Monday, April 30, 2012

Greek Yogurt Pasta

Creamy pasta sauces are one of the worst foods out there, packed with TONS of calories, mostly coming from fat.  A dinner sized portion of Chicken Fettucini Alfredo from a popular Italian restaurant will cost you about 1400 calories and upwards of 80 grams of fat, half of which are saturated fat grams (the artery clogging kind).  I saw this recipe for a creamy pasta sauce made with Greek yogurt and it really piqued my interest...

I changed up the original recipe by using whole wheat, omega-3 (healthy fats) enriched pasta and using the vegetables I had on hand.  The original recipe also called for shrimp, but I opted for chicken this time.  This recipe is mostly about the sauce anyways, you could really use it for whatever pasta, protein, veggie combo you like - in other words, its a great "clean out the fridge" recipe!  This is by no means an alfredo sauce, but it is a great alternative to your basic marinara.

I used the following:

1 box (~14 oz) whole wheat pasta
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
5-6 chicken breast tenders, thawed and cubed
1/3 large onion, diced
1-2 tablespoons minced garlic (I was being lazy and bought the jarred, pre-cut kind - probably 3 cloves worth)
1 zuchinni, diced
1 bag fresh spinach
1 small jar of marinara sauce
1/2 cup low fat or fat free plain Greek yogurt
small handful of 2% mozzarella cheese

Start by preparing pasta according to package directions (I never add salt or oil).  Drain water out and return to pot.

Meanwhile, saute chicken in olive oil for a few minutes, until it begins to turn white.

Add in the zucchini, garlic and onion. (You could also use mushrooms, tomatoes, squash, etc...)

Once veggies begin to soften and chicken is cooked through, 5-8 minutes, add spinach and cover for 2-3 minutes, until spinach is wilted.  You may need to remove lid and stir after about a minute or so.

To the pasta, add marinara sauce and yogurt.

Add chicken/veggie mixture to the pot, stir until everything is coated with sauce, add the mozzarella.  The mozzarella is optional, but I had it on hand so I thought I would use it to add a little more creaminess!

Stir together and it's done!


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