Tuesday, August 9, 2011

"Fitness" Magazine?

Tonight's recipe comes courtesy of Fitness Magazine. Although the recipe was easy to prepare and very tasty, I have to question some of Fitness' choices and the way the recipe was written.

Since you asked - here's what I'm referring to:
  • WHY oh WHY doesn't Fitness include the following in its stats: Sodium content, a complete breakdown of fats, cholesterol - things that are pretty basic?
  • Why doesn't the recipe include serving size? Eyeballing portions can often result them being on the big side (at least for me), so I love it when recipes include exact serving sizes - and healthy recipes should.
  • And finally, why in the world does the recipe call for adding salt to the pasta while boiling? Seriously?
I have both emailed and tweeted at Fitness Magazine before re: the above (maybe I need a hobby?), but no response. Meh.

I will now climb down from my soapbox and get to the food.

I've had this recipe in my files for about a year. It is nicely organized in the "chicken" binder, sheet protector and all (YES, I am that anal), but I always flipped right by it. So when doing my planning for the week, I decided to finally give it a whirl.

Lemony Fusilli with Chicken, Zucchini and Pine Nuts
Source: Fitness Magazine, June 2010

  • 3 tsp salt (OMIT!)
  • 8oz whole wheat fusilli
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 slender zucchini, halved lengthwise, sliced into 1/4-inch thick pieces (I used one)
  • 5 scallions, chopped
  • 1/4 c. pine nuts
  • 1 lemon, rind peeled in strips
  • Small pinch red pepper flakes
  • 12oz boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 5 large basil leaves, sliced
  • 1/4 c. grated Parmesan cheese (optional - but really, is cheese ever optional? Not in my world)
  • Bring a large pot of water with 2 tsp salt to a boil, add the fusilli. Cook until al dente.
  • Warm 1 tbsp of the olive oil in a large skillet over high heat. Add the zucchini, scallions, pine nuts, lemon peel and red pepper flakes and 1/2 tsp of the salt; cook, tossing frequently, until zucchini is well browned and tender, about 5 minutes.
  • Use a slotted spoon spoon to transfer zucchini to a serving bowl. Remove lemon peel from pan. Mince 1/2 tsp of the peel and discard the rest. Squeeze half the lemon over the zucchini.
  • Turn heat to medium-high and swirl in the remaining olive oil. Add the chicken, minced lemon peel and remaining salt and cook, stirring, until golden, about 7 minutes.
  • Drain the fusilli, reserving 1/4 c of the cooking water. Add fusilli, zucchini and reserved cooking water to skillet. Cook 1-2 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and top with the basil and Parmesan cheese.
Yield: 4 servings
Per serving: 426 calories; 32g protein; 49g carbs; 14g fat (2.2g saturated); 6g fiber
Note: I made the assumption of 4oz of chicken + 4oz of pasta/zucchini mixture for my serving.

Despite my initial complaints, we enjoyed the meal. Overall, the recipe was fairly easy to prepare. I skipped the "mincing of the lemon peel" part, because I just didn't feel like dealing with it. I still tasted plenty of lemon in the dish. This was also the first time that the kid tried zucchini, and both he and the hubs liked it, as well as enjoyed the overall dish. The hubs also really liked the pine nuts, but honestly, pine nuts are pretty expensive ($9 for a small container) so unless I can dig up more pine nut recipes (or if any of my readers have any suggestions), this ingredient seems kind of like a waste.

Ooops - forgot to add the picture!

1 comment:

  1. This recipe sounds delicious. A photo of this dish would help a lot though...