Clean Eating Chicken & Spinach Penne

Today was one of those days where I hit the ground running from the moment I woke up and didn’t stop until I got home after work. Lots of meetings and paperwork to fill out today and it seemed like it was just one thing after another. Whew!

When I got home, I wanted something quick, easy, and yummy for dinner so that I would have some time to relax this evening. I found a recipe on Cassie’s Back to Her Roots blog and I easily adapted it to be more “clean” and to accommodate the things I had in my pantry.

You can find the original recipe here. Cassie’s recipe calls for shrimp, but I’m not a big seafood fan and I had chicken on hand so that’s what I used. I also did not add mushrooms, salt, or pepper. I can’t say I used her recipe too closely with cook time/measurements, but it served as a wonderful guide for this meal.

First up, I boiled some water and put in a box of 100% whole wheat penne. While that was cooking, I diced up some tomatoes and threw them in a large skillet with a small amount of extra virgin olive oil, some minced garlic, and a few dashes of crushed red pepper flakes. I did not use much oil because the tomatoes produced a lot of natural juices.

I sauteed them for a minute or two and then added some chicken (I diced the chicken up nice and small). Once the chicken was cooked, I added finely chopped spinach. (Mmmm! I LOVE spinach!)

Once everything was cooked, I added a 6 oz container of plain Greek Yogurt and about half a jar of my mom’s homemade spaghetti sauce. Her sauce has a bit of a spicy kick, which complimented the red pepper flakes perfectly! I also love using her spaghetti sauce because I know exactly what goes into it (hint: no preservatives or added salt).

Lastly, I added the cooked penne back in and stirred it all around. The whole thing took 15 minutes and it was deee-licious!! Simple, quick, and easy! Also nice and clean. πŸ™‚ Definite success!

And now, off to relax with the hubster and pup. No better way to relax than that!

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I don’t know about you, but I think fall is going by entirely too fast. I’m not ready for dreary winter weather! I needed some fall colors in today’s outfit!

Sweater: Maurices

Cami: Maurices

Khakis: Maurices (Hmm…I may be obsessed with that store)

Ballet Flats: Kohls

Necklace: Express

Bow belt: Honestly, I got this at a Plato’s closet and it has no tag. But I love it!

Friends + Thanksgiving = Friendsgiving

“Friendsgiving” is finally here!

Tonight we got together with a bunch of friends from the medical school for a Thanksgiving feast. Β This event is awesome for three major reasons:

1- We have pretty awesome friends and it’s always fun to hang out as a group.

2- There was a lot of delicious food.

3- Tomorrow, I am allowed to decorate for Christmas! (Waiting until after the actual Thanksgiving day is just too long for a Christmas lover like myself so Justin and I agreed Friendsgiving is technically close enough to count)

I told the host of our Thanksgiving meal, Kara, that I’d be willing to bring green bean casserole, apple pie, and rolls. I wanted to bring traditional dishes using healthy recipes (same taste, better for you!) Lately, I have been trying to incorporate more clean eating into Justin and my diets. We don’t often eat out and we rarely have junk food, but I cook a lot and I find myself using a lot of processed ingredients/foods in our meals. I’ve been researching a lot about eating clean (I’ll save my findings for another blog post) and have been trying to use recipes that are clean.

I was lucky enough to find some yummy (and SIMPLE) clean recipes on The Gracious Pantry blog. I woke up early to get the rolls done this morning, and got the others got done after school. It really helped that the casserole and pie bake for almost the same amount of time at the same temperature so they could be in the oven together.

Green bean casserole recipe here. I used my mom’s home-grown, canned beans for an extra amount of deliciousness!

Rolls recipe here. I didn’t have pastry flour, so I used whole wheat flour and they turned out a bit harder/dense than I would’ve liked,Β  but they were yummy when softened! I warmed them in the oven for a few minutes right before dinner.

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Apple pie recipe here. I did make my own crust using this recipe! I actually really enjoy baking and this recipe was a fun one to try. The actual recipe calls for a second crust covering the whole pie, but I didn’t have quite enough crust so I just cut the remaining dough in strips and criss-crossed it.

The thing I like most about these recipes is that they are simple and do not call for a ton of unusual ingredients. Sometimes healthy recipes call for things I’ve never even heard of, but these were all made with staples in my kitchen!Β  I have a feeling I will be using The Gracious Pantry a lot in the future!

Now that I’m stuffed to the max, I’m going to go relax with my hubby and plan out where I’m going to hang all my Christmas decorations tomorrow.Β Happy Hump Day/Friendsgiving Day!

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Because I was up early preparing the rolls for Friendsgiving, I did not have much time to throw together an outfit. I chose some simple, solid layers and a colorful necklace as my statement piece.

Shirt: Express

Sweater: Express

Pants: Maurices

Shoes: Fegalicious by Fergie

Necklace: Premier Jewelry