Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Pesto Chicken

Wait a minute!  Is this actually a healthy post?  Why yes, yes it is and it's mostly because I've been doing a lot of thinking and decided that enough is enough.  I truly need to go back to eating healthy and stop just saying that I will.  It's so easy to talk the talk, but not actually follow through.  I was definitely proud of myself this summer too and was doing great, especially when it came to watching my food intake in combination with working out.  While others I know were eating BBQ chicken, ribs, and things like that, I was eating salads, lean proteins, eggs, fruits and veggies.  Then school started.......which means my stress level sky rocketed.  This is bad, especially for me, because I can admit that I'm what you might call a stress eater.  Each time that I'd have a little bite or two of something unhealthy, I'd secretly tell myself that, it's ok, a little of this and a little of that won't make a difference. 

Looking back now however, things add up, and my pants are telling a different story.

I know that some of my friends might be rolling their eyes as they read this post, and thinking to themselves that, "she doesn't need to lose any weight", and I am fully aware of that.  That's not what this is about.  I know that I'm by no means overweight, or what some may call 'fat', but I'm personally not where I want to be.  My goal is to get back down to where my pants fit comfortably and also regain some of the muscle mass that I've lost, not to necessarily lose weight.  I know that it shouldn't take long either, especially once I'm able to get back to my normal workout routine.  Unfortunately, my running injury is holding me up slightly.  I just found out that I have a small stress fracture on my pelvic bone and that it will take some time and needs to heal naturally.  This setback is just another reason why eating clean and healthy is going to be important.  Even after I reach my goals though, I still want to remain focused on proper food intake.  I honestly feel so much better about myself, both physically and mentally, when I do.

***FYI though, even though my personal goal is to eat healthy and clean, there will continue to be posts on my blog that consist of scrumptious looking cakes, cookies, and other sweets in general, mostly because that's sort of what I do.  I bake things for others!  I'm just going to have to become better about not taste testing things myself (knowing that I'll have to confess my slip ups here will help hold me accountable) and leave that up to my wonderful taste tester, and husband, Jeff.***

So, to get us started, today's recipe is going to be a healthy one.  Recently, I've become a big fan of pesto.  I was actually introduced to it, for the first time, a little over a year ago, when a friend of mine brought some to a bridal shower that we were throwing.  Since then, I've incorporated it into numerous recipes, including this one, for pesto chicken.  This particular pesto recipe is super easy to make, and does not require much preparation.  Therefore, if you're looking for a super quick and easy dinner, this is it!

Pesto Chicken
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Servings: 2-3
2 (or more) chicken breasts cut into strips
½ cup basil pesto
½ - ¾ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Spray an 8x8” baking dish with a non-stick cooking spray and then pour in a thin layer of pesto, evenly spreading it across the bottom of the dish.  Next, lay on top of the pesto the cut up chicken strips.   

After that, pour the remaining pesto evenly over the chicken strips, cover the dish with aluminum foil, and place it in the oven for 30-35 minutes.

Once ready, remove the foil, sprinkle on the mozzarella cheese, and a little Parmesan cheese, then place back in the oven for about 5 minutes, or until the cheese is melted.  I like my cheese to turn a little brown, so after 5 minutes, I put it on broil.  Keep a close eye on the dish though, because it will brown quickly.

Remove from the oven, and enjoy!


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