Saturday, September 6, 2008

Grilled Chicken Pasta

Today, I am experiencing my very first tropical storm. We get remnants of these at home, but for the next two weeks Jack and I are on vacation on the Delaware Bay and Hanna has joined us.

Late yesterday afternoon I received a phone call from the owner of the beach house and she told me that the renters for the previous week had cancelled and that if we wanted to come early to arrive before Hanna hit, we were welcome to do so. When she called, I was wondering whether to water the garden one last time, spray to kill the caterpillars on my tomato plants, or just say the heck with it since I had so much else to do before we planned to leave the following morning. This call made my decision for me.

Still, it took 3 hours to finish everything on my to-do list and we didn’t leave until 8:45pm. I must say, the hours between 11pm and 1am were the worst (in terms of staying awake and alert), but we arrived at 3am. It was windy and, when we had stopped for gas just over the Bay Bridge, I had never felt such humidity (Rosanne Rosannadanna hair!). The windows of the Wawa were totally fogged and, when I refilled my coffee and emerged, the air felt as though it was pressing down on me (while lifting my hair, much to the amusement of my husband). My glasses steamed. I couldn’t wait to get in the car!

Hanna didn’t really arrive until about 11:15 this morning and here is a photo taken about 2 hours later, after the rain had stopped for a bit. The eye of the storm is still south of us, so I’m sure that this is not over.

It was very windy and even the metal Peruvian bird sculpture on top of the television was vibrating, but we felt safe. This is a wonderfully solid beach house. Now, remember, we are on the bay not the ocean. I’m sure that a certain Californian ex-surfer girl whom I know was looking at this photo and thinking how small our storm waves are, here on the east coast! ;)

Back to last night. Or, rather, early this morning. By 4:30 we had unloaded the car, unpacked the coolers, unpacked the food boxes, and were still too awake to consider bed. So I made peach-vanilla pancakes (no recipe, I just threw stuff in the bowl at that hour!) and we retired at about 5:30. That was the time we would have awakened back at the farm to leave, had we not decided on some nighttime traveling.

Even so, we are on vacation and although running this morning was not really an option, we were up by 10:00 and finished unpacking our clothes.

Since we had already had breakfast, we waited for lunchtime.

I had grilled and shredded chicken breasts yesterday, planning to make wraps to take along for a traveling lunch today. Since that was no longer needed, I used the chicken to make a comforting pasta dish as the winds blew and howled around us.

* Exported from MasterCook *

Grilled Chicken Pasta

Recipe By: Vicci

Servings: 2

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method

-------- ------------ --------------------------------

5 ounces pasta

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 small yellow squash -- diced

1/2 large green bell pepper -- diced

2 medium garlic cloves -- minced

1 small tomato -- diced

3/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning -- crumbled

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

3 tablespoons fat-free half and half

8 ounces boneless skinless chicken breast -- grilled, shredded

1 ounce Asiago Cheese -- shredded

Prepare pasta according to directions, eliminating fat. Keep warm.

In a skillet, heat the olive oil to a shimmer and saute the squash and bell pepper until softened. Add garlic, tomato, Italian herbs, and black pepper (and salt, if desired) and saute for an additional 2 minutes. Stir in the half & half (turn down the heat a little-- if lowfat or fat free half & half comes to a boil it will separate) and and the chicken; stir until warmed. Add half of the shredded Asiago, then the pasta, and toss until mixed well. Serve with additional Asiago and freshly ground black pepper, if desired.

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Per serving: 550 Calories (kcal); 16g Total Fat (5g saturated); (26% calories from fat); 37g Protein; 64g Carbohydrate; 73mg Cholesterol; 452mg Sodium

Food Exchanges: 3 1/2 Grain(Starch); 1 1/2 Lean Meat; 1 1/2 Vegetable; 0 Fruit; 2 Fat; 0 Other Carbohydrates

As I placed the bowl in front of my husband, he exclaimed “wow! Regular pasta! We are on vacation!”. Yes. And I plan to attempt to ingest platters-ful of fried shrimp and fried fish and French fries in the next couple of weeks so I probably should have used the bag of whole wheat pasta which I bought. It would more than double this recipe’s fiber content. But, what the heck, I’m on vacation!

The winds have begun to pick up again, and it has started to rain. I have the urge to bake something. Maybe, in honor of Hanna, a something with some tropical flavors. Perhaps a banana bread with lime, and since I brought no packaged coconut, perhaps some coconut rum.

My posts for the next two weeks will be a bit sporadic, but I will be trying a couple of new recipes and will get them on this blog at one time or another! Be patient…


Nik Snacks said...

I'm glad you two are safe.

Yes, atmospheric pressure at it's finest does really weigh on you when you're outside. we just got a little bit of rain here. We thought it was going to be scary. Nah...

Oh, and the pasta is making me hungry!

napa farmhouse 1885 said... adventurous vacation! your recipes sound delicious..especially the banana bread with lime and coconut rum..please post the recipe after you give it a go..

Vicci said...

Nikki, I'm guessing that you are familiar with humidity! ;)

Diane, the banana bread wasn't quite what I wanted. It looked good, but there was something missing (which, of course, didn't deter us from consuming both loaves while we were on vacation). I'll keep working on it! And also, welcome. :)