Friday, July 11, 2014

Zucchini "Pasta" with Basil Chicken

On my quest to discover the many uses of zucchini so that those CSA vegetables don't go to waste, I've ventured down a new path - zucchini "spaghetti." I'm a long-time fan of spaghetti squash, but I found the zucchini to have a more "pasta like" texture. In this dish, it's served warm and topped with a lean chicken breast for a little more heft. The fresh basil in the pasta really complements the dried basil on the chicken. I'd also like to try this coating the chicken with pesto instead of dried basil.

Zucchini "Pasta" with Basil Chicken
Serves 2

  • 3 medium zucchini
  • 1 extra large or 2 medium tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 tbsp fresh basil, chopped
  • 14 manzanilla olives, sliced in half
  • 2 oz fat free feta
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 tbsp dried basil
  • cooking spray

Slice the zucchini with a spiral slicer or julienne peeler into long, thin strips, avoiding the seeds. (Save the inner part with seeds for another zucchini salad.) Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Salt the water. Add the zucchini and boil for approximately 5 to 6 minutes. Drain. 

Meanwhile, preheat saute pan to medium high heat. Spray with cooking spray. Coat chicken lightly with salt, pepper and dried basil. Cook chicken in saute pan until cooked through. Slice into strips.

Add tomatoes, basil, olives, feta, olive oil, salt and pepper to a large bowl. Add warm zucchini. Toss.

Plate the zucchini pasta onto two plates. Top with chicken and serve.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Chunky Pico de Gallo

Just in time for your 4th of July barbecues, here is a recipe that is a real crowd pleaser and won't kill your waist line. A good, chunky Pico de Gallo is always a hit. With added corn, beans and avocado, this one is so hearty that I will sometimes serve it over lettuce topped with chips as a salad. It's also great as a cold cold casserole topped with crumbled chips. Really, I just want an excuse to eat it with a fork! But the traditional way is just scooped up in some crunchy, salty chips. The spice can be adjusted to your liking with more or less jalapeno.

Chunky Pico de Gallo
Serves 4-6

  • 5 large tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 small red or sweet onion, chopped
  • 1 jalapeno, minced
  • 1 can black beans, rinsed
  • 1/2 can corn
  • 2 avocados, chopped
  • 2 limes, juiced
  • salt
Toss all ingredients in a large bowl with lime juice and salt to taste. Serve with chips or over salad.