Penne with Chicken and Pistachio Pesto

I feel like things have been getting busier and busier as the months roll on. I’m volunteering in two programs on top of working. Fortunately by the time Tyler gets home, the school district I work for will be on summer break so hopefully life won’t get too crazy.

All this just gives me even more reason to continue seeking out dinners that are easy to make, like this recipe I’m about to share. I love pesto sauce. I think it’s something that is light and healthy but still full of flavor. I enjoy this particular recipe because instead of traditional pine nuts, pistachios are used. This pesto has a nice creamy and nutty balance that really compliments the chicken and pasta.

**Note: I don’t own a food processor, I just combined all the pesto ingredients into my Magic Bullet and it came out great! Secondly, take into consideration that the recipe assumes you have pre-cooked chicken. With that in mind, if you don’t have any pre-cooked chicken make sure to cook some chopped chicken up before you start putting everything together. I flavor it simply with salt and pepper.

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PENNE WITH CHICKEN AND PISTACHIO PESTO

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups fresh basil leaves (I pack mine tightly)
  • About ½ cup olive oil (I like to stir in up to ¼ cup more after the pesto has been processed)
  • ½ cup pistachios, toasted in a dry pan for 2 – 3 minutes on medium heat until fragrant. Cool slightly before processing with basil leaves
  • 2 – 3 cloves garlic, peeled
  • Salt to taste
  • ⅓ cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • Juice of about half a lemon
  • 1 pound penne pasta
  • 2 cooked chicken breast halves, diced
  • Radish sprouts or fresh arugula for garnish (optional)
Instructions:
  1. Put all basil, garlic and pistachios in a food processor and process until the basil and pistachios are in small bits but not too fine, just a few seconds. Add the lemon juice and olive oil and pulse to combine. Transfer to a bowl, stir in the Parmigiano-Reggiano and add salt, to taste. I like to add more olive oil at this stage. Store in refrigerator until ready to use.
  2. To prepare the dish, bring a pot of water to a boil and cook the pasta until al dente (a few minutes sooner than indicated on the package). Drain and toss with the diced chicken and pesto sauce (you may not need all of the pesto). Top with radish sprouts if you wish.

 

Chicken Fajita Pizza

I know I have been slacking on this. In fact, I guiltily admit that I have mostly been living off of Subway. But now my school district is on spring break for two weeks so I thought this would be a good time to catch up on my cooking!

I saw this recipe on Pinterest and it sounded and looked scrumptious. I like pizza, but my husband LOVES pizza. If he could eat one food for the rest of his life, it would probably be pizza. He knows that pizza isn’t my favorite choice for dinner, so when we do eat it, it is usually to curb his craving. However, this recipe looked so good that I had to try it. This pizza was DELICIOUS! Probably one of the best pizzas I’ve ever had. Salsa in place of marinara sauce?? Brilliant! I also love that this pizza is not greasy but rather fresh and full of flavor! This is one recipe that I suggest you try STAT!!

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CHICKEN FAJITA PIZZA

Ingredients:

1/4 cup fresh lime juice

2 Tbsp. olive oil

1 tsp. minced garlic

1 tsp. chili powder

1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper

1/2 tsp. garlic powder

1 tsp. kosher salt

1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

1 lb. (2) boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

1 (12-inch) prepared pizza crust

2 cups chunky-style salsa

2 cups (8 oz.) 4 Cheese Mexican Blend

1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper

1 15 oz. can black beans, drained

1/2 red onion, cut into thin slices

2 Tbsp. sliced green onion or minced cilantro

Instructions:

Combine lime juice, oil, garlic and spices in a large bowl. Add chicken and toss to coat. Marinate 15 minutes, or up to one day, covered in the refrigerator.

Cook chicken in large preheated skillet over medium-high heat 5-7 minutes, or until no longer pink; drain if necessary.

Place crust on baking sheet or pizza pan. Spread salsa over crust; top with chicken, cheese, bell pepper, black beans and red onion. Bake in preheated 400°F oven 15 minutes, or until cheese is melted. Sprinkle with green onions or cilantro. Serve with sour cream, if desired.

Enjoy!

Bisquick Chicken Tenders

It’s hard to believe that we are just about 2 months into this deployment! The busier things get around here, the more I look for quick and easy fixes for dinner. This is a super easy recipe that is a lot healthier than chicken tenders that are deep fried. Yes, you use Bisquick! Remember when I said it’s used for more than just pancakes? Voila! Another savory Bisquick dish. Use wing sauce, BBQ sauce, ranch or whatever you like for dipping! This would also be good served with a salad or maybe some mashed potatoes 🙂

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BISQUICK CHICKEN TENDERS

Ingredients: 

3 boneless skinless chicken breast halves (cut into 1/2 inch strips)
2/3 cup Bisquick baking mix
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 egg, slightly beaten
3 tablespoons butter or 3 tablespoons margarine, melted

Instructions:

Heat oven to 450 degrees.

Line a cookie sheet with foil; spray with cooking spray.

In a plastic resealable bag, mix Bisquick mix, cheese, garlic, and paprika.

Dip half the chicken strips in egg; place in bag of Bisquick mixture. Seal bag and shake to coat.

Place chicken on cookie sheet.

Repeat using remaining chicken.

Drizzle butter over chicken.

Bake for 12-14 minutes, turning halfway through bake time

Blackened Salmon Caesar Salad

Since starting work, I have been having less time to cook and blog. It is going to be a great challenge, now more than ever, for me to try to keep on track with my cooking/eating habits! I made time this week to cook this recipe and I am so glad I did. SO good!! I love love love blackened salmon caesar salad. This is definitely one of my favs! A while back I made salmon burgers and had left a leftover filet so I just froze it and unthawed it to use for this dish. This is also a nice gluten free option for those who are intolerant or are trying to stay away from it!

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BLACKENED SALMON CAESAR SALAD

Ingredients:

1 teaspoon Garlic Salt
1 teaspoon Paprika
1 teaspoon  Onion Powder
1 teaspoon Oregano
1 teaspoon Black Pepper
1/2 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
1/2 teaspoon Thyme
2 pounds Salmon
Romaine lettuce (chopped)
Lemon wedge
Caesar Dressing

 

Instructions:

Combine garlic salt, paprika, onion powder, oregano, black pepper, cayenne pepper and thyme.

Mix it together and rub mixture on both sides of fish.

Note: I leave the skin on one side to fry. Once it is seared, I peel the skin off and add the seasoning. Frying the fish with the fat allows you to cook with virtually no oil.

Heat a large skillet over medium high heat.

Spray skillet with non-stick cooking spray and add fish.

Cook 5 to 8 minutes on each side, or until fish flakes easily with a fork.

Toss chopped Romaine lettuce in your favorite Caesar dressing and add fish on top.

Serve with lemon wedge.