Monday - Caprese Chicken Pasta
This meal requires a bit of effort, but it's great because you can make it whenever, and it reheats fantastically in the microwave! In a large skillet, saute diced chicken in 1 tbsp EVOO, salt, and pepper. You want to use about a half portion of chicken for each serving. I used 2 chicken breasts for 4 servings. When the chicken is half cooked, add 1 tsp each of garlic and onion powder. Continue cooking until nicely browned; set aside. In that same pan, saute 1 and half pints of grape tomatoes, halved, with salt and pepper on medium-low heat, stirring occasionally. Boil 8 oz pasta in a separate pot of well-salted water. While pasta and tomatoes cook, chop a LOT of basil. Seriously. I probably used 40 or more basil leaves. I like to julienne my basil (stack it, roll it, slice it into long skinny strands). When the tomatoes are almost finished, add 1/2 tsp each of garlic and onion powder, salt, and pepper. Drain pasta, then add it to the tomatoes. Remove from heat. Add basil, 1 tbsp EVOO, and one heaping handful of shredded Italian mixed cheese (parmesan, asiago, mozzerella, etc.) and toss. Pour into a big pretty bowl and serve or refrigerate for later! To reheat, microwave on high for 2 minutes, then stir, add 2 tbsp of EVOO, and microwave for another 2 minutes.
Tuesday - Southwest BBQ Chicken with Mac and Cheese
I have some AMAZING leftover mac and cheese from the weekend that I need to use ASAP. It has a real southwestern bite to it, so it needs some other southwestern food too! I'll toss 2 chicken breasts into a crock pot with one cup of BBQ sauce, 1/2 cup of chicken stock, 2 cloves of garlic, and 1/4 a diced adobo pepper (skip the pepper if you can't handle chipotle HEAT. It is HOT!). Cook on high for 6 hours; remove chicken, shred, and return to the crock pot and let it cook for another hour. Serve on lightly toasted (in the oven) hamburger buns with a slice of cheddar cheese and some red onion. About 10 minutes before I'm ready to eat, I'll saute a diced shallot in EVOO until translucent and soft, then I'll add an entire bag of spinach and saute until cooked down.
Wednesday - Lemon Chicken Saute with Quinoa
Whoa, healthy! If you're working on your fitness, this is a great dinner for you! I SWEAR it's still delicious! This typically serves four, but I would add more chicken for big eaters. Dice 2 chicken breasts, and saute in a large skillet on medium-high heat in EVOO and the juice of half a lemon. When the chicken is almost cooked, add chopped asparagus (one full bushel) and one lbs fresh snap peas. Add one tbsp EVOO, 1/2 tsp each of salt and pepper, and 2 cloves of minced garlic. Cook about 5 minutes until veggies are cooked through but still green with a bit of a crunch to them. Serve over a bed of quinoa (or rice) and top each serving with the juice of half a lemon. If you're looking for a little more oomph, skip the quinoa and serve with a baked potato.
Thursday - Apple Dijon Rolled Chicken
Important note here... Usually I say I'm making stuffed chicken, but technically it's really ROLLED chicken and it's always healthier than "stuffed" chicken. So from here on out, it'll always be called ROLLED but I mean the same thing! So you'll want one chicken cutlet per serving with this recipe. If you're making 4 servings, this will work for you. Slice an apple into thin, chip-like slices, then cut into thirds so you have very thin, long strips. Slice a yellow onion into long strips as well. Saute the apple and onion together until soft and caramelized in EVOO. Set aside and allow to cool. Lay out 4 chicken breast cutlets. Spread about 1 tsp of dijon mustard on the side facing up on each cutlet. Next, layer a few slices of apple and onion on each. Top with shredded gouda (or cheddar but I happen to have gouda at home) and roll up tightly! Place each cutlet in a greased baking dish, seam side down. Top with salt and pepper. Bake at 400 degrees about 25 minutes, until cooked through and lightly browned. I may drizzle a tiny bit of honey on top of the chicken... I'll update after this week and let you know!
Friday - Black Bean-Sweet Potato Burgers
I might be too lazy to make these on Friday... But if the weather is nice then I'll definitely be in the mood! Peel and dice one sweet potato; roast at 420 degrees for about 20 minutes until soft. In a large bowl, mash the sweet potato with 2 rinsed and drained cans of black beans. Add 2 cloves of minced garlic, 1 tsp chipotle powder, and 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs. Stir with your (clean) hands and form patties. Saute the patties on medium-high heat in EVOO until browned on both sides. Not eating right away? Place them in a greased baking dish, then reheat in the oven at 375 for 20 minutes until warmed through. Serve on whole wheat hamburger buns (if you want to be extra healthy!) with lettuce, tomato, onion, and sprouts. I also serve mine with Trader Joe's cilantro dressing on them. Delish!