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Tortellini with Lemon Artichoke Pesto, Chicken & Asparagus


I'm not really one for new year's resolutions, but I do like to think about some of the bad habits I have and start making better decisions.  One of those bad habits is getting too comfortable eating leftovers for lunches at work.  Every once in awhile this is OK, but since we eat a lot of heavy dinners, not always is it the best decision to replicate that same heavy meal at noon the next day. So, one thing I really need to work on, or resolve to do if you must say it, is planning my lunches when making up my weekly menu plan.

While looking through a cookbook that I bought from a local grocery store I came across this recipe and immediately fell in love.  I knew I needed to make it soon, and that it would be perfect for lunches since there are too many things in it that Rob wouldn't like (pesto, artichokes, asparagus to name a few and sadly he's not a huge fan of lemon or tortellini).

This turned out to be a great lunch, and I've just been keeping one big Pyrex container of it in the fridge to scoop from while snowed-in this week!  I also imagine this would make a great base for a pasta salad with some other short pasta like bow-ties!

Another quick little side note, the original recipe yields 4 servings, each at only 252 calories!  I did adjust the recipe some (adding the chicken and omitting cherry tomatoes), but still, those changes couldn't have made the calorie content sky rocket!

Tortellini with Lemon Artichoke Pesto, Chicken and Asparagus
Ingredients:1 package cheese-filled Tortellini (Frozen or dried)
1 lb. fresh asparagus, trimmed and cut into bite size pieces
1 clove of garlic
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves
7.5 ounce jar marinated artichoke hearts, drained with marinade reserved
3 Tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon lemon zest
2-3 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
S&P
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
1 cup shredded or cubed cooked chicken

Directions:
Boil the pasta as directed on packaging.  If using frozen, add asparagus right away and boil with the pasta.  If using dried pasta, add the asapargus during the last 5-6 minutes of boiling.

While boiling the pasta, chop garlic and basil in a food processor.  Add artichokes, cheese, lemon zest, lemon juice, S&P.  Process until smooth.

In a small bowl mix reserved marinade with Olive Oil.  Slow add to the pesto with the processor running on low until well combined.

Drain pasta and return to a large bowl.  Mix in chicken then toss in pesto.

Source: Adapted from Dierbergs Healthy Two



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