Pastalicious Pasta with Chicken and Green Beans

I did it! I did it! I whipped up a dinner with what I had on hand!
I know this doesn’t sound like a great feat, but for me it is. Like I’ve said before, I’ve never been a woman able to just throw a delicious meal together. My mom is a “work with what you got” whiz. Unfortunately that skill didn’t rub off on me growing up. At least not in the cooking department.
Tonight I was planning grilled chicken salads when I opened my veggie drawer to find we only had romaine and tomatoes. That won’t cut it around here. I had to figure something out.
This idea almost sent me into the usual panic. I scoured the fridge, cabinets and freezer. I’ve used up all the packaged foods in my quest to be healthier and a better, smarter cook. All of my typical backups are no more. No mac & cheese, no frozen dinners, no canned crap. I have to stop, think, think, THINK. I do have thawed chicken tenderloins, I do have pasta (unfortunately it’s NOT whole grain, but it’s better than nothing), and I have the internet.
Search terms: easy pasta dishes, easy chicken and pasta dishes. Using Google’s awesome recipe thing, I can eliminate items I don’t have and check things I do. I find a tasty looking recipe, which I don’t have all of the ingredients for. Figures. Just then, something began to happen. My mind started working in new ways. I started to visualize the ingredients I do have; chicken, olive oil, garlic, red pepper flakes; then remove the items I do not have; lemons, parmesan cheese; the item I can swap; penne pasta for my linguine. Wow, that sounds pretty tasty, actually! I think I can pull this off!
I look back to the recipe for cooking instructions and decide to check out the reviews. One of them stated they’d added a veggie to the dish during the step of garlic, red pepper flakes and oil sauteed. Now that is something I would love to do. As luck would have I had leftover, uncooked, fresh green beans from my sister’s visit. 🙂 Perfect! I’m feeling like I have made so much progress in this short amount of time. I cooked the dish, served it to the kids, and asked for reviews. But first, here’s my recipe. 😀

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Pastalicious Pasta with Chicken and Green Beans

1lb pasta
1lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1+ cup fresh green beans
3 gloves garlic, sliced or chopped
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
3+ tbs extra virgin olive oil
Italian seasoning
Seasoning of choice for chicken

Cook pasta according to package. Drain.
On George Foreman, or in pan, cook chicken until done. Remove from grill or pan. Slice.
In large pan, add garlic, red pepper flake, green beans and olive oil. Saute until desired doneness.
Place cooked pasta in pan. Turn off heat. Mix well. Pour pasta into large bowl.
Add chicken to hot pasta. Sprinkle with Italian seasoning.
Optional: Season dish with salt and pepper.
Sprinkle with parmesan.
Serve with Italian dressing to be stirred in individually.

It was a hit! Both kids added parmesan cheese, one also added salt and pepper and Italian dressing. I added a tiny bit of salt and pepper. I asked what we should call it and my son suggested Pastalicious.

Now my husband just got home from work. I reheated the dish in a stir-fry fashion and served it up. Success! He’s loving it with a little salt and pepper.

*Exercise note for today:
I walked for one hour, 3.62 miles, burning 303 calories.
Yesterday I biked for 8 miles, about 45 minutes, burning 330.
I’ve been toying with the idea of trying out bodyrock.tv. I’ve been a little hesitant because I’m really a huge chicken. Today I downloaded their new app and tomorrow I will take the fit test, then start on the May 30 Day Challenge. Wish me luck!

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