When my husband and I started trying to eat healthier this is one of the first recipes that I made that he actually really like. So he called it “Spinach Surprise.” Our 16 month old seems to like mostly all the foods that he likes lately. Every time I make this dish, everyone eats a lot. This is definitely a family favorite! So here is what I do to make it:
Ingredients you will need:
Chicken (stir fry, tenderloins or thin sliced breasts are fine)
Fresh Organic Baby Spinach (20 oz.)
Pasta (I used whole wheat pasta or quinoa noodles)
Grated Parmesan Cheese
Seasonings- salt, pepper, garlic powder, parsley, italian seasoning (I sometimes replace the salt with Old Bay Seasoning to change things up a bit too)
Servings (approximately 6-8)
Step 1- I didn’t create a photo of this but I boil water usually with a little bit of extra virgin olive oil and a pinch of salt in it for the noodles. Typically, I use whole wheat noodles because we all enjoy the nutty flavor of them in this dish. They are very high in fiber and a great source of protein. I first made this without chicken and then I made it once with chicken and now my husband only wants it with chicken!
Step 2- I season my chicken. Tonight I seasoned with salt, pepper, garlic powder, parsley and italian seasoning. After that I place it in a pan or skillet to saute on the stove.
I saute on each side in other a small amount of extra virgin olive oil or organic grapeseed oil for approximately 3-5 minutes and then I let them rest on a paper towel to dry:
While I’m cooking the chicken, I have already placed the pasta into boiling water and I just stir it occasionally. I try to cook it until al dente. When I was little I learned a little trick from my uncle to test spaghetti to see if it was done by throwing it on the wall. If it sticks he said it was done. I haven’t done that in a while but it is worth a try if you never seem to cook pasta just right. Once the pasta is finished I pour the contents of the pot in a strainer to get rid of the starch and water. Because of the small amount of extra virgin olive oil I place in the water when boiling it, usually the noodles aren’t dry and don’t need anything to keep them from sticking.
Step 3- In another pan I saute the spinach in a pan with a little extra virgin olive oil. You can also steam the spinach as well until it is a little more than wilted. I don’t want to cook it until it is deep green because I keep the heat low on it when it is time to add the noodles and I don’t want it to overcook.
While the spinach is cooking, I cut the chicken into small cube-sized pieces on a cutting board. I add a little garlic powder, salt and pepper to the spinach. Not a lot! The seaonsing from the chicken, the salt that was already added to the pasta and the saltines from the cheese will be so overpowering if you add to much salt and seasoning to the spinach. When the spinach is finished, I typically use a cheese strainer cloth or paper towels to get rid of the water that has accumulated in the pan because it cooks and has all of this extra water that you don’t want in the pasta. After you do that, you will feel like you don’t have that much spinach at all! I bring the spinach back to the same pan and add the noodles. I keep the heat on low and add the grated parmesean cheese, stir and VOILA:
If you love this recipe, you will probably love our “Spinach Feta Cheese Pie” that we make too! Great for any time of the day. Until next time!