Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Roasted Red Pepper Pasta

The question I hear the most often is what do you prepare at home after a long day of cooking for others.  The answer is...whatever is quick and easy!  I've said it before, but I find it quiet convenient to keep my pantry/staples stocked so that I don't have to run to the grocery store every time I want to prepare a meal.  

One of my favorite staples is jarred roasted red peppers.  This bright colored pepper does not just add an interesting variety to your dishes, but come packed with several essential nutrients like vitamin C, thiamine, vitamin B6, betacarotene and folic acid.   Roasted Red Peppers are great for making sauces, dressings or even to perk up a traditional Hummus recipe.

A few nights ago, I made this quick dish and even T seemed to like it.

Chicken with Roasted Red Pepper Cream Sauce


1   jar  roasted red pepper -- drained
½   block light cream cheese -- softened
1/2 cup chicken broth
2   cloves garlic
1/2  teaspoon  ground red pepper
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon onion powder
Salt and Pepper, to taste
1  pounds chicken tenders, cut into 1 inch chunks
1/2 (10 oz) package of frozen spinach, thawed and drained
1 lb. fettuccine
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup of basil, shredded (optional)
1/4 toasted slivered almonds (optional)

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain pasta.

Season Chicken with salt, pepper, paprika, and onion powder.  In large skillet, heat the olive oil.  Add chicken and cook for 2-3 minutes on each side.  Mean while, process red peppers and next 4 ingredients in a blender. Pour pepper mixture over chicken and cook for 3 minutes.  Stir in spinach and cooked pasta – heat through for 5 minutes.  Sprinkle toasted almonds and basil before serving.

Did you know that eating red peppers actually helps in losing weight? Red peppers contain substances that are believed to increase body’s heat production and oxygen consumption after eating that assists in burning calories and losing weight.

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