Oh my sweet darling husband. If you covered a flip flop with a cream sauce, he would probably love it. So naturally, I had high hopes for this recipe. Sautéed chicken with a cheesy cream sauce full of spinach and peppers. How could you go wrong? My hubby says this is one of the best “diet” foods I’ve made so far. It doesn’t fit the criteria of 500 calories or less but that’s O.K., I made it over the weekend so I was allowed to cheat. That being said, the large serving was only 550 calories so I consider it an honorable mention.
P.S. Come like the new Facebook page! I’ll be doing some giveaways soon.
Tuscan Garlic Chicken (Thanks Preventionrd!)
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp dried oregano
5-4 oz boneless, skinless chicken breasts
3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 Tbsp garlic (about 4-5 cloves), finely minced
1 red bell pepper, cut into thin strips
1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
6 oz fresh spinach
1/2 cup half-and-half
4 tsp cornstarch
2 cup 1% milk
1/2 cup (1 oz) Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, freshly grated
10 oz whole wheat fettuccine or linguine
Preheat the oven to 350 F.
In a shallow pie plate or similar dish, combine the flour, salt, pepper, basil and oregano. Dip each chicken piece in the flour mixture until both sides are well coated.
In a large 12-inch nonstick skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil over medium heat until the oil is hot and shimmering. Carefully place the chicken breasts in the pan, cooking them for 2-3 minutes on each side, until they are golden and browned but not cooked all the way through. Remove the chicken to a foil-lined, lightly greased baking sheet and bake in the preheated oven for about 15 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through. Set aside and tent with foil until ready to use.
While the chicken is cooking, heat a large pot of water to a boil and add the noodles, cooking until al dente. Also, wipe out the skillet with a couple paper towels and return it to medium heat, adding the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil. When the oil is hot, add the garlic and bell pepper, sauteing for 2-3 minutes.
Stir in one tablespoon flour and stir constantly while cooking for another minute. Add the chicken broth to the skillet and bring the mixture to a low simmer, whisking constantly, until slightly thickened, about 3-4 minutes. In a small liquid measure, whisk together the cornstarch and cream. Add the spinach, milk and cream mixture to the skillet. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until the spinach is wilted and sauce is slightly thickened, about 2-4 minutes. Stir in the Parmesan cheese. Adjust seasonings- season to taste with salt and pepper.
When the pasta has finished cooking, drain and return it to the pot. Toss the pasta with half of the cheese sauce. Place some of the coated pasta on each plate. Top with a breaded chicken breast and spoon some of the sauce over the top of the chicken and pasta. Serve immediately. Yield: 5 servings (~ 1 cup pasta with one chicken breast and 1/2 cup cream/spinach sauce).
Nutrition Information (per serving): 550 calories; 15.2 g. fat; 72 mg. cholesterol; 432 mg. sodium; 56.8 g. carbohydrate; 5.2 g. fiber; 44.2 g. protein