School has begun and now between sports and tons of homework we are super busy. Speaking of school, what is it with all the homework?! My kids both do after school sports, so homework usually begins around 5 with a break for dinner. Last night my guys were up until 1030 and 1130 doing homework! Is that insane or what?! Sadly, it was my 7th grader who was up the latest. I do believe there are many positive benefits of doing homework such as better retention of knowledge, increased understanding, and developing good study habits. When I was becoming certified teacher I read a lot of research on homework and found that it was most often suggested that students should receive about 10 minutes of homework each night for each grade. So, if they are in 5th grade they should have about 50 minutes of homework, 7th grade would be 70 minutes, and so on. This doesn’t seem to be the case in our schools. I do believe our schools provide my kids with an excellent education, but think there needs to be a better balance. Attempting to balance my wanting to be available for my kids and wanting to feed them a healthy meal, I find that I need meals that are quick and easy to cook like my Creamy Cajun Chicken Pasta…
Quick and easy are always at the top of my list of meal requirements. I really love to cook, but don’t want to spend hours preparing and cooking. Chicken breast is my go-to lean meat for quick cooking meals.
Chicken breasts are a good source of protein and low in fat. The protein supplies the body with needed amino acids to aid in growth and repair. Chicken breast are a good source of Vitamin B6 and Niacin, which are needed in order to convert food into energy our bodies can use. Chicken breast also contains iron, needed to transport oxygen in our blood.
To cut both fat and calories, trim away visible fat and remove skin. Chicken with skin has up to 55% more fat than skin-less, so if you are looking to reduce fat remove the skin.
Chicken Breast Nutrition
Protein 25 g
Phosphorus 248 mg
Potassium 437 mg
Vitamin A 35 IU
Vitamin D 6 IU
I like to replace sour cream or heavy cream with greek yogurt. It adds another nice layer of flavor and extra protein to any meal.
- ½ lb fettuccine pasta
- 1 lb chicken breast, trimmed and cut into 1" pieces
- 2 tsp cajun seasoning
- ¼ tsp cayenne
- ½ tsp dried basil
- ½ tsp dried oregano
- ½ tsp paprika
- ¼ tsp kosher salt
- ¼ tsp pepper
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- ½ tsp onion powder
- ½ lb baby bella mushrooms, quartered
- 2 garlic cloves, pressed
- 1 Tbsp tomato paste
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 2 cups fresh baby spinach
- ½ cup 2% plain greek yogurt
- Olive oil
- Prepare pasta according to package directions.
- In a small bowl combine cajun seasoning through onion powder. Reserve 2 tsp of seasoning for sauce.
- Add tablespoon of olive oil to the large skillet over medium heat, add the mushrooms and sauté until browned. Remove from the pan and keep warm.
- In a large bag combine chicken breast pieces with the seasoning mix.
- Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add chicken and sauce until cooked through, about 5-7 minutes. Remove from pan and keep warm with mushrooms.
- Add the garlic and tomato paste; sauté until just until fragrant. Add the chicken broth to deglaze the pan. Add the reserved seasoning to the pan.
- Return the chicken and mushrooms to the pan; bring to a low boil.
- Top with spinach, reduce heat to medium low and cover. Simmer for 4-5 minutes or until spinach has wilted.
- Remove pan from heat.
- Stir in a little of the warm broth to the yogurt.
- Push chicken mixture to one side and stir in greek yogurt to the broth. Stir to combine with chicken.
- Serve over prepared noodles.
Yum! This Creamy Cajun Chicken is not only delicious, but it is loaded with great nutrients! My dish is a combination of flavorful spices, lean chicken breast, fresh baby spinach, baby portobello mushroom, and greek yogurt. The greek yogurt adds extra protein and is the perfect compliment to a little spicy kick. This dish is filling, flavorful, and best of all quick cooking.