Pesto Chicken with Penne Pasta (and a blurb about CARBS)

Ok. So first of all, if you think pasta is your enemy because you have been told to stay away from “CARBS” you need to do a 180 degree turn and stop thinking that.

There are only a small % of people that TRULY need to limit their carbs, and if you are among these people, they have a REAL disorder with their body processing carbs, and it has nothing to do with losing weight or gaining weight, or blood sugar.

Our bodies are MADE of carbon…… we NEED Carbohydrates to LIVE. So please, if you have eating high protein and low carbs, do more research. πŸ™‚ End of soap box on carbs. I have a soapbox about carbs, because i used to believe that I had to limit them to lose weight….. and for a few years I threw my body into a terrible pattern of lose/gain because I was starving it of the building blocks of LIFE! Carbs!

So now, I LOVE and RESPECT my carbs. There are different kinds, and whole grain pasta (notice I didn’t say regular white flour, semolina egg noodles……) is a COMPLEX carb, which will help your blood sugar stay constant for HOURS, since it takes the body more time to digest in pasta form, and thereby it is also a LOWER Glycemic carb. Most carbs (sugars, white bread, fruits, etc.) are higher in the glycemic scale and you DO need to watch how many you are consuming if you care about your weight and blood sugar levels for health reasons. I love corn/quinoa/rice pastas vs whole wheat. Whole wheat has a weird taste to me. But if you like it, then by all means!

So now, I LOVE and RESPECT my PASTA! For YEARS I didn’t enjoy the awesomeness of pasta out of fear for the calories and carb content. No more. πŸ™‚ And I’m so glad!

Here is one of my FAVORITE pasta dishes. My whole family LOVES this meal.

Pesto Chicken with Penne Pasta
Yeild: 10 cups pasta, or about 8 servings. Feeds my family of  6, but we have small kids still, with enough left over for my husbands lunch the next day.

1 12 oz box/bag pasta
2-3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into strips or pieces
Salt and Pepper, and Italian seasoning, OPT
1/2 cup of your fav Alfredo sauce (I choose a low salt, few ingredient one at my grocery store when I can’t make my own, or just dont want to. πŸ™‚ )
1/4 cup (or more to taste) Pesto
2 tsp capers
1/2 cup sun dried tomatoes (YUMMMMMM)

Step 1: get your pasta water boiling. While it is coming to a boil, I slice up my chicken pieces.

Robyn Whitworth pesto chicken

Step 2. Add the pasta to the boiling water, and while it is cooking, saute your chicken in a little oil and season with Salt, pepper and a little Italian seasoning if you choose.

Step 3. While the pasta is still cooking, and you are waiting for the chicken, you can slice up your sun dried tomatoes. 

Step 4. Now, the pasta and chicken are about done. Drain your pasta, and pour it into a large serving bowl. Simply add the rest of your ingredients at this point, and stir it altogether! DONE and DONE.
Easy, awesome pasta dish that tastes amazing! 

 You can find alfredo and pesto in the pasta isle at the store usually. I have found the pesto and sun dried tomatoes in the produce section as well, near the fresh herbs.

 These little babies are CAPERS. I never had them before culinary school, but  man they pack a PUNCH of flavor in one tiny little orb. You don’t need too many of these little gems- but each time you do get one in a bite, they just add a bit of a kick. LOVE my capers! You can find these in the PICKLE section of your grocery store usually. On the top shelf probably.

And there you have it. Yum, yummy, yum!!! Yes, alfredo and pasta can be high calorie. BUT—- you are only using 1/2 cup in this entire recipe. So don’t flip out about the calories if you can. πŸ™‚