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Eat Right, Your Way, Every Day: Creamy Chicken Pasta

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March is National Nutrition Month and it’s a great time to think about small steps to healthier eating. This year’s theme, Healthy Eating, Your Way, Every Day, reinforces that every family’s version of healthy eating can be a little different, but built around the same five food groups.

As parents we know how important it is to consider family food preferences when planning meals. A great place to start is at HealthyEating.org, a new website that brings the best of Meals Matter recipes with nutrition resources from Dairy Council of California’s registered dietitians. The Healthy Eating My Way tool identifies how you can choose healthy foods from all five food groups that also fit the needs and preferences of your family.

Chicken Pasta Primavera

For many hectic families, recipes like Chicken Pasta Primavera can make it easier to Eat Right, Your Way, Every Day because it combines so many of the food groups in one dish. You can also tailor this recipe to your family’s own preferences or food on hand. Asparagus not in season? Add carrots. No chicken in the house? Try tuna or turkey. Run out of bow-tie pasta? Try rotini, penne or even linguini. Since this crowd-pleasing recipe already has four out of the five food groups, serve it with applesauce or this great berry mango smoothie for a balanced meal.

Chicken Pasta Primavera

8 Servings. Kids love this creamy chicken and pasta dish. You may even get them to eat the vegetables!

Ingredients:

1/2 pound Bowtie or other whole wheat pasta
2 tablespoons Olive oil
3 Garlic cloves, minced
1 1/4 cup Broccoli florets
1 yellow Zucchini, cubed
1 red Bell pepper, seeded and sliced
1/2 pound Asparagus, cut into quarters
1 cup frozen Peas
1 cup 1% low fat Milk
1/2 cup low-fat Sour cream
3 tablespoons minced fresh Parsley
3 tablespoons minced fresh Basil
Salt and pepper to taste
1 sliced grilled Chicken breast

Preparation:

Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling water until al dente (still has a bite). Once cooked, drain pasta and set aside. Heat oil in large sauté pan, add garlic and toast lightly. Add broccoli, zucchini, bell pepper, asparagus and frozen peas, gently toss until cooked, but crisp. Add milk, sour cream, salt and pepper to vegetables and stir until sour cream has melted into milk. Once you have a creamy sauce (approx. 2 minutes), toss in pasta and cook for a few more minutes. Sprinkle parsley and basil just before serving.

Top pasta with grilled chicken before serving.

Recipe adapted from Cooking Light. Find delicious and nutritious family dinner inspiration ideas from GotMilk.com.

Cook’s Note:

You can use nonfat plain yogurt in place of the sour cream to increase the nutrition power in this recipe. If you are short on time substitute frozen vegetables such as broccoli, green beans and a pepper and onion mix. You’ll a great tasting meal in even less time.

Nutrient Information: Calories: 389, Total Fat: 9.5 g, Saturated Fat: 4 g, Sodium: 138 mg, Carbohydrates: 63 g, Protein: 19 g, Fiber: 11 g, Calcium: 104 mg

How will your family Eat Right, Your Way, Every Day during National Nutrition Month?

Trina RobertsonTrina Robertson, MS, RD is a registered dietitian with a master’s degree in nutrition. As a HealthyEating.org Mom she shares her positive approach to healthy eating with the goal of inspiring others to prepare and enjoy foods from all the food groups. As a Project Manager with the Dairy Council of California, Trina develops, evaluates and promotes nutrition education materials for students and adults. At home she enjoys cooking and sharing meals with her family. Her most rewarding accomplishment is that her boys are good eaters and are learning to cook. Follow Trina on Twitter @TrinaR_RD and find more Healthy Eating ideas on Facebook.

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Meals Matter Mom Trina Robertson is a registered dietitian with a master’s degree in sports nutrition. As a Project Manager with the Dairy Council of California, Trina develops, evaluates and promotes nutrition education materials for students and adults. Trina Robertson, MS, RD is a registered dietitian with a master’s degree in nutrition. As a HealthyEating.org Mom she shares her positive approach to healthy eating with the goal of inspiring others to prepare and enjoy foods from all the food groups. As a Project Manager with the Dairy Council of California, Trina develops, evaluates and promotes nutrition education materials for students and adults. At home she enjoys cooking and sharing meals with her family. Her most rewarding accomplishment is that her boys are good eaters and are learning to cook. Follow Trina on Twitter @TrinaR_RD and find more Healthy Eating ideas on Facebook and Pinterest.

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One Response to “Eat Right, Your Way, Every Day: Creamy Chicken Pasta”

  1. [...] mother of 4. If I don't know what I am making for dinner by noon, the chances of my family having a home cooked meal are slim. I recently went to a meal planning class, and the woman teaching it told us that she [...]

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