Sunday, June 13, 2010

Fast, Simple and Beautiful

Here is another recipe I have made frequently for my family and for many guests.  A friend Val served me a similar meal years ago and since then I have been adjusting it and now the final change was the sugar-free dressing choice. Thanks Val for that first meal!  This is seriously one of our favorites due to the beauty of colors, the taste and then the simplicity of making something spectacular!  Just look at that color - it certainly inspires me and I hope it will you too. 

Sundried-Tomato Chicken 
Pasta with Feta
3 cups uncooked Brown Rice Penne Pasta*
3 - 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts *
1/2 red onion - diced
1 zucchini - diced
1 yellow pepper (or color of your choice) - diced
1 1/2 cups carrots -peeled and diced
1/4 - 1/3 cup Sundried Tomatoes* - cut into bite-sized pieces
1/4 - 1/2 cup Sundried Tomato dressing - Renee's brand *
1/2 cup Feta Cheese - crumbled
* = see Cook's notes below

Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling, salted water according to directions.

Using a large skillet, heat the skillet and add 2 tbsp of  dressing and the diced chicken pieces.  Cook until the chicken is no longer pink and remove the meat from the skillet to cook the veggies.  Add another 2 - 3 Tbsp of the dressing and add the onions, peppers, zucchini and carrots and cook for another 5 - 7 minutes or until tender. 
Add the sundried tomato pieces, olives (if using) and return the meat to the pan.  Add more dressing if needed but it should not be dripping in the sauce.  Stir and cook until heated through. 
To serve, layer the pasta with the veggies and chicken and top with crumbled feta.

Cook's Notes:
Pasta: My preference for pasta is brown rice pasta.  I only cook mine for 7 minutes once the water boils and the pasta is added.  If you overcook your rice pasta, it will go mushy and tastes terrible.  Please check your brand directions and always use a timer! is not worth ruined pasta.

Chicken: You have other options for chicken here.  It really tastes delicious and fancy to marinate the chicken breasts in the dressing (just enough to coat them) for an hour or more and then BBQ the chicken.  Slice the breasts and lay over the plate.  The other thing we do is buy sundried tomato chicken sausage and use that with this meal.  So take your pick.

Dressing:Renee's Gourmet Sundried Tomato and Black Olive dressing is one that contains no added sugars so it is all I buy.  You can find this in the cooler section of the produce department of larger grocery stores.  One could use other Sundried Tomato dressings or even Italian dressing in a pinch, but know it will likely contain sugars of some sort.  Read the ingredient list and remember dextrose is a sugar.  

Sundried Tomatoes: These can be purchased dry or in oil.  For obvious reasons, the dry ones are the healthier option and even in oil, some brands will add sugar as well.  If using the dry ones, they suggest soaking them in hot water for a few minutes before using.  I have done this water soaking but in a pinch, I have also used them without soaking them first.  Makes for a faster supper.  And for cutting up the tomatoes, don't forget you can use a scissor instead of a knife if you prefer.


  1. Finally made this last night, all the way down to the brown rice pasta. Amazing! Another keeper. I wasn't sure about the pasta at first. Thought it was kind of gross when I tried it plain, but mixed in all together, it was very very good!

  2. i love the fact that you are choosing to use rice pasta. awesome.