Whole Grain Pasta with Scallops
This is another dinner dedicated to my wonderful calorie counting hubby. I was ready to grab a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store and make a smooth, creamy, satisfying chicken bisque. I’d noticed that he hadn’t made a shake for breakfast in the morning and I knew he’d have the calories to spare. Well, he calls at lunch and says he needs something light for dinner because he’s having lunch at work. Ok, so how many calories is dinner limited to? UNDER 400!!! What am I supposed to do with that. Goodbye creamy chicken bisque. So, I started digging around the pantry looking for low calorie for him and satisfying for him.
I ended up finding some whole grain spaghetti for 180 calories a serving, some scallops for 150 calories a serving and some chicken stock for 20 calories a serving (per cup). Well, for under 400 calories per serving (this recipe feeds 2), here’s what I made:
- 8 Bay Scallops, clean** and season with salt and pepper on both sides
- 1/3 pack spaghetti
- 3 TBSP Olive Oil
- 2 TBSP Garlic, minced
- 1 Shallot, sliced
- 3 Baby Portabella Mushrooms, sliced (or any kind you want to use)
- 1/4 cup Chicken Stock
- 3 huge handfuls of Baby Spinach
- Salt and Pepper
- Italian Seasoning
- Salt a pot of boiling water. Watch out, it will fizz a bit when the salt hits the water. Add the pasta and cook according to the directions on the box.
- In a pan on the side, heat 2 TBSP of olive oil on med-low. Add shallots and garlic and cook for about 2 minutes, then add mushrooms. Stir occasionally.
- In another pan, heat remaining olive oil on med heat and add seasoned scallops. You will know when they are finished on one side because it will release from the bottom and not stick. Flip them when they are browned on the bottom and brown on the other side. 3-5 minutes on each side will cook them through. When finished, place on paper towel to soak up any excess oil and place on pasta.
- Add chicken stock to mushroom mixture once mushrooms and shallots have softened. As soon as it heats through, about a minute, add spinach. It will wilt quickly, so keep an eye on it and use tongs or a fork to rotate the spinach from top to bottom. Once it is all wilted, and mixed with the mushrooms and shallot, turn to low and add the finished pasta. Toss and plate. *Optional: Garnish with green onions or chopped green herbs, basil, thyme, or oregano.
**To clean scallops, make sure the side connector is removed and they are lightly rinsed. Do not keep submerged in water or they will soak up the water and not brown properly.
It may seem like there’s a lot going on all at once, but you can easily cook the spinach mixture completely before you cook the scallops. Heat your oven to low, Once it’s heated, turn it off and place your serving plate or bowl inside. When the pasta and spinach are finished and you’ve tossed the pasta in the spinach mixture, place it in the serving dish(es) and put back in the oven. Cook the scallops and you can top the warm pasta. This also works for keeping your serving dish or dishes warm and the food won’t cool off as quickly while you’re plating food and waiting to eat.