVOO). It tastes better as well! Once the oil is hot after a minute or two, place the chicken in the pan, using tongs. The oil may splatter a bit, but no worries. You will want to flip the breasts when the side being cooked turns golden brown; generally this will take four to six minutes, depending on what type of stove you are using. Using tongs flip the chicken breast over and cook on the other side for four to six minutes.
On a chopping block, cut the squash length wise and then horizontally, creating cubes. In a large sauce pan drizzle a couple tablespoons of EVOO and add the squash and cook for 5 minutes on medium heat, until tender. Once the squash is al dente, turn the stove to low heat. When the chicken breast have finished cooking, remove and cut breast into bite size pieces. Add the chicken to the sauce pan of squash. Grab two jars of your favorite marinara sauce and two cups of Parmesan Reggiano and add to the squash and chicken. Stir in the Parmesan Reggiano and marinara sauce making sure the squash and chicken is coated. Cook on medium heat until the cheese melts and the sauce is warmed through, about 2 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Chop fresh basil and sprinkle on top and serve. Bon Appetit!
1 can of organic tomatoe sause
1 large jar of your favorite marinara sauce
1lb of Fusilli Whole Wheat Pasta
3 or 4 cooked chick sausages
1/2 of a sweet onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
8 fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced
1 sprig of fresh rosemary
1 tablespoon of fresh dill
2 tablespoons of Parmigiano Reggiano
Salt and pepper taste
Cook the chicken sausages thoroughly (I precooked the chicken sausages the day before). Once cooked, slice the chicken sausages a quarter of an inch thick (similar to thick pepporoni slice). Set the chicken aside. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil, once the water is bubbling add fusilli pasta and cook for about 8 minutes, until al dente. Coat a saute pan with olive oil and place over medium heat. When the oil gets hazy, add the onions, garlic and cook until the vegetables are soft, but still translucent, about 8 minutes. Add organic tomato sauce and chicken sausage to the cooked onions and garlic, cook until thickened, about 10 minutes. Add the marinara sauce and warm through. Strain pasta and reserve about of cup of pasta water, in case the sauce is to thick for your liking. Ladle the pasta into the marinara sauce. Add salt and pepper to taste, fresh herbs and stir thoroughly, reserving a tablespoon of fresh basil for garnish. Pour pasta into a large serving dish, garnish with a few basil leaves and the remaining thinly sliced basil. Freshly grate parmigiano reggiano on top and serve!
Last, Friday night my husband needed a heavy carbohydrate meal, because he was participating in an intense 12.5 mile race on Saturday! I wanted to make him something healthy of course, but super yummy and filling! This dish is wonderful and it doesn’t take very long. I think one of the reasons I love cooking a pasta, is because most of the time, pasta dishes are pretty quick fix meals. This brown rice pasta, incorporates a white sauce, with part skim ricotta cheese, parmesan reggiano, broccoli, peas, green beans, cauliflower and ground turkey! Sounds delish, right? Well, lets get started and I will tell you how to make this fabulous and quick dinner!
1 box of brown rice linguini 8 oz (or pasta of your choice)
1/2 cup of part skim ricotta cheese
1/2 cup of parmesan reggiano
1 48oz package of lean ground turkey
1 package of Trader Joe’s mixed vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, peas, and green beans)
A few tablespoons of EVOO for coating skillet
2 tablespoons of Italian Seasoning
*Salt and Pepper to taste!
2 tablespoons organic butter
2 tablespoons whole wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup skim milk or 1/2 cup evaporated milk and 1/2 cup water
Bring a medium skillet to medium/ high heat. Drizzle a couple tablespoons of EVOO and cook the ground turkey thoroughly, set aside. In another pan cook the vegetables, cook until al dente (cooked to the “tender crisp” phase … until they lose their raw taste).
Place 4 quarts of water in a large pot. Put the pot on the stove and bring the water to a boil. Pour 10-oz. – or one box -of brown-rice linguini pasta into the boiling water. Add 1 tsp. salt and 1 tsp. oil to the water if you choose. The oil can help the pasta from sticking together. Alternately, stir the pasta while it is cooking to prevent it from sticking. Cook the pasta for 10 minutes in boiling water. Remove the pasta from heat after 10 minutes. Drain the pasta in a strainer and rinse with cold water for 30 to 60 seconds.
In a large skillet (use a large skillet, that way once the sauce is made you can add all the ingredients to this pan) melt butter in a sauce pan and whisk in flour and salt until smooth. Gradually stir in skim milk, cooking over direct heat and stirring constantly until sauce boils; reduce heat slightly and continue to stir until sauce becomes smooth and thick. Add 1/2 cup of part skim ricotta cheese and 1/4 cup of parmesan reggiano, whisk until well blended. When sauce thickens, simmer for an additional 10 minutes over very low heat, stirring occasionally. Stir carefully to avoid lumps. Add vegetables, linguini, and ground turkey to the white sauce and season with 2 tablespoons of Italian seasoning and salt and pepper to taste. Toss vegetables ground turkey and linguini together until suace is throughly incorporated with the pasta. Top the pasta with additional 1/4 cup of parmesan reggiano and serve!
This recipe is super easy and so tasty, I hope you give it a try!
Rachel AshleyRead More