Life + Style

July 15, 2013

Meal Planning: Penne Pasta with Grilled Chicken and Vegetables

I get a lot of emails and comments asking how we eat in our house and how I've lost all my baby weight.  The easy answer is that we eat pretty clean and almost entirely dairy free.  It's made a huge difference in our healthy and our waist-lines.  Aside from feta cheese made with goat's milk we don't keep any dairy in the house.  None at all.  No butter, no cheese, nothing.  Honestly, it was crazy hard  at first but it's getting easier.  I don't miss it at all anymore.  And I sneak it in with pizza or ice-cream sometimes.  Keeping it real.  But overall, we're eating more fresh ingredients and a cleaner palate.  I like that.  I make this dish at least three nights a week and save out some that's entirely feta free for the allergy kids.  They love it!  I also substitute the vegetables so it feels like a different meal.


1 package of boneless skinless chicken breast (minimally processed)
*you can also use a rotisserie chicken
1 bag of frozen sugar snap peas
1 box of penne pasta (with added fiber)
1 small container of feta cheese
Brianna's Blush Vinaigrette
Salt and Pepper
Mrs. Dash (Salt-free) Seasoning
Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Clean and cut the chicken
Pound the chicken (this step is new to me and the only way I cook chicken breasts now)
Sprinkle one side with Mrs. Dash
Set aside

Cook the pasta according to the directions on the box. I don't like mine al dente so I tend to cook for 12 minutes.  Remove from heat and drain.  Do not rinse.  Transfer the pasta to a new bowl and coat with Brianna's rose vinaigrette.  I start with a tablespoon at a time until I reach my desired consistency.  I really just use this to loosen up and coat the pasta.  Set aside.

Place a grill pan on the stove top and turn on medium heat
When the pan is good and hot add just a swirl of olive oil to coat the pan
Place the chicken plain side down on the grill pan for just a second to grab a coating of olive oil and sear then flip it so that the seasoned side is down.  Sprinkle the top with more Mrs. Dash. Continue to cook until almost finished.  Begin to chop the chicken while still in the grill pan so that all the little pieces are good and grilled.  Remove from heat and set aside

While the Chicken is cooking, open a package of frozen sugar snap peas and boil or microwave according to directions.  I don't use a microwave so I steam the "microwave in the bag" frozen peas with my steamer pot on the stove top.  When this is finished cooking (about 10 minutes) i remove them from the stove to drain and cut up the peas into bite sized pieces directly in the drain pot. Add to the pasta bowl.

Also while the pasta and chicken are cooking, chop the feta cheese.  It usually is sold in crumbles but I like to chop it further.  Set aside until pasta is finished cooking and coated with Brianna's dressing.

Add in the chopped grilled chicken and toss.  Add another tablespoon or so of Brianna's dressing.  This dish is delicious served warm immediately and also as a cold dish with the leftovers the next day.  

I'm going to work on a substitute for the feta cheese so this will be a completely dairy free meal.  It makes a lot of food so it would be perfect to bring to a new mom.



  1. This looks awesome! so proud of you and your cooking skills!
    xo Nancy

  2. mmmm this looks so delicious! xo

  3. This looks delicious!!! I will definitely have try it this week :)

    Happy Monday!

  4. Looks so good and easy too, always a bonus!!

  5. This looks delish! I love pasta, I swear I could eat it 7x/week.

  6. that's it. one step closer to cutting out dairy. deep breaths.

  7. This looks delicioso and simple! For those that don't have a dairy aversion but are avoiding it because of chemicals and such, you could always try pastured, aka grass fed, dairy. It's actually very good for you. Especially if it's raw.

  8. I LOVE your posts:) and I always leave your blog with a big smile.

    Check out my new summer post and have a great day dear:)

    LOVE Maria from


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