Thursday, February 10, 2011

Chicken&Pasta with Feta-Walnut Stuffed Cucumbers

Because of my new big focus on a healthy, balanced diet, I've been doing a lot of research lately on what types of foods I should be eating. Like I mentioned before, vegetables, fiber, and proteins are going to be the most important parts of my diet. I get my information from a lot of different places, but I try and make sure they're reliable. Two of the resources I like to use are Carrots 'N' Cake and Women's Health MagazineAlso, I'm very excited because this semester I'm taking a Nutrition course which I'm loving, and that has given me some good information too. My professor is a registered dietician so she's always giving us some little tips about how to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Tonight I was exhausted after having to get up at 6:45am this morning for class and not leaving the university until 5:15pm. Even though I was about ready to serve myself some Ramen Noodles and curl in bed with my laptop and electric blanket soothing me to sleep, I was too excited about a cool recipe I had read earlier in the day and too hyped up from posting about my new healthy lifestyle to slack off. I went right to the grocery story and loaded up on all great foods to last me for the next week. Besides the ingredients for my dinner, I stocked up on eggs, organic peanut butter, skim milk, avocados, and whole wheat bread, among some other things.

For my appetizer, I made Feta and Walnut Stuffed Cucumbers, which looked so irresistible that I had to make them tonight. Honestly, they weren't as great as I had hoped (but maybe I could have blended the stuffing a little bit more - I didn't want to disturb my roommate with the loud noise), but they were still pretty good. I made two, which was a little too much. I would have been content with just one to nibble on. 

Feta and Walnut Stuffed Cucumbers

1/2 c walnut halves
1/4 c chopped fresh parsley
1/2 c crumbled feta cheese (about 2 oz)
1/4 c fat-free milk
1 sm clove garlic, minced (1/2 tsp)
1/2 tsp mild paprika
1/8 tsp ground red pepper
4 med
cucumbers, peeled, halved lengthwise, and seeded

1. Combine walnuts and parsley in blender or food processor and pulse until powdery in texture. Add cheese, milk, garlic, paprika, and ground red pepper and puree until smooth.

2. Fill cucumbers with feta-walnut mixture, patting into place with fork or spoon. Slice into wedges and lightly sprinkle tops with a little extra paprika.

Nutritional Info Per Serving 164 cal, 6 g pro, 8 g carb, 3 g fiber, 12.5 g fat, 3.5 g sat fat, 17 mg chol, 222 mg sodium

For my main course I made a pasta dinner with homemade sauce and boiled chicken. Brent gags when I tell him that I like to boil my chicken instead of sauté it before putting it in my tomato sauce. But for me that's just how I like it... I find that, for a sauce, sometimes the chicken gets too tough if I sauté it. Maybe this just means I'm bad at cooking it that way, but I figure if it's mixed in with the sauce you can barely taste the difference anyway. 

Whole Grain Pasta w/ Tomato & Chicken Sauce

1 Can tomato sauce
1/2 cup Alfredo sauce
2 Chicken breasts, cubed and boiled
3 Cloves of garlic, minced
1/4 cup Parsley
1 box of whole wheat rigatoni

The thing that I liked about this recipe is the whole grain pasta. Before tonight, I'd only ever had whole grain pasta once, when my roommate made me dinner one time. I don't know if maybe it was a different brand or something, but for some reason I just didn't like it that much. But after reading about the benefits of whole grain pasta vs. regular pasta I decided to suck it up and try it one more time. Honestly, I had already taken a few bites of the pasta before I remember it was whole grain!! My roommate is a great cook, so I don't know what we did different, but mine ended up turning out really delicious! I'll definitely be using only whole grain pasta from know on - it's so much better for you! This recipe is pretty self-explanatory, which is why I didn't include directions. But one interesting thing you might notice is that when I make my pasta sauce, I use both tomato sauce and Alfredo sauce. Once in North Carolina I was served pasta this way and have loved the combination ever since! Alfredo sauce isn't the best thing for you, but with only 1/2 cup in the whole recipe, it's really not that bad.

No comments:

Post a Comment