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Another of our South Beach favorites, healthy and oh so delicioso! Inspired by a recipe we saw on the South Beach Diet website. Fresh whole wheat tortellini can be found in many higher end grocery stores but you can easily substitute with 8 oz whole wheat penne rigate which is readily available in most grocery stores these days. Other ingredients are easily adapted to your individual tastes as well. Manja!
- 1 1⁄2 lbs eggplants, diced into 1 inch chunks
- 1 tablespoon olive oil, divided
- 1 teaspoon Italian herb seasoning, divided
- 1⁄2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, divided
- 1 teaspoon salt (low sodium blend)
- 1⁄4 lb boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into 1 inch chunks (may substitute with prepackaged Italian chicken breasts chunks such as Purdue Short Cuts)
- 1 small onion, sliced (red onion is best)
- 1 red pepper, cut into 2 inch chunks
- 1 (14 1/2 ounce) chopped tomatoes, undrained (Hunts fire roasted)
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 (8 ounce) package cheese tortellini, whole wheat, cooked according to package directions
- 1⁄4 cup parmesan cheese (can substitute with asiago or low fat mozzarella)
- Preheat oven to 450°F.
- Cover a shallow cooking pan with foil. Place eggplant chunks in the pan and drizzle with 1 1/2 teaspoonfuls oil, season with half of the salt, crushed red pepper and Italian herb blend. Toss well to coat. Bake, stirring once until eggplant is lightly browned about 20 minutes.
- Season the chicken breast with the remaining salt, crushed red pepper and Italian herbs.
- Heat the remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons oil in a non stick frying pan until hot. Add the chicken breasts and fry until lightly brown, about 2 minutes per side. Add onion slices and stir gently. Cook until onion is soft about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add garlic and cook an additional 3 minutes.
- Add the red pepper and stir to coat well. Lower the heat and add the undrained tomatoes and stir well. Simmer for 3 minutes and add the basalmic vinegar and stir.
- Add the roasted eggplant and chicken and stir well. Add the drained, cooked tortellini and stir gently.
- Check for seasonings, adjusting to taste.
- Transfer contents to a oven proof casserole dish with a tight fitting lid, sprinkle with the cheese and cover. Place in the warm oven to allow cheese to melt about 5 minutes.
- Serve with a salad and multigrain rolls.
I made this with ground chicken instead of the breasts. I was FANTASTIC!!! I was a little hesitant to try it since it was a south beach recipe but am so glad I did. It was super and the dh loved it as well. Thanks for a great recipe.