June 12, 2013

Nourish :: Balsamic Chicken Primavera

Clean eating, low-carb, deliciously healthy using only whole foods. This recipe is pretty simple, doesn't require a lot of prep time, and can be adapted depending on the veggies  (or protein) in your possession. It's really all about the balsamic sauce... For those who are A) challenged in the kitchen, or B) challenged by following recipes (me), this is a great go-to dinner. Best part is, you can pretty much fill in the vegetables you like and use whatever you wish. The sauce is really the only standard, everything else can change each time you make it!
:: Ingredients to layer ::
1# boneless chicken (I used organic tenders) 
5c fresh vegetables:
(must have 1-2c fresh and ripe cherry or grape tomatoes)
other recommended veggies: onion, bell pepper, fresh spinach, mushrooms, green beans, even snap peas)
salt+pepper to taste

:: Ingredients for sauce ::
6 cloves garlic (fresh! not jarred!)
1c fresh basil
2T extra virgin olive oil
2T high quality aged balsamic vinegar (the more aged, the more flavor)
1/4c water
salt+pepper to taste

:: Prep ::
- Preheat oven to 375ยบ
- Cut chicken into any size pieces you like (long tenders, 1" pieces, whole breasts, it's up to you). Salt+pepper to taste.
- Brown chicken in a med-high pan with a bit of olive oil for just a couple of minutes per side. It's Important you don't move the chicken once you put it in the pan. Let it brown, then once it lifts freely from the pan, flip it over and do the same to the other side. Remove from pan to a plate and set aside.
- Chop onion & pepper into small pieces (my mushrooms were already sliced, I left everything else whole)
- Layer (or dump) veggies & chicken in baking dish, covering with the layer of tomatoes.
- Make sauce :: I used an immersion blender, but you can do this in a blender as well. Put garlic, basil, olive oil, balsamic, water, and salt+pepper together and pulse until pureed.
- Pour sauce all over the dish, trying to evenly cover the surface.
Bake 40 minutes. I wanted my tomatoes to pop (literally!), so I finished it off under broil for a few minutes at the end. If you do this, do not walk away!  Or, set the timer for 3 minutes to remind you not to burn your dinner.
If you want to stay super whole & healthy, serve with a green salad. We'd probably opt for a warm, crusty loaf of bread we could dip in olive oil+balsamic though!
 I'm pretty sure we're supposed to eat like this all the time, but my Neapolitan pizza belly right now is so happy! It's all about balance, right?

{Note::this recipe was adapted from one I found on Pinterest}
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