This week I made another recipe from Healthy and Easy Recipes…Pesto Chicken, Sundried Tomatoes and Artichoke Heart Pasta…if you’re a pesto lover, this is definitely one you should try!
Pesto Chicken, Sundried Tomatoes and Artichoke Heart PastaIngredients:1.5 pounds pasta, I used brown rice pasta3 chicken breasts, baked1/2 jar sundried tomatoes, julienne sliced1/2 jar marinated artichoke hearts, divided1/2 cup parmesan cheeseDirections:
First get your chicken baking, I cooked 3 breasts in a pyrex dish (sprayed with Olive Oil) and seasoned with s & p and garlic powder on 400 for about 30- 40 minutes (check center before removing from oven, time will vary due to thickness of breasts). Next get your water boiling and your pasta cooking (per directions on the pasta bag). Then make your pesto sauce and then start combining things as they are done. Drain the pasta, cover it in the pesto sauce, chop your chicken, add your sun dried tomatoes & artichoke hearts and toss in some fresh Parmesan and you are ready to serve your hearty and tasty pasta!
You can buy your own pesto sauce at the store, but here is a recipe from Healthy and Easy Recipes for pesto sauce if you want to make your own…it is worth it!
3 cups fresh basil2/3 cup olive oil2/3 cup Parmesan cheese1/2 cup pine nuts5 cloves garlics & pDirections:This is super easy- put all the ingredients in a food processor (or Vitamix!) and blend until it’s a creamy consistency.
Thoughts on This Week’s Recipe:
Ease of preparation: This recipe couldn’t be easier! The only thing that might take a little time is if you make your own pesto, but that is really quick and easy too. You’re basically just cooking some chicken, boiling some pasta and throwing a bunch of ingredients together…easy!
Overall opinion: Okay, so I didn’t exactly follow directions on this one, and I decided I would cook my chicken in the crockpot…which turned out not to be such a great idea for this dish…or perhaps I had it in there too long, but my chicken was overcooked and dry and that made it hard for me to love this dish. I did love all the other flavors though, and I think if I did the chicken better next time, I would love this! I did like that this recipe made a ton…I love leftovers! I also made the mistake of making my pesto sauce the day before…and then using it on pesto, mozzarella and tomato paninis…leaving me not enough for this dish the next day…so I used part of my homemade sauce, and also some from a jar. So…better luck next time!
Husband’s thoughts: He really enjoyed this dish, and to be honest…I was surprised. He’s big on not having dry chicken, but he didn’t seem to mind so much this time…I guess all the other tasty ingredients made up for it.
Would you make it again? Yes, definitely. Rick really enjoyed this dish and I think if I prepare it better next time it will be fabulous!
Did you omit or add anything? Nope. I guess I just omitted following the directions!
Would you change anything next time? I would definitely prepare the chicken differently…for this dish, the crockpot just made the chicken too dry for me. If you’re going to make this, I would bake the chicken as the recipe suggests, or…I might try grilling it next time. In fact…I came across this recipe for Grilled Chicken and Roasted Red Pepper Panini and I thought I would use the grilled chicken part of it to marinade the chicken and grill it for this dish…what do you think?
- 3 whole Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts
- 8 whole Sundried Tomatoes, Packed In Oil
- 3 Tablespoons Prepared Basil Pesto
- 1 Tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice
- ½ teaspoons Kosher Salt
- Freshly Ground Black Pepper
Directions:Slightly flatten chicken with a mallet (just until uniform thickness.)
In a blender or food processor, puree sundried tomatoes, pesto, olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Add half the mixture to a ziploc bag with the chicken breasts. Smush around to coat the chicken, then refrigerate for several hours or overnight.
After marinating, heat heavy skillet or grill to medium. Grill or cook chicken until done. Slice chicken into strips.
This Week’s Recipe:
Mexican Black Bean Burgers
Adapted from The Everything Beans Book by Katie Kimball.
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 1/2 red pepper, chopped
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves
- (2 jalapenos, optional, seeded)
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- one can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 1/2 c. cooked green lentils (I used canned)
- 1 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. pepper
- 2 eggs
- 1 c. bread crumbs
1. Open cans of black beans and brown or green lentils, rinse them well with cold water, and drain them in a small sieve.
2. Heat olive oil in a small sauté pan. Roughly chop onion and red pepper; peel garlic. Sauté vegetables in the oil until they have softened, about five minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
3. Pulse the sautéed onion, pepper, garlic in a food processor, along with the fresh cilantro and optional jalepeno, until finely chopped. Add the beans and lentils and process until pasty. If your food processor is a bit weak, you may want to tackle this in two batches. (I only have a mini food processor, but I did it in three batches and was fine.)
4. When mostly smooth, add salt, pepper, and the eggs. Process until combined and then add 3/4 of cup of bread crumbs and process briefly until incorporated. Give a little stir around the very center for anything your blade may have missed. If your food processor is on the small side, you may wish to remove the legume/vegetable mixture to a bowl and simply stir in the rest of the ingredients. (this is what I did!)
5. Add more bread crumbs bit by bit until the mixture starts sticking together. It is now ready to form patties.
6. Put some flour in a salad bowl to use in flouring your hands and the outside of the patties. Form 1/2- to 3/4-inch thick patties. The patties might seem a little fragile, but you don’t want them too stiff or they might dry out and get crumbly once cooked.
7. Cook in a well-greased skillet over medium to medium-high heat, or an indoor grill, for about 5-8 minutes on each side, turning at least once for even doneness. You can add oil in between sides, especially if you want a nice even browning look, or if you’re using a cast iron skillet.
8. Serve between two buns with an assortment of condiments and favorite toppings. Keep with the Mexican theme and offer fresh peppers, pickled jalapenos, avocado slices and salsa.