Monday, January 28, 2013
Cajun Chicken Pasta
Yummmm! This meal was a departure for my family this week! A plateful of noodles with a creamy, flavorful sauce studded with sauteed vegetables and Cajun-spiced chicken was perfect for us as I finally move past this Mexican kick I've been on! The portion sizes are generous, the flavors are warm and comforting, and this meal would be perfect for any weeknight or even saved for your Mardi Gras menu! The whole family will love this... Even my two-year old finished his entire serving! That's what I call a win.
Cajun Chicken Pasta
Recipe makes 5 servings (1 and 1/2 cup servings)
Recipe slightly adapted from Gina's Skinny Recipes
Weight Watchers Points Plus: 8
8 oz uncooked whole grain linguine noodles
1 lb lean chicken breasts, cut into thin bite-size strips
1 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp Cajun seasoning, or to taste (depending on the heat of your brand)
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 green bell pepper, thinly sliced
1/2 large red onion, sliced thinly
8 oz fresh mushrooms (baby bellas are my favorite), sliced
2 large roma tomatoes, diced
5 cloves garlic, minced
2-3 scallions, sliced
1 cup fat-free chicken broth or stock
1/3 cup skim milk
1 Tbsp flour
2 oz reduced-fat cream cheese
Start a large pot of salted water boiling on your stovetop. Boil your noodles until al dente, then drain and reserve. While the water is boiling/noodles cooking, prepare the rest of the meal.
Prep your vegetables.
Using a small blender (like for single-serving smoothies), make a slurry by combining the milk, flour and cream cheese. Blend well. Reserve.
Season your chicken breast strips with garlic powder, Cajun seasoning, and salt. Heat a large, high-sided skillet over medium-high heat. Once it's hot, give it a coat of cooking spray and add your seasoned chicken strips. Allow to brown on one side until golden, then flip the pieces over and finish cooking. Total time will be 4-5 minutes. Once the chicken is cooked, remove from the skillet and reserve on a plate.
In the same (now empty) skillet, add your olive oil. Once hot, add bell peppers and red onion. Saute, stirring occasionally, for 4-5 minutes or until nicely colored. Add the mushrooms and tomatoes. Saute for an additional few minutes, allowing them to cook down. Finally, add in the garlic, stirring it into the vegetables. Season with salt, pepper, and a little extra Cajun seasoning if you're up for it! Slowly pour in your blended slurry, stirring it until the sauce thickens up slightly. Add your cooked chicken and cooked noodles back to the skillet and toss together. Add in the fresh scallions and serve hot!