Pasta with 3-Herb Pesto

A couple nights ago I made this super simple pesto pasta to serve with Mediterranean Chicken Meatballs– and it was delicious- especially paired together! 

In reality, you could definitly make this pasta dish and pair it with any protein you please- this would be awesome with seafood.  Give me the 12-ounce limit in a week and I’m counting my seafood consumption right down to the ounce.  It’s like the ham sandwich.  Those things I’m not supposed to have is all I can imagine I could ever eat.  Serious.  It is the end of the world if I miss out on my 12-ounces of seafood for that week.  Ok, not really, but I claim my dramatic over-the-top reactions to being pregnant.

Choosing the herbs to use are free for you to decide, but I really enjoyed the classic flavors of the basil, oregano, and parsley.  Last night, I actually watched Rachael Ray make pesto with Butter Lettuce.  I know.  I think I”ll be trying that out soon!

Making my own pesto sauce allowed for me to control the amount of fat (olive oil) the went into the pesto- substituting lemon juice and zest gave an extra boost of flavor.  Really delicious.  While the fat in EVOO is the ‘healthy’ fat- optimal for a pregnant woman, it is still fat, and too much is still too much. 

I took a fiber boost from whole wheat pasta- every little but helps these days- don’t you know that’s the truth!  Not to mention the fiber helps me to keep my blood sugar in check.  Protein in whole grain/whole wheat pasta allows for me to stay full and get enough for all (3) of us in the body!

Look at the greeeeeen!  It has got to be good!

Pasta with 3-Herb Pesto

Yield: 6 servings

Serving Size: 1 1/3 cups each

Adapted from Cooking Light

Ingredients

  • 3 cups fresh basil leaves
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley
  • 1/4 cup fresh oregano
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
  • 2 tablespoons grated (pasturized) Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 lb whole wheat/whole grain gemelli pasta, cooked and drained (about 8 cups)

Instructions

Place first 7 ingredients in a food processor; process until smooth With processor on, slowly pour in the oil through the food chute, mixing until blended. Toss with pasta. Fold in tomatoes and serve with additional parmesan as desired.

Nutritional Information:

Calories: 337; Fat: 4.8 g; Carbohydrate: 55.6 g; Fiber:12 g; Protein: 11 g; Sodium: 123 mg

http://oatsandhoney.chocolate-broccoli.com/?p=71

Greek Chickpea Salad

 So..what am I eating this week? 

 Well.. let’s see.  I’ve developed this weird food aversion since starting my second trimester (nothing too serious the the supposed miserable 1st trimester, and NOW I start with the weird food things.)  It isn’t a real aversion I would say, I’ve just become really really pickyWhich is SO strange for me- the girl that will eat everything you put in front of me- or at least try it, anway. 

So.. it has become fairly difficult to judge what I will or wont want at the moment.  Last night my Fireman was working, leaving me at home to fend for myself for all meals. 

I had seen a version of a Greek Salad in one of my cooking magazine for this month- boasting the serious use of  fresh herbs. If it ever a better time to start attempting to go meatless once or twice a week, this is the time to do it.  Unique and not so unique produce and fresh herbs are booming and at peek of freshness this time of year! 

I took advantage of it with this salad.  Aside from the fact that it took all of 8 minutes to throw together (chopping included) it is preggo belly friendly with the use of heart healthy fats found in the olive oil and lemon juice dressing, lean plant based protein from the chickpeas (used organic- less sodium) and kept it safe by making sure my Feta cheese was pasturized.  I seasoned with just a touch of salt, but really focused on getting flavor by using three different kinds of fresh herbs.  I made a Greek risotto last week and thrw in some fresh dill.. I couldn’t help but use it again here.  Too much added salt can cause increase in blood pressure- a risk all pregnant women have due to the mega increase of blood volume.

I brought the leftovers from my batch last night for lunch today.

I can’t wait for lunch…

Greek Chickpea Salad

Yield: 4 servings

Serving Size: 1 1/4 cups each

Ingredients

  • 1 (15-ounce) can organic garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 large cucumber, seeded and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh oregano, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh dill, chopped
  • 1/3 cup (about 2 ounces) pasturized feta cheese
  • 1/3 cup pitted black olives, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Instructions

In a large bowl, combine first 8 ingredients. Add in lemon zest, juice, olive oil and toss to combine. Season with salt and black pepper. Serve chilled

Nutritional Information:

Calories: 198; Fat: 10 g; Carbohydrate: 17 g; Fiber: 4 g; Protein: 10 g; Sodium: 515 mg

http://oatsandhoney.chocolate-broccoli.com/?p=67

Spicy Sausage Pasta

These days I’m all about the quick and easy.  In fact- I rely on the quick and the easy due to the simple fact that my taste buds are changing about every minute, and there has been the occasion that I’ve been completely turned off by the meal by the time we sit down to eat it.  So- one would think, I’ll just save this for leftover..?  Wrong.  Leftovers quease me out beyond means.  Me- the self-proclaimed Queen of Leftovers can’t even stand the thought of them these days.  Yowzaa.  So- this recipe is right up my alley with it being super quick and really easy- not to mention totally delicious.   

I took this recipe from Amanda over at Kevin & Amanda, but made some changes per this dietitian brain of mine.  I typically prefer chicken sausage over prepackaged turkey sausage, and I skipped the heavy whipping cream as well as the added EVOO (fat) to the pan. I’m already 8 pounds up from my pre-pregnancy weight and I just hit the end of my first trimester.  Gotta take it easy with the fat intake- espically the saturated kind. I did decide to amp up the whole grains and used whole wheat penne, rather than the regular enriched pasta.  I’ll take fiber ANY chance I get these days- hence my evening cereal kick I’ve got going.  My Fireman already informed me that this habit will be stopped once these girls get here.  He isn’t a fan of the crumbs in bed.

I will say that today for lunch I ate this leftover.  First reheated meal since I became pregnant- so that has got to tell you something, right? 

I decided it kind of reminds me of my Fireman’s Spicy Chicken Spaghetti. 

But better.      

Spicy Sausage Pasta

Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients

  • Ingredients
  • 4 spicy Italian chicken sausage links (about 1 pound), casing removed
  • 1 large Vidalia onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cups organic fat free, lower sodium chicken broth
  • 1 (10-ounce) can mild diced tomatoes and green chiles (i.e; Ro-Tel)
  • 2/3 cup half and half
  • 8 ounces whole wheat penne or other tube shaped pasta
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 cup (4-ounces) shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • 1/3 cup thinly sliced green onions, white and light green parts only

Instructions

Heat a large non-stick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium high heat. Add sausage and onions and cook, crumbling sausage until lightly browned, about 4 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

Add broth, tomatoes, half and half, pasta, salt and pepper and stir. Bring to a boil, cover skillet, and reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer until pasta is tender, stirring occasionally. Allow to simmer about 15 minutes.

Remove skillet from heat and stir in 1/2 cup cheese. Top with remaining cheese and sprinkle with green onions. Broil until cheese is melted, spotty brown, and bubbly- about 2-3 minutes.

Nutritional Information:

453 calories; 16 g fat; 46 g carbohydrate; 8 g fiber; 33 g protein

http://oatsandhoney.chocolate-broccoli.com/?p=38