Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Rosemary Alfredo Chicken

My first recipe! Before you begin cooking, please note that your sauce will have a lot of lumps. The first time I made this, it was perfect, but when I tried to repeat it, it was lumpy. This is normal. Your sauce might not look perfect, but it will taste perfect! Some health benefits include: tomatoes (for their licopine), chicken (lean, tasty), and whole wheat pasta (more whole grain is better for you).

Tips: Be really careful when making this because cream burns easily! And, do steps 1-3 at the same time. Have a friend or parent help you move things more smoothly. Even if you don't think you need help, you're going to. Timing is key with this recipe!

Things to know: When I say freshly grated or shredded, that means that you buy a large block of cheese and grate it yourself. Already grated or shredded cheese is more processed, and sometimes it gets covered in corn starch and flour to preserve it. Not only this, but freshly grated cheese has a better flavor to it. 

8-10 oz whole wheat linguini
2 boneless skinless chicken breast halves, cut into bite-sized chunks
1 small zucchini, cut into discs
1 cup onion, diced
1 cup halved cherry or grape tomatoes
Pine nuts (optional)

For sauce:
2 tbsp butter
1 cup half and half
2/3 cup freshly grated parmesan or pecorino romano cheese
Salt, to taste
2 tbsp flour
1 garlic clove, minced
3 sprigs fresh rosemary, minced
2 tsp oregano

1. Heat a skillet over medium heat with a tablespoon of olive oil. Add onions. Stir until onions begin to turn transparent. Add chicken. Cook for 4-5 minutes, or until almost cooked through. Add zucchini, and cook until chicken is done. Turn pan off. 

2. Meanwhile, boil some water with a bit of olive oil and salt. Once boiling, add noodles and cook according to directions. 

3. Heat butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Gradually add flour and whisk until smooth. Gradually add half and half. Stir for 3-4 minutes. Reduce heat. Add rosemary, cheese, and oregano, and stir. Whisk more, for about 30 seconds – 1 min, and remove from heat.

4. Drain noodles. Put them in a large bowl. Add sauce, chicken, vegetables, and tomatoes. If desired, add pine nuts. Mix well. Serve immediately.

The Definition of Healthy

I thought I should address this right before I post my recipe for something with cheese sauce on my blog. You might be thinking, "OMG! Cheese sauce is so bad for you. It's a bunch of fat." Cheese sauce isn't bad for you. Your body needs fat. Cheese is a great source of protein and fat that your body needs. So is the milk and cream that is put in the sauce. And, you'll discover that there's a tablespoon of butter. For the whole recipe. If you think about it, each person ends up with about a 1/4 tsp of butter on their plate. That's only a fourth or less of how much butter the average american puts on their toast.

Healthy basically means that you eat right, exercise, and maintain a healthy lifestyle. You can't cut out all fat and carbs and sugars, because you'll be eating practically nothing. You also have to have 5-9 servings of veggies AND fruits every day. Fats like oils, fish, and avocados are the good fats that give your body many nutrients. Carbs, as long as they processed as little as possible, are a great energy booster. Sugars can be found in all kinds of fruits and vegetables. So, if you see that I'm adding a quarter cup of olive oil or something, don't think it's unhealthy. It's not. It's good for you.

Intro to My Blog!

Hey, guys! I'm Madison Dillon. I love eating and cooking healthy food from all over the world. I'm creating a cookbook called Teens Can Cook, Too! It will consist of 120 healthy recipes, tips on how to function in the kitchen, and some tips on what "healthy" means and how you stay healthy. I'll be posting my recipes on my blog, talking about some of their health benefits, and, starting in 2011, I'll be posting videos of how to make my recipes. My cookbook is also going to focus on foods that would be good for people that are vegetarian. I'm also going to have gluten-free dessert recipes. All of these were created for my mom, who can't have gluten.

If you have any suggestions on how to make my recipes better, please subscribe to my blog and comment on my posts!

I look forward to posting my first recipe, Rosemary Alfredo Chicken, soon!