I think we’ve established that I’m a sucker for those food videos that automatically play on facebook. The boy jokes that they are “my porn” – when he catches me watching one (or two or three back to back), he’ll laugh and say, “Should I leave you alone with your video?” Very funny dude. We get it. But he has actually enjoyed the fruits of those videos on at least one occasion, and been just as disappointed as I was on another. Well, Goodful – the healthier Tasty sister page – recently did a weeklong “no added sugar” meal planning segement, where they included recipes for breakfast, lunch, snacks, dinner and desserts which included no added sugar.
Now, I’m not the target audience necessarily for a “no added sugar” diet. Or, you know, maybe I should be considering how many of my recipes are for desserts and things like, “gives you diabetes after one bite” cinnamon rolls. But for dinners – I tend to stick to pretty savory fare. Still, I was intrigued, and so took a look at the recipes to see if there was anything that caught my eye. And oh baby – this one. First off, it looked pretty easy. Secondly, it hit a lot of the targets that I try to do with my dinners – protein and vegetables – and also included some kind of whole wheat pasta. I am the kind of girl who you would have to fight with if you tried to take away my carbs. So, you know, bases covered.
And on top of that – LEMON. I do love a recipe with lemon in it. Especially lemon pasta. It just feels decadent. The bright tang of the lemon, contrasting with the starchy blandness of the pasta itself, which is kicked up by the savory bite of parmesan and freshly cooked kale. It feels like a very complete dish. And plus – protein, vegetable, and no added sugar. What more could you ask for. This is a recipe I have a feeling I’ll come back to in the future…
Spaghetti With Lemon Kale Chicken
Yield: 1-2 servings, depending on how generous you are with ingredients
4 ounces whole wheat spaghetti
1 boneless, skinless chicken breast, cubed
5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 cups chopped curly kale, ribs removed
zest of 1 lemon [Note: I didn’t have a lemon to zest, so I just added a little extra juice]
1 tablespoon lemon juice
kosher salt, to taste
ground black pepper, to taste
Boil salted water and cook the pasta for 1 minute less than the time indicated on the package. (When the pasta is finished cooking, reserve ¼ cup of pasta water.)
Meanwhile, heat two tablespoons of olive oil in a cast-iron skillet. Season cubed chicken with salt and pepper, add it to the skillet, and brown it on each side. Once cooked through — about 2 to 4 minutes — remove from skillet and reserve.
Heat remaining three tablespoons of olive oil in skillet and add garlic and red pepper flakes. Cook until fragrant, about 1 minutes.
Add kale, lemon zest, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and reserved pasta water. Cook until kale is tender, about 3 minutes. Add cooked chicken, pasta, stir to coat, and serve immediately.