This dish was created for local grocer, Mother Earth Food, just in time for this week's Friday Harvest Menu! It features seasonal, local, and organically grown produce sourced from area farms and brought to homes around Western North Carolina and Upstate South Carolina. I'm so excited for the opportunity to partner with them!
Check out the notes below for modifications, nutrition, side salad recipe, and a suggestion for making two meals at once.
Summery Bright Chicken Veggie Pasta
Makes 4-6 servings
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 lb boneless, skinless chicken cut into 1 to 2 inch chunks
1 tsp salt, divided
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 red onion diced
2 medium carrots (or 1 large) thinly sliced
5-7 cremini (baby bella) mushrooms, sliced
1/2 cup of grape tomatoes halved
A handful of tender greens roughly chopped (pea shoots, spinach, arugula all work well)
4 cloves fresh garlic minced
8 oz pasta
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp lemon juice
In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat. Add chicken to the pan and sprinkle with ½ tsp of salt and pepper. Cook for 5 to 8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until juices run clear and chicken is no longer pink.
Add red onion and carrots to the pan, then stir in with the chicken.
Add mushrooms in a layer on top then sprinkle them with the remaining ½ tsp of salt (mushrooms need salt for flavor). Let it cook like this for about a minute, then stir the mushrooms into the mixture.
Increase to medium-high heat and cook for another 3-5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until veggies are “al dente” (tender but with a little bit of snap).
Reduce heat back to medium then add tomatoes, greens, and garlic and cook for 1 minute longer (until garlic is fragrant), cover then set aside.
Cook pasta according to the package directions, then drain and return to the pot.
Add balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, 1 tablespoon olive oil, and the chicken veggie mix from earlier, toss, and then serve!
~ Notes ~
I love this bright and flavorful pasta because it’s so adaptable, not to mention loaded with protein, fiber, and phytonutrients. It can be made with gluten-free pasta or rice, if you’re avoiding wheat. It can be made with left-over chicken, ground chicken or no chicken at all (try white beans or garbanzos instead), if you’re avoiding meat. The type of pasta or veggies used can be easily switched out, depending on what you have on hand. Bell pepper, zucchini, yellow squash, chard, and kale are also wonderful options. You can also add chopped green onion or fresh herbs as a garnish while serving.
Eating the rainbow helps us to be sure that our bodies are receiving the nutrients it needs to function optimally, decreasing inflammation, keeping our immune system strong, and helping to prevent disease.
Serve with a Simple Side Salad
Since this pasta is so packed with veggies, I like to keep my salad simple. I use whatever greens I have on hand and toss with a touch of olive oil, and the tiniest sprinkle of sea salt. Then I squeeze fresh lemon all over. Yum!
A New Meal Tomorrow
I like to cook once and eat 3 or 4 times so another trick I keep up my sleeve is to put some sweet potatoes into the oven before I start this recipe. I poke holes in them with a fork, then bake them at 425°F on a baking sheet for about 45 minutes, or until soft inside. You can check this by inserting a fork.
While making the pasta, I make extra chicken and veggies that I’ll use the next day as a topping for the sweet potatoes along with a little ghee, salt, and some ripe avocado. The sweet potatoes are done around the time this meal is. I just let them cool and then put some away along with the extra chicken and veggie mix for tomorrow’s lunch.