EASY Pesto Bruschetta Chicken

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YUMMO!

This chicken is so easy. Like SO easy and really yummy. I can’t really say much else. I cooked this with roasted cauliflower and balsamic glaze – which you can make yourself by reducing balsamic vinegar, but I buy it in bulk since I use it so often. You can buy it at most grocery stores already ‘glazed’ up with all the work done for you!

INGREDIENTS:

  • Two chicken breasts
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup pesto sauce (purchased or made from scratch. Here is my pesto sauce recipe.)
  • 1/2 cup sliced tomatoes (I used grape tomatoes b/c that’s what was in my pantry)
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • Salt
  • Fresh ground pepper
  • Balsamic glaze
  • Your choice of vegetable side

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Cut any excess fat off of chicken
  3. Cover each chicken breast with plastic wrap and pound until they are thin and the same thickness.
  4. Sprinkle salt and pepper lightly on both sides of the chicken breast
  5. Heat olive oil to medium heat
  6. Place chicken breast in the pan and sear for about 2 minutes on each side.
  7. Remove from heat
  8. Spray a small glass or metal baking dish with non-stick spray or oil
  9. In the pan, place both chicken breasts.
  10. Top each chicken breast with 1/2 cup of pesto. Spread out across the breast evenly.
  11. Cover with foil and place in oven for 25 minutes
  12. Uncover and bake for another 5 minutes
  13. Check temperature of chicken, it should be at 165 when using a thermometer.
  14. When complete, pull from oven. Sprinkle each chicken breast with half of the cheese.
  15. Uncover. Place back in oven on low broil for about 1-2 minutes until cheese is brown and melted. Keep your eye on the chicken as you don’t want to broil too long and dry out the chicken.
  16. Pull from oven and let rest for a few minutes.
  17. Plate and top with tomatoes, then drizzle with balsamic glaze.
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Chicken searing in pan

 

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Chicken in pan, covered in pesto

 

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Chicken baked in pesto for 25 minutes

 

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Chicken post-cheese broil

 

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Final product – served with roasted cauliflower

 

 

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Simple Caprese Salad (avocado optional)

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IMG_3466I like to spend money, especially on beauty items, beauty treatments and clothing/shoes/accessories. Such odd behavior for a female right? I work to trim my part of the household budget by not eating breakfast or lunch out. This is also a great way to cut calories during the day and allows me to eat dinners that may be slightly higher in calories. Sometimes after a long day a girl just wants CREAM SAUCE for dinner!!!!

Since I bring lunch to work, I have to choose food items that do well with the kitchen tools I have at work: fridge, microwave, basic silverware and toaster oven. This caprese salad is a little unorthodox since I use cherry tomatoes vs. slicing vine ripened tomatoes. As I usually take a double or triple batch of salad for the whole week, the cherry tomatoes hold up a little better once they are halved and placed in the fridge.

If avocados are in season, I will chop one at the office and add it to the salad. This is freaking yummy and if you really want to replace calories w/ better calories, the avocado can replace the cheese but keeps the creaminess. I sometimes will take ciabatta bread or even a bagel thin to eat with the salad for a firm texture and to get a few carbs. I highly recommend this for lunch, for a quick snack or even for an appetizer that will impress friends with its freshness!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 carton cherubs (about 1.5 cups of cherry tomatoes)
  • 1/2 ball fresh mozzarella (sliced into rings, then sliced into strips, then cut into small cubes about 1/2 inch by 1/2 inch)
  • 2 -3 tbsp chopped fresh basil (I use 3 but I looove basil)
  • 1 tbsp EVOO
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • salt and pepper to taste (I use a good pinch of salt and about 1 tsp pepper)
  • Chopped avocado (optional)

DIRECTIONS:

  • Slice all cherry tomatoes in half (check THIS out – its a great hack on cutting cherry tomatoes)
  • Place tomatoes, cubed cheese, basil, evoo, balsamic, salt, & pepper into small bowl with tight-fitting lid.
  • Roll bowl around slowly and gently to mix the ingredients without puncturing or damaging the tomatoes. Do this for about 1 minute – turning on its head, sides, etc. – just rolling gently to mix.
  • Taste – then add in more salt, pepper, olive or balsamic. Everyone likes a bit more of one ingredient.
  • Remove lid and stir in avocado if using
  • Serve with bread if using
  • ENJOY!
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Tomatoes halved and cheese cubes in small bowl

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Chopped basil

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All ingredients (minus avocado) in bowl

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All ingredients slowly tossed in bowl with lid on

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Final product – take to work or enjoy immediately!