Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Balsamic Pesto Chicken

Mmm-Mmm Good--And Good for You Too!!!
In my last post I commented on the fact that I couldn’t believe it was already December and that the holidays were in full swing. Well, we’re already a week into the New Year and I’m starting to feel like I’m in a time warp. (Seriously, where does the time go?!?)  

Instead of making excuses as to why I haven’t been blogging a lot lately, I’m just going to hop back in the saddle and try to get back to posting on a semi-regular basis. (“Blog More” was #7 on my list of New Year’s Resolutions—see photo below for proof.) Though I’ve tested several yummy recipes over that last couple of months, I just haven’t actually sat down to write them up. But that all changes today!!!!
I'm putting it out there...now hold me to it, Friends!
One of the latest food trends out there seems to be “clean eating.” I’m not sure exactly what that means other than trying to use fresh, organic, as-close-to-nature-as-possible ingredients. But when I saw this post on Pinterest I was inspired.

It sounded easy, yummy, and healthy so I decided to tweak it a bit and make it my first recipe of 2013. I left out the mushrooms since they aren’t my favorite, used chicken broth instead of water to boost the flavor, and added pepper and a little bit of parmesan cheese—because EVERYTHING is better with cheese. I also changed the preparation a bit to make it even easier. Here’s what I came up with.
Balsamic Pesto Chicken
Serves 4


Olive oil spray
1-1.5 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast tenders or chicken breasts cut into strips
Freshly ground pepper
4 cloves garlic
1 cup fresh basil
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
¼ cup chicken broth
1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
1 cup white or yellow onion, sliced
½ cup parmesan cheese, shaved or grated

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Spray a glass baking dish with a little bit of olive oil. Place chicken in dish and coat with as much freshly ground pepper as desired.
In a food processor or blender add garlic, basil, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and chicken broth and pulse until smooth.
Place tomatoes and onions on top of chicken breasts and pour balsamic pesto over the chicken and vegetables. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese.
Bake chicken for 20-25 minutes at 400 degrees until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees.  (Cooking times will vary depending on thickness of chicken breasts.)

*Optional step* If desired, broil chicken under high for about 2-3 minutes after it’s done cooking. This will brown the cheese on top.


This recipe turned out even better than I anticipated. And it smelled like some sort of sinfully delicious cheesy Italian delight while it was baking. There’s just something about the aroma of garlic and basil cooking. ARRRRRLLLLGGGGHHHHH!!! (That’s the Homer Simpson drooling noise.)  It’s so good, I’m actually making it again tonight for dinner.

If you want to be extra healthy, you can go ahead and omit the cheese. But it’s so tasty that I promise it’s worth an extra few minutes on the treadmill.

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season and that 2013 is off to an amazing start.

Until next time,

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