Chicken Pesto Pasta with a Little Kale on the Side

I don’t mean to leave you out in the cold. Speaking of cold…Tennessee got jipped (gipped?) this year with winter. The temperature got to 19 degrees one night and froze an entire Solo cup of water in my Jeep. That’s it. A little snow flurry here once but nothing compared to last year. And February is almost over. Oh, well. Did I just jinx us?

I had some friends over tonight because, obviously you know, I like good company and I like to entertain.

I went convenience tonight with the pesto. I’ve never been one for pesto but my friend used this and I really liked it. The sesame seeds I bought were also convenience because they were already toasted. I picked up the kale salad recipe from Whole Foods Market’s website after I attended a Chef Demo last month. I’ve never had kale but I must’ve had 15 sample cups of this stuff. It’s really fun to chop, too. It chops like you wish every green would.

Chicken with Pesto Pasta (for two)

  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • OR Tony Cachere’s or Season-All in place of the salt and pepper
  • 8 ounces pasta of your choice
  • 8-12 ounces of pesto

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Place raw or frozen chicken in pan and season one side with half of the red pepper flakes, basil, salt and pepper. Cook frozen chicken approximately 10 minutes on each side or until brown and cooked through. Cook raw chicken approximately 7 minutes on each or until brown and cooked through. Flip the chicken after cooked on one side and season with the rest of your seasonings and continue to cook. Slice or leave the chicken whole. Note: I used a lid while cooking to smother and keep some of the moisture in the chicken.

Cook pasta according to instructions. Combine pesto, pasta and sliced chicken in skillet and reheat on low, tossing occasionally, until ready to serve.

Kale, Carrot and Avocado Salad

  • 1 bunch of kale, stemmed and finely chopped
  • 2 cups of grated carrots
  •  1 avocado, peeled and pitted
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon or lime juice (Juice from about 1 fruit)
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon soy sauce

Note: Be prepared to double the amount of soy sauce and lemon juice if you’re a dressing freak like me.

Toss all ingredients together in a large bowl. Use your hands or the back of a large spoon to thoroughly mash avocado into kale. Set aside at room temperature for 30 minutes before serving to allow kale to soften.

For dessert: Nestle Tollhouse Chocolate Chip Cookies with Pecans. By the way, it’s difficult to “cream” the sugar, butter and vanilla extract with the $5 hand mixer you bought from Target. It says it has 5 speeds but it’s really only 1. And the 1 speed causes you to lose half of your ingredients.

: )

D

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