It’s Sunday afternoon and I am sitting on the couch watching the NBA playoffs with Ayden. We are watching Golden State Warriors vs Portland Trail Blazers. He’s a die-hard Warriors fan! He knows so much about the players, he was just telling me Stephan Curry’s wife has her own restaurant and we needed to go there and eat LOL!!
Well speaking of food, I thought I should share this yummy recipe I made last week. It’s no secret that chicken is a great source of lean protein, but it can be so boring, right? This recipe is not boring, that’s for sure!!
It’s a play off my all time favorite pizza with chicken, spinach, goat cheese and sun-dried tomatoes. These flavors just work really well with each other!! But I kicked it up a notch and added herbs from our garden into the goat cheese and instead of baking the chicken I wanted that chargrilled flavor from the grill.
It was a success!!
So…let’s get on with this recipe, shall we?
PS. Ayden is also giving me pointers he’s learning in English class 😂, apparently, when you use dots you only need three to get your point across…
Grilled Chicken Stuffed With Spinach, Goat Cheese and Sun-Dried Tomatoes
Delicious and rich in flavor, no boring chicken here!
Preheat and clean grill, place heat on low to med-low setting. Our grill gets really hot so low setting works for us.
In a small bowl mix goat cheese and herbs together. In another bowl add a big a handful of spinach and set out about 16 sun-dried tomatoes (3-4 per each chicken breast).
On a cutting board take each chicken breast and cut a slit in the center of the breast with a sharp knife cutting 3/4 the way through.
Add a layer of the herbed goat cheese to the inside of the chicken breast
Add a thin layer of spinach leaves
Add 3-4 sun-dried tomatoes
Fold the chicken together being careful of keeping the insides intact and secure the ends with 3-4 toothpicks
Season both sides of the chicken with salt, pepper and garlic
Spray grill with oil spray unless you have a well seasoned grill
Add chicken to grill and cook for about at least 10 minutes per side. Use your judgement if you feel it should go longer.
While I was away last week in New Jersey, my friend Candace and I were in our hotel room watching a little TV. I hardly ever watch TV but have decided I should watch cooking shows a little more often because it fuels my ideas for healthy hacks on recipes!
We were watching The Rachel Ray show and she did a spin on Gremolata (parsley, lemon zest and garlic). Instead of garlic, she used walnuts and this got me thinking how delicious it would be to take a version of this and add to a shrimp and veggie noodle dish.
Now you might think OMG there’s butter and wine in this dish, is that healthy? My answer is YES, butter is a nice choice for a saturated fat, plus we will be matching it up with some monounsaturated fat – olive oil. The key is to balance out your fats throughout the day.
There is wine but it will cook down and in the scheme of the dish, it’s not a big deal. It adds flavor and satisfaction.
Let’s talk about the rutabaga right quick and why I chose it for the veggie noodle. One medium rutabaga has approximately 33 grams of carbs, 9 grams of fiber and 4 grams of protein and you ready for this….. 160% of Vitamin C!!
We are using 1 rutabaga for this dish split between 2 people, so this is a lower carb option compared to regular pasta. The texture is great too as a replacement for pasta!
So here is what I have come up with for this week’s healthy hack.
Sautéed Shrimp with Lemon Butter Wine Sauce and Veggie Noodles
Sauteed Shrimp in a #SAS (simple and satisfying) sauce tossed with Rutabaga spiralized noodles.
Heat oven to 400F
Place pine nuts on small baking sheet and toast for 8-10 minutes until slightly golden. Check often as your oven might bake quicker.
Wash and dry parsley and chop about 1 tbs
In a small bowl toss toasted pine nuts, lemon zest and parley and set a side for later
Place a large nonstick pan on the burner over medium heat. Add in extra virgin olive oil.
Once the oil is heated add rutabaga noodles and cook for about 10 minutes, tossing every couple of minutes until half way cooked through, then transfer to baking sheet and bake for another 10-15 minutes until done. (You want the noodles to be done but not soggy, think the texture of pasta for doneness.)
While noodles are baking, add shrimp to heated pan and season with salt, pepper and garlic powder.
Cook shrimp for about 3-4 minutes per side until cooked all the way through and shrimp has a nice pink color. Once cooked remove from pan, place on a plate and set aside.
In the pan, carefully add in wine and butter, scraping the bits from the bottom of the pan to develop a nice flavor. Add in lemon juice, a pinch of salt and pepper and reduce sauce for about 5 minutes.
Remove pan from the heat and add back in shrimp and noodles. Toss to combine the sauce evenly.
Plate up your dish and top with gremolata and freshly grated parmigiano reggiano cheese
If you love garlic, you can add chopped or minced garlic and cook up for a couple of minutes before adding wine to the pan. I love garlic but it does not like me so much!
You can substitute any veggie you love for the noodles, potatoes, parsnips or zucchini would work well too. If using zucchini, I would just saute in the pan and not bake in oven.
I am so excited to share this recipe!! I have been hacking my way through different traditional recipes using yogurt and this one turned out so awesome!!
You know that want to lick the plate good?
I really love the yogurt that I use as it has really good strains of live culture probiotics and it is very mild in flavor. I use the brand White Mountain, but you can use any plain Greek yogurt if this brand is not available to you.
Soooo….. Let’s get started!
Healthy Hack - Chicken Piccata
A healthy hack on a traditional recipe! I used the brand White Mountain Bulgarian Probiotic Yogurt, but if this is not available look for a full-fat Greek Yogurt with live cultures in the ingredient label.
On a cutting board slice chicken breasts in half lengthwise (or buy thin cut breasts) and season with salt, pepper and garlic powder.
Zest the lemon and then cut in half and set aside
On medium heat, place large pan on burner and heat olive oil, once oil is heated add in chicken, turn chicken every 5 minutes for 25 minutes until they are cooked through and nicely browned. Remove chicken from the pan.
Add in wine, capers and lemon zest. Use a spatula to scrape the bits off the bottom of the pan. This will add a lot of flavor to the sauce.
Reduce wine to half the amount and turn off the heat
Add a couple of drops of lemon juice
Add in a pinch salt, pepper and garlic powder and stir to combine – taste to see if you need more seasonings.
Pairings: You could pair this dish with pasta, veggie noodles of your choice or roasted potatoes and a nice salad.
In the featured picture, we used spiralized potatoes tossed with olive oil, salt, and pepper, baked in the oven for about 30 minutes or until tender.
My gift to you this Christmas is one that will fill your loved one’s heart with joy ~ my Marinara recipe!!
Back in 2008, this recipe was created in my kitchen right before we opened the doors to our new Italian restaurant. To say it was a hit is an understatement! Our customers would come in and purchase quarts of our sauce, we also sold it at the local farmer’s market and would always sell out!
Although the restaurant is now closed, I still have so many that ask for the recipe. At first, I was really stingy about sharing it. But then I asked myself what good is it to keep it to myself? Why not share the love?
So if you are in need of a last minute gift idea, here is a perfect one!
I love giving Marinara as gifts as I know it will warm the hearts and bellies of my friends and family!
The Best Marinara!
I promise store bought marinara will never be your first option again!!
In a large pot on med. heat, add EVOO and garlic cloves. Cook until lightly golden and soft. Remove garlic from the oil and take the pot off the heat.
In a food processor add roughly chopped onions, carrots, whole cooked garlic cloves and puree until combined into a paste.
Pot goes back on the stove over med. heat. When oil is brought back to temp add the paste of onions, carrots, and garlic. Cook until the paste becomes a light orange color, about 10 min.
Add wine and cook additional 5-10 min.
Fill one empty can about ¾ full of water and rinse the 3 additional cans going back and forth until most of the remaining tomatoes are gone. Pour the can of water into the pot.
Add salt, dried basil and oregano
Stir to combine all ingredients. Add lid (lid should NOT be on tight, leave room to breathe) and simmer for about 3 hours, stirring every so often so it does not burn on the bottom. You might need to reduce heat a bit if it starts to boil, you want a nice simmer.
After 3 hrs of simmering, add torn basil leaves and let cool to room temp before adding to mason jars.
*** You will need a food processor, large stockpot, and about 8 - 16 oz or 4 - 32 oz Mason/Ball Jars***
Marinara can stay in the refrigerator up to 1 week or freezer for 6 months. Be sure to leave about 1 inch of space in the jar if freezing to allow the liquid to expand.
THE DIET RENOVATION
A FREE Toolkit to Help You Demolish the Old School Rules of Crash Dieting and Quick Fixes by Implementing 3 Simple Tools to Build a Plan for Forever Health!
Get Your Download Now!!
Your FREE Toolkit includes the following:
- Shopping Guide: To help you choose whole foods and create an effective shopping list and meal plan. Take the guesswork out of what’s for breakfast, lunch and dinner!
- Prep and Action Guide: To help you choose the right foods to prepare in advance so that putting together healthier meals will be quick and easy. No more letting food go to waste or eating out by Wednesday night.
- Portion Control Guide: To help you take control of your serving sizes and balance out your meals with ease. Bonus benefits include sustainable energy throughout the day, fewer cravings, feeling more satisfied AND weight management!
Get Your Download Now!!
Are You Part of My Inner Circle??
Well, what are you waiting for?? I send you weekly emails that offer tips and strategies to help you live a healthy and sustainable lifestyle.
See the blue circle to your left or down below (mobile users)?
Go sign-up and I'll see you in your inbox!!
ATTENTION ALL LADIES!!
Have you joined the Strength by Kris - Community yet?
It's a closed Facebook group for women only and I am inviting you to join the community if you feel you could benefit from being inspired, uplifted and accepted just as you are. Come join the fun!