I’m not one to follow recipes – I usually just throw things together and can usually come up with a decent meal. But lately I’ve been hunting for new menu ideas and therefore have actually found myself cooking with recipes. Cooking is very therapeutic for me and it is an activity that makes me happy. Now that I’m done with grad school and cancer treatments, I find that I have lots of free time to do fun things. And I love getting in the kitchen and seeing what I can create. My goal is to try one new healthy recipe/idea every week or two. So, I thought I’d share my new creations.
I hate heating up my house with the oven in the summer, but sometimes I just have no choice. Also, with Bri working every night to finish our basement project, he hasn’t had much time for grilling.
Provolone, Artichoke and Roasted Red Pepper Stuffed Chicken Breasts: I actually got this recipe from a freebie cookbook called “Cooking the Costco Way.” However, none of the ingredients were purchased at Costco.
- 6 chicken breast halves
- 6 pieces of sliced mild provolone cheese, diced
- 3/4 cup canned artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
- 1/2 cup roasted red peppers chopped
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley (plus a lil more if you’d like to garnish)
What you do:
- Preheat oven to 400 F
- Place chicken breasts on a cutting board and cut a lengthwise pocket along the side.
- In a medium bowl, combine provolone, artichoke hearts, roasted peppers, * 1 teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon cracked pepper, cayenne and 2 tablespoons chopped parsley.
- Stuff chicken breasts with the filling. Generously sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Coat the surface of a large oven proof saute pan with olive oil and heat on medium-high. Place chicken breasts in the pan and cook for 3-4 minutes; turn gently and cook for another 3-4 minutes.
- Transfer the pan to the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes.
Chef’s Notes: I only used 4 chicken breasts and had about 1/2 cup of the stuffing leftover. I added the leftover stuffing to scrambled egg whites the next day and it was delicious. * For the most part, I actually followed this recipe precisely. However, next time I would cut back or even eliminate the salt. * I served this with a side salad and a small serving of rotini with leftover (homemade) red sauce.
Asian Citrus Chicken Salad: Following a recipe to only make a salad was very hard for me. I eat salads all the time and just couldn’t believe that I was hovering over the counter, reading the cookbook with my measuring cup in hand to make a salad! However, the end result was fantastic and I’d definitely make this again. This recipe was from a 2001 Cooking Light book (I love Cooking Light)!
- 1/3 cup of honey
- 2 tablespoons of low-sodium soy sauce, divided
- 1/3 cup of raspberry vinegar
- 2 teaspoons of grated peeled fresh ginger (I didn’t use fresh ginger & it still tasted great)
- 1 tablespoon of grated orange rind
- 1/3 cup fresh orange juice
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
- 8 cups mixed salad greens (for 2 people, I just used 3/4 of a bag of mixed field greens)
- 3 oranges peeled and sliced (I actually just used 1 small can of sliced mandarin oranges)
- 1 red bell pepper, cut into thin strip (I also added yellow pepper strips)
- 4 teaspoons low-sodium soy sauce
What you do:
- Combine first 6 ingredients in a medium bowl; stir well with a whisk. Set aside.
- Coat a large non stick skillet with cooking spray; place over medium-high heat. Add chicken. Spoon 2 tablespoons orange juice mixture over chicken; cook 5 minutes. Turn chicken, and spoon 2 tablespoons orange juice mixture over chicken. Cook 5 minutes or until done. Remove chicken, and let cool slightly.
- Remove skillet from heat. Stir 4 teaspoons soy sauce into drippings in skillet. Set aside. Cut chicken into thin slices; set aside.
- Place 2 cups salad greens on each of 4 plates. Arrange orange slices and bell pepper strips over greens. Drizzle 3 tablespoons orange juice mixture over each serving.
Chef’s Notes: Perfect summer meal (also only 300 calories and 2g of fat)! I was afraid that Bri wouldn’t be too crazy about it, but he loved it. I also added toasted sesame seeds to the pan while the chicken was cooking and added some sesame seeds to the salad – I thought it would make a nice garnish.
The only thing that I would change is that next time I need to take some pictures of my creations!