Healthy Creamy Shrimp Penne Recipe

>> Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Seafood Penne

Since I’ve been running so much lately, I’ve been getting some pretty bad sugar cravings which was another way my body was telling me that I wasn’t getting enough carbohydrates in my diet. I figured it was time that I needed to rectify that situation since I couldn’t keep raiding my pantry every night for candy and goodies. So last week after work I took a quick peek in my fridge to see what I had to work with, there really wasn’t much.

I have a good explanation for that. It’s been a while since I’ve been to the market because my husband was out of town and my parents have been more than willing to cook, there really was no need to. Ok, so I was lazy and didn’t go to the supermarket myself, but at least I was cooking myself dinner and not just going back to the parent’s again.

In order to satisfy my carbohydrate calling with what I had and the time I had before my stomach digested itself, I decided on a quick and seemingly indulgent recipe (the creaminess makes you think that). Using light cream cheese to substitute the original full fat heavy cream and cheese sauce used to make regular creamy pasta sauces, it really lightened up the whole dish. Plus, it made for a healthier dish without losing the taste and texture of regular creamy sauces.

Nutritional Tidbit: Recent research has been conducted on pasta and the effects it has on the Glycemic Index, which are extremely important to those who have diabetes because it tracks the affects of certain foods on insulin. It was once said that pasta was high on the GI chart (carbs usually equates high, eg. Rice, Wheat, Gluten, etc.), but it’s not the same for pasta. It is said that the form of gluten in pasta is said to be slow digesting and doesn’t create the sugar spike that other carbohydrates do. Especially when pasta is cooked al dente because of the increased digestion process (it slows down absorption because the pasta is harder to digest). Now coupling this with whole wheat, you can see why this would keep you full longer and not cause a spike in sugar within the body.

The best part about this recipe is how quick it was to pull everything together to make a full fledge meal in under 20 mins. While the pasta is cooking, you have 13 minutes to prep and make the sauce. You’ll be eating before your stomach grumbles again! Everyone can be happy to know that I didn’t eat more candy that night!

Shrimp Penne
1 1/2 cups penne pasta (whole wheat or regular)
1/2 cup low fat Philadelphia cream cheese
6 tbsp low fat plain or Greek yogurt
1/2 cup roasted red bell peppers, sliced
1/4 cup frozen green peas
8-10 large frozen precooked shrimp or uncooked
Salt and pepper

Bring a pot of water to boil on the stove with 2 tsp salt. Add in the penne pasta, turn down the heat to medium and let simmer for roughly 13 minutes or until pasta is al dente. Drain and set aside.

In a small sauce pan over low heat, mix the cream cheese and yogurt together. Add in salt and pepper to taste. Add in the shrimp and let it cook until defrosted (or until pink if using uncooked shrimp).

Once the shrimp is ready, add in red bell peppers and peas. Mix in the penne until the pasta is coated with the sauce.

Remove from heat and plate.

Makes 2 servings.


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