Saturday, May 11, 2013

One for My Chooseatarian


My daughter is a self-proclaimed chooseatarian.  Not a vegetarian or vegan, but a chooseatarian.  She "chooses" to only eat good cuts of meat.  She has completely forsaken any form of sausage or hot dogs.  She "chooses" to only eat chicken, steak and ribs (go figure), and some roasts.  It's not from any religious or activist reasons, only that she is a teenager and certain things gross her out.  I used to be that way too.  I went through a stage where I wouldn't eat meat still on a bone or chocolate.

So I promised my daughter a vegetarian meal...sort of.  I originally planned to make Pasta Primavera with no meat. But I just couldn't help myself.  I am a meat eater, and I really thought this pasta needed chicken.  So we compromised.  I roasted double the veggies so that she could have an extra meal meat-free.  And we were all happy.  My husband loved it and raved on and on about it.  From the delicious mix of roasted veggies to the delightful lemon cream sauce with a touch of parmesan, it is sure to be a family favorite.  I used campanelle pasta which look like little bells or horns, but you can use whatever kind you like.  And the veggies listed here are enough for the pasta only, so double them if you want a second veggie meal.

Do you know any chooseatarians?

CHICKEN PASTA PRIMAVERA
1/2 bunch of asparagus, ends trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces
1 yellow squash, cut into half moons
1 zucchini, cut into half moons
1 bell pepper, any color, cut into small pieces (I used orange)
1 C grape tomatoes, halved
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
1 lb pasta, any kind
2 cloves garlic, minced
Juice of 2 large lemons, split in half
Olive oil
2 T butter
2 large chicken breasts, cut into cubes
2 C heavy cream
1/4 C shredded parmesan cheese
1/2 C white wine
1/2 C chicken stock
Salt & pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Put all of the veggies onto a sheet pan except the tomatoes.  Drizzle some olive oil over the veggies and the juice of one lemon.  Season with salt and pepper.  Cook, turning occasionally, for 20 to 25 minutes or until all the veggies are tender, adding in the tomatoes during the last five minutes of cooking.

While the veggies are cooking, cook the pasta according to directions.  To start the chicken, melt the butter into a large skillet and drizzle in some generous olive oil.  Cook the chicken on medium heat until done.  The process is to poach the chicken, not brown it.  Only cook it about 6-7 minutes so as to not overcook it.  Remove it from the pan and cover it with foil to keep warm.  Deglaze the pan with the wine and cook a couple of minutes to reduce.  Add in the chicken stock and cook again to reduce. Add in the garlic and cream.  Cook until the cream starts to bubble.  Stir in the parmesan cheese and juice of the second lemon.  Season with salt and pepper.

Return the chicken to the sauce and add in the veggies.  Stir the sauce into the pasta and serve.  You can sprinkle additional shredded parmesan cheese over the top.

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