Friday, December 21, 2012

Monday Night Dinners with Grandma

First of all, I realize it's Friday.  Usually "Dinner with Grandma" happens on Monday.  This week was different.  Sue me.

Secondly, I know it's been a long while since I've posted.  I've been trying to eat South Beach style and thus I have felt uninspired by my cooking.  Don't get me wrong...I'm still trying to lose weight and just be healthier all around, and I haven't completely abandoned SB.  I'm just loosening up a little.

Like I'll have a cookie. ;-)

Anywhoo, Josh and I have dinner once a week with his grandmother (hence today's post.)  Actually I spend part of the day with Grandma, come home make dinner, and go back with Josh after work.

I'm really feeling good about tonight's dinner.  I don't usually think that I've tinkered with a recipe enough to call it my own, but there's a first time for everything.

Let me give you the posted recipe first (from; then I'll give you my changes/additions/subtractions.  You tell me what you think.

Lemon Pasta with Chicken and Pine Nuts


  • 2 tablespoons plus 2/3 cup canola oil or vegetable oil
  • 3/4 pound skinless boneless chicken breast halves

  • 12 ounces lemon-pepper fettuccine or regular fettuccine
  • 2 1/2 cups snow peas (about 5 ounces), cut into matchstick-size strips
  • 3/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
  • 3/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley

  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons Dijon mustard


Heat 1 tablespoon oil in large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add chicken and sauté until cooked through, about 5 minutes per side. Cool. Cut chicken crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick strips.
Cook pasta in large pot of boiling salted water until tender but still firm to bite. Drain well; transfer to large bowl. Add 1 tablespoon oil; toss to coat. Add chicken, snow peas, pine nuts and parsley; toss to incorporate all ingredients.
Whisk lemon juice and mustard in medium bowl. Add remaining 3/4 cup oil in thin stream, whisking constantly. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Toss pasta with enough dressing to coat. (Can be made 3 hours ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Toss before serving.)

So, for my version I began by marinating my chicken breast in the zest and juice of one lemon,  about  a T of EVOO, one large, thinly slice clove of garlic, and a few grinds of black pepper.
Next, I cut up a head of broccoli (into small for florets for Grandma); put the pasta water on to boil (I used bow-ties); and then I made the dressing.  
Now for the dressing, I used the zest of one lemon and the juice of two, about 3 T of dijon mustard, 3-5 grinds black pepper, enough EVOO to cut the bitter lemoness of it and 1/2 tsp of garlic powder.
I cooked the broccoli with  the pasta but I pulled it out 5 minutes shy of the pasta being done.  I sliced my chicken before sauteeing it another T of EVOO and added the remaining marinade to the pan before cooking.
Finally, I drained the pasta and returned it to the pot; added the chicken and broccoli and tossed well with the dressing. 

Right now, it's all chilling in the fridge.

I hope everyone likes it, because it's the perfect meal to take to Grandma.  Protein, veg., and grain in one fell swoop.

So I leave you with 3 questions:

1.  Is my recipe original
2 . If it is, what do I call it
3.  What are you having for dinner tonight?

happy cooking