Balsamic Chicken Caprese Style

Sigh… Pinterest and it’s endless scroll… it wastes so much of my time! I meal plan on pinterest. I also do some searches on foodnetwork.com etc… but mainly on pinterest. It sends me to GREAT blogs and websites, etc for amazing and creative recipes. I then, revamp the recipe and make it my own. The problem is, there are sometimes random cool things as “ads” mixed in with the recipes. I then like them because they are tailored to my liking. 1 hour later, I’m supposed to have my planning and shopping lists done and I’m over in humor laughing at memes with Ryan Gosling in them! Now, I know what you are thinking… “why wouldn’t you be?!”. Right? But… I do have to get things done… ūüôā

So… I made this recipe the other night and the chicken turned out PERFECTLY! I used red peppers instead of tomatoes… so it’s caprese STYLE… but you can definitely use tomatoes if you aren’t weird like me…

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4-5 servings
INGREDIENTS
  • 2 lbs chicken tenderloins
  • salt and pepper
  • 3 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 cup low sodium-chicken organic FF broth
  • 2-3 TB¬†balsamic vinegar
  • 5¬†Tbsp. Dark Brown Sugar
  • sliced sweet red mini pepper
  • sliced fresh mozzarella
  • fresh basil
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil pesto

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INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Salt and pepper both sides of all of your chicken tenderloins and set aside.
  2. Heat oil in saucepan on medium-high. Brown chicken on both sides. Reduce heat to medium-low and add your minced garlic.
  3. Cook until garlic is tender, being careful not to burn it. Add your low sodium chicken broth, balsamic vinegar and brown sugar. Turn heat up to medium-high and simmer for 10-12 minutes, spooning the broth mixture over the chicken every once in a while to make sure the chicken stays moist and soaks in the mixture.
  4. Preheat broiler. Make sure your skillet is OVEN SAFE! Take your slices of mozzarella and cover each slice of chicken with a slice of mozzarella.
  5. Broil until cheese is slightly melted. Place a sprig of fresh basil on top of the mozzarella and then add a red pepper slice (or tomato) on top. Drizzle with any remaining sauce and about a TB of pesto! YUM!!!!!!

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This is sweet with a bit of tang and a WHOLE LOTTA freshness from that basil pesto. You’ll enjoy every bite!

And now, for the quote of the day:

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Sundried Tomato Avocado Chicken Sanwiches with Pesto and Mozarella!

I was seriously craving twice baked potatoes. SOOO bad! Alas, my potatoes were VERY sad looking and VERY small. It’s all I had left. I have had a lot of sauteed and roasted veggies for lunches these last couple of weeks and therefore have none for twice baked potatoes. Boo!

Instead, I made a DELICIOUS sandwich on GREAT HARVEST Sourdough. This is significant. It is not significant because I am affiliate of Great Harvest, it’s significant because it’s just simply the best.¬†https://www.greatharvest.com/¬†I worked at a Great Harvest Bread bakery when I was 15 years old, and I have never tasted bread as wonderful as they make. They have locations all over… so if you’re near one… STOP AND GET BREAD!! ūüôā

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Ingredients

This was for 2 servings

  • 6 chicken tenderloins (or more, depending on how many servings you need)
  • olive oil
  • 2 TB butter
  • Kosher Salt
  • freshly ground Black Pepper
  • Mrs. Dash¬†OR 21 Seasoning Salute
  • 2-3 mozzarella string cheese sticks (OR fresh mozzarella if you have it!)
  • 4 slices of SOURDOUGH bread!!
  • 2-3 TB fresh homemade basil pesto
  • 2 TB diced Sun-Dried Tomatoes
  • Arugula or any type of lettuce for sandwich
  • 1/2 avocado sliced for in sandwich

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INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Lightly drizzle the chicken breasts with olive oil and season with salt and pepper and the Mrs. Dash or 21 Seasoning Salute.
  2. Sautee in skillet with 1 TB of butter. Cook until white all the way thru and then set aside and let rest.
  3. Place 1 TB of butter into the warmed skillet and let melt on med to low. Butter one side of each of the slices of bread (just like with grilled cheese) and put pesto on the opposite side (from the butter) of 2 slices of bread. This is so that each sandwich will have 1 slice of bread with pesto on 1 side of the sandwich. Place the chicken, sundried tomatoes, and cheese onto the bread and place the other piece of bread on top. “Grill” like grilled cheese until the cheese is melted. (I cut the string cheese in half lengthwise, and then width wise.) Flip over to brown the other side of the sandwich.
  4. Remove from skillet and place onto plate. Remove the side w/out the cheese and place the avocado pieces and the arugula (or lettuce) and put back together. Cut and ENJOY!

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This sandwich was FULL of flavor. The sourdough definitely was crunchy and the perfect flavor and texture for this sandwich. NO WORDS! Ok… yes, you really have to try Great Harvest! ūüôā The chicken was moist and tender… everything balanced quite well! This is a quick and easy dinner!

I served this with 2 mini sweet potatoes. Aldi has a bag of steamable sweet potatoes that you just pop into the microwave for 8 minutes! I just had the sandwich and sweet potatoes and was quite satisfied! Give this one a try!

And now, for the quote of the day:

"BATTLES ARE FOUGHT IN OUR MINDS EVERY DAY... RESIST negative thoughts... be determined to rise above our problems," Joyce Meyer. "Fear not, for I am with you... I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand," Isaiah 41:10.

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Check out this link: 15% off San Francisco Coffee K-cups

Roasted Cauliflower and Bacon over Lemony Zucchini Noodles

Yesterday I did… yard work! Gasp! I know! Those of you who know me would be absolutely SHOCKED!! The last time I did “yard work” I ended up rushing to the local urgent care and getting 10 stitches in one of my fingers. I played it safe this time… I just purchased ferns for my front porch and transferred them (with some help from my brother and hubby) into hanging baskets. Then I filled my “\Window Box” or porch flower boxes with dirt and pretty little flowers that by daughter picked out. My husband was laughing at how little the flowers were for the flower boxes and said that noone is going to know that any flowers are in the box! I am HOPING that they will grow and hang over a bit. My daughter picked them out and was SO excited about it. I figured, who really cares… you know? I’m ok if they never really show to those people walking by my house… I know they are in there! ūüôā

So after a hard day (hehehe) doing yard work and I needed to take my ol’ hound dog ūüôā on a bit of a jog. So, my sweet husband took care of the kids and I went for a little jog. Well, my hound dog decided to cut me off mid-jog to smell something on the other side of the path and I rolled my ankle over a tree root and fell pretty hard! Silly dog. It took me a second, but I got back up, finished the, now walk, and got back home to fix some dinner. I feel old this morning though. I only have 2 tiny bruises from this fall, but I feel sore all over. I’m so old.

So, after all of this, I decided to do something carb free and quick. I THINK this took me 30 min or under from start to finish. The most time consuming part of this was making the zucchini noodles. It wasn’t that bad, it’s just that I had to figure out how I wanted to make them. My cheese grater worked the best. I didn’t have a fancy Spiral Vegetable Slicer. Honestly it probably would have been WAY easier, but I wanted to try this recipe with what I already had without buying anything. You can also try a Mandoline. I have one, but I really decided I would use my Cheese Grater¬†because most people already have one of those.

So, here’s the recipe:

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Ingredients

  • 2 cups cauliflower florets (fresh, not frozen if possible)
  • 2¬†tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion – 1/2 small onion (I prefer sweet yellow)
  • 4 pieces of¬†nitrite and nitrate free bacon (I used pre-cooked Trader Joes Bacon)
  • 2 TB unsalted butter
  • 2 medium zucchinis
  • 1 TB homemade pesto (optional) for garnish
  • Shaved parmesan as garnish
  • For the lemon sauce:
  • 1/4 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1.5 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1.5 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • salt and pepper, to taste

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Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking tray with tin foil.
  2. Toss the cauliflower in a medium bowl with the olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Lay the cauliflower out on the prepared baking tray and roast for 25 minutes or until easily pierced with a fork and lightly browned.
  3. While the cauliflower is roasting, grate the zucchini using the cheese grater (or your “spiralizer” if you have one!)
  4. Place a large skillet over medium heat and coat with 1-2 TB olive oil. Lay in the bacon slices and cook for 3-5 minutes or until crispy. Transfer to a paper towel lined plate and set aside.
  5. After bacon is removed (don’t overcook it, it’ll add a burnt flavor the rest of the dish!)add in your minced garlic, and¬†onions.¬†Cook for 30 seconds or until fragrant and then add in the zucchini noodles. Sprinkle the lemon zest and pour the lemon juice over top of the mixture and stir.
  6. Cook, tossing frequently, for 3-5 minutes or until zucchini noodles are slightly soft, or “al dente”. Add in the butter and stir until melted. Add in the cauliflower and crumble the bacon back in¬†over the skillet, with your fingers. Give a toss and then remove from heat and stir in the Greek yogurt mixture. Toss to combine thoroughly and divide into bowls.
  7. Sprinkle with parmesan and drizzle a bit of pesto (optional) over top for garnish and a bit of extra flavor.

Tip: you NEVER cook pesto. You heat the meal and then add the pesto. Only add the pesto to the amount of food you want to eat. Save the remainder of the pesto with a bit of oil over the top in an airtight Jelly Jar in the refrigerator and the food separately. When you reheat the meal, add the pesto AFTER. If you cook the pesto, it changes color and flavor.

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This meal was really good! It actually satisfied my craving for pasta, and I didn’t have any!! The zucchini was a little crunchy, but still “noodle-like”. This one was easy and tasty! Give it a try!

And now, for the quote of the day:

Prosciutto Wrapped Chicken Tenderloins with a Creamy pesto Sauce

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So I had absolutely no clue what I was going to make… I looked at my planned meals, and I had not thawed ANY of the meat that I was going to make… WOOPS! So, then I noticed that I had prosciutto left over from a couple of weeks ago that I hadn’t used… and some extra frozen chicken tenderloins,…. voila! DINNER! I also had a bag of Trader Joes zucchini fries and some lettuce… higher in fat, but making the portions smaller definitely helps with overall calories. This dinner, my portions, was right around 550 calories. I used chicken tenderloins though… a lot of people would opt for an entire chicken breast… which would require more prosciutto wrapped around it… smaller = lower calories!¬†

Ok, so here’s my process:

Ingredients

  • 8 chicken tenderloins
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons white whole wheat flour, or more
  • 8 pieces of prosciutto (or 4 if you cut them in half)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 onion chopped
  • 1/4 cup homemade basil pesto (NO NUTS or parmesan in the pesto… reduces calories!)
  • 1/4¬†cup half and half (or a little less…. I didn’t use much)

Serves 4 people

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Instructions

  1. I actually partially thawed my Trader Joes chicken tenderloins. That isn’t something I do often because they cook so perfectly from frozen… but this time I did so that the flour and prosciutto would stick to them. Put the flour and salt and pepper into a bowl, and then dredge each piece of chicken in the flour mixture.
  2. Wrap each piece of chicken with a piece of prosciutto.
  3. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  4. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil on medium and add the diced onions. When it is hot, add the wrapped chicken. Cook for 3-4 minutes, then flip and cook for another 3 minutes or so, until browned. Then, in your skillet (IF YOU HAVE A OVEN SAFE SKILLET!!!) put the chicken directly into the oven @ 400 degrees for 8 minutes to finish cooking.
  5. I served this with Trader Joes zucchini fries that are baked at 400 degrees also, so the temp worked and both cooked at the same time. 
  6. In a small bowl (or glass jar) whisk together the pesto and cream.
  7. When the chicken is fully cooked, remove it from the pan and place onto a serving plate or dish. Remove the skillet from the heat and pour the pesto mixture into the pan to pick up the onions and all of the drippings and stir until it slightly thickens. Pour over the chicken and serve!. Serve with a light lettuce salad!

It was absolutely delicious and spilling over with flavor! To me, completely satisfying and filling. The guys at my table may have preferred another couple pieces of chicken… but then again who wouldn’t when it’s wrapped in bacon, right?

Enjoy!

 

And now, for the quote of the day:

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Creamy Tomato Pesto Pasta with Garlic & Chicken

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Tomato and pesto… and 1/2&1/2 …. ¬†could this go wrong???? I don’t think so!!! Not with those ingredients!!!

YUM!

Basically my favorites all rolled into one. Except, no veggies except in the pasta, but this turned out great! I paired it with a salad (with BUTTER LETTUCE!!!)

Ingredients:

Marinade:

1/2 tsp minced garlic, olive oil, juice of 1 lemon, lemon zest and 2 TB of spaghetti sauce, oregano, 6 leaves of basil chopped up, salt and pepper
Cover the chicken with the above marinade, and let sit for 30 min at LEAST in the fridge (if not overnight)
1/4¬†cup Pesto (homemade… I’ve put the recipe on a previous post)
5-6 chicken tenderloins
1/2 tsp minced garlic
1/2 cup(s) chicken broth
8 ounce pasta of choice (I used Vegetable Radiatore)
8 ounce(s) Roasted Garlic Spaghetti Sauce
1/4 cup(s) half-and-half
2 tablespoon(s) parmesan (sprinkled on top after served)
2 tablespoon(s) Olive Oil

 

Directions:
Place chicken into bowl, cover with marinade, cover with plastic wrap (or similar) and place in fridge.

Boil water and start on noodles.  Pour entire batch of chicken, (with all juices from marinade) into skillet and cook chicken fully (the marinade will evaporate/cook down) for about 7-8 minutes per side. Remove the chicken, and put onto a plate off to the side. Add chicken broth and heat and thicken sauce, add tomato sauce and garlic. Place chicken back into sauce. Simmer in chicken broth until half has cooked down.  Reduce heat to LOW until barely simmering. Then add milk. Simmer for 5 minutes.  Toss pasta in. Add flour if it needs to be thickened.  Place chicken on top and serve. Drizzle with pesto over the top of the dish, and parmesan cheese.

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Asparagus Pesto Pasta with Sun-dried Tomato

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I was CRAVING this today!!!! And, it totally lived up to the hype!

 

So easy, only took me 20 minutes start to finish!

Ingredients:

1 bunch of asparagus
1 TB of pesto (I used my homemade pesto recipe listed below)
1/2 small ball of FRESH mozzarella
3 TB sun-dried tomatoes (I used them from a bag of them from Trader Joes)
1 TB of grated parmesan
No-egg noodles – 2 cups dry

OPTIONAL: pine nuts, crumbled bacon

Start the pasta, cook as directed on packaging until al dente. Then, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Wash the asparagus, and remove the hard ends. What I do is bend it until it breaks. One hand on each end of the asparagus, and just bend gently like you’re going to bend it in half, and the hardest portion will break off. Take the top halves, and arrange in a single layer on a tin-foil lined tray. Sprinkle with 1-2 TB of olive oil and then season with sea salt and pepper as desired. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Don’t cook it too long, or it will get stringy.

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Pesto: I buy 1 pkg of basil from TJ (it’s about 4 large branches worth of basil, so with leaves removed, it’s about 1 1/2 cups of basil).¬†
Juice of 1 lemon, plus the zest
1 tsp of minced garlic
1 TB grated parmesan
1/4 cup olive oil
OPTIONAL: pine nuts or walnuts

I blend mine up into my nutri-bullet until smooth. Add more oil as needed. I put my left over pesto in a cleaned and re-used jam jar (mason jar) and store it in the refrigerator. 

In the mean time, cut the ball of mozzarella in half, put 1/2 back in the refrigerator, and cut the other half into small cubes. 

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Now, strain pasta, and remove the asparagus from the oven, and put all ingredients in a bowl and toss and season to taste. I also sprinkled a bit of parmesan over the top. ENJOY!!!