I was recently asked by Hunt’s to create a recipe using Hunt’s tomatoes. I created this recipe with my daughter in mind. As many of you know, she has many health issues and I am always looking for ways to get healthy foods into her diet. She is a big fan of cheesy pasta dishes, so I decided to create a chicken alfredo pasta bake.
This pasta bake is different because it incorporates the canned tomatoes. I just drained them before adding them to the pasta. I used the petite diced so my family would be more likely to eat the tomatoes than pick them out. I also added some green onion for added flavor and color. It turned out great! The whole family loved it. Usually pasta with alfredo sauce has a really rich and heavy taste. The tomatoes and green onion gave this dish a very light and fresh flavor. I do think I may add a little garlic for even more flavor next time.
Below are some fun facts about tomatoes and Hunt’s. I will be trying even more to get more tomatoes into my family’s diet.
- An article slated for publication in the March/April 2011 American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine titled “Tomato Consumption and Health: Emerging Benefits,” demonstrates the significant nutritional advantages of increasing tomato consumption.
- Emerging research underscores the relationship between consuming tomatoes and tomato products with reduced risk of certain cancers, heart disease, ultraviolet light–induced skin damage, osteoporosis, and other conditions.
- Tomatoes are the most important non-starchy vegetable in the American diet. They not only contain high levels of carotenoid antioxidants such as lycopene, but also serve as a significant source of vitamin C, fiber and potassium in the American diet.
- Research shows those who ate more canned tomatoes had reduced levels of C-reactive protein, a marker of inflammation that is linked to the development of heart disease.
- The human body absorbs more lycopene from processed or cooked tomatoes products, such as Hunt’s tomatoes.
- Processing adds value by increasing the availability of lycopene for absorption by softening the cell walls of tomatoes, making it more accessible.
- According to a study reported in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, lycopene absorption is two to three times greater in canned tomato products than raw tomatoes.
- Second only to potatoes, the tomato is America’s favorite non-starchy vegetable and accounts for 85 percent of the lycopene consumed in the U.S.
- Calorie for calorie, tomatoes contain more than twice the potassium of other common sources such as bananas, potatoes, milk and orange juice.
- In addition to the specific health benefits of tomatoes, encouraging greater tomato consumption may help increase overall vegetable intake since canned tomatoes, such as Hunt’s, are readily available, widely accepted by consumers, convenient and economical.
- In fact, because of the tomato’s popularity and nutritive value, the 2010 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee outlined a new red-orange vegetable sub-group for Americans to provide a greater focus on tomatoes. Meeting this pending new guideline can be simple, by consuming just one more serving of tomatoes each day.
About Hunt’s Tomatoes
- Hunt’s tomatoes are available in many varieties, including No Salt Added options, making it easy to incorporate the health benefits of tomatoes into your daily meals.
- Hunt’s is the only leading brand to FlashSteam™ every tomato, which helps keep their backyard garden fresh taste.
- Flash-steaming is an all-natural steaming process that peels the skin off the tomato naturally before canning, whereas most other tomato brands use chemicals like lye.
- Each Hunt’s tomato goes from the vine to can in just hours so home cooks can enjoy the summer-fresh taste of tomatoes all year round.
- Hunt’s tomatoes are 100 percent natural and contain no artificial preservatives or ingredients
- Tomatoes are a natural source of lycopene, an antioxidant that may help reduce the risk of heart disease.
- According to scientists, the body absorbs more lycopene from cooked tomatoes than from raw.
- Visit www.hunts.com for the latest tips and recipes blending great flavor with good health.
Chicken Alfredo Pasta Bake
- 16 oz. package uncooked rotini pasta
- 1 cup butter
- 1 cup whipping cream **
- 1 1/2 cups freshly shredded Parmesan Cheese **
- 1/2 tsp salt
- pepper, if desired
- 2 cups cooked and diced chicken
- 1 can Hunt’s petite diced tomatoes, drained
- 3 green onions, chopped
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella
- In a large pot, cook the pasta according to package directions.
- Meanwhile, in another sauce pan over medium-low heat, heat the butter and whipping cream until the butter is melted. be sure to sitr constantly.
- Add the cheese, salt and pepper to the butter/cream mixture and stir until the cheese is melted.
- Drain the pasta and return to the same pot used to cook it. Toss the pasta with the cheese sauce.
- Then fold in the chicken, drained tomatoes, and green onion. Pour pasta into a 9 x 13 inch baking dish and top with shredded mozzarella. Bake at 350 for about 15 minutes until bubbly and cheese has melted. Serves 8.
** Note: evaporated fat free milk and reduced fat Parmesan cheese can be used for a low fat version
Disclosure: this is a sponsored post.