Tag Archives: chicken

Caprese Stuffed Chicken

21 Jun

Without question, the combination of fresh mozzarella, plump tomatoes, and fragrant basil is divine.  Caprese salad is the quintessential summer salad; summer being the peak season for each component.  It is refreshing and satisfying without weighing you down. 

What better recipe to share for the first day of summer than a chicken dish inspired by this delightful salad?   

Caprese Stuffed Chicken

Ingredients:

  • 2 large chicken breasts
  • 4 slices of fresh mozzarella
  • 2 Tbsp fresh basil, diced
  • 2 Tbsp pesto
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/4 cup tomato sauce

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Slice chicken breasts open on the side so that a nice, long pocket forms.

Cover the interior of the chicken breast with one tablespoon of pesto.  I used Buitoni.

Next, slice the mozzarella and dice the basil. 

Insert one slice of mozzarella and one tablespoon of basil into each chicken breast.  Season the exterior of the breasts with salt and pepper.

Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat.  Sear the breasts for one minute per side then cook the breasts on a greased baking sheet for 10 minutes.  Remove from the oven and top each breast with about two tablespoons of tomato sauce.  Cook for another 15 minutes and then top the chicken with a slice or two of mozzarella.  Cook for another 5 minutes, until the cheese is melted.

This dish was so flavorful!  The pesto on the interior of the chicken breast added so much to the dish but the true star of the show was the mozzarella.  It was perfect melted both on top and inside the chicken.  I’ll definitely be making this dish again!

Have you ever had caprese salad?  Do you have any derivations from the traditional recipe?

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BBQ Chicken Pizza

11 May

Yesterday I posted about a quick weeknight meal for those days when you have little time to cook.  This is another great recipe for nights when you’re short on time but it does require some planning. 

Every few weeks I like to make some double batch of pizza dough on the weekend.  It’s really quite simple although it does require a couple of hours of rise time.  Next time I make a batch, I’ll post a step-by-step tutorial so you can see what it’s all about.  

If making pizza dough from scratch isn’t really your thing, there are a lot of great pre-made doughs available.  Most of them freeze really well so all you have to do is remember to defrost it and you’ll be ready to make homemade pizza in a snap!

BBQ Chicken Pizza
(makes one pizza with about 8 slices)

Ingredients:

  • One batch prepared pizza dough
  • 2 to 3 boiled chicken breasts, shredded
  • 1/4 cup BBQ sauce
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Directions:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees (or follow package directions).
  2. Roll out pizza dough and place on a greased pizza baking sheet.
  3. Cover dough with BBQ sauce and place shredded chicken on top of the sauce.  Gently mix to combine.  I used about 1/4 cup and there was plenty of sauce but feel free to adjust the amount to your liking.
  4. Sprinkle cheeses on top to cover all sauce.
  5. Bake for about 8 to 10 minutes.  Allow the pizza to cool for a few minutes before digging in!

This pizza would be even better with some carmelized onions or gorgonzola cheese.  It’s such an easy recipe to customize!

Do you make pizza dough from scratch or do you buy it pre-made?  If you buy it from the store, which brand do you prefer?

Creamy Chicken & Broccoli Pasta

15 Mar

Typically, when our schedules coincide, Alex and I walk to and from work together.  It’s a nice chance for us to talk and we get some exercise in!  Last night was the first time in a loooooong time that we were able to walk home while it was still light out.  I’m very happy with this day lights saving business 🙂

Last night’s dinner was an impromptu recipe because I really had no idea what to make.  I knew I had some chicken in the fridge and I always keep pasta on hand, so after some thought, I came up with this dish.  The flavors of this dish really worked!  I keep surprising myself with my cooking abilities, haha.  But honestly, this is such a simple quick meal, even the most novice of cooks could make it.

Creamy Chicken & Broccoli Pasta

Ingredients:

  • 1lb chicken tenders, seasoned with salt and pepper
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 2 gloves garlic, minced
  • 4oz pasta, uncooked (I used Barilla Plus Elbows.)
  • 2 heads of broccoli
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 6oz container of greek yogurt (I used Fage.)
  • 1/4 cup spinach and artichoke hummus (I used Sabra –> just bought this over the weekend and it’s halfway gone; love it!)
  • 1/4 cup Italian blend shredded cheese (The blend I used had mozzarella, provolone, asiago, parmesan, and romano)
  • 2 tsp Oregano
  • 1 tsp Basil
  • 1 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Directions:

  1. Chop onions, mince garlic, and cut chicken into bite sized pieces.
  2. Heat olive oil over medium heat.  Add onions and garlic to the skillet.  Cook for about five minutes before adding the chicken.  Season the chicken with salt and pepper.  Cook for about 10 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, heat water to boiling and throw your pasta in.  After the pasta has cooked for 6 minutes, throw in two cups of broccoli.  Cook for another four minutes.
  4. While both the pasta and chicken are cooking, prepare your sauce.  In a small bowl, combine greek yogurt, hummus, cheese, and spices.  (PS… using hummus as pasta sauce is not my original idea!  I’ve seen it various places over the blogosphere.  It’s such a genius idea because it makes the sauce extra creamy!)
  5. Once the chicken is cooked, add the sauce to your skillet and heat over low until the pasta is done.
  6. Once the pasta and broccoli have cooked for 10 minutes, in total, drain both.  Add sauce to the pasta and you’re ready to serve!

What have you done to “celebrate” day lights saving time?  Have you ever used hummus as pasta sauce?

Chicken Parmesan

10 Mar

I did mention we eat a lot of chicken, didn’t I?  Well even if you missed it before, it’s hard to miss now.  I’ve posted three recipes this week, each involving chicken.  What can I say?  We like our chicken.

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One of Alex’s favorite meals (as in, it’s the only thing he orders when we go to an Italian restaurant) is Chicken Parmesan.  I can understand where he’s coming from.  I mean, what’s not to like about juicy, breaded chicken cooked with hearty tomato sauce and melty cheese?  Mmmmm.

Lucky for him, I found a recipe that couldn’t be easier.  And it’s healthy to boot.  I served the chicken with whole grain pasta and roasted brussels sprouts for a balanced, vitamin rich meal.  So it’s healthy and it tastes good?  Sign me up!

Chicken Parmesan
(recipe adapted from allrecipes.com)

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 lb chicken breast or tenders
  • 2 Tbsp whole wheat flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup Italian bread crumbs
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzerella cheese
  • 2 Tbsp parmesan cheese

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Pat chicken tenders dry and dredge them through the flour, egg, then bread crumbs.
  3. Place chicken on a lightly greased baking sheet and cook for 15 to 20 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink in the center.
  4. In an 8×8 baking dish, spread 1/2 cup of tomato sauce on the bottom of the dish.
  5. Lay chicken on top of the sauce and cover the chicken with the remaining sauce and cover with cheese.
  6. Cover the baking dish with foil and cook for another 20 minutes.
  7. Serve with pasta and veggies for a balanced meal 🙂

What’s your favorite Italian dish?
I love anything with pesto and warm, soft bread with olive oil!

Barbeque Chicken & Bean Burritos

9 Mar

I know I’ve said this before, and I’m sure I’ll say it again; I’m a big fan of Jillian Michaels.

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I think she has a very realistic approach to fitness.  She knows that it takes a lot of hard work to be in great shape but that doesn’t mean she’ll let you off the hook.  Her videos are tough but motivational and the same can be said about her book, Making the Cut.

A few months ago, I read the book and followed her program.  While I didn’t drop a large amount of weight, I know I built muscle and felt stronger, as a result.  Each workout is a total body workout with cardio intervals so she gets your heart rate soaring, which helps burn fat.  She plans out 30 days worth of workouts so that you’ll never perform one workout more than twice.  Variety helps to keep your body from adapting and it keeps you from getting bored!

With all that being said, today I’d actually like to discuss the food aspect of this “diet” book.  Jillian is of the opinion that each of us can be defined by one of three metabolism types; slow, balanced, and fast.  In the book, she provides a detailed questionnaire that will determine what type you are.  From there, you can read through her meal plans and recipes to determine what will work best for you.

Seeing that I’m a balanced-oxidizer, I decided to make the Barbeque Chicken & Bean Burritos.

This recipe is ideal for balanced-oxidizers because it has a combination of carbs, protein, and fat.  In addition, the fiber from the beans and the whole wheat tortilla really help to keep you full.

Barbeque Chicken & Bean Burritos
(adapted from Jillian Michael’s Making the Cut)

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 3/4 lb chicken tenders
  • 1/2 cup chopped yellow onion
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • one 15oz can of low sodium black beans
  • 1/3 cup barbeque sauce
  • 1/2 cup reduced fat shredded cheese
  • 4 whole wheat tortillas
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:

  1. Chop onion, mince garlic, and cube chicken.
  2. In a skillet over medium heat, add olive oil, onions, garlic, and chicken.  Cook until chicken is done (about 10 minutes).
  3. Meanwhile drain and rinse black beans.  Add to the skillet once the chicken is done.
  4. Add barbeque sauce and cook for another 5 minutes.
  5. Stir in cheese until melted.
  6. Fill each tortilla with 1/2 cup of the chicken & bean mixture.
  7. Add additional toppings, such as sour cream, cheese, or guacamole, if desired.

Alex prefers corn tortillas so I served his taco style.

A side plate of veggies rounded out the meal nicely.

This was a great recipe that I’ll definitely be making again.  It was prepared and served all within 20 minutes.  You can’t beat that for a weeknight!

What do you prefer, burritos or tacos?

The Hottest of Pockets

8 Mar

Today I finally had time to get cooking!

As I mentioned on Friday, this past weekend was jam packed with family events.  We visited several restaurants for a few family meals (yum!!), made a couple trips to the Armory Track to see my brother run, and had our first offical discussion to kick off the wedding planning!   All in all, things went incredibly well and everyone hit it off.  I’m thrilled 🙂

But it didn’t leave much time to get creative in the kitchen.  Luckily, I had some time this evening.

In last weeks Five Favorites Friday, I mentioned a recipe for homemade hot pockets.  These bad boys have been on my mind ever since I read the recipe, so I knew I had to make them soon!

This recipe is so easy to make and very adaptable.  The dough came together quickly and the fillings can be made to anyone’s liking.  Since Alex loves his protein, I decided to fill the pockets with shredded chicken, cheese, and tomato sauce.  In the end, they turned out to look like mini calzones.  And they were taste tester approved!

Trust me, that’s his happy face 🙂

Homemade Hot Pockets
(recipe adapted from Chow Vegan)

Ingredients:

Crust

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2 Tbsp cornmeal
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 cup water

Filling

  • 1/4 cup tomato sauce
  • 4 ounces shredded chicken breast
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheese

Topping

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • A sprinkle of Mrs. Dash original seasonings

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Combine all the crust ingredients expect for the water, until it looks like a coarse meal.  Slowly add water until the dough forms a ball (I used just about 1/2 cup but you might need less).
  3. Sprinkle your counter with some flour or cornmeal so that the dough does not stick.  Divide the dough into quarters and roll out each piece into a circle.
  4. Place the filling on one side and leave about 1/2″ of dough around the edge so that it is not overstuffed.
  5. Fold the dough over the filling and gently press the edges together with a fork.
  6. Place the completed pockets on a well-greased baking sheet.  Lightly oil the top of each and sprinkle with Mrs. Dash original seasonings.
  7. Bake for 18-20 minutes, until the tops brown.  Let the pockets sit on the baking sheet for a few minutes before serving.

Tell me, what type of hot pocket/mini calzone would you make?

Chicken Meatballs & ABCs

28 Feb

Since I have a really quick recipe for you, I thought I’d also include my answers to the latest survey going around the blogging world.  Here are my ABCs:

A – Age: 27

B – Bed Size: Double bed, for now.  Someday I’ll allow myself the luxury of a king 🙂

C – Chore You Hate: vacuuming.  I hate how loud it is!  And I have the worst vacuum cleaner known to man.

D – Dogs?  Eh.  In all honesty, I have nothing against them I just don’t want to live with one.  Or clean up after one.

E – Essential Start Your Day Item:  Breakfast!  I usually go for something involving peanut butter.  Yum!

F – Favorite Color: Purple

G – Gold or Silver?  Silver

H – Height: 5 ft 5 in

I – Instruments You Play: I played the clarinet all throughout middle and high school but gave it up once I got to college.  And I don’t miss it one bit.

J – Job Title: CPA

K – Kids: Someday 🙂

L – Live: Manhattan

M – Mom’s Name: Pat

N – Nicknames: Mouse or Mousie, Chelle

O – Overnight Hospital Stays? Luckily none!

P – Pet Peeve: Slow, slow, sloooooow walkers (a.k.a. Tourists)

Q – Quote from a Movie:  I know this is kind of cheesy but I love the quote “There’s no place like home” from the Wizard of Oz.  Because it’s just so true.

R – Right or Left Handed: Right

S – Siblings: A younger sister, Amanda, and a younger brother, Mike

T – Time You Wake Up: 7:10am (too early if you ask me!)

U – Underwear: I usually wear it 🙂

V – Vegetable You Dislike: Baby Corn

W – What Makes You Run Late: Usually, slow walkers (see P above)

X – X-Rays You’ve Had Done: My teeth and my left elbow.  I had a slight break in my left elbow from a fall while rollerblading.  I had to start high school in a cast.  That wasn’t much fun.

Y – Yummy Food You Make: Chocolate Chip cookies (for sure) and a close second would have to be pizza.

Z – Zoo, Favorite Animal: I actually don’t like zoos because I feel bad for the animals all locked up.  But if I had to pick, I’d probably say penguins.  They’re adorable and always fashionable.

So, without further ado, a yummy, quick recipe!  These chicken meatballs are incredibly easy to throw together.  It’ll take you more time to pull out the ingredients than to actually make them.  And once they’re in the oven, you’re free to take it easy as there isn’t much clean up either.  Love that!

Chicken Meatballs

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb ground chicken
  • 2 Tbsp Italian bread crumbs
  • 1 Tbsp basil pesto
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Directions:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients until evenly mixed.
  3. Roll a tablespoon sized portions into balls until you have 16.
  4. Place meatballs into an 8×8 baking dish sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.  Be sure to evenly space the meatballs so that they do not touch.
  5. Cook meatballs for 15 to 20 minutes.  If you would like to add some tomato sauce, remove the meatballs from the oven after 12 to 15 minutes and cover each with a small amount of sauce.  Cook for another 3 to 5 minutes.
  6. Remove from the oven and let stand for a few minutes before serving.

I’m not very creative when it comes to side dishes.  Any good ideas for what to serve with these meatballs?