Saturday, August 27, 2011

Quick and easy

No, this isn’t going to be a dirty post :)

The Mrs. & I were looking for something different. Pasta has been getting boring, even with some delicious homemade meatballs or amazing homemade chicken parmesan (more about those another time).

So…we had a bunch of pasta from a recent BJs trip, and picked up some chicken when it was on sale at Kroger this week. Here’s where the quick part comes in – we also picked up a small jar of pre-made pesto. This has been one of the things I’ve wanted to try to make from scratch, but I also wanted Mrs. Bob to try it first before we invested time, effort and mess in making it.

Here’s what you need:

Boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into bite size pieces

Basic spices (or my “use it in everything” spice starter)

Balsamic vinegar

Olive oil



Boil the pasta, like you normally would.

While the water is coming to a boil, heat about a teaspoon of olive oil in a fry pan over medium heat. Add the chicken (we did about 16 ounces of uncooked chicken – this will give you about 12 ounces of cooked chicken), making sure the pieces are broken apart. Sprinkle with spices (salt, pepper, garlic, etc.), and dribble about ½ teaspoon balsamic vinegar. Let the chicken cook, undisturbed, for a while, until the bottom is cooked and starting to brown. Flip the chicken pieces, let cook on the other side until cooked through. Stir around when it’s finishing cooking, to make sure the spices and reduced balsamic are mixed.

After you drain the pasta, heat about 2 tablespoons pesto in another fry pan, add about 4-5 ounces cooked pasta and about 3-4 ounces of cooked chicken. Stir it around a bunch, until it’s all mixed together and heated through. Remove to a bowl, sprinkle with parmesan cheese, and serve immediately.

This is a great, quick meal to make, and it is easy to measure out nicely portion-controlled servings. If you use whole wheat pasta (we usually get Barilla whole wheat at BJs), the serving size I described above (depending on the type of pesto), will be about a 450-500 calorie, very satisfying dinner.

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