Baked Pesto Chicken

Obviously, I love food and love to eat, but I have decided to put my bad habits on hold for a little while. This winter I have spent so much money eating out during the week and on weekends. I stopped going to the grocery store because my food was going bad and I was never home long enough to make anything. I would eat lunch at work and then meet friends out for dinners. While I love the social aspect of going out to dinner and meeting up with friends after work, I realized not only my budget, but my waist line was starting to feel the effects. I finally decided last week to go to the grocery, make food for my lunches so they are ready to go and force myself to head home or to yoga after work. I wasn’t perfect, but I did do a lot better than I had been.

A few of my friends had been wanting to get together for dinner this past week, so I suggested we make dinner at my place. I had food left from my grocery run and everyone pitched in. My friend Caroline had been craving pesto, and luckily  I hadn’t made it yet for my recipe collection so it was the perfect dinner idea!

Mix basil, olive oil, salt, pepper, Parmesan (or Romano) cheese, and pine nuts in a food processor.

Make sure to blend well and continue to add ingredients based on the taste. I tasted my pesto several times before deciding it was done. I also didn’t follow a recipe. I bought some Basil, a bag of pine nuts and just mixed the ingredients together slowly, and not all at once. You can also use spinach instead of basil if you are on a budget. I had some great suggestions from people on Twitter for making pesto and using spinach was one I had never heard of. Also, if you have any leftover, you can freeze in ice-cube trays and use later. This was a great tip from a co-worker who also has some great recipes to share!

Baked Pesto Chicken

4 Boneless Chicken Breasts

For the Pesto:

Fresh Basil

Pine Nuts

Olive Oil

Salt

Pepper

Romano or Parmesan Cheese

Blend pesto ingredients together or you can use pesto from the store. In a baking dish, spray dish with Pam (cl) and then cover the bottom lightly with pesto. Add the cleaned chicken breasts and cover with the remaining pesto. Sprinkle the cheese over the top and cover with aluminum foil. Bake at 350° for 35-40 minutes. Make sure to check the chicken after about 30 minutes and adjust time accordingly. It took about 45 minutes in my oven and I removed the aluminum foil after about 30 minutes. Serve and enjoy!

With spring right around the corner I know it is going to be hard to keep up with my new plan of eating at home and being more active, but hopefully I can stick with it and stick to my budget…!  Wish me luck.

Lucia

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4 thoughts on “Baked Pesto Chicken

  1. Eliza

    Lucia – you’ll be happy to know that some of your fellow work folks have come to this same conclusion. We are challenging each other and holding ourselves responsible for eating out and our budget.

    No surprisingly, I made a spreadsheet to track our Lunch Enforcement progress with gold stars. I’ll add you!

  2. Gina

    I love pesto on everything!! Just a suggestion….not everyone can judge how much of each ingredient to use. I would put a recommendation, at least, to help guide people when they try out the recipe.

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