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).
About a month ago, my husband and I went to a Red Bulls soccer game with another couple. We were all so excited to go to the game, but we wanted to first stop to eat. We decided to meet our friends at their favorite Mexican Food restaurant, before we walked over to the game. This restaurant was unlike any other Mexican food restaurant I had ever eaten at. The menu was full of surprising dishes. Of course they had taco salads, burros, enchiladas, tostadas, tacos and tamales, but their specialties were surprising difference. Their specialties included, shrimp veracruz, adovada ribs, relleno dinner and my favorite Victoria’s chicken chili plate! Granted I am not saying these dishes are low in calories, but I was in love with this restaurant when my Victoria chicken chili plate came out and it was a juicy grilled chicken breast on a bed of lettuce and Mexican rice with a side of whole pinto beans and I did half red sauce and green sauce! It was delicious! I have never had such a healthy Mexican food in a restaurant before. This recipe was inspired by the fabulous Victoria’s chicken chili plate. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did! Be sure to have a good red sauce or green sauce, its key ton this dish!
3 organic chicken breast
1 tbsp EVOO
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tbsp Mexican Seasoning Blend
1/2 cup mild cheddar cheese
1/2 cup pepper jack cheese
3 cups red sauce (or green)
Begin by seasoning both sides of the 3 chicken breast, with salt, pepper and Mexican seasoning blend. In a skillet drizzle EVOO and place each chicken breast in the pan, cooking each side about 4 to 6 minutes until golden brown. If the chicken breast are thick, you may need to fillet them open and cook the filleted side for an additional 4 to 6 minutes. While chicken is cooking grate 1/2 cup of pepper jack cheese and 1/2 cup of cheddar cheese and set aside. Once chicken is fully cooked pour the red sauce (or green sauce) into the pan and turn stove on high and reduce red sauce, until thickened. Sprinkle about 1/3 of a cup of the pepper jack and cheddar cheese mixture to each chicken breast. For presentation and a perfect weeknight meal prepare Mexican rice and pinto beans. In a large serving platter create a bed of Mexican rice and layer each chicken breast on top. Drizzle the reduced red sauce over the chicken and rice; add pinto beans to the sides of the platter and garnish with the remaining cheese and fresh cilantro.
Hope you enjoy!
Happy Earth Day! Earth Day started on April 22nd 1970 when the nation celebrated clan air, land, and water. In the beginning, Earth Day was focused on the United States, launched by Denis Hayes, who was the original national coordinator in 1970; he then took it international in 1990 and organized events in 141 nations. Earth Day is now coordinated globally by the Earth Day Network, and is celebrated in more than 175 countries every year. Communities all over the world celebrate Earth Week, an entire week dedicated to activities focused on environmental issues.
What can you do to make a difference, you may ask? There are so many small things we can all do to make an impact. Believe me when I say being green and the commitment to being green is not an easy task, but if each of us will make a commitment to make a few small changes in our daily lives, than the sum of all our efforts will make a larger impact.
Here are a few ways you can make an impact:
2) Take your own reusable grocery bags to the market (many grocers will take money off bill for bringing your own bags)
3) Skip the plastic water bottle and carry you own Eco-friendly, BPA free water bottle (Sigg is a great brand)
4) Use Eco-friendly non-toxic cleaning supplies (some of my favorite are ECOS, Seventh Generation, Mrs. Meyers
5) Use Eco-friendly non-toxic products on your skin and hair (Arbonne, Origins, EO, and Burt’s Bees)
6) When you can try to carpool or ride your bike
7) Bring your own mug when you visit your nearest coffee shop (Today 4-22-11, Starbucks will fill up your personal reusable mug with coffee or tea for free)
8) Buy local and organic food from farmers markets
9) Keep electronics, toners, etc. out of the trash and take them to be recycled properly
10) Save water and energy – by changing the light bulbs in your house, opting to have energy efficient doors and windows, purchasing a solar hot-water heater and/or solar panels can save you money in the long run and helps our planet.
*The pictures used in this post are not mine. I found all the images via the Internet*Read More