Monday, February 27, 2012

Pesto-Stuffed Chicken

Start the week off right! I hear so many people complain that paleo is "just too hard." It's too hard to figure out what to eat for lunch and dinner each day, it's too hard to go to the store all the time, and it's too hard because when they get hungry at work, there are no Paleo options.

Failing to plan is planning to fail. Planning is key for everything in life, especially for eating paleo. I sit down Sunday night and make my menu for the week, then make a shopping list, double-checking what I already have so I don't over-buy. Fortunately I am off work on Mondays so that's when I do my shopping. I don't veer too far from my list unless I see produce on sale or something else we eat or use regularly. I come home and begin prepping. I chop, mix, puree and mix seasonings and marinades together and store them in baggies. I label everything and I'm set for the week! While this may seem overly OCD, this is just careful planning, and in the end saves me sooo much time during the week. I almost always make enough dinner every night for the next day's lunches. Bringing paleo snacks (Lara bars, nuts, nut butter, fruit, boiled eggs) to work helps so I don't cave in and cheat. It's a pretty solid plan and it's worked for me for a year and counting.

Pesto-Stuffed Chicken


Pesto-Stuffed Chicken

Pesto
1 Tbs. bacon fat or olive oil
2 cloves garlic, sliced
1 cup spinach
3 oz. fresh basil
3 1/2 Tbs. almonds
3 Tbs. olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Chicken
2 lbs Chicken breast
One piece bacon (per breast)
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350. On a baking sheet, spread almonds and bake until golden brown, about 5-8 mins. In a skillet, add bacon fat/olive oil and melt, add spinach and garlic to the fat/oil and sautee until wilted, about 5 mins. Combine all ingredients in a food processor and puree. Set aside.

Butterfly each chicken breast, open up and spread pesto evenly on the inside of the breast and then close up the breast. Wrap bacon around each breast and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place in a baking dish (I greased mine with coconut oil) and bake for 35-45 or until juices run clear.

*I served this with asparagus.

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17 comments:

  1. I LOVE THIS...just sayin! It is so true about the planning. I have finally started getting everything ready on Sunday and my week is so much easier.

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  2. We plan for so many things in life but often neglect the importance of the fuel we feed our bodies. We wouldn't put nasty fuel in our vehicles; but we'll stuff our bodies with "food" that cause sickness (and then wonder why we're sick). I'm speaking from experience (and pointing fingers at myself).

    I keep a spreadsheet with a list of the meals, desserts and extras we've tried and enjoy. Next to each one, I make note of where to find it (cookbook, online, etc). When making my weekly grocery list, I refer to my list. It's so much easier this way.

    I also have a five week rotation menu on file. It is varied to include chicken, beef, turkey, etc. on different days. This makes menu planning a breeze (already done) if I'm in a hurry.

    We don't keep food in our house that we shouldn't eat. Therefore, we can't cheat! And, like you, we travel with our own food/snacks (and lots of water).

    Before eating something, my boys will ask "Is this God food?" and that means (for us) was this created naturally and will it bring life to our bodies? (That doesn't necessarily mean, now that they're older, they make the right choices, unfortunately.) But, they have the knowledge. And they're equipped to make healthy choices.

    Sorry this got so long. Can you tell it's a passion?!?

    Thanks for listening,
    Cristal

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    1. And this is why we get along so well!

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  3. So Cristal.....how much do you charge to get my organization to that level?!!!!! Love it! You are awesome.

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    1. Sabrina, just pop on over to CrossFit Bridge City one day and you can meet the awesome Cristal herself:)

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  4. This recipe is amazing. I made it two weeks ago. BUT, I cooked the chicken too long (poor bird had a second death). Thankfully, we had pesto left over to use as dip (and drank lots of water in between bites). Brittany gave me a great tip (don't overcook the chicken...duh). Upon second attempt, it came out perfect!

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  5. This was amazing! I made it last night, so easy and ultra delicious! Thanks for a new blog to read too!

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  6. Thank You so much, I'm glad you enjoyed it!

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  7. Ooooh pesto is a great idea. I've been trying to decide what to make tomorrow. I have plenty of basil and pinenuts. Yay! Good call.

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  8. Great! Please let me know what you think!

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  9. If you love this recipe and making the Pesto is too much work-- and if you are a costco member-- check out the jars of pesto at Costco-- its really good and makes the recipe a snap

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  10. Here is another simple recipie I make with Pesto
    PESTO SPINACH SALAD

    Spinach
    Peas
    onion
    Pine nuts
    Pesto dressing
    sometimes I garnish with a few dried cranberries

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  11. Thanks for sharing - my husband and I really enjoyed this recipe. We ate all three pounds of chicken over a few days. Next time, I do need to work a bit to keep the pesto a bit more moist.

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    1. Great! Maybe add more oil next time to keep it moist.

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