Healthy Cook

Spring Ahead

by Kate Sherwood, May 2009

  • Print

Got a question or suggestion? Write to

Chicken with Artichokes & Peas

boneless, skinless chicken breast
1 lb.
extra-virgin olive oil, divided
3 Tbs.
shallots, minced
whole wheat flour
1 tsp.
low-sodium chicken broth
1 cup
Kosher salt
½ tsp.
jars marinated artichokehearts
26 oz.
low-fat (light) sour cream
¼ cup
cooked brown rice or other whole
3 cups
peas, fresh or thawed from frozen
2 cups
Freshly ground black pepper

Place the chicken in a plastic bag and pound to an even ½" thickness. Pat the chicken dry. In a large non-stick pan over medium heat, sauté the chicken in 1 Tbs. olive oil until golden brown, about 3 minutes per side. Remove to a plate. Add the remaining 2 Tbs. of oil to the pan and sauté the shallots for 2 minutes. Sprinkle with the flour and cook for 1 minute. Stir in the broth, salt, and pepper and bring to a boil. Add the artichokes and heat through. Reduce the heat to low and stir in the sour cream. Return the chicken to the pan and heat through. Toss the rice and peas together and heat in a micowave-safe container until hot. Serve with the chicken and sauce. Serves 4.

PER SERVING (3 cups)

  • Calories: 520
  • Total Fat: 20 g
  • Sat Fat: 3 g
  • Protein: 34 g
  • Sodium: 490 mg
  • Cholesterol: 70 mg
  • Carbohydrates: 54 g
  • Fiber: 8 g

Salmon and Roasted Veggies

small potatoes, cut into bite-size pieces
1 lb.
asparagus spears, trimmed and cut into 2" pieces
1 1b.
red bell pepper, chopped
extra virgin olive oil
1 tbs.
Kosher salt, divided
½ tsp.
6 oz pieces salmon or artic char
¼ cup
grainy Dijon mustard
1 tbs.
Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored, and chopped
salk celery heart, chopped
fresh lemon juice
1 tbs.
Freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 425° F. Toss the potatoes, asparagus, and pepper with the oil in a baking dish and roast until golden brown and tender, about 20 minutes, stirring once. Season with pepper and ¼ tsp. of salt and set aside. Heat a large non-stick pan on medium until moderately hot. Sauté the salmon for 4 minutes on the flesh side. Flip and sauté on the skin side for 3-5 minutes more. Make a sauce by puréeing the mayonnaise, mustard, apple, celery heart, lemon juice, and ¼ tsp. of salt in a food processor. Top the salmon with the sauce. Serve with the roasted vegetables. Serves 4.

PER SERVING (3 cups)

  • Calories: 470
  • Total Fat: 21 g
  • Sat Fat: 3.5 g
  • Protein: 39 g
  • Sodium: 520 mg
  • Cholesterol: 90 mg
  • Carbohydrates: 27 g
  • Fiber: 6 g

Spring Vegetable Pesto Pasta

You can toast the garlic and pine nuts in a toaster oven. Just watch them closely. They can easily burn.

cloves garlic
pine nuts
1/3 cup
whole wheat fusilli or penne pasta
¾ lb.
thin asparaus spears, trimmed and cut into 2" pieces
1 lb.
peas, fresh or thawed from frozen, divided
2 cups
basil, stems discarded (about 5 loosely packed)
6 oz.
sprigs mint, stems discarded (about 1 cup loosely packed)
freshly grated Parmesan (½ - ¾, depending on the grater) divided
1 oz.
extra-version olive oil
¼ cup
Kosher salt, divided
1 tsp.
Freshly ground black pepper

Spring Vegetable Pesto Pasta

Preheat the oven to 300° F. Lightly brush or spray the garlic with oil. Roast the garlic with the pine nuts on a baking sheet until the nuts are golden brown and the garlic has softened, about 12 minutes. Boil the pasta in a large pot of water. Add the asparagus 2 minutes before the pasta is finished cooking. Add 1½ cups of the peas when the pasta is done. Turn off the burner, drain the pasta and vegetables, and return them to the pot. While the pasta is cooking, make the pesto. In a food processor, pulse the roasted garlic and pine nuts with the basil, mint, ½ cup of peas, half the Parmesan, and the oil until uniformly chopped. Season with the pepper and ½ tsp. of salt. Scoop out ½ cup of the pasta water and stir it into the pesto. Toss the pasta and vegetables with the pesto. Serve immediately sprinkled with the remaining ½ tsp. of salt and the remaining Parmesan. Serves 4.

PER SERVING (3 cups)

  • Calories: 480
  • Total Fat: 19 g
  • Sat Fat: 3.5 g
  • Protein: 20 g
  • Sodium: 500 mg
  • Cholesterol: 10 mg
  • Carbohydrates: 65 g
  • Fiber: 12 g


To watch Kate prepare the Spring Vegetable Pesto Pasta, go to or

Download This Article

This article is reprinted from the May issue of Nutrition Action Healthletter. To view the full content click below.

Download Now

Request permission to reuse content

The use of information from this site for commercial purposes is strictly prohibited without written permission from CSPI.