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).
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
2 – 3 whole Organic Chicken Breasts
1 pound Brown Rice Penne Pasta, Cooked Until Al Dente
1/2 stick Butter
3 whole Lemons, Juiced and 1 zested
1 cup Half-and-half
1-1/2 cup Grated Parmesan Cheese (or Romano)
1 tsp of Herb de Province
Salt And Freshly Ground Black Pepper, To Taste
20 whole Basil Leaves, Chopped
Take your chicken breast and season with salt, pepper and Herb de Province place in an oiled grill pan over high heat and cook chicken for about 8 minsutes on each side (if need be put the lid on the pan to make sure chicken is fully cooked through).
Cook pasta, reserving 1 cup of hot pasta water when you drain. Set pasta aside in a colander.
In the same pot, melt butter over medium heat. Squeeze in the juice of 3 lemons. Whisk together. Pour in half-and-heat. Whisk until hot. Dump in cheese and whisk until melted. Add salt and pepper. Check consistency, adding some of the hot pasta water to loosen the sauce if needed.
Pour pasta and sauce into a large serving bowl. Sprinkle remaining basil all over the top, then add sliced chicken breasts. Serve immediately!
Serve with sliced bread drizzled with EVOO and a glass of wine (my preference is a sweet wine like Moscato) and you have yourself an excellent and healthy dinner!
Rachel AshleyRead More
Today’s recipe is inspired from my trip to Colorado. Some of you may know, I went to Colorado a couple weeks ago, for my husbands family reunion. We were there for four days and three nights in a beautiful cabin set back among pine trees and green grass. Each day had its own designated activities and Friday was one of my favorites – we had a cook off. This cook-off wasn’t your normal cook-off. We had just finished playing kick-ball in a park, with our designated kick-ball teams we were assigned a portion of the meal and given $100.00 and an hour – the key to all of this was we didn’t have a kitchen we could use and if we needed utensils we had to buy them. My team was given the main dish and it had to feed at least 30 people. I knew we had this in the bag! There was myself and two of Kyle’s cousins who love to cook as well. We had boys too, but they were the drivers…lol. Anyway, I knew that the stores were not close to the cabin and we wouldn’t have time to go to the store go back to the cabin and prepare it, so we had to prepare it in the car if we were going to be done in time. We ran to Whole Foods, because it is healthy and they have amazing prepared food. We picked up a massive portion of Whole Foods home-made macaroni, steamed vegetables, flat leaf parsley and 2 roasted chickens. The prepared food was next to the bread and I set my eyes on two bread bowls and thought those would make a beautiful presentation, so we got two bread bowls as well. I asked the baker to cut a hole in both bread bowls, so myself and the girls could rip the insides out and put our pasta dish in them. Meanwhile the men were over at Wal-mart trying to gather serving utensil and platters for us to display the food on. Kyle’s cousin Eric happened to buy a picnic basket which worked perfect, because we were able to place the two bread bowls in the basket and sprinkle the falt leaf parsley around the sides. Needless to say, the dish turned out great! We pulled the chicken apart in the car, with clean hands of course, torn the insides of the bread bowls out, mixed the shredded chicken, vegetables, and macaroni together finished with a sprig of flat leaf-parsley on to and there you had and amazing under 30 minute, car made meal! We were grated on taste, presentation, and creativity – WE WON BEST OVERALL!
The reason for me telling you that whole story, is because two nights ago I decided to recreate our culinary concoction with shells and white cheddar macaroni, broccoli, basil and shredded chicken. Although, this meal was not prepared in the car! It is an easy meal, full of nutrients, if the right products are used, and you can get it on your dinner table in less than 30 minutes. Please don’t use the crappy mac & cheese that we had as kids, buy a more healthy brand or make from scratch. One of my favorite brands is “Annie’s” – the macaroni iss made with organic pasta, no artificial anything and 0 grams of trans fat!
Annie’s Shells and White Cheddar Macaroni and Cheese
2 cups broccoli
4 tablesppons of freshley chopped basil
1 roasted chicken (1 breast)
1/4 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano
1/4 cup of milk
Salt and Pepper to taste
Begin cooking the macaroni as indicated on the box. Take the chicken and begin shredding 1 breast of chicken and set aside. In a seperate suase pan steam or blanch the broccoli. While the pasta and broccoli are cooking take a small bunch of basil and chop up into fine peices. Finish cooking pasta and drain, add 1/4 cup milk, the cheddar cheese and then 1/4 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano. Drain the broccoli and add to the pasta, add shredded chicken and salt and pepper to taste.