Cook it Light — Mediterranean spaghetti

Dear Jeanne,

I know this seems very healthy, but there are so many calories! How can I reduce the calories and keep a decent-size portion? — Olivia, Riverside, Calif.

 

Dear Olivia,

This is a great time of year to make this recipe, because zucchini are abundant! If you have never tried it, you must try adding zucchini “pasta” to your other pasta, or even replacing it entirely. It cooks literally in two minutes, and I have never had a complaint (even from people who don’t think they like zucchini!). There are several ways to produce the strands: You can buy a gadget that will make zucchini into spirals for you very easily, or you can use a mandoline with a julienne blade, or you can cut the zucchini very thin lengthwise and then stack the slices and cut them into matchsticks.

 

MEDITERRANEAN SPAGHETTI

 

1/3 cup lemon juice

2 cloves garlic, pressed or minced

1/2 teaspoon lemon zest

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, crushed

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into thin strips (1/4 inch by 2 inches)

4 ounces thin whole-grain spaghetti

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/2 cup onion, chopped

1 large red pepper, cut into thin strips

1 clove garlic, pressed or minced

1-2 zucchini, cut into ribbons

1-2 yellow squash, cut into ribbons

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

3/4 cup fat-free chicken broth

1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch

1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped

4 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese

 

1. In a medium-size bowl, combine the lemon juice, garlic, lemon zest, dried oregano and chicken-breast strips. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

2. Cook the pasta, drain and set aside.

3. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet. Saute the onion over medium-high heat until softened, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add the chicken and cook until no longer pink inside, another 7 minutes or so. Add the red pepper and garlic, and cook until the pepper is softened, about 2 minutes.

4. Add the squash ribbons all at once, and sprinkle with the salt and pepper. Stir and cook for 1 minute.

5. Combine the chicken broth and cornstarch, and add to the pan. Stir until thickened, clear and bubbly. Add the basil and pasta, and toss. Serve with 1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese per serving.

 

Makes 4 servings.

 

Each serving contains approximately: Original Recipe: 833 calories; 30 gm fat; 71 mg cholesterol; 1,151 mg sodium; 93 gm carbohydrates; 45 gm protein; 4 gm fiber. Revised Recipe: 329 calories; 9 gm fat; 73 mg cholesterol; 429 mg sodium; 32 gm carbohydrates; 34 gm protein; 5 gm fiber.

 

 


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