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Monday, December 3, 2012

Caprese Chicken and Mushroom Orzo

I'm here to tell you some shocking news: healthy can be tasty.  I was dubious, but after the meal I cooked on Thursday, I'm a believer.

Lindsay came over for a laid back evening of dinner and Glee because it had been far too long since we'd caught up.  I didn't have it in me to prepare anything spectacular so easy was the most important thing.  Easy, however, is hard to come by when you want to be healthy.  My go-to for getting dinner on the table quickly is just to throw cheese and heavy cream on everything, but that won't help me lose the 5 lbs I gained when I couldn't work out for a few weeks thanks to a broken toe.  After doing some research, I found a couple recipes that not only came together in a hurry but were healthy and ::shock:: tasty.

The first recipe came courtesy of SkinnyTaste.  First, buy the boneless skinless chicken breasts that have already been cut thin.  This serves two purposes: 1) portion control and 2) quick cooking time.  Top the chicken with pesto and stick it in the oven for 15 minutes at 400.  Take it out, top with sliced tomato, sliced fresh mozzarella, and freshly grated parmesan.  Stick it back in the oven for about 5 minutes so the cheese can melt.  While you're cooking the chicken, saute mushrooms and onions in olive oil.  When they look like they're good to go (about 10 minutes), add 2 cups of chicken broth.  Once that starts boiling, add a cup of orzo, reduce the heat, and let it cook for about 15 minutes until the broth is absorbed.  When it's done, stir in fresh parsley and pine nuts.  The resulting pilaf is super flavorful.  Using chicken broth instead of water makes a huge difference (and it's low sodium - healthy high five!).

Using so many fresh ingredients gave the dishes tons of flavor with little fat.  We also started with a salad to make sure we filled our bellies first with healthy veggies.  I hid the fact that I had low expectations for this meal from Lindsay for fear of scaring her off.  I figured once we finished the meal we would be so proud we ate healthy that we wouldn't care the food was a little bland.  I was so happy the food was the opposite of bland while still being good for you.  Linds even got seconds of orzo!

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