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.
My husbands family is moving out of the country and over the weekend we had a going away party for them. I was in charge of making a salad. I was so busy with work and house work, that I barely had time to make a salad, but I wanted to put my best foot forward. I didn’t want to buy a bag of mixed greens, throw it in one of my pretty bowls with dressing and call it a day. Instead, I wanted to make a hearty and tasty salad. Sometimes making a recipe from inspiration in the grocery store is the best. You can make salads in so many different ways: Caesar, Southwest, Cobb, etc. With each salad it brings its own individuality with different cheeses, vegetables, meats, etc. I was in the grocery store and I decided to pick some of my favorite vegetables and salad add-ins. Food needs to look good and be colorful and the best way is to include different vegetables, cheeses and meats. I love cherry tomatoes, they’re sweetness burst in your mouth. Colby jack cheese is marbled and adds a beautiful yellow spark to the salad. Mushrooms act as sponges and absorb the flavors of the dressing. Carrots add a beautiful orange color, as well as the pretty “trees”, as I called broccoli as a kid.
8oz of Rotini
8oz of Baby Carrots
3 Broccoli Heads
10.5oz Cherry Tomatoes
8oz of Sliced Portobello Mushrooms
4oz of Colby Jack Cheese
8oz of Spring Salad Mix
8oz of salami
1 tablespoon of fresh rosemary
1 tablespoon of no slat organic seasoning (my fave is purchased at Costco)
In a medium pot, bring 4 cups of water to a boil. Add the Rotini and cook for 8 minutes until al dente. While the pasta is cooking throw the spring mix of greens in a large bowl. Dice the carrots, broccoli, portobello mushrooms and Colby jack cheese and add to the salad. Add the cherry tomatoes. Once the pasta has finished cooking, strain and let it come to room temperature. Once the pasta has cooled add 1 tablespoon of seasoning and fresh diced rosemary to the pasta and toss, making sure each noddle is coated. Add 8oz of diced salami to the salad. Add the pasta to the salad and toss. Serve with your favorite healthy dressing!
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