Tag Archives: fresh basil

Chicken Penne a la Vodka (minus the vodka)

Yes, Penne a la vodka with no vodka. I was inspired by chef Rocco DiSpirito with this recipe. It was his originally and I made it my own. He didn’t have chicken in his recipe. He uses whole-wheat pasta and I used my favorite Tofu Shirataki Noodles. Usually this recipe is loaded with heavy cream and vodka, making it very high in calories. This tasted just as good and you will never miss the vodka or cream. Honest! It is much lower in fat and since I have added chicken to mine it’s got more protein. I also added a little more marinara sauce than the recipe calls for so mine is a little more red than normal. Also I used 16 ounces (2 packages) of the Shirataki Noodles, next time I will use only 8 ounces (1 package) Mangia!


1 pound boneless chicken breast cut into 1-2″ strips or pieces

2-3 tablespoons olive oil

2-3 cloves garlic, chopped

12 ounces whole-wheat penne pasta (or 1 package Tofu Shirataki Noodles)

2½ cups low-fat, sugar-free marinara sauce (or your favorite light sauce)

¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes

7.1 ounce container 2% fat Greek-style yogurt (or any container close to that amount)

1 cup chopped fresh basil

salt and pepper to taste

6 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese


1. In a large saucepan sauté the garlic in the oil. When the garlic is lightly browned add the chicken and cook till browned. Remove chicken from pan and set aside.

2. If using whole wheat pasta  bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook according to package directions, about 9 minutes. If you are using the Shirataki Noodles follow package directions.

3. Meanwhile, in a large, nonstick sauté pan over medium heat, combine the marinara sauce and red pepper flakes and bring to a simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes or until it is reduced and slightly thickened.

4. Remove the marinara from the heat. In a small bowl, stir about ½ cup of the marinara into the Greek yogurt until it is smooth, to temper it, then whisk the yogurt mixture back into the marinara in the sauté pan.

5. Drain the pasta and add it to the pan, tossing to coat. (or add the Shirataki noodles) Add the chicken and toss to mix. Add the basil and season with salt and pepper, if necessary. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

Serves 6

Fresh Green Bean & Tomato Salad

I made this for the first time yesterday as part of a Thanksgiving in July dinner. Why did we have Thanksgiving in July? Because during Thanksgiving the turkeys are so inexpensive when they are on sale it makes sense to buy one, even if you don’t plan on cooking Thanksgiving dinner. I got a 16.81lb turkey for only $10.06! How could I resist! The only problem though is that it takes up my entire spare freezer! So we cooked it up! And since there were just the two of us I didn’t go crazy with the calorie laden sides. Just made the turkey, mashed potatoes of course, cranberry sauce, gravy and this green bean-tomato salad. It can be served at room temperature or chilled. Either way it tastes great and is a better choice than the traditional green bean casserole! This recipe serves 4 but I thought it would be too much for just us so I cut it in half. Still had leftovers! It was so good!


1 pound fresh green beans, washed, trimmed and cut in half

1½ teaspoons salt, divided

4 large plum tomatoes, cut into chunks

1 clove garlic, chopped

¼ cup chopped fresh basil

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

2 tablespoons parmesan cheese


1. Place the prepared beans in a large saucepan. Add 1 teaspoon salt and enough water to cover the beans. Bring to a boil over high heat and cook, covered, for 6-8 minutes, or until tender. Drain well.

2. In the meantime in a large salad bowl, combine the tomatoes, basil, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic and remaining ½ teaspoon of salt. Mix well.

3. Add the drained green beans and toss. Sprinkle with the parmesan cheese.

Serve immediately at room temperature or cover and chill until ready to use.

Dining with Donald

Donald on Dining in and Out.

Cruise Ship Recipes at Home

How do I Make That?

Rachael Ray

It's Not Just Popcorn!

Joanne Eats Well With Others

It's Not Just Popcorn!

Garlic Girl

It's Not Just Popcorn!

BuzzFeed - Tasty

It's Not Just Popcorn!

An Edible Mosaic™

It's Not Just Popcorn!

StephenKing.com - Latest News

It's Not Just Popcorn!


It's Not Just Popcorn!

Big Bear's Wife

It's Not Just Popcorn!

Cinnamon Spice & Everything Nice

It's Not Just Popcorn!

The Weekend Gourmet

It's Not Just Popcorn!


It's Not Just Popcorn!

What's Cooking at the Genua's?

It's Not Just Popcorn!

Chef in Training

A great place to find easy, delicious and family friendly recipes.

The Pioneer Woman

Plowing through Life in the Country...One Calf Nut at a Time

that's what she eats.

aubrey johansen.

Simply Recipes

It's Not Just Popcorn!

It's Not Just Popcorn!



Sluggo's Escapades

What's Sluggo up to today?


A Girl, Her Blog, and Lots of Food Pictures!

%d bloggers like this: