A key component of taking care of one’s mental health is to also take care of one’s physical health. Cooking and eating nutritious, balanced meals is a simple and effective way to practice self-care and mindfulness while keeping inflammation and other physical ailments like heart disease and diabetes at bay, which have been proven to be connected to mental health diagnoses.
Check out this tasty lemon ricotta veggie pasta recipe straight from the kitchen of Skyland Trail dietitian, Isabel Alvarez, RD, LD.
Ingredients (1 Serving)
- 2 ounces of whole-wheat pasta or any high-protein pasta
- 1 zucchini
- 1-2 cups of spinach
- Juice from half of a lemon
- 2 slices of turkey bacon
- 4 ounces of chicken breast, diced
- 1/4 cup of whole milk ricotta
- Olive oil
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lay turkey bacon flat on a sheet pan and bake for 15 minutes.
Cook pasta according to instructions.
While the pasta and turkey bacon cook, heat a small drizzle of olive oil in a large pan to medium-high. Add diced chicken breast to the pan and cook for about 4 minutes or until chicken is lightly browned all over, stirring occasionally.
Next, reduce heat to medium and add zucchini to the same pan. Sauté for another few minutes. Once the zucchini softens, drop the heat to low and toss in the spinach.
Once the spinach starts to wilt, add the lemon juice and ricotta cheese. Continue mixing over low, simmering heat for another few minutes. Add the cooked pasta to the pan, and crumble in the cooked turkey bacon. Give everything a stir to coat with lemony-cheesy goodness, and serve it up.
Isabel Alvarez, RD, LD, is a registered and licensed dietitian who works with adult and adolescent clients in residential and day treatment programs at Skyland Trail to help individuals foster a healthier relationship with food, nutrition, meal planning, and grocery shopping. Alvarez earned her BS in Nutrition Science from Cornell University and completed a dietitian internship at Emory University prior to joining Skyland Trail in 2020. Follow her on Instagram at @nutrition_isabelalv to see her latest kitchen creation.