Saturday, April 16, 2016

Lightened Up Creamy Chicken Pasta

Sometimes I will plan a recipe in my head, work through making a couple of variations of it and then finally write down the recipe. Other times I seem to just have this wave of providence, and by randomly throwing ingredients together, a delicious meal is formed.

This recipe came from the latter. I wanted to treat ourselves to some delicious, creamy pasta without having to deal with a food coma afterwards. My only issue was that after making it, I wasn't 100% sure on what I had actually used and in what quantities. Therefore, I have actually remade this recipe a few times now and can promise you that it make a delicious meal.

Rather than making a cream-based sauce, I based this more around a standard white sauce to lighten it up a little. I also packed this meal full of vegetables and reduced the amount of pasta that I would regularly use.

Something that really annoys me is that there is a misconception around that to have a healthy diet, you can't eat foods like pasta. While I agree that in general it is better to choose complex carbohydrates over refined ones, the occasional bowl of pasta isn't going to make you an unhealthy person. There are also lots of great non-refined pasta options around. I often use a high-fibre, oat-bran based pasta, as it has a very similar texture to normal pasta. Other great options include wholemeal pasta and spelt pasta. Wholemeal pasta is generally a bit firmer than regular pasta, so if you aren't a fan of that, it might be worth keeping an eye out for other options.

So in short, eat your pasta (occasionally) and enjoy it while you do.

Serves 4

350g pasta of choice

500g chicken breast, cut into 1cm pieces
1 Tbsp Olive oil
2 rashers streaky bacon diced
2 tsp dried Basil
1 clove crushed garlic
1 cup chopped mushrooms
1 cup corn
1 cup peas

30g Butter
2 Tbsp Flour
1 cup milk
1/2 cup cheddar cheese

Cook the pasta according to the packet instructions.

In the meantime, heat the olive oil in a large fry pan over a medium-high and add the chicken, bacon , dried basil, garlic and mushroom. Saute until the chicken in golden brown. Transfer to a bowl and keep warm.

Reduce the temperature of the pan and melt the butter. Add the flour and continually stir for two minutes (you want to make sure that it doesn't catch and burn on the bottom). Gradually add the milk, stirring the whole time. Keep stirring until the sauce has thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon.

Add the cheese and stir well until melted. At this point add back in the chicken mix, along with the corn and peas. Finally, drain the pasta and add to the pan. Mix everything up for around 1 minute, until it is all combined and everything is coated in the sauce.

Enjoy xx

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