Tagged: pesto

Pesto Chicken & Quinoa Stuffed Peppers

It pains me to admit that I so rarely fiddle around with new recipes in the kitchen. When you’ve got a handful of quick recipes that make everyone happy it’s very easy to fall into a routine of just making the same things over and over again. I was feeling creative last night and with only six ingredients – ingredients that I always have on hand, but have never combined this way – I made a fabulous, healthy, and gorgeous dinner in 30 minutes. Seriously.

Pesto Pepper 2

Now I’m not going to lie to you. I have never had “traditional” stuffed peppers. I love peppers, don’t get me wrong, but I just never found the concept of mushy peppers stuffed with ground beef and rice all that appealing. Sounds pretty bland if you ask me.  This recipe is far from bland and packed with flavor! I also don’t cook the peppers to mush – I like them to have a little texture left to them. But if you like your stuffed peppers that way …

 Pesto Chicken & Quinoa Stuffed Peppers

  • 2 bell peppers, sliced it in half
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts , diced into bite sized pieces
  • 1 cup of quinoa, cooked
  •  2 tablespoons of good quality, store bought pesto (if you have homemade, even better!)
  • 2 cups of baby spinach
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Place the peppers, open side up,  and place in the oven. Let cook for about 10 ten minutes.

While the peppers are cooking, cook the chicken breasts in a nonstick skillet sprayed with a little nonstick spray over medium high heat until cooked through – about 7 minutes. Add the spinach and cover with a lid to wilt. Add the cooked quinoa and pesto to the pan. Stir well to combine.

Remove the peppers from the oven and carefully spoon the chicken and quinoa mixture into each pepper cavity. Top each pepper with 1/4 cup the mozzarella. Return to the oven and let cook ten minutes more until the cheese is melted and begins to brown.

Let cool about 5 minutes before serving!

Pesto Chicken & Quinoa Stuffed Pepper

 

 

Real Food Recipe Roundup #3 – Mozzarella Stuffed Chicken Pesto Meatballs with Baked Spaghetti Squash

Top o’ the mornin’ to ya!!

Lolz.

I know it’s not St. Patty’s yet – but I figured it’s close enough that I could greet you all like an enthusiastic leprechaun without too much judgement.

Anywho – I’m going to keep this short and sweet today because I’ve got not one but TWO recipes (ya know…that are particularly delicious when served together) and they’re kind of lengthy. I made these for the fam last weekend and everyone loveeeeedddddd it!!! Even the men were happy with the spaghetti squash, which really made me happy!!

If you’ve got a real food recipe that you’d like to share, don’t forget to grab a badge and link up at the bottom of the post!!!

Twenty-Something & Starving

<a href=”http://twentysomethingandstarving.com” target=”_self”><img src=”http://i63.photobucket.com/albums/h130/Jennifer_Yoder/46133fa4-d3da-44aa-bd3a-92bd35349c37_zps9dc148ce.jpg” alt=”Twenty-Something & Starving” width=”250″ height=”150″ /></a>


 

 

 

Mozzarella Stuffed Chicken Pesto Meatballs with Baked Spaghetti Squash

For the Mozzarella Stuffed Chicken Pesto Meatballs (makes about 30 meatballs)

  • 6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite sized pieces
    (or about 1.5 lbs lean ground chicken)
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeds and stem removed
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 handful of fresh basil leaves
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons prepared pesto + More to taste
    (you can make your own or use store bought! I use Wegmans brand when I’m in a pinch. It’s delicious AND check out the ingredients)
  • 1 egg + 1 egg white
  • 1 cup whole wheat panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 lb of part skim mozzarella cheese, cut into little cubes
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Add the bell pepper, garlic, and basil to the bowl of a food processor and pulse until it forms a paste. Add about half of the chicken breasts and pulse until ground. Remove the chicken mixture and place in a large bowl. Set aside. Repeat with the remaining chicken.

Once all of the chicken is ground and in the bowl, add the pesto, Parmesan, panko, salt, pepper, and eggs. Mix well until thoroughly combined.

To prepare the meatballs, grab a small handful (about the size of a golf ball) of the chicken mixture and flatten it in the palm of your hand. Add a mozzeralla cube to the center and form the meatball around it, being careful not to expose the cheese.  Repeat until all of the meatballs are formed.

In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Add meatballs to the pan (fill it up, but make sure they aren’t touching) and cook for about 3 to 4 minutes on each side until brown. Remove meatballs from the skillet as they are done and place them on a large baking sheet, adding more meatballs to the skillet as you go, until all of the meatballs are brown.

Place the cookie sheet in your preheated oven for about 15 minutes. Remove, and brush the meatballs with some more prepared pesto. Return the pan to the oven for 5 to 10 minutes more or until the meatballs are cooked through to a safe 165 degrees.

Serve on top of Baked Spaghetti Squash!

For the Baked Spaghetti Squash

  • 2 spaghetti squash, roasted, cooled, and spaghettified
    (Yup, that’s the technical term. Directions for spaghettifying here!)
  • 1 can of no salt added diced tomatoes
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced fine
  • 2 tablespoons granulated garlic
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded part skim mozarella cheese

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, combine all ingredients except mozzarella cheese.

Spray a 9×13 baking dish with nonstick spray and add the spaghetti squash mixture. Top with mozzarella cheese. Bake at 350 for 35 to 40 minutes or until the cheese is melted and brown and the squash is warm through.

Serve topped with Mozzarella Stuffed Chicken Pesto Meatballs!

chicken pesto meatballs with baked spaghetti squash

What I Ate Wednesday #10

Hello, world!! A very happy Wednesday to you.

I’ve grown particularly fond of Wednesday’s lately, thanks (pretty much in ALL parts) to Jenn at Peas and Crayons for hosting the wonderful linkup that is What I Ate Wednesday. I really do love sitting around Wednesday nights and going through as many other blogs as I can to check out what everyone else is munching. I think it’s silly and fun to see how we’re really all the same, you know. We all get stuck in ruts. We all have a few favorite things that we eat all the time (like my string cheese!). We all seek inspiration from others at times to shake up our food routines. And we all love to eat! Taking a peek into someone else’s life for a day can be kind of exciting, don’t you think?! Here are my Wednesday eats!!

Breakfast: I had a big bowl of Special K Chocolaty Delight with Red Berries with some 1% milk, a clementine, and some decaf Lady Grey tea. I actually keep cereals like this on hand for dessert most of the time! Late at night (ya know, 9 o’clock) and when I want something sweet I’d rather have a little 100 calorie bowl of cereal and low fat milk than cookies or candy, ya know what I mean?
specialk

Snack: I had a hard-boiled egg, followed shortly by a string cheese. 

hbegg stringcheeseLunch: Very soon after my snacks I felt suuuuuper hungry. Like…I had the hungry shakes. Does anyone else ever experience those?? I stood up and was like “Whoa, man, I need to eat something right now before I fall over.” Not qutie sure what the deal was with this today, as I felt like I had eaten enough up to that point in time. I decided not to mess around, though, and I got up and made my lunch right away. I had a Morning Star Farms Spicy Black Bean Burger on a whole wheat engish muffin with 1/4 of a perfectly ripe avocado, cilantro, and butter lettuce leaves! I had some baby carrots on the side, too. I usually bring along some cheese and salsa to go with my veggie burgers, too, but I forgot them today. Oh well, it was still delicious (and I made much less of a mess eating it!)!

veggieburger

Snack: I ate lunch at my desk today so Johnny and I had our full lunch hour to head over to the outlets on our break. We made a pitstop at Starbucks and I snagged a decaf-short-soy-latte with cinnamon dolce sprinkles on top!! It was perfect to sip while we walked around outside, as it’s a tad bit chilly out. I can’t complain too much, though, as 45 degrees is waaaaaaaaaaay better than 2 degrees! I also had a few dried apple slices when we got back to work. (Thanks again, Nicole!)

babylatte driedapples

PreGym Snack: Today I had a Carrot Cake Luna Bar. Chocolate Peppermint Stick is still my favorite of the Luna Bars (followed VERY closely by S’mores). I like the carrot cake one, but not as much as I hoped considering how much I adore carrot cake! What’s your favorite Luna Bar flavor??

lunabar

Dinner: Oh man. I loved dinner tonight. So quick and tasty, which in my opinion are two adjectives that should describe every dinner ever! NO RECIPE RECIPE: I grilled some chicken on the George Forman grill that I rubbed with some store bought pesto. When I pulled them off the grill I topped each with a slice of 2% milk provolone cheese. I sauteed some cherry tomatoes in garlic with a touch more pesto to top mine and had some green beans with garlic, lemon, and olive oil on the side. Absolutely perfect dinner!!

pesto chicken and green beansThat’s all she wrote, today!! Though, I won’t lie, I’m pretty sure imma snag a piece of toast with some pb&j on it and a glass of milk when I watch Top Chef later!! Perhaps I’ll update the post later with a photo. We’ll see! Anyone else out there a Top Chef fan?? I’m routing for Shirley this season…or for Louis to come back and win it all from last chance kitchen!! His smile …. he’s so adorable … and I’d eat the heck out of his food!!!

Until next time! Hopefully I’ll be posting a recipe later this weekend! And you’ll be getting a Baby Yoder update soon, too! Only TWO WEEKS until we know if it’s a boy or a girl!!!!

 

 


Pesto Flatbread Pizza

Ladies and gentlemen, I think it’s imperative to inform you that if my taste-buds could express emotions,  right now, they would be in ecstasy! They would be crying tears of joy while simultaneously doing one-handed-back-hand-springs.

I’m afraid, however, that my taste-buds are incapable of such feats. (I know. It’s sad.) Your taste-buds will have the same emotional experience if you make this evenings’ recipe for yourself. Who knows. Maybe you’ll have more luck with the one-handed-back-hand-springs.

These flatbread pizzas are INSANELY versatile! I made a shrimp version a few of us had and chicken for the rest. You could easily leave off the meat all together and load up on the veggies. I put spinach on mine. Tomatoes, peppers, and sauteed mushrooms would all be divine on this pizza,too!

The combination of succulent shrimp with creamy ricotta, gooey mozzarella and the sharp bite of pesto is quite an amazing experience. The recipe I’m sharing is enough to feed five people two pizzas each. Do yourself (and your taste-buds) a favor and make these tonight. 🙂

Pesto Flatbread Pizza

  • 10 flatbreads (I used onion flavored, they were tasty)
  • 1 (8 oz.) jar store bought pesto
  • 1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined and chopped into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 cups baby spinach, rinsed and dried
  • 2 cups part-skim mozzarella cheese, grated
  • 1 cup part skim ricotta cheese

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
In a large sauce pan, heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Add the garlic and cook for about 1 minute or until fragrant.
Add the shrimp and cook for about 3 minutes more. (Shrimp will transform from their original translucent gray color to a lovely opaque pink.)
Add the wine and lemon juice and cook 2 minutes more. Remove from heat.
Spread approximately 1 tablespoon of pesto onto each flatbread. Top with small dollops of ricotta cheese and baby spinach. Divide shrimp evenly among the flatbreads. Sprinkle with shredded mozzarella.
Cook the flatbread pizzas on a large baking sheet (I used two) for about 7 minutes or until the cheese is melted.
Serve immediately. Top with red pepper flakes and oregano for an extra one-two punch of flavor!

 

 

Not Your Average Chicken & Pasta

I know it’s been a while since I shared a new recipe with you guys. You’ll be happy to know that I took my LAST final today and in exactly one week I’ll be a college graduate!!!!

*excited girly sounds*

I promise I’ll be updating regularly as soon as things get settled. Until then, I’ll share some recipes I’ve had hanging out and never got around to posting. Here is a recipe I came up with while visiting friends in Florida back in December.

I took one of my favorite sauces – PESTO – and deconstructed it into a pasta dish containing all of the main ingredients. I added some tomatoes just for fun, too! It was accompanied by chicken breasts stuffed with ricotta, spinach and some store bought pesto to tie all of the flavors together. Even my dear friend Victoria, who, admittedly, is a rather picky eater, loved it! I hope you love it, too!

Pesto Stuffed Chicken
with Roasted Tomato & Pine Nut Farfalle

For Chicken:

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 (6oz) jar store bought pesto
  • 1 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
  • ½ cup baby spinach, washed and chopped
  • 2 teaspoons garlic, minced
  • Salt and pepper to taste

For Pasta

  • 1 box farfalle pasta
  • 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup pine (pignolli) nuts, toasted in a dry pan for 5 minutes
  • 1 handful fresh basil, torn into bite sized pieces
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)
  • Parmesan cheese (however much you like!)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

To begin, pour tomatoes onto a foil lined baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, garlic, salt, and pepper and place in an oven at 400° until the tomatoes begin to pop open and become fragrant, about 25 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside.
Meanwhile, place one chicken breast between two sheets of parchment paper. Using a large, heavy skillet (a meat tenderizer works well too, but most people I know don’t have one, myself included, so I just take a pan and go to town) thin out chicken to about ¼ inch thickness using even blows to the breast. Repeat with remaining three.
For filling, combine the pesto, ricotta, spinach, and garlic in a large bowl and stir until combined.
To stuff, take a thinned out chicken breast and spread with ¼ of the cheese mixture. Roll the chicken breast around stuffing. Secure with toothpicks. Repeat with remaining three.
Season chicken breasts liberally with salt and pepper. Place in a pan with some olive oil over high heat and cook for 5 minutes on each side until a nice, golden crust is formed. Transfer to a baking sheet and cook in a preheated oven at 400° for 10 more minutes until chicken is cooked through.
Prepare pasta to package directions and desired doneness.  Add roasted tomatoes (and all the oil left on the pan), toasted pine nuts, basil, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. If it seems dry, add a little more olive oil. Stir in the parmesan at the very last second.
Serve and enjoy!