Monday, February 22, 2010

Poultry Pockets with Sauteed Whole Wheat Pasta

Pin It Now! After watching Food Inc. I have commited to making over the food I cook. (click here to read my rant after watching that movie)   I'm sure there will be times when I may cheat and used processed foods, but for the most part everything I make will come from organic, nonprocessed ingredients.  It's called clean eating and there are so many health benefits associated.   I have noticed a huge difference in the way food tastes when I use fresher, organic fruits,vegetables and meats.  According to Clean Eating magazine to eat clean means to:

Be label savvy
Clean foods contain very few ingredients.  Products with a long list of ingredients are processed and not considered clean.

Avoid processed and refined foods
White flour, white sugar white breads and most pasta.  Opt for whole grain instead.  It actually tastes better!

Shop with a conscience
Consume humanely raised and local meats.

Reduce your carbon footprint
Buy from local farmer's markets and use ingredients that are in season.  It's usually cheaper and also better for the environment.

With that being said I found this lovely recipe in a Cuisine at Home magazine a friend lent to me.  It's easy and delicious!

2 cups fresh spinach (or frozen is fine too)
2 boneless, skinless breasts, pounded to 1/4" thick, seasoned with salt and pepper
2 large tomato slices, 1/2" thick
2 slices swiss cheese
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
4 oz. dry whole wheat pasta
2 garlic cloves, minced
handful chopped chives (save a few to garnish)
Olive oil

Preheat oven to 400 degrees (F)
1) Saute spinach in 1 tablespoon olive oil in a nonstick skillet over medium high until wilted; season with salt and pepper.  Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate and blot dry to remove excess moisture.

2) Begin cooking pasta in boiled salted water according to package directions; drain and set aside.

3) While pasta is cooking arrange chicken.  Layer a tomato slice, cheese slice and 1/2 the spinach on 1 side each prepared chicken breast.  Fold other side of each breast over fillings to enclose, and secure with toothpicks.

4) Saute pockets in 1 tablespoon olive oil in the same skillet as spinach over medium high heat until browned, about 4 min.  Turn chicken over and saute on the other side 2 minutes, then transfer pan to oven.  Roast until chicken is cooked and cheese is melted, about 8 minutes.  Remove pan from oven and transfer pockets to a plate. 

5) While chicken is roasted, heat oil in a new skillet coated with nonstick spray over medium heat.  Add drained pasta and garlic, and cook until heated through, about 2 minutes, tossing to coat.  Season with salt and pepper.  Remove from heat and add chives.

6) Return pan to the burner over high heat.  Deglaze pan with vinegar, reduce by 1/2, then drizzle sauce over chicken.

Serve chicken on top of pasta and garnish with chives.

Be sure to pound the chicken thin enough or else it will take longer to cook in the oven.

This recipe was intended for 2, but could easily be made for more.  Just use 1 breast, 1 cheese slice and 1 tomato per person and adjust spinach as you like.

Nutritional Info.
Per pocket and 1/2 cup pasta

Calories 556 (42% calories from fat); fat 26g (saturated 6g); Chol 102 mg; Carb 32g; sodium 304mg; fiber 10g, protein 49g; iron 7 mg, calcium 402 mg; omega 40g

Information and recipe obtained from Cuisine at Home.

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