Thursday, September 2, 2010

Chicken Sausage Penne (Dreamfields Pasta)

I tried some of this pasta about 5 years ago and I didn't care for it then, but I liked it this time. You have to be careful in the cooking process and not cook it too long or it can make more of the carbs be digestible. There is also some debate over reheating it and baking it once it is boiled can have the same effect.

I was only cooking the low carb stuff for myself so I split the box of 6 servings of pasta into 2 bowls. Yes, I actually counted the dry noodles to make sure it was even..... Someone saw me doing this and laughed at me, but I take my food tracking seriously since getting closer to my goal and working out more I pay attention to everything that I consume in a day. But when I first started I only counted carbs. I was getting dizzy at the gym because I was only eating 700 to 900 calories per day, which is way too low..... I was not trying to be that low, it just happened over time with me cutting my portion sizes down. Anyway, I don't eat it unless I add it to my tracker now.

This isn't a "Low Carb" sauce per say, but out of the entire grocery store selection it was the one with the lowest carbs on the shelf at 4 carbs per 1/2 cup:  (and yes Fanny Meat Sauce made me giggle a bit)

I put the extra pasta in a sandwich bag to cook another time and I put half the jar of sauce in a container and put it in the freezer:

The cooked pasta. I boiled it for exactly 10 minutes, turned the heat off at 9 minutes and it was still boiling at 10 minutes. I drained it right away and hit it with the kitchen sprayer with cold water immediately. This stops the cooking process and keeps the pasta from breaking down into the stage where your body can absorb more carbs. I rinsed it for a few minutes, drained it and let it sit in a separate bowl without any hot ingredients touching it:

The Grilled Chicken Breasts, seasoned with Fresh Ground Black Pepper, Garlic and Italian Seasoning:

The Chicken cut up and ready to go in the sauce. I used 12 ounces of chicken::

Half the jar of sauce before the chicken went in it. (If I make this dish without the pasta then I would add grilled onions, bell pepper and fresh garlic to the sauce, but I didn't want extra carbs and didn't feel like chopping them all up and didn't really have time to either.):

The sauce with the chicken added in:

The cheese was added to the sauce, I used 1 cup of Mozzarella and 4 Italian Sausage links were cooked and then chopped up and added to the sauce. I nuked the sauce and cheese for a minute before adding the sausage:

Then I separated the sauce, sausage, cheese and chicken mixture into 4 equal portions, about 1 cup each:

Then I separated the pasta into 4 equal portions and yes I counted the noodles again....I put the 3 extra servings in the fridge for later with the extra sauce/meat/cheese mixtures.
My thoughts behind keeping them separate is so that when I go to re-heat them I can just nuke the sauce mixture and not nuke the pasta. Then I can make sure the sauce is not too warn and stir in the pasta and eat it right away. I have worked too hard and I am far too strict on myself to take a chance in overheating the pasta to where it has a negative effect on me. You don't have to be as strict as I am, this is just my choice. I have also broken this down into 8 total servings per box and jar of sauce, when it should be 6 servings. So you could also eat more then this if you wanted to. I would rather keep my portion of the pasta smaller and then eat some green beans or a salad if I wanted something else with it.

Here is the finished product, it was yummy.
 Chicken Sausage Penne:

I cooked this Monday night and had it again on Tuesday night. It was still the same size portion right about 2 cups but I put it on a dinner plate instead of in a bowl just for visual comparison. I figured most people eat their dinner on a dinner plate instead of a 2 cup bowl or a salad plate. I also added green beans and it was too much food for me to eat at once. I got full, but a few hours later I was hungry again so I finished the rest of it then. I could have easily broken this down into 5 servings instead of 4 and just add a small side salad. Which would make 10 servings per box/jar instead of 8 or even the suggested serving size of 6 servings per box/jar. Also the keeping the pasta separate for reheating worked very well. So far I have not seen any ill effects from this low carb pasta, but it was also cooked correctly. I would just suggest being careful with it so it doesn't over cook and then limit yourself, it is good and it would be easy to keep going back for more. I wouldn't recommend it on induction. But it is a nice treat once in awhile on on going weight loss or maintenance for sure.

This is what was left that I ate a few hours later, I didn't reheat it, I just ate it cold and it was still good. I don't sleep much and I am awake really late so I am not afraid of having a snack at night if I am hungry and going to be awake for awhile.

This is the excel spreadsheet that I used to figure out the nutrition information per each serving based on my serving size. Again, don't let this part scare you, to do low carb you only have to count carbs, not calories and everything else. I do this extra work for me because I like to keep track of the data so I can look at it later. I use FitDay, there is a link to it on the right in the side bar.


  1. Loving your blog CJ! Can you go over some of the meals you ate when you were really losing weight at the beginning?

  2. Looks so Yummy! I can hold out on this I think til owl maybe?

  3. Sure Izzy, I will probably be posting some more induction friendly meal ideas in a few days.

    Loveblossomz..... it is definitely not an induction food that's for sure and girl, you are doing so well just go eat some peperoni slices with melted cheese and tell yourself if you break your 18 day streak of no cheating then CJ is gonna come down there and kick your already shrinking butt!!! <3