AND broccoli, peppadew peppers, artichokes and grilled chicken.
Lately I have been trying to eat from my fridge, because so often I end up wasting things after forgetting about them. Such as using half a bunch of asparagus and leaving the rest in the drawer. It’s not always possible to create a meal around ingredients in your fridge- let alone more than one ingredient. This time, however, it managed to work…and work really well!
I had another challenge presented to me during my menu planning; one of my dinner guests was gluten free. Ten years ago this may have presented a bit of an issue, but today there are practically gluten free isles at the market. I had been planning on a pasta dish when I remembered my friend was gluten free. Cat told me she is not a fan of brown rice pasta, she said she thinks it’s too sticky*. I went to Whole Foods to see what other options they had. What they had (along with brown rice) was quinoa pasta.
It was absolutely wonderful…and what I actually mean by that, is it tasted just like regular old pasta. I was seriously impressed. Not to mention the added bonuses of having extra protein, low sodium, and no cholesterol. The price was not overly expensive either, it’s like buying the store brand pasta versus the fancier brand of boxed pasta. I liked this pasta so much I would consider buying this in place of regular pasta.
The plan for this pasta was asparagus,artichokes, peppadew peppers, chicken, and goat cheese cream sauce. As it turns out the boyfriend had already used the asparagus (and I don’t mean eaten, because he doesn’t do that, he shared it with other friends who were over earlier in the week). Since I had already gone to the store to get the pasta, I looked at what else was available. Broccoli it was. I was not disappointed in the least, the broccoli was perfect (but asparagus would be good too and I would prepare it the same way).
4 oz goat cheese
1 /4 cup Greek yogurt or sour cream
1/2 tsp salt
1 can artichokes in water (or frozen hearts)
1 medium head of broccoli
1 head garlic
6 peppadew peppers
3-4 chicken breasts
Salt and pepper, for chicken
Preheat the oven to 400. Chop off about ¼ inch off the top of the entire garlic clove; you want to just expose the cloves. Place the garlic on a piece of foil, drizzle heavily with olive oil, and twist into a little pouch. Place in the oven for about 45 minutes or until the garlic is soft and roasted and smells like heaven (in my world, heaven smells like roasted garlic). While the garlic roasts, make the rest of the dish.
Slice the peppadew peppers into thin strips (or whatever your desired shape is) and set aside. Try not to eat too many of them while you cook everything else.
You will also be roasting the broccoli but it doesn’t take as long as the garlic. To prepare the broccoli chop the head into small florets. Make a foil packet to put the broccoli in**. Drizzle the broccoli with olive oil and a sprinkling of salt and pepper. The broccoli will take from about 20 minutes depending on how crisp you like your broccoli.
Start a large pot of salted water to boil on the stove for the pasta. In a medium skillet, sauté the drained artichokes and the juice of one lemon over medium heat for about 3 minutes; remove from heat and cover, the steam will help the lemon juice flavor to penetrate.
For the cream sauce, in a small sauce pan over medium low heat combine the yogurt and goat cheese and melt until a thick sauce forms. Add a dash of milk if the sauce seems too thick. By this time the garlic should be roasted. Squeeze the softened cloves directly into the sauce, along with the 1 tsp of salt and whisk to combine. Keep the sauce on low heat while you complete the final steps.
Salt and pepper the chicken and grill. While the chicken is grilling, cook the pasta. After the past is cooked, and drained, toss the pasta with the goat cheese sauce. Toss the broccoli and the artichokes with the pasta, and top each portion with the sliced chicken and the peppadew peppers.
Absolutely delicious, not to mention gluten free, and healthy. I will be making this often.
A few notes:
My gluten free friend tells me she quite likes rice pasta but apparently there is an art to making it, involving soaking, rinsing and things like that. I will find these things out and share them with you, but until then- I recommend the quinoa pasta.
You could also roast the broccoli in a roasting dish, but I like the foil packets because they lightly steam while they roast (and there is one less dish to wash). Whatever your preference is fine.