Zucchini Pasta and Mushrooms with Deconstructed Pesto

This past weekend I had a house warming party and after all the festivities and cooking I had done for that, elaborate meals were not high on my list and neither was extensive grocery shopping. So on my way home from work I grabbed a rotisserie chicken and a few zucchini and then set to work raiding the fridge when I got home. I was quite happy with the results and have actually made this dish two nights in a row. This is a one pan, one person recipe and therefore you can increase, decrease and omit ingredients to fit your tastes.

 
Zucchini Pasta and Mushrooms with Deconstructed Pesto

  • 1 zucchini, spiral sliced10312572_10204005872052657_5350839255379623344_n
  • 3-4 large mushrooms, sliced
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic, diced
  • 4-5 large fresh basil leaves, finely sliced (chiffonade)
  • 1-2 tsp pine nuts
  • 1-2 oz shredded, rotisserie chicken
  • 1/2 – 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp. Brummel and Brown
  • salt and pepper

In a medium skillet on medium heat add the olive oil and Brummel and Brown until the B&B has melted.  Add the mushrooms and sauté until they are browned and tender.  Add in the pine nuts, garlic then salt and pepper to taste.  Cook until garlic becomes fragrant.  Add in the zucchini and cook until desired tenderness (I like mine to still be slightly crisp).  Add the chicken and let go until warmed through.  Add the basil and remove from heat.  Serve.

If you wanted to go with the full on pesto flavor you can top with some parmesan but I felt like it didn’t need it one bit and was super fresh and healthy as it was.

 

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Tuna Pasta Salad

The other night I really wanted to make Tuna Spaghetti (I will blog this sooner or later, don’t worry, as it’s a frequent repeat in my menus) but I went to the store and they were OUT of green onions.  Who runs out of green onions?  Anyways, I didn’t feel like stopping at another store so decided to make a tuna pasta salad recipe that I had seen on Pinterest.  I made some changes to make it a bit healthier, cut the recipe in half and made some additions and adjustments.  The result was absolutely fantastic!  Not only was it great for dinner that night but it was even better today for lunch after sitting over night.    Some of the changes I made were the addition of the celery, additional pickles, used low fat mayo and less of it and extra lemon juice (still used a half a lemon even though the recipe was basically cut in half).  I was a bit worried that the dressing may be too lemony and that there would not be enough to get a good coating but it worked rather well.  You can find the original recipe here or here is the recipe for the variation that I made.

Tuna Pasta SaladIMG_20131028_181813

½ lb bow tie pasta

½ cup frozen peas

¼ diced red onion

½ cup kosher dill pickle diced

¼ cup chopped celery

1 5 oz can of tuna

Juice of half a lemon

1/3 cup low fat mayo

½ tbsp. dried dill

Salt and pepper to taste

Bring large pot of water to boil. Cook pasta until al dente. Stir in frozen peas and cook 30 seconds. Drain pasta and peas. If you want room temperature pasta salad, don’t rinse. If you want cold pasta salad, rinse with cold water.

In a small bowl combine the mayo, lemon juice, dill, salt and pepper to make the dressing.

In a large bowl combine onion, pickles, celery, tuna, the pasta and peas.  Add dressing and stir until everything is evenly coated. Serve or refrigerate covered until ready to serve.

Squash “Noodles”

Like all foodies I love a good kitchen gadget, especially one that helps me incorporate more vegetables into my meal.  My newest is a spiral slicer which creates long, delicious ribbons of the firm veggie of your choice.

DSC00627

So far I have made “noodles”  with zucchini, carrot and tonight was yellow squash (have to utilize the basket goods whenever you can :))  There are many things that you can do with the noodles.  You could eat them raw and dress them with a vinaigrette (for example cucumbers in a rice vinegar and sesame dressing would be amazing) or you can steam, boil, sauté or even roast them.  Normally I mix them in with regular pasta to fill it out, add more fiber and sneak in those veggies.  To do this you will boil your pasta as directed and then add your veggie ribbons the last two or three minutes with the pasta (carrots I usually do for three and squash around two).  After I drain the pasta I usually mix it with a jarred spaghetti sauce and sometimes add in some extras like sautéed mushrooms.  Tonight I went for a quick and healthy version of chicken parmesan by topping my sauced pasta with a frozen, lightly breaded chicken breast and a sprinkle of cheese.  I have the GEFU Spirelli Spiral Cutter but there are several other brands on the market.  With so many possibilities expect to see veggie ribbons play a roll in future blogs!

healthy chicken parmesan with yellow squash noodles

healthy chicken parmesan with yellow squash noodles