Sunday, August 27, 2017

What's For Dinner?

One of the exchange organizations that we used when we hosted students began just after World War II. Their hope was that the world would be brought together through exchange students. Since we have hosted students from many countries, my ears always perk up whenever I hear of a disaster in a country in which they live. But today, my eyes are upon Texas. The area that is being hit so badly is where I am from. I have friends there who are struggling. It breaks my heart, and I wish I could do more than pray. Hopefully the worst is over.

From time to time, I will cook chicken for my husband. He is always quite grateful :)

This past week, I made a dish that will work well if you have a vegetarian and non-vegetarian home. I'm calling it;

Ying and Yang Layered Pesto Dinner 

First, begin with the sauce.
Saute a large chopped onion, red bell pepper and garlic until translucent and tender.

Once the vegetables are tender, add a 28oz. can of fire-roasted diced tomatoes, crushed red pepper to taste, and a 1/2 cup of  nice chardonnay. Bring to a boil and allow the wine to reduce for approximately 15 minutes. Reduce heat and simmer for about another 20 minutes. Puree with a hand held mixer, or place into a blender to puree. Return to pot to keep warm. 

Sprinkle the chicken breasts with salt, black pepper, and garlic powder. Drizzle a little olive oil over the breasts. Place on the grill and cook on each side until cooked through, approximately 3-5 minutes per side.

Turn off the fire on the grill if you have a gas grill. If not, remove breasts to a plate. Top with pesto. If you have removed the breasts to a plate, cover with foil to keep warm.
You can find my pesto recipe HERE

Cook quinoa according to package directions. I just happened to have black quinoa. 
Place a layer of quinoa on each plate.

Top the quinoa with the sauce.

Add a layer of spinach on top of the sauce. I like to use frozen spinach that I have cooked in the microwave. It's easy and takes no time at all to prepare.

If you are vegetarian, top the spinach with some pesto and roasted pine nuts. 

For the non-vegetarian, top it off with the grilled pesto chicken. 

Super easy, and super good!

Ying and Yang Layered Pesto Dinner
printable recipe

For Sauce:

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion chopped
1 red bell pepper chopped
3 cloves garlic minced
1 28oz. can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
1/2 cup chardonnay
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
1 tablespoon Herbs de Provence
salt and black pepper to taste

Heat oil in pan. Add onion and saute until translucent. Add chopped red pepper. Saute until tender. Add garlic and saute an additional minute. Add tomatoes, wine, herbs de Provence, crushed red pepper, salt and black pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat slightly and allow wine to reduce for approximately 15 minutes. Reduce heat to simmer and cook an additional 20 minutes.

Using a hand held mixer or blender, puree sauce. Return to pot to keep warm.

Purchase desired number of chicken breasts to serve.

Sprinkle salt, black pepper, and garlic powder over chicken breasts. Drizzle with a little olive oil. Place on grill and cook for 3-4 minutes on each side or until cooked through. Remove from heat and top with pesto.

Meanwhile, cook quinoa according to package directions. Amount will depend upon how many you will be serving. Use package directions to determine serving size.

Cook a 10 oz bag of frozen spinach in a microwave safe covered dish for 3 minutes. Stir. Return to microwave and cook an additional 4 minutes.

Place a layer of quinoa on each plate. Add a layer of the sauce. Top the sauce with spinach. 

*For a vegetarian dish, top the spinach with pesto, and roasted pine nuts.

*For a non-vegetarian version, top the spinach with the pesto topped chicken.

Serve and enjoy!

This dish is not only great for a weekday dinner, guests would love it too! 

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  1. Thanks for the yummy-looking recipe.
    Holding Texans in the Light. I expect that there is a lot to do for folks after this horrible disaster.

    1. I'm afraid that the cleanup is going to be a very long endeavor. I spoke to a friend in Galveston last night and I could hear just how exhausted she was.

  2. We don't get weather extremes like Texas is suffering here in the UK so I really can't comprehend how people cope in those conditions. My thoughts are with them.
    I'm sure Mr B was very happy with his meat! I hope he shared a little with Gracie 😉.