Monday, January 22, 2018

Skillet Bow-Ties

Jan here, in the sagging end of January. Smack dab in the middle, between Christmas and the Black Hills Stock Show. Nothing much going on except writing and cross-stitching. (Doesn't sound bad, does it?)

Actually, I love winter, so January is one of my favorite months. But this is also the time of year when friends and family start heading south, and my Facebook feed is filled with pictures of sunshine and beaches, while at our house, it looks like this:

And this:

Okay, so that last one wasn't really at our's from Custer State Park a couple years ago. Those bison are munching on the super nutritious grass that makes the western prairies famous.

But on a cold, cloudy weekend like we just had, I'm longing for some color. Especially in my food.

That's where this recipe comes in. It's filled with delicious, colorful veggies, and has a light sauce that won't slow you down.

Skillet Bow-Ties
serves 2


1 cup uncooked bow tie pasta
1 cup diced, cooked chicken breast
1 small zucchini, sliced
1/2 cup fresh mushrooms, sliced
1/4 cup red pepper, diced
3 Tablespoons butter, divided (I use coconut oil to make it dairy free)
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 Tablespoon chicken broth
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese (optional, if dairy free)
1 teaspoon dried basil, or 1 Tablespoon fresh

Cook the pasta according to package directions.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet (I use my Dutch oven), stir fry the chicken and veggies in 2 Tablespoons butter for 4-5 minutes, until the vegetables are tender. Add the lemon juice and broth, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cooking and stirring for about 2 minutes.

When the pasta is cooked, drain it and add it to the skillet, tossing it with the remaining Tablespoon butter to combine the pasta and veggies. Add the Parmesan cheese and basil.

One thing I love about this recipe is that you can change it up to use the veggies you have in your fridge. Broccoli (fresh or frozen - I steam mine before adding it), carrots cut in matchsticks, green onion name it!

And if you want to make it a vegetarian dish, substitute tofu for the chicken, or use edamame for one of the veggies.

I also like to add diced greens to the chicken/veggie mixture. They cook down to almost nothing, but add a nutritional punch to the dish.

How about you? Do you love January, or hate it? Is it a time to cozy up by the fire, or a time to get through while you're waiting for spring?

And while you're waiting for spring, don't forget that "The Amish Nanny's Courtship" is coming in March!

Preorder your copy here!

Love in Plain Sight 

As nanny for her nephew, Judith Lapp’s finally part of a vibrant, joyful Amish community instead of living on the outskirts looking in. But teaching her neighbors’ Englischer farmworker to read Pennsylvania Dutch wasn’t part of her plan. And the more time she spends with Guy Hoover, the more he sparks longings for a home and family of Judith’s own.

Guy figured he would never be truly accepted by his Amish employers’ community—even though the Mast family treats him like a son. But Judith’s steadfast caring shows him that true belonging could be within his reach…if he and Judith can reconcile their very different hopes—and hearts.

Jan Drexler lives in the Black Hills of South Dakota with her husband and growing family. When she isn't writing, she loves hiking in the Hills or satisfying her cross stitch addiction.

You can find Jan on Facebook, Jan Drexler, author, or her website, Jan


  1. Oh, this looks good (the tofu version, of course.) There's something so friendly about bow tie pasta, don't you think? And we need cheery food in January. :-)

    I haven't cross-stitched in years, but I'm getting a patchwork quilting yearning. Might see if I can manage my sewing machine now. (I haven't been able to manage the foot pedal but I have more ankle movement now so maybe it will work.) January isn't my favourite month -- up here it's usually bitter cold but this year it's been yoyoing between bitter cold and uncanny spring like weather. Yesterday it was positively balmy. I actually broke into a sweat walking to church and I wore my lighter jacket but the week before it was so wind-chill freezing I couldn't go to church at all! Mind you that was perfect stay-at-home-and-read weather. :-)

    Congrats on your new book's almost debut! I'm looking forward to reading it!

    1. Good morning, Kav!

      This is SO good. Very light and refreshing, and a nice change from the usual winter fare.

      My mom had a sewing machine cabinet that had a knee lever to run the pedal. The foot pedal fit in a spot on the side of the cabinet, and you controlled it with your knee. I wonder if you could rig up something like that for your foot pedal?

      I've got a quilt project in the works, too. Very small, very simple. An Amish-style wall hanging to use for a table decoration when I do book signings. I just bought the fabric over the weekend (while my husband groaned...he's seen this step before!) My goal is to finish it by the end of February.

      And I hope you like this new book. It's loosely based on my grandfather's story, and it got a thumbs up from my dad. He thought I represented that time in Grandpa's life pretty well, although he did say it was a little surprising to see his dad's name all the way through it!

    2. Oooh - that's a neat tidbit behind your new book! I just tried out the sewing machine and it's no go. I definitely have more flex movement but no control and it started to hurt pretty fast. Don't want to undo all the good I've done! That's an idea about the knee lever. I have a table top sewing machine -- no cabinet but I'm wondering if something could be rigged up. Have to research that!

  2. I LOVE January, because it's only one of the few months in the year when it might actually get cold here in Texas. And believe it or not, our Texas landscape in January doesn't look a whole lot different from that Custer State Park photo, except for the snow. Everything has that winter brown look now, save for the live oaks and other evergreen trees.

    I'm liking this recipe, though I'd have to omit the zucchini. It always squeaks against my teeth when I chew it. Weird, I know. But, as you said, there are plenty of other veggies to choose from. And I love bowtie pasta. Not only is it fun, I like the texture. Thanks, Jan.

    1. One thing I like about this recipe is that it uses minimal pasta (lower carbs) and lots of veggies.

      And you're right - there's no rule that says you have to use zucchini!

  3. Jan, we must have been having the same reaction to winter, because I was just working on Wednesday's post about needing a colorful meal.

    I do love the stark white though.

  4. Jan, I'm sorry I'm late. This looks so good! I love anything with pasta. :)