Basil Pesto Chicken with garlic tomato pasta

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I can NOT wait until we can start planting our garden this year. We have such a short growing season here that you really need to appreciate that couple of months you get to grow your own food. There is something so special about it! My tomatoes last year were UNREAL. I had 5 tomato plants in pots (yes I have all my garden goodies in pots, and they’ve been doing better and better each year) and I got an unreal amount of tomatoes. I had batches on batches of salsa, stewed tomatoes and sauces. This year, I’m going to try doing passata as well!

Anyways, this dish is inspired by my excitement for my tomato season and basil season, and obviously my all time ever lasting love for pasta. Here is a delicious supper full of tomato, basil pesto and perfectly seasoned chicken. If you want this to be vegan, use kabocha squash or chickpeas in place of chicken. this will change your cooking process.

 

Ingredients: (serves 2)

  • 2 TBSP EVOO
  • 2 chicken breasts, pounded so they’re even for cooking
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1.5c grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 5 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 1/2c veggie or chicken stock
  • 1/2c or more of smoked mozzarella, grated
  • 1/4c basil pesto homemade or store bought (I always make this one)
  • linguini, fettuccine or spaghetti work well for this dish.

Directions:

  1. Cook pasta according to package directions
  2. Add EVOO to a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat.
  3. Season chicken breasts on both sides with salt, pepper, garlic powder and basil. Once the skillet is hot, add the chicken. let it brown on one side for a couple minutes then flip it over and brown it on the other side. this might take anywhere from 4-6 minutes per side depending on the size of your breasts. if your chicken is a nice golden brown then it’s safe to flip it over.
  4. Remove the chicken from the skillet to a plate.
  5. Turn your heat down to medium. Toss your tomatoes, onions and garlic into the skillet. De-glaze with your veggie stock, and stir often until your tomatoes start to burst. if they’re not bursting fast enough for your liking, use a potato masher and do it yourself. Season the mixture with salt and pepper.
  6. Add your chicken back to the skillet and cook until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 160F. add your pesto on to the chicken breasts and sprinkle them with cheese. Put a large lid over your pan and let the cheese melt for a minute.
  7. Remove the chicken to dinner plates. Toss your cooked pasta with the tomato mixture and serve! Sprinkling more cheese on top is also never a bad idea.

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Sesame chicken with sweet harissa sauce

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I love lazy supper days. I ate this right off this plate. By myself. Because I was alone with my two little babe’s who don’t want to eat harissa sauce. So they get to eat plain old sesame chicken!!!! Anyways, without marinading the chicken, this recipe takes next to no time and very VERY little prep.

Ingredients:

  • 2 chicken breasts, cubed in to 1/2″ pieces
  • 1C Buttermilk
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/3c tahini
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 TBSP Sesame oil
  • 1 tsp poppy seeds
  • 1 tsp sesame seeds
  • fresh ground sea salt and cracked pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp minced onion flakes

Harissa sauce:

  • 3/4c Harissa sauce from a can
  • 3 TBSP honey
  • 1/2 tsp onion flakes
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder

Directions:

  1. In a medium sized bowl, add your chicken, buttermilk, garlic cloves, tahini, lemon, salt and pepper. Toss to coat. Marinate 1 hour up to 24 hours.
  2. Discard marinade. In a bowl, add your chicken, poppy seeds, sesame seeds, salt, pepper, garlic powder and onion flakes. Toss to coat.
  3. Heat a skillet over medium heat. Add your sesame oil. Once hot, add your chicken and start to cook.
  4. In a separate sauce pan, add your harissa sauce ingredients over medium heat. Don’t have your heat too high, you don’t want the honey to burn. mix ingredients together. bring to a small boil, then reduce to simmer until your chicken is done cooking.
  5. Once your chicken is done cooking, remove from heat. serve with cucumber tomato salad, or in taco’s and top with your sweet and spicy harissa sauce.

Caprese Panzanella with Chicken

Chicken. Bread. Cheese. Tomatoes. Basil. Heaven. That is all.

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Ingredients: (serves 4)

For the chicken-

  • 4 6oz chicken breasts, pounded to the same thickness for even cooking
  • 1/2 tsp each garlic powder, oregano and thyme
  • 1/2 tsp each salt and pepper
  • 2 TBSP EVOO (for pan frying)

For the salad-

  • 1 1/2 C (226G) FRESH mozzarella cheese, diced into 1/4″ cubes
  • 2 1/2C fresh torn basil leaves
  • Balsamic vinaigrette or glaze (optional)

For the Tomatoes-

  • 3-4c cherry tomatoes
  • 8 cloves garlic, peeled and halved
  • 1/2 white onion, cut into 1/2″ chunks
  • 1/4 tsp salt and pepper + a little more to taste
  • 1/2 tsp each garlic powder, thyme and oregano
  • 1-2 TBSP EVOO

For the croutons-

  • 6c day old bread or buns (approx 3 Portuguese rolls) diced into 1″ cubes
  • 1/2C EVOO
  • 3 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 400F. Line 2 baking pans with tin foil.
  2. In a large bowl, add your cubed bread, olive oil, oregano, thyme, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Toss everything together with your hands to make sure everything is mixed up. Pour on to one of your tin foil lined pans. Bake at 400F for 15 minutes, or until golden brown.
  3. In the same bowl, add your tomatoes. Drizzle with 2 tbsp olive oil. Add your garlic cloves, onion, salt, pepper, garlic powder, thyme and oregano. Toss everything together with your hands and make sure everything is coated evenly. Pour tomato mixture on to the second tin foil lined pan. Bake at 400F for 20 minutes, or until nicely roasted.
  4. In a small bowl, mix together your chicken seasonings. (salt, pepper, oregano, thyme, and garlic powder.) Once mixed, season both sides of your chicken breasts.
  5. In a pan over medium heat, add your 2 tbsp of olive oil. Let it get nice and toasty. Add your chicken breasts to the pan. Let cook on the one side for about 5-7 minutes. Once browned nicely on that side, turn the chicken over and continue cooking until it is fully cooked through. (This will be about another 7 minutes.) Once your chicken is fully cooked (check with a meat thermometer for a temperature that reads 160F) remove from the pan and to a cutting board to rest.
  6. Slice your chicken in to thin strips, or dice it.
  7. In a large salad bowl, add your roasted tomatoes, croutons, chicken, mozzarella cheese and torn basil. Drizzle with a balsamic vinaigrette or a balsamic glaze. Or eat it without it! It is delicious either way!

Greek Chicken Skewers with Tzatziki

House cleaning day/laundry day/shopping day/day at the park day means this 40 week pregnant mama has zero time to spend making and preparing dinner.  I can get the marinade done early in the day or the day before, marinate the chicken and do the tzatziki at the same time. So by the time it comes to BBQ, all I need to do is cut up some veg and make a side salad. for me, this is simple!

Cheers to the BBQ and healthy dinners!

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Ingredients: (serves 4)

For the chicken + marinade-

  • 10 boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1″ cubes
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 palm full of fresh basil, minced
  • 1 palm full of mint, minced
  • 1 palm full of parsley, minced (roughly 1-2 tbsp)
  • 1 palm full of dill, minced
  • 3 tbsp EVOO
  • 3 TBSP full fat plain greek yogurt
  • 1 lemon, juiced (About 3 tbsp)
  • salt and pepper, to taste

For the Tzatziki sauce-

  • 1 1/2C full fat plain greek yogurt
  • 1/4 red onion, grated
  • 1 garlic clove, grated
  • 1/2 English cucumber, grated
  • 2 tbsp mint, minced
  • 1 tbsp dill, minced
  • (If the garlic doesn’t sit in the yogurt for a little while, it can have a very strong flavour, especially if it is fresh garden garlic. If the flavours are too strong for you, I would suggest adding in 1 tbsp of honey. This can really help!)

Directions:

  1. In a medium sized bowl, or a food storage bag add all of your chicken and marinade ingredients. Let marinate for 30 minutes, up to one hour.
  2. In a separate bowl, mix together all of your tzatziki ingredients except for the DILL. Set aside and let sit for as long as your chicken is marinating.
  3. Heat your outdoor grill to just below medium heat. Start skewering your chicken on to metal skewers or pre-soaked wooden skewers. brush the skewers with the marinade, and add them to the grill.
  4. Turn once your chicken starts looking opaque. *Note- if your chicken skewers are sticking to the grill, your heat may be too high. To avoid pulling all the meat off the skewer itself, I suggest using a metal spatula and gently scraping underneath the chicken skewers to move them before you turn them with a pair of tongs.
  5. Once your chicken is no longer pink (test a large piece or use a meat thermometer and make sure the temperature reads 160F) remove from the grill.
  6. Add your dill to your tzatziki and mix together.
  7. Serve with grilled peppers + onions, your tzatziki sauce and my Fresh Dill and cucumber salad!

 

 


Juicy Chicken with a lime and cilantro sauce

My favourite dinners are the ones that are easy to make, but also fresh, healthy, and light. It’s officially grilling season, so I don’t need to dirty any pans in the kitchen for this bad boy! Lime and cilantro marinated chicken breast, topped with a fresh herb sauce – it doesn’t get much better than this!

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Ingredients: (Serves 2)

  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • salt and pepper

Marinade:

  • 2 small limes, zested and juiced
  • 1/4c EVOO
  • 1C loosely packed cilantro, rough chopped
  • salt and pepper

Sauce:

  • 1/2 TSP dried lemon grass, or 1″ fresh lemon grass
  • 1 large garlic clove, peeled and crushed
  • 1/2 of a shallot, about 1.5-2 tbsp rough chopped
  • 1 lime juiced and zested
  • 1/2 of a large bunch of cilantro, rough chopped (some stems okay!)
  • 1 fat TBSP honey
  • 1 TBSP China lily soy sauce
  • dash of fresh ground salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:

  1. In a ziplock freezer bag or small bowl, add your chicken breasts, lime juice and zest, salt, pepper, cilantro and EVOO. Let your chicken marinate for at least 30 minutes up to 1 hour.
  2. Preheat your outdoor grill to medium heat.
  3. Remove chicken from the marinade, and pat it completely dry with paper towel. Season both sides with salt and pepper.
  4. Place your chicken on the grill. cook on one side for about 7 minutes. The chicken will not stick to the grill once it is ready to flip. Once it is ready to flip, flip it over and continue cooking until your internal temp reaches 165F.
  5. While your chicken is cooking, get your sauce ingredients ready.
  6. In a small blender or food processor add all sauce ingredients and blend until you get a chunky or smooth consistency. Whether it is a little chunky or smooth is up to you.
  7. Remove your chicken from the grill and smother it with the sauce. Enjoy!!!

10 Spice Beer Can Chicken

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It was 29 degrees today. WOW. What an ABSOLUTELY beautiful day!!! But on super hot days like today, I don’t really feel like heating up my house any more than it already is – so I decided to BBQ outside! Tonights dinner is a super simple, yet delicious (moist) beer can chicken!!!! If you have never tried something like this, I suggest you do. Serve it up with some BBQ’D sweet potatoes, and BBQ’D whole carrots, and a home made Caesar salad.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 3-4LB whole chicken
  • 1/3c EVOO
  • 2 TBSP brown sugar
  • 2 TBSP garlic powder
  • 2 TBSP smoked paprika
  • 1 TBSP cumin
  • 1 TBSP coriander
  • 1 TBSP onion powder
  • 1 TBSP salt
  • 1 TBSP pepper
  • 1/2 TBSP cinnamon
  • 1 TSP cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 can of your favourite beer

Directions:

  1. Wash your bird thoroughly inside and out. Pat dry.
  2. In a small mixing bowl, mix together your brown sugar, garlic powder, smoked paprika, cumin, coriander, onion powder, salt, pepper, cinnamon and cayenne pepper and your evoo.
  3. Place your chicken in a LARGE bowl. Rub your seasoning paste all over the bird.
  4. Heat your outdoor grill to LOW on one side, and MEDIUM on the other side.
  5. Make sure to use some kind of drip tray safe for a BBQ to place your chicken on. Put the beer can in the chickens cavity, place standing up on the drip tray and put it on the LOW heat side of the BBQ. Close the lid. If the brown sugar on your chicken is getting black within the first 10-20 minutes of being on the grill, turn the heat down a little lower.
  6. Set a kitchen timer for 1 hour. This can take up to 90 minutes depending on the efficiency of your grill. My 4lb chicken only took about 1 hour.
  7. Once the thickest part of the chicken reads 165F, it is ready to come off the grill.
  8. Place chicken on a cutting board, let rest for 15 minutes.
  9. Once the chicken is well rested, carve and serve!

Thai Green Curry with Chicken and spring veggies

This Thai Curry uses a home made green curry paste that you can find here

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Ingredients: (Serves 2)

  • 3 medium carrots, sliced on the bias (about 1/2C)
  • 7 stalks of asparagus, hard ends snapped off, cut into 1/2″ pieces
  • 4 large green onions both whites and greens sliced on the bias, keep whites separated from the green.
  • 1 398ML can of coconut milk or cream
  • 2 6-8oz chicken breasts, cubed
  • 3 tbsp Green Thai Curry Paste
  • 2 TBSP china lily soy sauce
  • 2 TSP coconut sugar
  • 2 kaffir lime leaves, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup loosely packed basil leaves, torn into pieces
  • 2.5C cooked basmati rice (for serving.)

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Directions:

  1. Heat 1/2C of the coconut milk in a wok over low heat. Add your green curry paste and mix until well combined.
  2. Add your cubed chicken and turn the heat up to just over medium. Cook until your chicken is no longer pink.
  3. Add in the rest of your coconut milk, soy sauce, coconut sugar, carrots, asparagus, white parts of the onions, and kaffir lime leaves. Let the curry come to a boil. Once the curry is boiling and foaming, turn the heat back down to low to let the curry simmer for about 7 to 10 minutes, or until your vegetables are tender-crisp. (To your liking.)
  4. Once the curry is done cooking and your vegetables are done, stir in your green onions and torn basil leaves. Serve immediately over steaming hot basmati rice
  5. Enjoy!!

Juicy chicken with a dijon sauce

This is a recipe that has been on my blog for about a year now, and it needed some serious TLC. It was good before, but this is a much better version of it. Juicy BBQ’D chicken with a white wine dijon sauce. Make this alcohol free by using low sodium chicken stock in place of wine. Did I mention that this is a super quick cooking meal? It is!

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Ingredients: (serves 2)

  • 2 6-8oz chicken breasts, pounded to 1/2″ thick
  • fresh ground sea salt
  • fresh ground pepper
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tbsp parsley, rough chopped (optional.)

For the sauce:

  • 1 TBSP EVOO
  • 1/2 white or yellow onion, small dice
  • 3 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1c of your favourite white wine
  • 1 heaping TBSP dijon mustard
  • 1 heaping TBSP grainy dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 tbsp corn starch dissolved in 2 tbsp cold water

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven or outdoor grill. (oven to 425.)
  2. In a medium skillet over medium heat, add 1 tbsp EVOO. Once the oil is hot, add your onions and brown them. Once your onions are browned, add your garlic, salt and pepper.
  3. Once your garlic is fragrant (1-2 min) deglaze your skillet with your white wine, stirring the mixture. Let the liquid reduce a little.
  4. Add in your dijon mustards (both kinds! if you only have one, then thats fine. add 2 tbsp of one kind.) and add in your butter. Once mixed, add in your cornstarch dissolved in water, and turn your heat down to low.
  5.  Season your chicken breasts on both sides with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Place on your BBQ on a medium heat. Because the chicken is pounded nice and thin, it will take literally only minutes to cook. Cook for a few minutes on one side, and then flip and cook for another 5 minutes or so. I suggest using a meat thermometer and checking the internal temp of the chicken (165.)
  6. if you’re using the oven – season your chicken on both sides with salt, pepper and garlic powder. in a skillet on just over medium heat, add EVOO. Once your oil is hot, add your chicken. Brown it on both sides. Throw it into the 425 oven for 10-15 minutes.
  7. remove chicken from the grill and top with your dijon sauce. Sprinkle some fresh parsley over it if you like!

Basil Chicken Pasta

Hi everyone!! What a weekend we have had over here! We had a wonderful dinner with friends friday evening where Jacob (our 13 month old son) got to visit and play with his “girlfriend” who is one month older than him! It was so nice to get to see them play together and eat together! How special. Saturday evening we went to Paul’s parents house to visit with his grandmother. Jacob has never met his great grandmother so it was very special for us to spend some time with her before she went back home. THEN after dinner, we had gone to a friends housewarming party! It was a fantastic (and late) night with friends! I am still exhausted today from not getting to bed early enough! Needless to say, when it came to dinner I really didn’t want to work too hard.

Thankfully in the summer I get to can and freeze home grown tomatoes from my mom, and my mother in laws gardens. I get to can stewed tomatoes, salsa, pasta sauces and soups. How lucky am I? I had one can left of stewed tomatoes, and a basil plant that was on its last legs today. SO we are having a pasta for dinner tonight. What an easy meal to make. Get a pot of water going to boil your pasta, and flavour your tomatoes for a sauce and cook some chicken. SIMPLE.

Hopefully you all had a great weekend whether it was busy or relaxing!!! Here we go!

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SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESIngredients: (Serves 3)

  • 2 8oz chicken breasts, pounded to the same thickness
  • fresh ground Salt and pepper
  • 1.5 tsp dried basil, divided
  • 1/2tsp thyme
  • 2c stewed tomatoes
  • 1c chicken stock (or just use the starchy cooking water from your boiling pasta.)
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • EVOO (extra virgin olive oil)
  • 1C loosely packed fresh basil leaves, sliced or torn
  • pecorino Romano cheese, freshly grated
  • 6-8oz dried spaghettini

Directions:

  1. Bring a pot of water to a boil. Cook pasta according to package directions.
  2. Season your chicken on both sides with salt, pepper and 1 tsp dried basil. In a med-large skillet over medium heat add 1 tbsp EVOO. once thats nice and hot, add your chicken and brown it on both sides. Remove the chicken from the pan and on to a plate, cover it with foil. Your chicken will not be cooked through at this point.
  3. Add another tbsp of EVOO to your skillet. Add your onions, brown them. Once they’re nicely browned add your garlic and cook until fragrant.
  4. Add your stewed tomatoes and your chicken stock to the garlic and onion mixture. Season with salt, pepper, 1/2 tsp of dried basil and thyme. Add your chicken back to the skillet, cover, and let cook until chicken is cooked through. This shouldn’t take very long, use a meat thermometer to read the chicken in the fattest part. it should read 165.
  5. Once your chicken is cooked through, remove it from the sauce. Place on a cutting board and slice it all up in to strips.
  6. Add your cooked pasta, fresh basil and freshly grated cheese to the sauce and toss it all together. Add your chicken on top, or on the side. Serve!

Herb buttered chicken and a white bean puree

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Ingredients: (serves 2)

-2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, butterflied and flattened to less than 1/2″

-salt + pepper + red pepper flakes (enough to coat both sides of chicken)

-EVOO

-3 tbsp butter

-2 tbsp each minced garlic, parsley and oregano

For the white bean puree:

-Immersion hand blender or regular blender

-1 can white kidney beans, rinsed and drained

-1 cup chicken stock

-4 cloves garlic, chopped

-1 red onion, rough chopped

-salt and pepper, to taste

For the salad:

-1 large handful of arugula

-1 tbsp grainy dijon mustard

-1 tbsp red wine vinegar

-1/2 tsp honey

Directions:

Season both sides of pounded chicken with salt pepper and red pepper flakes. In a little bowl, add butter, garlic, parsley and oregano.

In a skillet over medium heat, add your EVOO. Once the pan is hot, add your chicken breast. Do not move the chicken, let it sit in the pan to brown and cook. After about 6-7 minutes, flip your chicken breasts and cook on the other side for another 6-7 minutes. Add your herbed butter, and continue cooking until the chicken is cooked through. This cooking time depends fully on how flat you’ve pounded your breasts. If you’re unsure of the doneness of your chicken, i suggest a kitchen thermometer. Chicken should be 160F.

In a medium sauce pan over just under medium heat, ands your onions and garlic. Cook until the onions are slightly translucent. Once they are, add your white kidney beans. Cook for another minute or two. Add your 1 cup of chicken stock. Season with salt and pepper. let these flavours boil and cook together for at least 7-10 minutes. After that, puree your mixture with a hand blender. (Or transfer to a regular blender.) Once blended, turn the heat to low and keep warm.

In a medium bowl, add your dijon, red wine vinegar and honey. whisk to mix together. Throw your arugula on top, and toss with your hands to coat the arugula with the dressing.

When ready, serve your chicken on top of your puree with your salad on the side.

This meal tastes best when you eat the puree , salad and chicken in one bite. Yummy!!