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!! 🙂

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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! 🙂 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.

Oh, and if you need help waking up in the morning, did you know you can order coffee or k-cups on Amazon and have them delivered for free? You can even sign up for a subscription where it delivers on a schedule. You can even get k-cups for as little as $0.36/k-cup! WHAT?! Seriously!!

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Sun-dried Tomato Parmesan Pasta

You know… I was actually really hoping it would snow. It’s weird coming out of my mouth, because I lived in the cold upper mid-west for most of my life, and now in the south I put on a THICK winter coat when it goes below 50 degrees… cuz that’s seriously chilly. But, when it snows, my husband gets to work from home, and then I get to see him more AND he gets to actually eat dinner with us! But, sadly, the snow and ice missed us, and he actually had to drive the 45 minutes to work… boo. Oh well, I’m glad he has a GREAT job that he loves to go to! But… for the sake of my little girl, who, as all other girls her age, is OBSESSED with Frozen STILL and really wants to see snow so that she can go outside and pretend she’s Elsa. So, I’m hoping for 1 short day of snow. Then I’ll be good. 🙂

So last night I had the girls over to watch the bachelor, and my friend brought over her kit to help me put on my jamberry wraps that I couldn’t figure out how to put on with my strangely overpowered hairdryer… with her little heater thing, it worked WAY better! HA! And we had a great girls night doing our nails and watching the strangeness that is the Bachelor. It’s like a car accident… you just can’t help but watch!

So, before the girls came over I had to quick make dinner and I had been wanting to try my own version of a sun-dried tomato pasta dish for a while since I saw this one on pinterest… so, I figured… chicken and pasta is quick, I’ll do that! I did have to eat it out with the girls, but it got done in time!!! 🙂

This one a real winner… so so good.

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Ingredients

  • 1/2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup julienne sun-dried tomatoes in oil in a jar
  • 4 large chicken tenderloins
  • 2 TB (about 1/4 of a small onion) onion diced
  • 1/2 tsp italian seasoning
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • 1 cup half and half
  • 1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese
  • 8 oz shell pasta (or whatever pasta you have)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil (or dried, if that’s what you have)
  • dash cayenne pepper
  • dash hot sauce
  • 1/2 cup reserved cooked pasta water (or more)
  • salt, to taste

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Instructions

  1. Note: if using sun-dried tomatoes in oil (in a jar), make sure to drain sun-dried tomatoes from oil, before using them. Reserve 2 tablespoons of this drained oil for sauteing as described below:
  2. In a large pan, on med-high heat, sautee garlic and sun-dried tomatoes (drained from oil) and diced onion in 1 tablespoons of oil (reserved from the sun-dried tomatoes jar – see note above) and 1 TB fresh olive oil for 1 minute until garlic is fragrant. (Don’t burn the garlic or it changes the flavor of the whole dish!) Remove sun-dried tomatoes from the pan, leaving the oil and onions, and add chicken tenders, salted and lightly covered in paprika and italian seasoning (for color) and cook on high heat for 5 minutes on each side. Remove from heat and cut into 2 in pieces and place back into skillet.
  3. Cook pasta according to package instructions. Reserve some cooked pasta water. Drain and rinse the pasta with cold water (to stop cooking).
  4. Place the sun-dried tomatoes back into the skillet with chicken. Add half and half and parmesan cheese to the skillet, too, and bring to a gentle boil. (Don’t put on high heat or it will curdle the half and half.) Immediately reduce to simmer and cook, constantly stirring, until all cheese melts and creamy sauce forms. If the sauce is too thick – don’t worry – you’ll be adding some cooked pasta water soon. Add cooked pasta to the skillet with the creamy sauce, and stir to combine. Add 1 tablespoon of basil, and the hot sauce and cayenne. Stir to combine.
  5. Add about 1/2 cup reserved cooked pasta water because the creamy sauce will be too thick (do not add all water at once – you might need less or more of it). This will water down the thickness of the cheese sauce and make it creamier. Immediately, season the pasta with salt and more basil, to taste, if needed. Let it simmer for a couple of minutes for flavors to combine.
  6. Note: Make sure to salt the dish just enough to bring out of the flavors of basil and sun-dried tomatoes.

And… VOILA!

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Dig in, and make your tummy happy!!!!

Ok, and for the quote of the day, it’s a funny play on what I’ve been working on. Especially since I LOVE the Duggars, I love how in their home, they don’t yell and scream at each other. It’s just not how they speak to each other. Since my husband and I have gotten married I’ve had to tame how I speak to him when I’m upset, and I’ve done SOO much better making sure I’m respectful with how I handle it…

With my children it’s an hourly battle. I literally at times have to step out of the room, count to ten, and then go back in. Otherwise it would at times come out as a full on scream. So… I’m gonna keep this in the back of my mind… read and enjoy. 🙂

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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!!!