Thursday, March 3, 2011

Creamy Cajun Chicken Pasta

One night I was looking for something new to make for dinner that would appeal to the adults and kids in the family.  So I began to parooz through two of my favorite magazines...Eating Well and Clean Eating. When I came across this wonderful sounding recipe from Eating Well I ran to the store with list in hand and picked up the items I didn't have at home. Try it, it was really good! And guess what? My WHOLE family liked it too! BONUS!!!!

At the bottom I will share some modifications I would make next time around! Enjoy!

Creamy Cajun Chicken Pasta
 

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces whole-wheat fusilli or rotini
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 2 slices bacon, chopped
  • 1 large sweet onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 medium green bell pepper, sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 teaspoons Cajun seasoning (see Tip)
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 1/3 cup reduced-fat sour cream
  • 1/2 cup sliced scallions for garnish

Preparation

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook pasta until just tender, 8 to 10 minutes or according to package directions. Drain.
  2. Meanwhile, heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add bacon and onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until beginning to brown, about 2 minutes. Add chicken, bell pepper, garlic, Cajun seasoning and pepper. Cook stirring, until the onion and bell pepper are beginning to soften, about 4 minutes.
  3. Add flour and stir to coat. Add tomatoes and their juice; bring to a simmer. Cook, stirring often, until the sauce is bubbling and thickened and the chicken is cooked through, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat. Stir in sour cream.
  4. Stir the pasta into the sauce. Serve sprinkled with scallions, if desired.

***My modifications:
I don't think either the flour or sour cream was necessary. The flour adds thickness and the sour cream gives it that creamy texture. I would omit these two things next time but if you like thick and creamy then use them. Go for a reduced fat sour cream, trust me, you won't be sacrificing flavor.
I also LOVE veggies, so I would add a mix of red, yellow and green peppers...and in abundance! I also served mine on a bed of spinach. I put spinach in just about everything to give my meals an extra nutritional boost!

 Doesn't it look great?!

Nutrition

Per serving: 329 calories; 8 g fat ( 2 g sat , 3 g mono ); 50 mg cholesterol; 43 g carbohydrates; 0 g added sugars; 25 g protein; 6 g fiber; 656 mg sodium; 691 mg potassium.
Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin C (53% daily value), Vitamin A (23% dv), Iron (21% dv), Magnesium & Potassium (20% dv).
2 1/2 Carbohydrate Serving
Exchanges: 2 starch, 2 vegetable, 2 lean meat, 1 fat

Eating Well makes sure to include all nutritional info which is wonderful!

Nutrition

Per serving: 329 calories; 8 g fat ( 2 g sat , 3 g mono ); 50 mg cholesterol; 43 g carbohydrates; 0 g added sugars; 25 g protein; 6 g fiber; 656 mg sodium; 691 mg potassium.
Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin C (53% daily value), Vitamin A (23% dv), Iron (21% dv), Magnesium & Potassium (20% dv).
2 1/2 Carbohydrate Serving
Exchanges: 2 starch, 2 vegetable, 2 lean meat, 1 fat

Nutrition

Per serving: 329 calories; 8 g fat ( 2 g sat , 3 g mono ); 50 mg cholesterol; 43 g carbohydrates; 0 g added sugars; 25 g protein; 6 g fiber; 656 mg sodium; 691 mg potassium.
Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin C (53% daily value), Vitamin A (23% dv), Iron (21% dv), Magnesium & Potassium (20% dv).
2 1/2 Carbohydrate Serving
Exchanges: 2 starch, 2 vegetable, 2 lean meat, 1 fat

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