Oh Look! There is Pesto in the Freezer!

I experienced that satisfaction again last of being able to use something I “put up” last fall for dinner last night.  I am also trying to eat healthier, hoping to lose a dozen pounds, win the Weight Loss Challenge at work and fit into the clothes in my closet.

Last fall I made pesto and froze it into ice cube trays.  Ater it froze, I popped them out and kept them in a baggie in the freezer. So much cheaper than buying it at the grocery store, and with no preservatives or other artificial yucky stuff.  While this isn’t traditional pesto with pine nuts;  it is a great recipe from Skinnytaste.  I put the recipe below, but you should really link to the Skinny Basil Pesto recipe…she has beautiful photos.

  • 1 cup basil
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 2 1/2 tbsp olive oil

I put it all in the Kitchen Ninja (such a great buy) and bam! pesto.  After filling an ice cube tray, I covered each pesto cube with a touch of olive oil…if you don’t do this fairly quickly, it turns brown from oxidation.  If you are like me, and believe you can never grow too much basil, but can’t always afford pine nuts (or the calories), this is the recipe for you.  Not that there is anything wrong with nuts, mind you.  Great protein source.

So I defrosted some boneless, skinless chicken breasts, and placed them in a greased casserole dish (I used glass).  I sprinkled salt, garlic powder and oregano over the chicken , then spread a defrosted (30 second or less in the microwave) cube of pesto on each piece of chicken.  Bake for 30 minutes or so at 350 degrees, and make sure the chicken is no longer pink. Cover the chicken with   tomato slices and cheese (I used mozzarella and parmesan).  Bake or broil for 5 minutes or so until the cheese has melted.

The oil from the pesto keeps the chicken from drying out.

Ok, I know–the cheese wasn’t a great caloric choice–but tough.  I love cheese.  It’s all about moderation, right?

I made a long grain/wild rice mixture to go along with it.  Technically, in keeping with the flavors of the dish, it probably should have been a pasta side, but the rice was my cheese trade-off.  And my boys love rice.

I was going to put the pictures I took of the dinner here…but for some reason my food pictures never look appetizing.  And my oven is embarrassingly dirty.  I will leave the photos to those with food picture skills.

Anyway, it was a hit.  A ridiculously easy, “oh, look…I have pesto right here in the freezer” dinner.

Check out Skinnytaste.com.  You won’t be sorry!

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