Basil Pesto Chicken with garlic tomato pasta

basil pesto chicken tomato pasta 2

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.

basil chicken tomato pasta 3


Sesame chicken with sweet harissa sauce

sesamechickenharissasauce

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.

Grilled Flank Steak with chimichurri sauce

I have come to the realization that we eat way too many flank steaks in my household… Here’s a delicious chimichurri sauce to pair with your flank steak! I’m pretty positive this recipe is already on my blog for a taco recipe – and it’s that good that it needs to be repeated! (Also I’m happy to say the cilantro and parsley were both used from my own garden!)

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Ingredients: (serves 2-4)

For the steak-

  • 1 flank steak, tenderized using a meat mallet to the same thickness
  • 1/2 TBSP each of dried: oregano, thyme, smoked paprika, garlic powder, chili powder and coriander
  • 1/4 tsp each salt and pepper, or more to taste

For the Chimichurri sauce-

  • 1C loosely packed cilantro
  • 1C loosely packed parsley
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 shallot, peeled and rough chopped
  • 2 jalapeno peppers (remove seeds and ribs for less spice.)
  • 1 large lime or 2 small limes zested and juiced
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • about 1/4c extra virgin olive oil, or enough to get it to a smooth consistency.

directions:

  1. Heat your outdoor grill to a medium heat. In a small bowl mix together your oregano, thyme, smoked paprika, garlic powder, chili powder, coriander, salt and pepper. Spread over both sides of your steak, pressing the spices in to the steak.
  2. Put your steak on the grill. Let cook for about 7 minutes on one side. Flip and continue cooking for another 5 to 7 minutes or until a meat thermometer reads 125F. Remove the steak from the grill to a cutting board, cover loosely with tin foil and let it rest for about 7-10 minutes.
  3. In a food processor or a blender, add in ALL of your sauce ingredients. blend until you get a nice partially chunky but smooth consistency.
  4. Serve with your steak! mmmmmmmmm.

Pineapple Pork Satay

This is by far one of the worst photo’s of pork satay in the whole world, but I promise you it was absolutely amazing! There’s so much flavour in the marinade and sauce! It’s a little sweet and a little spicy, with pineapples and jalapeños! This is a must try!

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Ingredients: (serves 2)

  • 1 lb pork tenderloin, trimmer of fat and thinly sliced in to long strips

Marinade/Dipping Sauce:

  • 1 1/4C Pineapple chunks
  • 2 jalapenos
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1″ ginger, peeled
  • 1 Lime, juiced and zested
  • 1C cilantro
  • 2 TBSP honey
  • 1/2 TBSP sesame oil
  • 1/2C Soy sauce
  • 1/4c EVOO
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:

  1. In a blender or a food processor, add all of your sauce/marinade ingredients and blend until smooth.  Reserve half of the sauce and set aside.
  2. In a ziplock bag or a bowl, add your pork tenderloin strips with the remaining marinade and let marinate for at least 1 hour.
  3. Once ready to cook, remove your pork from the marinade. Do not discard the marinade.
  4. Preheat your outdoor grill to a medium heat. Not too high as you do not want the thinly sliced pork to stick to the grill.
  5. Skewer your pork on to soaked wooden bamboo skewers or metal skewers.
  6. Brush your skewers with some of the remaining marinade, and then place on the grill. These will only take a few minutes on each side to cook. Once your pork is almost opaque, flip the skewers over to cook on the other side. Brush the rest of the marinade on the pork and let it cook for another couple of minutes.
  7. Remove from the grill, and serve with the reserved sauce that was NOT used to marinate your pork.
  8. Serve with rice and my Carrot Ribbon and Radish 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!!!

Pork Tenderloin with Mustard BBQ sauce

If you’re all for a different kind of barbecue sauce, I suggest this one! It is a bit spicy, so if you don’t normally eat a lot of spicy foods your head might sweat! This BBQ sauce is made with mustard and a delicious combination of spices. Try it out!

mustard BBQ pork

Ingredients: (serves 2)

For the pork-

  • 1 Lb pork tenderloin
  • 1/2 TSP each of dried: Rosemary, garlic powder, thyme and onion powder
  • 1/4 TSP chili flakes
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 TBSP EVOO

For the sauce- (This makes about 2 cups so there will be left overs.)

  • 1/3C Ketchup
  • 1/2C Mustard
  • 3 TBSP apple cider vinegar
  • 2 TBSP worchesterchire sauce
  • 3 TBSP Franks red hot sauce
  • 3 TBSP honey
  • 2 TBSP brown sugar
  • 1/2 TSP each of dried: onion powder, garlic powder and smoked paprika
  • Fresh ground salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425F. In a small bowl, mix together  your spice rub ingredients – rosemary, garlic powder, thyme, onion powder, chili flakes, salt and pepper. Mix until well combined. Rub the spice mixture all over your pork tenderloin.
  2. In a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat, add your EVOO. Once the oil is nice and hot, add your tenderloin to the skillet. Brown it on all sides to get a nice crust.
  3. Once the tenderloin is browned, move it right to the 425 degree oven for 10-15 minutes, or until its internal temperature reads 145F.
  4. In a medium bowl, whisk all of your sauce ingredients together. Set aside.
  5. Once the pork is done cooking, remove it from the oven and place it on a cutting board. Let it rest 5 to 10 minutes. Once the tenderloin is rested, slice it into medallions and serve with the mustard BBQ sauce.
  6. Serve this with mashed potatoes and a broccoli cole slaw! Yummy!

Green Thai Curry Paste

Spring is in the air!! It got up to maybe 13 or 14 degrees today in Edmonton, and let me tell you it was AMAZING. 13 degrees is pretty warm for me after our winters… sadly. Needless to say, I was feeling extra inspired for my meal plan I made this morning! I want to do spring dinners with all the beauty produce that is out and in season! If only I could cook this way the whole year round and not go broke, I would be the happiest girl in the whole entire world!

First meal of this weeks plan is a green curry with chicken and spring veggies, with a home made green curry paste. It is so much better to make your own so you don’t have a store bought container in your fridge with one or two spoonfuls out of it until you end up throwing it out 6 months later. What a waste. Grab your mortar and pestle (or a small blender or food processor) and lets get to it!

 

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Ingredients:

  • 1/2 TSP ground cumin
  • 1/2 TSP ground coriander
  • 1″ piece of lemon grass, OR 1 TSP ground lemon grass
  • 2.5 TBSP fresh grated, and peeled ginger root
  • 2 small kaffir lime leaves (it is okay to use dried leaves.)
  • 1.5 TBSP shallot, minced (About half of a shallot.)
  • 1 TSP fresh grated turmeric
  • 1.5 TBSP grated garlic cloves (about 3 large cloves)
  • 5 large basil leaves, minced
  • 2 red Thai chili’s, minced (Use more if you want spicier.)
  • 1/8 TSP freshly ground sea salt

Directions:

Add all your ingredients to your mortar and pestle or food processor and turn it into a paste. This makes about 3.5 TBSP of green curry paste.

I scaled down the spice of this as my 13 month old eats what we eat for dinner, and he sure does not approve of anything too spicy. That being said, up that chili pepper amount and use green Chile’s with red Chile’s. This is a little less than medium spice.


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!

BBQ’d Chicken with a creamy avocado sauce

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When your boyfriend buys a bag of avocado’s because they’re on sale – you must use them!!!  So here we go – easy and quick chicken  and veggies done on the BBQ with a creamy avocado sauce. It is absolutely divine. The sauce is light and creamy and pairs beautifully with the chicken. We loved it! and this time.. I paid attention to what i used and of how much. So, cheers to that!

Ingredients:

for the chicken:

-2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, butterflied and pounded to 1/4″

-salt and pepper to taste

-chili powder

-2 tbsp dijon mustard

-3 tbsp EVOO

-1/2 of a lime, juiced

For the avocado sauce:

-1 avocado, peeled

-1/2c full fat plain greek yogurt

-1 lime, zested and juiced

-1/4c honey

-salt and pepper, to taste

-1/2 tsp-1 tsp chili powder

In a small bowl, mix together the dijon mustard, the 3 tbsp EVOO and salt,chilli powder and pepper.

Season your chicken on both sides with salt, pepper and chilli powder. Heat your BBQ to medium heat. Throw chicken on the bbq. Baste with the mustard mixture. Cook for 5-7 minutes. Flip. Baste the other side with the dijon sauce. Cook another 5-7 minutes or until finished.

In a blender or a food processor, add all your sauce ingredients. Puree until smooth, and serve on the side or on top of the chicken.

 

Note- for the veggies, all I did was cut up peppers and onions, tossed them in oil, salted and peppered and cooked them on the BBQ, only turning once.

 


Havarti stuffed italian meatballs + Home made roasted tomato sauce

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Home made meat balls, home made roasted tomato and garlic pasta sauce, AND home made spaghetti? There can be nothing better than that!!! This isn’t a meal that is super quick to make… But when you ARE prepping this meal, you can easily have it again by doubling your workload for a few hours.. You can freeze/can the pasta sauce, freeze the meat balls, and freeze the pasta for a month! When you are freezing the meat balls, I like to place them on a tray and place them in the freezer so they freeze individually. That way when you put them in a bag, they don’t all stick together. You can take out as many as you need. Yummy! I also will not be including my pasta recipe in this section as I have tried many different ways to prepare it.. and I unfortunately forgot/didn’t write this one down. Oops!!!

 

Ingredients:

Meatballs:

-1lb ground turkey

-1 egg yolk

-1c panko bread crumbs

-1/2 tbsp each of thyme, onion powder, red pepper flakes,rosemary, salt and pepper

-1/2c shredded mozzarella cheese

-20 bite size cubes of jalapeño havarti cheese (1/2″x1/2″)

-5 cloves garlic, grated or minced

Tomato Sauce:

-1 bulb of garlic, top cut off so the cloves are exposed

-1c cherry tomatoes

-2 large beefsteak tomatoes, quartered

-1/2 of a large red onion, quarterd

-salt and pepper

-EVOO

-1 bay leaf dried or fresh

-1c chicken stock

Directions:

For the sauce- Place all ingredients on a silicone lined baking sheet. drizzle with EVOO, season with salt and pepper. Do NOT add the bay leaf. Preheat your oven to 400. Roast the veggies until they are nice and roasty! About 25 minutes or so. The skins on your tomatoes should be nice and wrinkly. Just the way I like it! (ha!)

Once the veggies are roasted, place all of them into a blender. Note- the garlic should just squish out of it’s skin. Add 1c of chicken stock – blend until some what smooth. Place in a pot over a simmering heat, add your bay leaf, and let it simmer.

For the meatballs- preheat oven to 350. in a large bowl combine all ingredients, except for the bite sized cubes of havarti. Form the mixture in to 20 medium balls. Take the cheese cube, place in the middle of the meat ball and push it in while forming the meat ball around the cheese. Roll until smooth.

In a sauce pan over medium high heat, add EVOO. Add your meatballs. brown on all sides (awkward considering they are round, but you get the jist.)

Place on a pan. Put in the oven for 20 minutes, or until cooked the whole way through.

Serve with your favourite spaghetti!