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Healthy Cheeseburger Pasta

I have a dirty little secret, when I lived at my parents house, my mom would make Cheeseburger Hamburger Helper and I loved it.  I’m not sure my dad was wild about it and my husband isn’t wild about it (I’m certain it has something to do with not cooking and sometimes trying to get in and out of the kitchen as fast as possible, they don’t do it so they don’t understand!)  I haven’t had it in years cause I know it’s not healthy or good for you, so I just don’t buy it, but I still love it!

When I created this recipe, I had no idea how much it would taste like that dish.  I love butternut squash and sweet potatoes, but I not crazy about sweet dishes, despite all the desserts on this site.  And this recipe doesn’t make the butternut squash sweet it’s just savory tasting, and it’s just good!! Kids will love it and only you know it’s good for them.

It takes me right back to living at home having Hamburger Helper but this ones healthy and good for you, with real cheese, turkey burger, rotini noodles and some pasta water to make the sauce…. it’s so good, and good for you, but probably not if you eat it all at one sitting and I could have without any problems!

 

Start out roasting some butternut squash with some olive oil, salt and pepper

 

 

Meanwhile that’s in the oven, boil some noodles and saute some garlic in another pan, then add the turkey burger

When the squash is done, add it to the hamburger mixture and when the noodles are almost done, drain them in a colander with a bowl under it to catch the water and add the noodles to the pan with the hamburger and squash.  Stir in parmesan cheese and mozzarella cheese and at least a cup of the pasta water

 

 

 

 

I baked mine in the oven, but you could just melt the cheese while it’s on the stove, but I had a new pan that will go from the stove to the oven and I wanted to try it out… sue me I was just showing off my new bling!

If at the end, it needs more creaminess add more pasta water… It’s so good!

You can mash the squash up more if you have picky eaters, but in my house this is a hit just the way it is! Or you could use a food processor or blender and add the pasta water and the squash and no one will know what it is…..

 

Healthy Cheeseburger Pasta

2 1/2 to 3 cups of Butternut Squash, cubed

1 lb. ground turkey

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 box  Rotini Pasta or other short cut pasta

1 to 2 cups of reserved pasta water

1/4 cup Parmesan Cheese

1/4 cup mozzarella Cheese

Olive oil, salt & pepper

Heat oven to 400 degrees and on a rimmed baking sheet(you can line it if you want for easier clean up) drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle on salt and pepper.  Roast squash for 15 minutes, turn and check after another 15 minutes to see if it’s tender, if it is then it’s done, if not continue to roast for a few more minutes.  Meanwhile cook pasta according to directions and in another pan, add a TBSP of olive oil and garlic, cook for a minute, then add ground turkey and cook turkey until it’s done.

When the pasta is done, drain in colander over a bowl and add pasta and roasted squash to pan with ground turkey.  Stir together, mashing the squash if desired and add a 1/2 to 1 of the pasta water and add cheeses.  Stir together and taste, add additional salt and pepper to taste, if it’s too thick add additional pasta water. You can melt cheese while on the stove top or in the oven.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Healthy Chicken, Broccoli and Pasta

 

Healthy Chicken, Broccoli and Pasta

I love this recipe, It takes less than 30 minutes to make, I usually  have everything  in the freezer and in the  pantry to make it and it’s healthy!  Plus kid friendly!

Here’s how you get everything ready, thaw out the chicken breast and I also thawed out my frozen broccoli, then as soon as you get home from work, start a large pot of water on high to start to boil, then add a thin layer of olive oil to a large skillet, turn the heat on medium and chunk up your chicken while the water comes to a boil, drop your pasta.

 

 

Healthy Chicken, Broccoli and PastaHealthy Chicken Broccoli and PastaSeason your chicken well with salt and pepper and make sure it’s in a single layer in the pan.  Brown your chicken, cook your pasta for 6 minutes, then add your thawed broccoli(if it’s still frozen add it when you throw in your pasta) and cook for another 2 minutes after you add your broccoli. Drain your pasta/broccoli with  a bowl under your strainer so you can save your pasta water, this is very important, cause this makes your sauce.

 

Healthy Chicken, Broccoli and PastaWhen your chicken is brown and cooked through, remove it from the pan and add a clove of minced garlic to the pan with the remaining oil and bits from the chicken.  Cook the garlic for a minute and by this time your pasta and broccoli should be done.

 

 

CHICKEN N PASTA AND MEATLOAF CUP CAKES 017 Healthy Chicken, Broccoli and Pasta Add pasta, broccoli and chicken back to the pan along with a 1/2 cup of pasta water and a 1/2 cup of reduced fat parmesan  cheese and stir together.  Then add more water and stir some more, add the rest of your cheese and more pasta water if needed. I added a 1 1/2 to 2 cups of water to make it nice and creamy.

Healthy Chicken, Broccoli and Pasta

 

My daughter was getting ready for work when I made this and she’s like this smells so good, I said take some for dinner and she took a huge bowl of good home cooked food that was good for her and that my people is a win!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Healthy Chicken, Broccoli and Pasta

 

I love using fresh ingredients but I’m also a realist;  sometimes I buy fresh things that never get used and tossed, where with this you can make it year round cause you can use fresh broccoli, but you can always use frozen.  The amount of time you cook your broccoli is up to you I tend to cook it less because I like the texture of the broccoli cooked less, but if your kids like it more cooked you cook it longer, do what works for your family. This is awesome, five ingredients, healthy proteins and 30 minutes or under!

Healthy Chicken, Broccoli and Pasta

  • Servings: 4
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1 lb. boneless chicken breast

1/2 lb. of whole wheat penne pasta

1 16 oz bag of frozen broccoli, thawed

1 to 2 TBSP olive oil

1 clove of garlic minced

1 cup of reduced fat parmesan grated cheese

1 to 1  1/2 cups of reserved pasta water

plus salt, pepper and

 

 

Start a large pot a water to boil and generously salt the water, while its coming to a boil, cube your chicken breast into small cubes.  Start a large skillet with the olive oil on medium heat, put your cubed chicken in the skillet and start your pasta as soon as it starts to boil, if your broccoli is frozen add it with the pasta.  Wait 4 to 5 minutes before you stir the chicken so its gets brown, after another 3 to 4 minutes when the other side is browned, remove it from the pan and add the garlic turning the heat to low.  Cook your pasta  6 minutes then add thawed broccoli and cook for another 2 minutes, then drain the pasta/broccoli over a bowl.  Add pasta/broccoli and chicken to the garlic and add  1/2 a cup of pasta water and 1/2 a cup of cheese.  Stir well, then add 1/2 a cup of water and another 1/2 cup of cheese.  Stir, if it’s still thick add more water until it’s the consistency that you like.

When I say five ingredients, I don’t count the oil, pasta water, salt and pepper

Italian Grilled Chicken with Grilled Veggie Salad

grill chicken & veggie salad 038

There’s just something that when the weather turns warm, it makes me want to grill something healthy on Sunday night.  I’ve usually overindulged over weekend, so by Sunday, I’m ready to rein it in for little while.  Plus when I cook something healthy on Sunday, I have a healthy lunch ready for Monday.  I’ve always liked chicken breast with Italian dressing seasoning sprinkled on it marinading in the mix, olive oil and vinegar, but what to do when you don’t have one of those little packets…. come up with your own!

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Sunday afternoon, I took olive oil, white vinegar, oregano leaves, garlic sliced up and salt and pepper and marinated the chicken breast in it for a few hours.  When I got ready to grill, I cut up zucchini, peppers, onion, garlic add a little olive oil, salt and pepper and popped them on the grill when I put the chicken on.

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While everything was grilling up I made a dressing similar to what I saw Clinton Kelly make on the Chew.  He did a mixture of mayo, lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper.  I went with mayo, red wine vinegar, garlic, oregano, salt and pepper and this creamy dressing was beyond good.  I’d never used mayo for a salad dressing, I always use mustard, so it was a nice change that I’ll be using a lot in the future.

grill chicken & veggie salad 033It’s a pretty little pink dressing! And it packs a lot of flavor.

Italian Grilled Chicken with Grill Veggie Salad

1 lb. chicken breast

3 TBSP. olive oil

3 TBSP. white vinegar

1 clove garlic, sliced

1 TBSP. oregano

Combine the above ingredients in a Ziploc bag along with a little salt and pepper and marinade for 3 or 4 hours.

Before grilling the chicken, cut up

1 medium zucchini

1 onion

1 bell pepper

2 cloves of garlic

Put veggies in a foil tray or tin foil tray, sprinkle with salt, pepper and drizzle a little olive oil on them.

On a medium hot grill add your chicken and veggies.  Cook everything 10 to 15 minutes or until the chicken is done.

Dressing for the veggies

1 TBSP. Red wine vinegar

1 TBSP. lite mayo

1 clove of garlic

1 tsp. oregano

salt and pepper

Combine in a jar and shake and pour over the warm veggies when they come off the grill.