Mon, Jul 19 2010 11:52 AM Posted By: Leslie Belfor
Pasta, a well-loved comfort food, is quick, easy to cook and tastes good.
The trick to creating pasta dishes with great flavor that are still healthy is to keep portions small and incorporate other nutrient-packed ingredients.
While we all have our go-to pasta recipes, there are a number of simple tips and swap-outs that can help make these dishes better for you. The next time you’re creating a pasta dish, try these ideas:
• Use whole-wheat pasta-whole grains are an important component of a healthy diet
• Incorporate lean protein-add grilled chicken, fish or turkey to increase the dish’s protein content
• Pile on the fruits and veggies-they add a great texture to pasta and give the dish a nutritional boost
• Pair pasta with broth or vegetable-based sauces-these sauces tend to be lower in saturated fat than those that are cream-based
This recipe for Chicken Fajita Pasta with Hass Avocado works to incorporate all of these tips. The inclusion of avocados in this dish offers an unexpected twist and increases the meal’s nutritional benefits.
In fact, one ounce of avocado has 50 calories and contributes “good fats” and nearly 20 beneficial vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients to one’s diet. It’s the avocado’s creamy texture and delicious flavor, however, that really helps marry the Latin flavors of this dish with the traditionally Italian pasta-highlighting this fruit’s versatility.
Chicken Fajita Pasta with Hass Avocado
1(16-oz.) package whole-wheat fettuccini
4 tsp. canola oil, divided
2 tsp. ground cumin, divided
1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes, divided
1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced
1 red bell pepper, membrane and seeds removed, and thinly sliced
1 yellow bell pepper, membrane and seeds removed, and thinly sliced
1 green bell pepper, membrane and seeds removed, and thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 (6-oz.) boneless and skinless chicken breasts, thinly sliced
2 limes, juiced
1 Tbsp. chopped oregano
1⁄3 cup chopped cilantro
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 ripe, fresh Hass avocado, seeded, peeled and diced
1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Add fettuccini and cook according to package directions. Drain and cover to keep warm.
2. Place half the oil in a large skillet over high heat. Stir in half the cumin and crushed red pepper. Add onions and cook until soft and just beginning to brown, about 4 minutes.
3. Add peppers and garlic and cook for an additional 4 minutes. Place mixture in a bowl and cover to keep warm.
4. Add remaining oil, cumin and crushed red pepper to skillet and place on medium heat.
5. Add chicken and cook until lightly golden, about 5 minutes. Return onion mixture to skillet along with lime juice, oregano and cilantro. Stir to combine. Remove from heat and season with salt and pepper.
6. Add avocado and gently stir into chicken mixture. Serve over whole-wheat fettuccini.
Nutrition Information Per Serving: Calories 790; Total Fat 18 g (Sat 2.5 g, Trans 0 g, Poly 3 g, Mono 8.5 g); Cholesterol 110 mg; Total Carbohydrates 96 g; Dietary Fiber 8 g; Protein 56 g
Note: Large avocados are recommended for this recipe. A large avocado averages about 8 ounces. If using smaller or larger size avocados, adjust the quantity accordingly.For other delicious recipes that fit a healthy lifestyle, visit the Hass Avocado Board Web site at avocadocentral.com.
© 2009 Culver City News