Category Archives: nuts

Pistachio Encrusted Chicken

I am not sure how it happened but Thanksgiving is officially around the corner.  Given that Christmas stuff has been out in the stores since before Halloween, you wouldn’t think that I would not be in such denial about the impending holiday season….but I am none the less.

About a month ago (when the holidays still seemed much farther off) I had set a goal to loose that last stubborn few pounds of leftover baby weight, ditch the frumpy clothes that have been creeping into my wardrobe since becoming a mom and emerge at the holiday parties this year looking totally fabulous.

My plan has been to give up the majority of white carbs (flour and sugar) for 7 weeks  and pump up my gym routine with some new workout classes.  So goodbye Kashi waffles and OJ for breakfast… hello cycle class!

   

   

In keeping with my new low carb diet plan I came up with Pistachio Encrusted Chicken.  It mimics what I love about encrusted chicken but offers lower carbs by using pistachio nuts instead of flour or breadcrumbs.  This encrusted chicken is excellent yet very simple with very few ingredients!  You won’t miss the breadcrumbs at all.  You can serve Pistachio Encrusted Chicken Breasts either as a center of the plate entree as well as over a salad.  Either will be equally delicious!

Pistachio Encrusted Chicken

Prep time: 5 minutes  -  Cook time: 20 minutes  -  Makes: 4

  • 4 thin cut boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 2/3 cup roasted and shelled pistachio nuts
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • non-stick cooking spray

Preheat oven to 375°F.  Prepare a baking pan with non-stick cooking spray and set aside.

Place pistachio nuts in a mini food processor and pulse to grind nuts.  Pour ground nuts onto a plate.

Crack egg into a bowl and whisk.

Lightly season 4 chicken breast with salt and pepper.  Dip into egg mixture.  Shake lightly to remove excess egg.

Place chicken breast onto ground nuts.  Press into nuts to coat the chicken.  Flip chicken over and repeat.

Preheat large skillet on medium-high heat.  Add olive oil to the pan.  When pan is hot add nut coated chicken breast to the pan.  Cook two minutes per side.

Place chicken breasts on prepared baking pan.  Bake for 15-20 minutes or until internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165°F.  Remove fully cooked chicken from the oven, serve and enjoy!

 

Other Meals You Might Enjoy!

 

Spicy Sesame Roasted Brussels Sprouts

 

 

 

 

Tex Mex Slow Cooker Shredded Pork

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Grilled Chicken with Lemon Basil Pesto

It is just hot all over this year.  Seems like every time I turn on the news there is another area of the country having a heat wave.  When the temperatures spike like this I tend to rely on my grill more and more for making dinner.  That way I can get a tasty meal without heating up my house unnecessarily.

This weekend I made Grilled Chicken with Lemon Basil Pesto.  I adapted this version of grilled chicken from Giada De Laurentiis’ Grilled Chicken with Basil Dressing in Giada’s Family Dinners.    I made some changes to the original recipe like swapping out the chicken breasts for chicken thighs.  I know everyone tends to think of chicken breast first but to me chicken breasts are way overrated particularly for grilling. Chicken thighs are much more flavorful and they aren’t as dry as chicken breasts.  (All that and chicken thighs are cheaper, too!)

It was an easy recipe.  I marinated the chicken in a very simple sauce while whipping up lemon basil pesto in my mini food processor.  The only indoor heat generated was during the 3 minutes I used my toaster oven to toast the pine nuts.  In the end I was rewarded with a flavorful and fresh twist on classic grilled chicken.  Delish!

Grilled Chicken with Lemon Basil Pesto

Prep Time: 8 minutes  + 1 hour to marinate –  Cook Time: 10 minutes –  Makes: 4-6 servings

  • 8 boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 2 lemons
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1 teaspoon cracked black pepper
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
  • 1 cup lightly packed fresh basil leaves
  • 1 large clove of garlic, pealed

Place chicken thighs into a large resealable bag.  Add 1/3 cup of olive oil, juice of 1/2 of a lemon, 3/4 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper.  Seal the bag and shake until well mixed.  Place chicken in the bag in the refrigerator to marinate for 1 hour (or up to 24 hours), turning the chicken occasionally.

Place zest of one lemon, juice of 1 1/2 lemons, 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts, basil, 1 clove of garlic, 3/4 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper into a mini food processor or blender. Blend until smooth.  Slowly add in 1/3 cup of olive oil and blend until smooth.  Season sauce with additional salt and pepper if desired.

Heat a grill to medium-high heat.  Grill chicken (discarding the marinade) until fully cooked, roughly 4-5 minutes per side.

Place cooked chicken on serving tray.  Drizzle with Lemon Basil Pesto.  Sprinkle remaining 2 tablespoons of toasted pine nuts over top as garnish.  Serve and enjoy!

 Other Recipes You Might Enjoy!

The Ultimate Hamburger

 

Grilled Black Bean Stuffed Pablano Peppers

 

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Pomegranate Vinaigrette over Pecan and Peach Salad

Oh my goodness, how did it get to be the middle of June all ready??  June means summer and summer means bathing suit season, a fact that sends me into a complete panic every year about this time.  

The start of bathing suit season generally means I need to drag my exceedingly pale body into a store to find a new bathing suit.  Can someone please explain to me why stores put that awful florescent lighting in the dressing rooms??   To any retailers out there who may be reading this - premier lighting in the dressing rooms means I look better when I look in the mirror while trying on your clothes.  If I look better in the mirror when trying on your clothes I am more likely to decide to make them my clothes.   Just sayin’….good lighting pays for itself.

Ok so after the ordeal of shopping for a bathing suit under florescent lights last week, I decided I need to go extra healthy for lunch. I started with a delightful glass of crisp chardonnay (because everyone looks better when I am having a lovely glass of wine) and a beautiful salad for lunch. 

 

I took a few creative liberties with a recipe for Salad with Peaches and Pomegranate-Molasses Vinaigrette from the June issue of More magazine.  I ended up with Pomegranate Vinaigrette over Pecan and Peach Salad.  A few sips and bites later, I went from being crazy girl in the Dillard’s dressing room to a “lady who lunches”.  Ah, perspective!!

Pomegranate Vinaigrette over Pecan and Peach Salad

 Total prep time: 7 minutes  – Makes: 3-4 servings

  • Pomegranate Vinaigrette Dressing (recipe below)
  • baby arugula
  • green leave lettuce
  • 2-3 peaches, sliced
  • 4 oz goat cheese, crumbled
  • 1/2 cup toasted pecans

Portion arugula, leaf lettuce, sliced peaches, crumbled goat cheese and pecans into serving dishes.  Top with Pomegranate Vinaigrette Dressing and serve.

Pomegranate Vinaigrette Dressing

Total prep time: 12 minutes – Makes: 1/2 cup

  • 1/2 cup 100% pure pomegranate juice
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon Mustard
  • 1 teaspoon whole grain mustard
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • garlic salt and pepper

Place 1/2 pomegranate juice into a small sauce pan and place on medium-high heat.  Simmer until reduced by half (about 10-12 minutes).

Pour reduced pomegranate juice into a small mixing bowl.  Add Dijon mustard, whole grain mustard, balsamic vinegar and olive oil.  Whisk very well until full incorporated.  Season dressing with garlic salt and pepper.  Whisk again.  Serve and enjoy!

  

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