March 2014 archive

Artichoke Lemon Pesto Chicken with Spinach



Artichoke lemon pesto chicken with spinach



Unless I am cooking chicken boobs for a salad, I almost always need to jazz it up with some sort of sauce, stuff it with something, or mix it with other more flavorful ingredients of different textures.

Why?

Because white meet can be so dang bland! Am I right about this? Unlike juicy tender thighs, the boobs just don’t always do it for me.

And is it just me or does chicken taste so much better when someone else cooks it? My main squeeze seems to nail it every single time.

To top it off, I am a FREAK about making sure it’s done/cooked through so all-in-all, someone’s a big pain in the ass here, it’s either me or the chicken, I’ll let you make that call.

I may have had a slight change of heart, however, after making PaleOMG’s amazingly delicious (and nutritious) Artichoke Lemon Pesto Chicken. She uses spaghetti squash to make it a pasta dish but I forwent that since I had planned on making spaghetti squash and crockpot meatballs for dinner the next night.

The only changes I made to the recipe was using almonds instead of walnuts because simply put, I am allergic and almonds worked just beautifully. You could use pine nuts as well. I used 3 garlic cloves instead of 2. Also a tip – you may need to use a blender. I have a large food processor and I initially used that to make pesto – had to transfer to my Ninja blender since my FP was just too big. This was huge and a total lifesaver.

Between the pesto, spinach and the side of asparagus and broccoli, it was a very GREEN dinner – love it when that happens! Plus it was St. Patrick’s Day, pretty fitting I’d say!

I’d love for you to share your favorite chicken recipes with me so my relationship with chicken boobs can prosper!


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Artichoke Lemon Pesto Chicken with Spinach

By Lindsey
Published: March 21, 2014

    Unless I am cooking chicken boobs for a salad, I almost always need to jazz it up with some sort of sauce, stuff it with …

    Ingredients

    Instructions

    1. Heat a large pan with olive oil. Add 1 minced garlic clove. After a minute or two, add artichokes, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and brown slightly.
    2. In a small-medium food processor or blender (I used a blender), add artichokes, almonds, olive oil, vegetable broth, and two garlic cloves. Puree until smooth, pesto-y texture.
    3. Add in parsley, basil, lemon, salt and pepp. Puree again. Taste-test and add more ingredients if desired.
    4. If the pan that you sauteed the garlic and ‘chokes in is dry, splash a bit more oil (olive or coconut will work) and add the cubed chicken. Cook on medium-high until browned on all sides, sprinkle with salt and pepper and mix.
    5. Make sure chicken is COOKED! Once you’ve double and triple checked, add in about 1/4 cup of the pesto and some fresh spinach. Toss and make sure everything is coated. Cover and cook for a few minutes until spinach is wilted.
    6. Serve in bowls and add more pesto if your taste buds so desire.

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      St. Patty’s Minty-Green Ice Cream { with Avocado! }

      In honor of this Irish holiday I am sharing with you one of my all-time favorite desserts – minty GREEN ice cream! I am a ‘Gallagher’ afterall, so I have to celebrate and be festive in one way or another. Plus, this healthy dessert will take away the guilt of drinking green beer, Bailey’s, and Irish car bombs, right?



      St Patty's Minty Green Ice Cream



      The secret ingredients is a wee bit of avocado. And when I say wee bit I really mean a-lot-a bit. The bulk of this recipe is the avo. You can easily make this ice cream using just a blender but lucky for me, I have a blender AND an ice cream maker so I did double duty to get that thicker ice cream texture. If you don’t have an ice cream maker you will have to put your mixture in a freezer-safe container and freeze until desired texture.

      This is a super simple recipe that you really just have to wing. Sometimes I have four avocados lying around and sometimes only one or two. So you really just have to use what you have and adjust the measurements for the other ingredients appropriately. I had a frozen banana in the freezer so I threw that in as well.

      Please note for the liquid you can use any kind of milk (dairy or non-dairy) – I used unsweetened vanilla almond milk but coconut, regular, soy milk should work too. Sweetner-wise I used raw honey, but agave, maple syrup, stevia all do the trick. Measure the peppermint extract very carefully and be aware that a little goes a long way. The amount of peppermint extract you use is dependent on how many avocados and bananas you use.

      I topped mine with some chocolate syrup but it’s not necessary, totally tasty as is! What are your favorite St Patty’s green recipes? Do share!

      St. Patty’s Minty-Green Ice Cream { with Avocado! } Recipe

      By Lindsey
      Published: March 17, 2014

        In honor of this Irish holiday I am sharing with you one of my all-time favorite desserts – minty GREEN ice cream! I am a ‘Gallagher’ …

        Ingredients

        Instructions

        1. In a blender combine avocado(s), banana(s), almond milk, and honey.
        2. Once smooth, taste test and add more honey/sweetner if necessary. Blend in the peppermint extract. I used the cap to the bottle and added one capful.
        3. If using only a blender, add in chocolate chips to taste, transfer to a freezer-safe container and freeze until desired texture. Read on if you have an ice cream maker.
        4. Set up and turn on the ice cream maker. Slowly pour mixture into the bowl and let it churn for about 10-15 minutes.
        5. Once thickened, add in chocolate chips.
        6. Transfer to a bowl and enjoy! If you’re a lucky leprechaun and have extra (which I did not), store in a container and freeze.

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        The Power of the Acai Bowl / Copycat “Beach Bowl” Recipe



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        Acai bowls have become my best friend and worst enemy. Why you ask? Because my diet used to consist of eggs and acai smoothies. <<< Not kidding. It pains me to even type this right now. Can you feel the shame radiating from my computer screen to yours? Embarrassing. Needless to say this was NOT healthy! I did this for a good year and while you think I must have lost weight, it was quite the opposite. I was consuming too much sugar, not enough protein and veggies. Lesson learned, people! Do not restrict your diet, variety is key. Veggies, fruits, animal proteins, eggs, and healthy grains. For those of you that live under a rock, acai is this magical, mystical berry from South America. It hails from the good ol’ Amazon Rainforest and is chock full of antioxidants. For those of you who live even deeper under that rock and don’t know what antioxidants are, well here you have it: they are nutrients that protect healthy cells and give your body the strength to fight infection and disease. These days, I treat myself to an acai bowl every now and then. My favorite place in Colorado to get this superfruit sweet treat is Rush On the Hill in Boulder. What I enjoy even more is making my own acai bowls. It’s SO easy, I can do it with my hands tied behind my back by now.

        If blending’s not your thing you are in luck because you can buy Rush Bowls online.

        But if you are a blending ninja you can SO replicate Rush’s famous “Beach Bowl.” Here’s the very short and sweet recipe below.

        REAL guava juice (I recommend Ceres)
        1 Sambazon Acai Smoothie Pack (I get unsweetened)
        ½ or whole frozen banana (depending on size)
        Frozen mango chunks (Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s Sprouts, etc.)
        Nature’s Path granola
        Honey

        1. Pour juice in your blender – I usually do one cup, give or take. You need to find the right amount where you have enough for your blender to do it’s job but be careful – too much liquid will give your bowl a more liquidy/smoothie texture.
        2. Add frozen bananas and mangoes. About 1/2 cup-1 cup of each.
        3. After running warm water for 30 seconds on the acai pack cut open and add entire pack into the mix.
        4. Blend until consistency is thicker than a smoothie and is perfectly edible using a spoon.
        5. Top with granola and drizzle with honey.

        VOILA! Enjoy!

        Avocado-Greek Yogurt Fudge Brownies

        Say goodbye to your Ghiradelli brownie mix because your mind is about to be blown. I’ve been drooling over Taralynn’s healthy brownie recipe and last night finally got after it.



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        This recipe contains zero butter and minimal sugar. Taralynn’s post does say ‘no sugar’ but that is a tad misleading because this recipe does call for vanilla yogurt and agave or honey. It also calls for Stevia, which is a natural sweetner. Educate yourself on Stevia and which brands are good and bad here.

        If you’re a chocoholic like me, or even if you’re not – you will be amazed by the rich, fudgy texture and the taste that resembles your favorite fudge brownie that you probably haven’t had since elementary school.

        Eating healthy does not mean bland and boring! These sweet treats are a perfect example of transforming a “bad” food to a good one in a few simple steps. These can also be made gluten-free using GF flour.

        I challenge you to make these and have your family, friends, significant other, coworkers try them. See if they even notice the difference. My main squeeze sure didn’t and helped himself to seconds. And thirds. And maybe fourths.



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        Find Taralynn’s recipe here.

        Avocado-Greek Yogurt Fudge Brownies

        By Lindsey
        Published: March 4, 2014

        • Yield: 42
        • Prep: 10 mins
        • Cook: 25 mins
        • Ready In: 35 mins

        Say goodbye to your Ghiradelli brownie mix because your mind is about to be blown. I’ve been drooling over Taralynn’s healthy brownie …

        Ingredients

        Instructions

        1. Preheat oven to 350º and lightly grease an 8×8″ or 9×9″ baking pan.
        2. Using an electric mixer, combine avocado, egg, and yogurt until blended and smooth.
        3. Add vanilla extract and stevia packets.
        4. In a separate small bowl using a spatula or spoon, combine cocoa powder and hot water and stir until it looks like icing (not thick frosting!).
        5. Add chocolate mixture to the avocado mixture and beat well.
        6. Blend in flour.
        7. Blend in honey.
        8. Gently fold in chocolate chips.
        9. Spread batter evenly on baking pan and sprinkle chocolate chips on top to give the brownies that fudgy texture.
        10. Bake for 25 minutes and ensure they are done using a toothpick. Let cool for 30 minutes then cut into little brownie bites.
        11. IMPORTANT: Store in fridge!

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