Grilled Chicken Sandwiches with Sun Dried Tomato Pesto

Yup – I’m using this again 😉 As we were eating this dinner, I started thinking of ways to use the rest of the pesto. It’s not a stretch as far as recipes go, but I already know the flavors will work together.

Verdict: Yum! This sandwich was so good! It’s so full of flavor and it’s a new favorite in this house. The sun dried tomato pesto is so worth making. I still have an 8 ounce jar of this left, so I’m sure I will be posting a new recipe with it soon. I don’t want it to go to waste after all. Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Grilled Chicken Sandwiches with Sun Dried Tomato Pesto –

For Marinating the Chicken:

  • 1 pound chicken breast cutlets
  • zest of one lemon
  • juice of half a lemon
  • Italian seasoning
  • Kosher salt and pepper
For Assembling the Sandwiches:
  • Ciabatta rolls, split and brushed with olive oil
  • sun dried tomato pesto
  • goat cheese
  • garlic and herb cream cheese spread
  • organic spring mix
  • sliced tomatoes
Directions:
1. Place the chicken cutlets in a sealable container or a zip top bag. Mix all the ingredients and pour over top of chicken. Marinade for at least 30 minutes, but no more than a few hours (*depending on how thick your pieces are – or the acid will start to “cook” the meat).
2. Preheat your grill to medium-high and grill the chicken for about 4 minutes a side or until done. Place the bun halves oil side down to toast.
3. To assemble:  On one half of the roll, slather on a good amount of the garlic and herb cheese spread and pile salad greens on top and then the grilled chicken on top of that and then tomato slices. Spread the sun dried tomato pesto on the top bun and place it on top of the sandwich – enjoy!

Strawberry, Banana and Coconut Milk Smoothie

Quick Post: Yum! I tried this new-to-me non dairy milk for the first time last week in this smoothie. When I’m craving something sweet, this is what I make. The coconut milk makes this almost like an ice cream shake, but healthy – even better! It’s rich and creamy without all the guilt 🙂 Whenever I make smoothies I use frozen bananas – it makes all the difference in the thickness. Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Strawberry, Banana and Coconut Milk Smoothie –

  • 1/2 frozen banana
  • 5 frozen strawberries
  • 1/2 unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup vanilla bean Greek yogurt
Directions –
1. Blend all ingredients together until smooth. Enjoy!

Vegan Apple Crisp

(It’s still raining here, so no decent pictures – boo!)

I haven’t made an apple crisp since last year, so I decided it was time 🙂 This smells amazing while baking. My hands smelled like lemon, apple, cinnamon and nutmeg for quite sometime after making this, too 🙂 I love Fall flavors and this is a perfect example of them. I used coconut oil for this instead of canola and we didn’t miss the butter. It’s not a thick crumb topping like the typical crisp with flour and butter; but it was flavorful, slightly sweet and delightfully crunchy. We enjoyed the walnuts in this, too – and the vanilla ice cream brought it all together nicely. Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Vegan Apple Crisp – adapted from What Would Cathy Eat?

  • 2 ½ pounds apples (about 7), peeled and thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • Small pinch cloves
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 2/3 cup rolled oats (old fashioned, not quick cooking)
  • 2/3 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 2/3 cup light brown sugar
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Âź teaspoon salt
  • Âź cup coconut oil
  • 2 tablespoons water
Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350.

Mix the apples with the next seven ingredients (through lemon juice). In a separate bowl, mix the oats, flour, brown sugar walnuts, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Drizzle the organic canola oil over the dry mixture and combine with your fingers until crumbly. Add the water and stir briefly with a fork. Put the apple mixture in an 8×8” baking dish, then sprinkle on the crumbly topping. Bake for 40 minutes, or until the top is golden and the apples are tender.

Honey Oatmeal Bread

Another day, another bread recipe! I enjoy trying out new ones as often as possible, and this one seems to be pretty popular on Tasty Kitchen so I decided to give it a try. I made sure not to add the full amount of flour while kneading this in my stand mixer. I held back 2/3 of a cup and added just enough to make the dough not too sticky. I err on the side of caution when dealing with bread dough now after learning what adding too much flour can do to the finished bread. Mine was only slightly sticky and while I formed it I used a small amount flour on my work surface and hands. I haven’t used egg in a bread recipe for some time, but this loaf came out soft and tender even with all the wheat flour in this. In my experience with wheat breads, the flavor is usually bitter and the crumb isn’t nearly as nice. I’m really happy with how this turned out and hopefully I can get my husband to like it too 😉 He’s not a big fan of mostly wheat breads a, like this one; and oatmeal isn’t his favorite either. Thanks for reading, enjoy!
Honey Oatmeal Bread – adapted from Belle of the Kitchen
  • 4-½ teaspoons Active Dry Yeast (2 packages worth)
  • ½ cups Honey
  • 4 Tablespoons Butter
  • 2-Âź cups Water
  • 1 Tablespoon Salt
  • 8 tsp vital wheat gluten (optional)
  • 2-ž cups All-purpose Flour (I used 2 1/4 cups)
  • 4 cups White Whole Wheat Flour
  • 1 cup Old Fashioned Oats
  • 1 whole Egg
Directions –
In a medium sized bowl, add HOT water, oats, butter, salt and honey. Stir to combine – let sit until butter is melted and it’s cool enough to add your yeast (110 -115 degrees or less).

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, combine 2 cups whole wheat flour and 1 cup all-purpose flour and oat mixture. With mixer on low, gradually blend liquid into dry ingredients until just blended. Increase the speed to medium, beat for two minutes, occasionally scraping bowl. Gradually beat in the egg and one cup of whole wheat flour to make a thick batter. Continue beating for two minutes. Stir in 1 cup whole wheat flour and 1 cup all purpose flour. Knead till smooth and elastic. Use more flour if dough is too sticky.

Place in a greased bowl and cover. Let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.

Punch the dough down. Turn onto a floured surface; cover with the bowl and let rise for 15 minutes. Shape into two loaves and let rise for 1 hour in greased 9 x 5 loaf pans.

Bake at 350 degrees (F) for 35 to 40 minutes.


Homemade Hot Pockets

Yum! These are worlds better than store bought Hot Pockets:) I made several different combinations for these and they all turned out to be really flavorful, cheesy and satisfying. I made a chicken, broccoli and cheese pocket, a pepperoni, sausage and cheese, and ham and cheddar cheese. Next time I think I’ll use a garlic and herb flavored dough to take the flavor up a few notches. We enjoyed the pizza pockets with what else – pizza sauce, drops of Frank’s Red Hot or green Tobasco. I had to stop myself from eating more of these – cheese and bread in combination are my weakness! The recipe below is really just a rough guideline for making these. They’re pretty fool-proof and don’t require any real measurements. I just made sure that I didn’t over-fill the dough. Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Homemade Hot Pockets –

  • 4 ounce balls of pizza dough (*I made 9)
  • cheddar, Swiss, mozzarella, Parmesan cheeses – odds and ends are great for these
  • pepperoni, ham, chicken sausage, and shredded chicken breast – cut into small pieces
  • steamed broccoli, mushrooms, tomatoes – or whatever leftover cooked veggies you have

Directions –

Take one ball of dough and roll it out on a lightly floured surface so that the long side is perpendicular to your body. It should have a rectangular shape and be only slightly thicker than paper thin. Add about about 1/4 cup of your filling over the dough, leaving a 1-inch border along the edges of the dough.

Pull the shorter ends toward each other and then pull the longer ends toward the middle. Seal the roll by pinching this last portion of dough against the roll. Smooth out with your fingers by gently pressing the seam. Place the pocket into onto the prepared baking sheet seam side down. If you’d like a crisper crust you can brush the tops with olive oil or egg wash. Repeat with the remaining pieces of dough. Bake in a 375 degree oven for 20 – 25 minutes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stuffed Chicken Breast with Sun Dried Tomato Pesto and Goat Cheese (aka looks gross, but tastes good)

Quick Post: I assure you this tastes much better than it looks! I could not get a decent picture of this because it was raining the night I made it, so no natural light! I’m also not fond of my flash mode – blah! I’m a little embarrassed to show the picture because pictures “sell” recipes – but this one has  great flavor and I would make it again. Thanks for reading, enjoy!
Stuffed Chicken Breast with Sun Dried Tomato Pesto and Goat Cheese –
  1. Preheat oven to 400. Spray an oven-safe saute pan with olive oil or cooking spray and heat over medium-high.
  2. Using a pairing knife, cut a pocket in each chicken breast, cutting as close as possible to the edges but taking care not to puncture all the way through.
  3. Mix the sun dried tomato pesto and goat cheese together in a small bowl then stuff each chicken breast generously with the mixture. I used toothpicks to secure the opening as much as possible.
  4. Season the tops with salt and pepper. Place top down in the skillet and cook for 3 minutes, until nicely seared.
  5. Flip chicken, remove from heat, and pop into the oven for 15 – 18 minutes to finish cooking through. Chicken is done when it reaches 160 degrees (*155 is good because of the carry over cooking*)

Sun Dried Tomato Pesto

Quick Post: This pesto has rich flavor and was perfect mixed in to goat cheese for stuffed chicken breasts. I plan on using this again in some pasta and probably tossed with some kind of mild white fish. I bet it would taste amazing spread onto a grilled chicken sandwich – I’ll have to try that too 🙂 I had just enough sun dried tomatoes left for this and the food processor makes this a breeze to whip up. Also, the recipe makes about two cups and keeps well in the fridge for up to six weeks according to the author. Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Sun Dried Tomato Pesto – adapted from Imafoodblog

  • 1/2 cup packed basil leaves
  • 1/2 cup toasted whole almonds
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • the zest of one lemon
  • 1/4 tsp coarse salt
  • 1 generous packed cup sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
Directions:
An hour before you make this, soak your sun dried tomatoes in hot water for at least an hour. Drain and slice, set aside.

Toast your almonds in a dry shallow pan. They will take about 10 minutes, and you will smell when they are done.

In a large food processor, combine the basil, toasted almonds, garlic, lemon zest, and salt. Process until coarsely chopped.

Add the sun dried tomatoes and parmesan cheese and process until the tomatoes are coarsely chopped.

Now stream in the olive oil slowly and process until the pesto comes together.

Serve immediately or store in an air tight container in the fridge for up to 6 weeks.

Roasted Garlic Bread

Quick Post: This is so darn good – it’s dangerous! The last time I mentioned it, I didn’t get a chance to photograph it cause it disappeared before I was able to. I figured that I would make this again really soon so I could share it with you 😉 I saved up carbs so I was able to eat this pasta with Italian chicken sausage and at least two pieces of the garlic bread. This dinner is definitely a carb overload, but totally worth it! Thanks for reading, enjoy 🙂

Roasted Garlic Bread –

  • 1 loaf of french bread
  • 1 bulb of garlic
  • 6 TBSP of butter
  • 2 – 3 TBSP of olive oil
  • kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper (to taste, optional)
  • dried herbs – I used parsley (optional)
  • Parmesan and Pecorino Romano cheeses
Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut the bulb of garlic in half and place it on a square of foil, large enough that you can make a little package for roasting. Place the cut garlic into the center of the foil and drizzle with a little olive oil. Close the package up and roast for 30 to 35 minutes or until golden brown. Set aside.
2. Squeeze the cloves into a small bowl to smash up with the butter, olive oil and seasonings. Blend well and set aside. Cut your french bread in half and then take the two halves and split those down the middle lengthwise. Spread the butter mixture generously over each piece. Place your bread on a foil-lined baking sheet and bake for 7 minutes – take the bread out and sprinkle your grated cheese over top each piece. Place back in the oven until the cheese melts and is nicely browned – about 3-5 minutes. Cut into slices and enjoy!

Cinnamon Raisin Bread

Yum! In my opinion, cinnamon and raisins got together so well. My husband doesn’t agree – he hates raisins. I cut this recipe in half just to make sure I don’t over do it with this yummy bread. It smells wonderful while baking and the scent lingered until this morning. My only issue with this bread is that it took so long to rise – at least 4 hours for the first one and almost 2 for the second rise. I was bummed that it didn’t rise quite where I had hoped before baking it off; but I was already staying up past my preferred bed time waiting for it to crest over the top of the pan. I even tried proofing it in my oven in hopes that it would speed up the process, and that took an hour. This recipe doesn’t have much yeast in it for some reason (only one packet worth for two loaves), so it probably didn’t help that I cut the recipe in half. Next time I’ll add a touch more yeast or just be extra careful with the temperatures of the liquids I add. I’m not sure what the culprit was, but the flavor is great and the bread isn’t as dense as I feared it might be. It’s not too sweet and it has a great cinnamon spiciness to it. This is the perfect kind of bread for Fall and I’m sure I will make this one or another recipe similar to it. Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Cinnamon Raisin Bread – adapted from King Arthur Flour

  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) butter
  • 1 heaping cup dark and/or golden raisins
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon brown sugar, divided
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon active dry yeast or 2 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 1/2 cup lukewarm water, 110°F
  • 5 1/2 to 6 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour

Directions:

Combine and heat the milk and butter (on the stove or in the microwave) until just hot to the touch (about 120°F). Transfer to a large bowl and add the raisins or other fruit, oat flakes, 1/2 cup brown sugar, salt and cinnamon; stir well and set aside.

In a separate bowl, dissolve the remaining tablespoon of brown sugar and active dry yeast in the water and let sit until bubbles appear. (If you’re using instant yeast, skip this step; simply add all of the remaining ingredients to the milk mixture once it’s cooled to lukewarm.) When the milk mixture has cooled to lukewarm, add the yeast mixture and mix well. Stir in the unbleached flour, 1 cup at a time, until the dough begins to pull away from the sides of the bowl.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes by hand, adding additional flour only as necessary to prevent sticking. You can also do this whole process in the bowl of an electric mixer, kneading the dough for 5 minutes. Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, turn to coat it on all sides, cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a cozy place until doubled in size, about 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

Knock down the dough, knead briefly on a lightly floured surface and divide in half. Shape into loaves and place into two lightly greased 8 1/2 x 4 1/2-inch loaf pans. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes until nicely browned. Near the end of the baking time, if the loaves are getting dark too quickly, cover them with a piece of aluminum foil, shiny-side up. Turn out onto a wire rack to cool.

Twice Baked Potatoes

I was inspired to make these while watching The Pioneer Woman’s show on Food Network yesterday. Now, I wouldn’t mind trying her recipe, but I’d rather stay away from all those extra goodies and try to make these a little more healthy for my family. I’m adding broccoli and cooked chicken to mine, while my husband will have lots of cheese, butter and sour cream on his to go along with his rib eye steak tonight. I’m serving mine with a green salad. The kids aren’t fans of mashed or baked potatoes (cause they’re a little weird – I still love them, though) so hopefully the leftovers will heat up nicely for a quick dinner later on this week.
Verdict: These were so tasty and well worth the wait. I have all kinds of add in ideas now that I will have to try soon. My favorite thing about this is the skin on the bottom of the potato. It became crisp almost like a chip because of the olive oil – it was perfect!  Thanks for reading, enjoy!
Twice Baked Potatoes – adapted from Natalie’s Killer Cuisine
  • 4 large Russet Potatoes
  • Olive Oil to coat (*and kosher salt if you’d like)
  • 4 TBSP Butter
  • a splash of half and half
  • Heaping spoon of Sour Cream
  • Paprika to taste
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • Black pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded – plus more for top
  • 2 cups cooked Broccoli Florets
  • 1 cup cooked chicken
Directions:
1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Meanwhile, scrub the potatoes well and poke a several holes in the potato with a fork. Coat in olive oil and bake uncovered for 1 1/2 hours. Let cool at least 30 minutes before handling.
2. Slice off top quarter of potato. Scoop out as much of the potato as you can without breaking the skin and place in a bowl.
3. Add the butter, sour cream, half and half, broccoli, chicken, and cheese to the mashed potato, and mash until everything is melted, and smooth. Add the paprika, salt and pepper to taste. Spoon your mashed potato mixture into the potato skin – be really generous here. Sprinkle the tops with extra cheese if desired.
4. Bake for 3o minutes at 350 degrees until cheese is melted.  I turned on my broiler for a few minutes after they were finished baking, just to brown the tops a little – keep a close eye on them. Enjoy!