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Day 11: Spaghetti with Sauteed Chicken and Grape Tomatoes

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It’s the start of a new week and a beautiful week at that. Although the first day of spring is still 8 days away (March 20th) today is finally a gorgeous day in NYC. It’s partly cloudy and in the 60’s, which reminds me of the few nice days you get in Texas. Even yesterday the weather was finally warm enough to enjoy going outside and trust me, the streets were packed! I’m praying that this weather holds up because it’s the first nice weather we’ve had since the fall. No lie, for the past 4 1/2-5 months it’s been cold, overcast and non-stop rainy! In other words, it’s been miserable outside! I’ll be glad to finally be able to get back out to Central Park for a run!

For Day 11 of the Pinterest Project, I’m making Spaghetti with sautéed Chicken and Grape Tomatoes for dinner! This recipe was pinned from the blog ‘Skinny Taste’ which I’m sure you’ve heard of because their recipes are all over Pinterest! This will be the first Skinny Taste recipe I’ve tried and it doesn’t look too bad. It’s a basic pasta with fresh tomatoes in lieu of a rich tomato sauce, which I’m looking forward to trying. It also helps that one serving of this pasta is only about 330 calories, which is way less than most pastas!

Spaghetti with sautéed Chicken and Grape Tomatoes – serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 2 skinless chicken breast halves, diced in 1 inch cubes
  • cooking spray
  • 1/2 tsp each of dried oregano and dries basil
  • kosher salt and fresh pepper
  • 8 oz spaghetti (the recipe recommends high fiber or low carb noodles)
  • 2 cups grape tomatoes, halved
  • 6 cloves garlic, smashed and coarsely chopped
  • 4 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 tbsp chopped fresh basil

Directions:

Bring a large pot of salted water to boil.

Season chicken with salt, pepper, oregano and basil. Heat a large frying pan on high. Spray with cooking spray and add chicken. Cook for about 3-4 minutes, until chicken is no longer pink inside. Remove chicken and set aside.

Add pasta to boiling water and cook according to packaging, making sure to stir occasionally. Reserve about 1/2 cup of pasta water before draining.

While the pasta cooks, heat same frying pan on high heat. Add olive oil to skillet and saute garlic until golden brown. Add tomatoes, salt and pepper and reduce heat to medium-low. Saute for 4-5 minutes, or until tomatoes are soft, but not falling apart. When pasta is drained, add pasta to tomatoes and toss well. If pasta is too dry, add some of the reserved pasta water. Add fresh basil and chicken and toss well. Serve and top with grated parmesan cheese.

Unfortunately I didn’t take pictures while I was making this meal because I got a really late start to dinner and my phone was about to die so I need to charge it! So, the only picture I have is of the finished dish.

For a low-calorie, light dish this was actually pretty good. If you’re looking for pasta that isn’t too heavy and has a subtle taste, then this is a good dish for you. The strongest flavors I could taste were the fresh basil, garlic and parmesan cheese. For my pasta, I didn’t need to add any of the reserved pasta water as my pasta wasn’t dry. Everything was thoroughly coated in the olive oil and garlic.

As a side, I made some garlic bread to go along with this dish. I sautéed some french bread in a skillet with a little olive oil and then rubbed the top of the bread with a garlic clove to give it a subtle garlic taste. Eat a helping of this dish with a piece of garlic bread and you’ll be set for the night.

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Day 1: Ranch Turkey Burgers and Oven Baked Parmesan Seasoned Fries

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Today is officially day 1 of the Pinterest Project! For my first official project, I am making Ranch Turkey Burgers with Oven Baked Parmesan Seasoned Fries courtesy of the blogs ‘laaloosh’ and ‘playing with sugar.’  I’ve got my girl, Adele, playing on my itunes in the background, so let the cooking begin.

Ranch Turkey Burgers – For all you healthy eaters or weight watcher participants, this buger is only 3 points.  If you add a bun, then obviously you add more points. Although I’m not a point counter myself, 3 points doesn’t seem that bad, right? Below is the original recipe.

Ingredients:

As you can see, everything I used I got from Trader Joes except for the Hidden Valley Ranch Mix. TJ’s is the best store on the face of the earth – the prices there are ridiculously cheap and everything is fresh and amazing.

 Once you have all your ingredients, combine everything into a bowl. The only thing I did differently is I used a garlic press and pressed the garlic as opposed to mincing it. I LOVE garlic and wanted to have a stronger garlic taste in my burgers.

Directions:

Once the ingredients are mixed, form four patties. Spray a frying pan with cooking spray or use olive oil to coat the pan. Cook the patties until they are completely done. It took about 20 minutes total to cook the patties. I had the burner on low as I did not want to burn the patties.

Oven Baked Parmesan Seasoned Fries – Since you typically eat fries or onion ring with burgers, I figured I would try these baked fries. They were really simple and easy to prepare, but they took a little while to cook.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound of medium russet potatoes (approx 3 medium potatoes)
  • 1 1/2 TBSP of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/4 tsp Dried Thyme
  • 1/4 tsp Dried Oregano
  • 1/8 tsp Dried Rosemary
  • 1/4 tsp of Garlic Powder
  • 1/4 tsp of Old Bay Seasoning
  • 2 TBSP of Kraft Parmesan Style Grated Cheese

I changed up this recipe a little bit. First off, I did not have Rosemary and honestly I don’t really like it in food unless I’m eating italian, so I omitted it completely. Instead of Old Bay Seasoning I used Don’s speciality meats seasoning from Louisianna! My good friend, Amy introduced me to this. For those of you from the south, Don’s is a cajun seasoning, kind of like Tony Chachere’s, but better! I also used 4 potatoes, instead of 3. I don’t have a peeler, so I cut the skin off the potatoes and added an extra potato since I knew I would be wasting some of it. Also, I tried to find potatos that were relatively flat and rectangular like to make it easier to cut the skin off.

Directions:
Preheat the oven 425 degrees. Wash, peel and cut the potatoes into 1/8ths and place them on a cookie sheet that has been lined with aluminum foil. Mix all the spices and parmesan cheese together in a bowl. Take a large, freezer size ziploc bag and put all the potatoes in it. Add the spices mix and the oil to the bag. Seal the bag tightly and shake all the ingredients up, making sure that everything is distributed evenly. Dump the potatoes onto the cookie sheet and spread them out in a single layer. Bake for 30-45 minutes. I baked them for 20 minutes and then flipped them and baked them for 20 more minutes. I did not have aluminum foil, so I coated the cookie sheet with cooking spray and my fries turned out a little darker because of that, but they were still really good. Also, after they were done, I sprinkled a little more Don’s on top of them.
For the burger I used Martin’s potato bread buns and I topped my burger with avocado slices, grilled onions and bar-b-que sauce! Being from Texas, I can’t have a burger without some good old fashioned bar-b-que sauce.
The burger and fries were amazing – especially the burger. That recipe will definitely become a staple in my recipe book. Day was a success! Stay tuned for what tomorrow brings…