I think I have come to the conclusion that I grew up on chicken nuggets and baked goods. Surely I had to eat more than that, but Lord knows it was not vegetables. If we would have owned a dog while I was growing up, I would have totally been that kid shoving veggies under the table for it to eat. We just don't get along. We have a love-hate relationship. They love me and I hate them. Good thing veggies don't have feelings.
You want me to eat squash? How about I eat an apple. Green beans? I think I'll go with strawberries instead. Now there are a few vegetables that I have come to enjoy (occasionally) over the years -- tomatoes (as long as they are cooked in something), onions (as long as they aren't raw), broccoli, lettuce, carrots, corn. Um. Yeah, I'm sure there are more. There must be. I think there are veggies out there that I've had before, liked, and then forgotten that I liked them. Such as asparagus. I always tend to forget about it.
When performing one of my marathon recipe searches the other day, I came across this recipe for pasta with chicken and asparagus. It was simple and to the point. Good thing one of my good friends had made grilled asparagus for us a few months back. It jumped started my memory that -- why yes, in fact, asparagus does belong on the "vegetables I like" list.
Penne with Chicken and Asparagus
Adapted From: Allrecipes.com
Adapted From: Allrecipes.com
1 pound penne pasta
5 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 (4 ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, cubed
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 - 2 teaspoons garlic powder
1/2 cup low-sodium, fat-free chicken broth
1 bunch slender asparagus spears, trimmed, cut on diagonal into 1-inch pieces
1 clove garlic, thinly sliced
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to boil. Add pasta, and cook until al dente, about 8 to 10 minutes (or according to package directions). Drain, and set aside.
Warm 3 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken; season with 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and 1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder. Cook until chicken is cooked through and browned, about 5 minutes. Remove chicken to a paper towel-lined plate.
In the same pan, add chicken broth. Stir in asparagus, garlic, remaining garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Cover, and steam until the asparagus is just tender, about 5 to 10 minutes. Return chicken to the pan and warm through.
Add chicken to pasta, mixing well. Let sit about 5 minutes. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons olive oil, stir again, then sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
When I had first started on my little culinary adventure a couple years ago, I wish I had found recipes like this to being with. It is quick and easy, yet still fairly healthy. It's simple enough for a beginner cook, but flexible enough to be played with by a cook with more experience.
I liked the nice quick steam of the asparagus with chicken broth done in the same pan as the chicken (gotta love those one dish deals). I have a new love of cooking/boiling things in broths and stocks instead of water nowadays. It just seems to give the food so much more flavor. The other part I like about this dish is that it fits in with my "light sauce for pasta" craving that hits with summer. No heavy red or white sauce here. Just a nice light olive oil drizzle to finish it off. It's that kind of sauce that really makes the summer produce shine.
|Amount per serving|
|Calories 319||Calories from fat 115|
|% Daily Value|
|Total Fat 12.8g||20%|
|Saturated Fat 2.5g||13%|
|Total Carbs 33.7g||11%|
|Dietary Fiber 1.2g||5%|
|Vitamin A 10%||Vitamin C 6%|
|Calcium 6%||Iron 20%|