I know this is a bit out of character for me, but every now and then I enjoy a good challenge. The folks over at Chobani reached out to inform me about their #MadeWithChobani campaign, and I was inspired by the idea. Perhaps I too, could create a healthy recipe. HEALTHY being the operative word. You can imagine the thoughts running through my head…
“Healthy?? What does that even mean?”
You get the idea. That said, I do enjoy Greek yogurt, so I figured I would give it a shot; not to mention I’m half Greek so if I can’t do it then who can, right?!
So…I came up with this pesto recipe and it turned out to be pretty awesome. I made it with spinach and basil, as opposed to just basil. Figured if I can squeeze in some more veggies and nutrition, might as well. Probably could use a good detoxing of my arteries anyway right before the holidays.
BONUS: I used the leftover Chobani pesto sauce and put it on top of a sesame rice cracker with a piece of the shrimp. Easy appetizer for entertaining! And not to mention a gluten free option. So if you would rather do this, just skip the pasta part and serve them up like so. They were delicious.
FUN FACT: Pesto can turn brown once it starts to oxidize (interacts with oxygen). Well, the Chobani kept it from doing that. I put the leftovers in a tupperware and the next morning it was just as pretty and green as it was the night before. Awesome.
Below is the recipe for the pasta, and I used whole wheat fettucine, which you can absolutely leave out and use regular. I prefer regular too, but I figured if I was going to be healthy, I wasn’t going to half-ass it. That said, I really wanted to put some crumbled bacon on top, but I refrained and used strips of sundried tomato instead. I thought it would resemble bacon, at the very least. Sadly, my mind was not tricked. Please note that sundried tomatoes are never a substitute for bacon. BECAUSE THERE IS NO SUBSTITUTE FOR BACON.
Enjoy and thanks to Chobani for the challenge!
1/2 lb medium shrimp, cleaned
1 lb whole wheat fettucine pasta
3/4 cup Chobani Plain Greek yogurt, 0%
1/4 tsp each of garlic powder, salt, and chili flakes (for shrimp)
1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
4 cups spinach
2 cups basil
1/2 cup walnuts
6 cloves garlic
1 cup grated parmesan cheese
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
Black pepper to taste
1 tbsp unsalted butter
5 sundried tomatoes packed in olive oil, sliced into strips
Grated parmesan cheese, for garnish (and snacking)
1. Make pesto. I had to do this in 2 batches, because my large food processor is broken, but if you don’t have this problem, throw the spinach, basil, garlic, walnuts, and cheese into the food processor and grind until it looks like a paste. If you have the option to drizzle in the olive oil while the food processor is running, do that. Otherwise just add it in and blend again. Scoop out and season with salt and pepper.
2. Boil water for the pasta. This takes a while.
3. Add the Chobani to the pesto and mix together. It should taste delicious and turn a vibrant green color.
4. Season the shrimp with the garlic, salt, and chili flakes. Toss together with 1 tsp of olive oil. Heat skillet to medium-high heat and when it’s hot, add the shrimp. Shrimp cook very quickly and this takes about 2 mins per side, if that. You’ll know when the shrimp are cooked when they start to turn opaque and pink and curl up. Flip them and cook on the other side for a minute or two. Set aside and don’t clean out the pan yet.
5. Add pasta to water and cook for 5-6 minutes if using the fresh stuff (I did). Otherwise, cook according to the directions on the box.
6. Take pasta out of the water and put directly into the skillet that you cooked the shrimp in. Add Chobani pesto and shrimp and toss around. Add a bit of pasta water to the skillet also – the starchy water helps bring the sauce together.
7. Swirl in the tbsp of butter. I’m sorry – you can take my bacon, but you can’t take my butter. Almost every pasta dish I know is finished off with a little butter to help give it that beautiful sheen. Not to mention it’s used in nearly every recipe for a reason (the NOM factor).
7. Plate your pasta into a bowl, add the sundried tomatoes and grated parm cheese on top.
8. Enjoy your healthy meal! I can’t believe I managed to enjoy something without bacon in it.
This recipe was created in partnership with Chobani for their #MadeWithChobani campaign. Thank you for your support!