“You’re in pretty good shape for the shape you are in.” ~ Dr. Seuss

Believe me – I’m not a health nut.

I would love to be but I cannot even pretend to be.

I know lately all I seem to be posting are lighter, healthier meals but let’s be honest, I’m not trying to be health conscious – I still have baby weight to lose!! 🙂

So one of the “healthy” things I now incorporate with my meals is using whole wheat pasta. This is because I need to not because I want to. I still vastly prefer the regular but what can you do?

I will tell you! You make a fabulous sauce that masks any taste you are not particularly found of in the whole wheat pasta.

Here’s an example.

Chicken and Penne Pasta with Lemon-Shallot Vinaigrette

For the Vinaigrette:

  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 minced shallot
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon whole grain Dijon mustard
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Stir together lemon juice and minced shallot; let stand 5 minutes. Whisk in olive oil, parsley, honey, and mustard. Add salt and pepper to taste. Refrigerate in an airtight container up to 1 week.

For the Pasta:

  • 2 – 3 pan grilled chicken breasts or 2-3 cups rotisserie chicken (can be served whole or chopped, shredded)
  • 1 (16-oz.) package whole wheat penne pasta
  • 1 (8-oz.) package thin green beans, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 pt. grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1.5 cup Lemon-Shallot Vinaigrette
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh dill
  • Feta cheese

Cook pasta according to package directions, adding green beans to boiling water during last 6 minutes of cooking time; drain. Rinse pasta mixture under cold running water until cool; drain. Toss together chicken, pasta mixture, tomatoes, and vinaigrette. Just before serving, stir in dill, and add salt/pepper and feta to taste.

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-abp

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“Three Rules of Work: 1) Out of clutter find simplicity; 2) From discord find harmony; 3) In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.” ~ Albert Einstein

Yes, I know.

This is my 3rd skillet meal in a row.

But OH MY GOSH they are easy.  I thought the crock pot was easy.  This is like insta-crockpot. Granted, I like anything with pasta, so I’m pretty much sold there but when you add in quick, flavorful and in one pan. Shoot, what’s not to like??

Sweet Apple Sausage Pasta

(adapted from Iowa Girl Eats)

  • 8 oz. short cut pasta (reserve 1/2 cup pasta cooking water)
  • 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large shallot or 1 small onion, chopped
  • 12oz Sweet-Apple Chicken Sausage, sliced
  • 1 sweet apple (about 1 cup), chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • pinch red chili pepper flakes
  • salt and pepper
  • 15oz can Great Northern Beans, drained and rinsed
  • 6oz spinach
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1/3 cup fresh grated parmesan cheese

Cook pasta until al dente.

Heat olive oil over med high heat and brown sausage and onion in large non-stick skillet.  Add apple, garlic and seasoning and cook until apple is tender.

Then add in chicken broth, beans and spinach and warm/stir until spinach is wilted.

Pour in the sausage/apple mixture into pasta and add reserved little to get your desired consistency.

Serve topped with Parmesan cheese.

photo-13Ok, I told a little fib earlier – this took 2 pots but it was totally worth it!!! The flavors in this are totally different but totally amazing. I LOVED it!!!

-abp