Pesto, spinach, and goat cheese stuffed chicken and garlic asparagus recipe

I am working on growing an herb garden in our new house, but birds keep eating my herb sprouts. I put out a bird feeder, so hopefully that will deter them. Along with fresh cilantro and chives, I am really looking forward to fresh basil! I love making pesto and I enjoy eating it even more. This week I was craving some pesto goodness so I decided to pick some up and use it for a stuffed chicken recipe (and maybe a quiche recipe too).

I haven’t made stuffed chicken in a while, and it did not disappoint! This pesto and cheese and spinach stuffed chicken is a yummy and rich meal. Whoever said you can’t eat delicious food while still eating healthy doesn’t know what they are talking about! My husband was happy that it was grain-free and had goat cheese, and I was happy merely because it had pesto.  It may seem like too much work, but it’s all in the preparation. After you put it together, you can stick it in the oven and forget about it for a while!

I paired the chicken with a garlic asparagus side, recipe below as well.
stuffed chicken

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Prosciutto-basil chicken and Brussel sprouts recipe

My friend Jen is a great cook. She likes trying new things and we sometimes get lucky and are invited over for dinner! I’m not a huge fan of prosciutto and my husband isn’t a huge fan of basil, but in this dish, this prosciutto-basil chicken, it tastes amazing! Jen got this recipe from a friend who got it somewhere online. It’s been altered a bit here and there along the way. I don’t think mine came out quite as good as Jen’s, but that could be because I didn’t have to cook it the first time!

basil and prosciutto chicken Ingredients

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My new favorite: Chicken in tomato and basil cream sauce

We have been in kind of a food slump lately; nothing seems to sound very good and we needed a bit more variety. I needed to eat something new and different! I also didn’t want to be prepping and cooking food all evening when I want and need to spend more time with my baby and husband. I looked around on Pinterest (which makes me mostly just want to bake) and was inspired by a photo on The Big Oven. I wasn’t a fan of all the ingredients so I came up with my own version and used tomatoes instead of pimentos and left out a few ingredients. The result? DELICIOUSNESS. I’m making this chicken again, soon!

Ingredients:

  • Boneless, skinless chicken breasts (we used 5)
  • Fat of your choice for cooking chicken
  • 2 tsp Italian Seasoning, or to taste
  • 2 tsp garlic powder, or to taste
  • 2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 can diced tomatoes (I used the kind with oregano and other herbs) or 1-2 cups diced fresh tomatoes
  • 1/3-1/2 cup fresh basil, diced
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan or asiago cheese

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Chili-lime chicken with mango and avocado salsa

Today’s dinner was one of my favorites: thin chicken breasts seasoned with chili, lime, and other spices, then grilled and served with a mango and avocado salsa. It really hit the spot!

I could also eat the salsa by itself. I had to stop eating it by the spoonful or else there wouldn’t be enough for dinner! The salsa lasted us about 3 servings, but it could be more if I didn’t eat half of it just myself. It probably makes about 1 cup of salsa.

Chili-lime chicken with mango and avocado salsa recipe

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Tinfoil Packet Chicken

I’m not too motivated to cook dinner these days. Luckily my husband cooks a lot, so he makes sure all the food we have in our refrigerator doesn’t go to waste! Don’t get me wrong, I still cook, I just find it less appealing than before I was pregnant.

Anyways.

On a particularly motivationally-low day for both of us, I decided to try tinfoil pack chicken. I have never wrapped chicken up in tinfoil before and cooked it in the oven, so I thought I would give it a try. I made a seasoning blend, cut and rinsed asparagus, and awaited for Marc to get home so he could pound out the chicken breasts.

I only had enough tinfoil for 3 pouches and a bit more chicken than that, but we made it work.

The seasoning blend:

  • Italian Seasoning
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Lemon Pepper
  • Garlic powder

The packet contents:

  • Chicken breasts (pounded out)
  • Asparagus
  • Sundried tomatoes, diced

How we made the packets:

  • Lightly oiled tinfoil
  • Seasoned chicken
  • Put chicken in center of foil
  • Tosses asparagus in seasoning and oil
  • Places asparagus on top of chicken
  • Folded up foil packet

How we cooked the packets:

  • Placed packets in pan (or oven-safe dish)
  • Cooked on 350 degrees, for 30 minutes

How we cooked the packets, continued:

  • We had a little too much chicken in the packets, so after 30 minutes, we opened one up and found the chicken still a bit raw
  • We cooked the packets for an additional 10 minutes, on 375 degrees

The results:

  • Chicken good
  • Asparagus, over-cooked
  • May attempt foil packs someday again, with some edits

I think if we would have only put one piece of chicken in the packets the asparagus would have turned out fine.

The spears of asparagus were less over-cooked than the bottom chunks of aspargus I threw in there.

Other recipes call for broccoli and peas, maybe they would fair better in a foil packet

Chicken and Broccoli in Creamy Pesto Sauce

We had my mother and father-in-law over for dinner Saturday night and served them one of my favorite dishes: Chicken and broccoli in creamy pesto sauce. For convenience, this recipe utilizes cream sauce and pesto that is already made, feel free to make your own sauce for this recipe.

This meal is usually a treat for us because of the cream sauce. This meal also isn’t the cheapest, but there are ways to save. I wish I was able to take pictures of this lovely dish, but we were busy entertaining and busy eating and there was none left afterwards!

Chicken and Broccoli in Creamy Pesto Sauce
Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • About 2 lbs chicken breast (I bought in bulk and on sale, and paid about 81 cents per serving, $3.25 total)
  • 2 heads of broccoli, cut into florets – $3 total
  • 1 container fresh pesto $4.99 (or, save money and buy the pesto flavor packet in the marinade aisle – $1.99)
  • 1 container fresh Alfredo sauce $3.99 (or, buy in a jar, $2.50)

Total – $15.23, or $3.80 pp – using budget shortcuts, $10.74, $2.68 pp

Optional recipe enhancement:

  • 1 bunch asparagus, cut into small discs, with heads set aside – 80 cents
  • 3 tbsp butter – 89 cents (and we use butter that is about $7 a pound)
  • 5 cloves garlic, diced – 40 cents

Enhancement cost: $2.09, 52 cents a person (less if you don’t use pastured butter)

Directions:

  • Season chicken breasts with pepper, garlic powder, and anything else you may like
  • Cut asparagus into thin discs, leaving the heads intact
  • Grill chicken breasts in large pan, set aside
  • Add butter, garlic, and asparagus to separate pan and cook on low until garlic starts to brown, set aside (optional step)
  • Meanwhile, cook broccoli until crisp tender
  • To make sauce – combine Alfredo sauce and 2/3-1 whole container (to taste) of pesto (or whole envelope), simmer in small pot until warmed through, may add milk if too thick. Add garlic asparagus mixture if using.
  • Mix broccoli with sauce and serve over chicken (if you are a pasta eater, this tastes great with pasta)
  • Enjoy!

Total meal cost for 4 people: about $10.74-$17.32, depending on ingredients used (prices will also vary with where you buy your ingredients and if they are on sale or not)

Spinach, Pepper, and Cheese Stuffed Chicken Breasts and Dessert

We had a pretty low-key Valentine’s Day; we ate a lovely dinner and splurged with homemade lava cakes and cookie dough ice cream. We exchanged some notes and treats and called it good.

I decided to experiment with pepper stuffed chicken breasts and I’m so glad I did! They tasted great even for leftovers. We paired the chicken with some asparagus grilled with butter, lemon juice, lemon pepper, and a little bit of garlic (my favorite).

Wish I had a better photo, but I was too hungry to try!

Spinach, Pepper, and Cheese Stuffed Chicken Breasts
I made about 5 servings, but ingredients can be easily altered to make more or less
Bake at 425 degrees

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Recipe Review: Santa Fe Chicken Chili

While looking for warm and filling dinner recipes (that wouldn’t break the bank) I came across Gluten-Free Goddess’ Santa Fe Chicken Chili. The ingredients are all items we use on a regular basis and I love a bowl of warm chili (especially in the winter).

I used leftover chicken from the day before and homemade broth that I made from the chicken as well. I added a little more spice than what was called for and added in some chili powder and paprika too. We served it with some pepper jack cheese and avocado and it was delicious! The chili was very filling and it made way more than 4 servings; probably more around 8 servings.

I will definitely make this dish again. The hardest part of the whole dish was dicing the sweet potato!

The recipe:

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Chicken Curry with Onions and Peppers

When Marc and I were living in Fresno we enjoyed going to this small Thai Fusion restuarant a few minutes away. My favorite dish was the spicy red curry – chicken, red peppers, and onions in a spicy coconut curry sauce.

We decided to replicate the dish and it turned out tasty and was  a great break from the ordinary

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Cheesy Chicken Enchiladas with Green Sauce

While my husband and I are for the most part, grain-free, we do allow ourselves cheats or treats occasionally. Chicken Enchiladas are one of our favorite leftover-chicken-meals and it’s quick, easy, and flavorful.

Disclaimer: These are white girl enchiladas, but I still maintain that they taste pretty good.

Chicken Enchiladas with Green Sauce

A small batch on Enchiladas before going into the oven.

Exact measurements aren’t important when it comes to making these. You can make as little or as much as you want, just adjust the ingredient amounts. I have listed the amounts we usually use, but these are in no way, the only amounts in which to make enchiladas. Play around with what works for you!

Ingredients:

  • Leftover chicken, shredded (approx. 1/2-1 full size chicken)
  • 1 jar salsa verde, divided (we like the one from Trader Joes)
  • 1/4 cup sour cream + more for serving
  • 1/2-1 lb pepper jack cheese, shredded and divided
  • Flour tortillas (Depends on size, but we usually use 3-8 tortillas)
  • Optional: Seasonings for chicken (Cumin, garlic, chili powder, etc.)
  • Other optional ingredients: Green chiles, olives, and veggies

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly grease pirex dish or other pan.
  • Mix shredded chicken, 1/4 cup sour cream, 1/3 jar salsa verde, 1/4-1/2 amount of cheese, and any other seasonings or ingredients.
  • Spoon into center or tortilla, and roll tortilla. Place tortilla roll seam side down in dish. Continue until you use all of the chicken mixture.
  • Spread 1/3 jar of salsa verde on top of enchiladas and the sprinkle the rest of the cheese on top.
  • Bake 10-15 minutes or until cheese it melted and enchiladas are cooked all the way through.
  • Serve with sour cream and green sauce.

This small batch on Enchiladas uses 3 large sprouted tortillas and has green chiles in the filling