Chicken burgers with garden fresh pasta salad


These light, juicy burgers are made with ground chicken breast. Prepared pesto sauce keeps the meat juicy and gives the burgers a taste of Italy.

Make sure the package says white meat chicken. If it says ground chicken, skin, fat and dark meat may be included.

This colorful pasta salad is made with a tricolor pasta. I have flavored it with fresh cucumber, basil and scallions to complete this casual meal.

This meal contains 587 calories per serving with 20 percent of calories from fat.

I never thought I would recommend a white wine with a burger, but a sauvignon blanc would be just right with this.

HELPFUL HINTS:

c Parsley or cilantro can be used instead of basil.

c A quick way to chop basil is to snip the leaves with a scissors right off the stem.

c Only 2 tablespoons of pesto sauce are needed for the burgers. Extra pesto sauce can be frozen for another time.

Chicken burgers

1/2 pound ground white meat chicken

2 tablespoons prepared reduced-fat pesto sauce

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Dash of salt

Olive oil spray

2 hamburger rolls

1 medium tomato, sliced

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Mix chicken, pesto, black pepper and salt together in a small bowl. Shape into burgers about 3 to 3 1/2-inches round and 1/2 inch thick. Heat a nonstick skillet over medium-low heat. Spray with olive oil spray and saute burgers 5 minutes on each side. A meat thermometer should read 165 degrees.

Meanwhile, spray hamburger rolls with olive oil spray and toast in a toaster oven or under the broiler. Place cooked chicken burgers on bottom half of each roll. Place 1 tomato slice on top. Garnish the plate with extra slices. Close with top of roll and serve. Makes 2 servings.

Nutrition information per serving: 352 calories (29 percent from fat), 11.2 g fat (1.9 g saturated, 4.2 g monounsaturated), 87 mg cholesterol, 34.1 g protein, 26.7 g carbohydrates, 4.5 g fiber, 476 mg sodium.

Garden fresh pasta salad

1/4 pound tricolor rotini, fusilli or other short cut pasta

2 scallions, sliced

1/2 medium cucumber, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes (about 1 cup)

2 tablespoons reduced-fat oil and vinegar dressing

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1/4 cup snipped basil leaves

Bring 2 to 3 quarts of water to a boil in a large saucepan. Add pasta and boil 8 minutes or according to package instructions. Drain and add scallions, cucumber and dressing. Toss well. Add salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle basil on top. Makes 2 servings.

Nutrition information per serving: 235 calories (8 percent from fat), 2.0 g fat (0.2 g saturated, 0.4 g monounsaturated), 1 mg cholesterol, 8.2 g protein, 45.7 g carbohydrates, 2.6 g fiber, 11 mg sodium.