balsamic glazed tomato and feta chicken roulade

Roulade.

It’s a very fancy name for a deceptively easy meal. It’s like a chicken roll-up, which makes me think of Fruit Roll-Ups. But it’s healthier and more delicious.

No, really. I made these for the number one junk food lover I know and he was a huge fan. Seriously!

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The steps can essentially be boiled down to this:

Slice chicken. Season. Make filling. Roll. Bake. Reduce balsamic. Throw it all together.

But because I’m nicer than that, I’ll give you a little more information.

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balsamic glazed tomato and feta chicken roulades

1. Slice three chicken breasts in half, length-wise. Rub with olive oil. Season each side with dried basil, oregano, salt and pepper.

2. Open a can (12 oz) of diced tomatoes into a pan. Cook over medium heat until the liquid is reduced by half. Midway through, add in half of a Vidalia onion, sliced. Cook until the onion is translucent.

3. Let cool slightly. Mix in a handful of crumbled feta cheese.

4. Place a few spoonfuls of the tomato mixture on each chicken breast half. Starting at one end, carefully roll each breast half up, securing with a toothpick through the middle.

5. Place all chicken rolls on a baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes.

6. While baking, gradually reduce about 1/4 a cup of balsamic vinegar.

7. When the chicken is ready – should be slightly golden on top – remove and plate by glazing the top of each piece of chicken with the reduced balsamic.

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chicken picatta and balsamic parmesan asparagus

There’s a whole lot of chicken going on in this blog lately.

That’s not surprising. I eat chicken probably more than anything else. I’m not a huge red meat fan (except burgers), and there are so many different chicken recipes, why not try them all?

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This one holds special meaning for me because it was a huge staple in my diet growing up. My favorite meal, without a doubt, as a little kid was chicken picatta.

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I liked the name. I liked the little green capers that I chased around my plate with my fork- trying to get as many as possible with each bite of chicken. And I loved how the recipe called for my dad to tenderize the meat, breaking out his wooden mallet for the job.

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I didn’t tenderize mine- the chicken breast was pretty good, especially when I sliced it in half, length-wise.

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The final result was just as good as I remembered, though.

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Chicken picatta, adapted from here.

Parmesan balsamic asparagus

Grab as many asparagus spears as you want. Cut about an inch off the ends.

Heat olive oil in a skillet. Place the spears in, saute quickly, rotating halfway through. Keep them in the oil no longer than a minute.

Put the spears into a paper towel and blot off the excess oil.

Drizzle with balsamic vinegar. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

 

sweet and sour chicken

There are a couple of things that I need to balance along with my love for Chinese food: my student journalist budget and the fact that eating it probably isn’t the healthiest choice in the world.

Still, sometimes you just have a craving, and you gotta eat it. In those times, believe me when I tell you that it’s super easy to make a healthier version of your favorite takeout dishes at home. Seriously!

I don’t have step-by-step pictures for this post, but this recipe for sweet and sour chicken couldn’t get more simple. It would go great with the homemade fried rice I’ve posted in the past, though last night I paired it with some spicy peas (that whole eating healthy thing again).

This tastes exactly like the best takeout I’ve had. Except the pieces of chicken are heftier (depending on how you cut them), they feel like real meat, and it’s baked- so none of the frying calories.

sweet and sour chicken

sweet and sour chicken

Baked Sweet and Sour Chicken, adapted from here

Note: I was cooking for one, made just a single chicken breast, and split everything else in half accordingly.

Chicken Prep:

3-4 boneless chicken breasts
salt + pepper
1 cup cornstarch
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup canola oil

The sweet and sour sauce:

3/4 cup sugar
4 tbs ketchup
1/2 cup distilled white vinegar
1 tbs soy sauce
1 tsp garlic salt

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees.

Season chicken with salt and pepper, cut into cubes.

Dip chicken into the cornstarch to coat then dip into the eggs.

Heat your 1/4 cup oil in a large skillet and saute the chicken until browned but not cooked through.

Put the chicken pieces in a greased baking dish. Mix all of your sweet and sour sauce ingredients in a bowl with a whisk and then pour evenly over the chicken.

Bake for 30-45 min (just test one piece of chicken to make sure it isn’t too dry) and during the baking process you will need to turn the chicken every 15 minutes.

 

redemption salad (or something like it)

This is just a quick post to say that I ate so much junk food during the Super Bowl, I woke up the next morning craving vegetables.

That’s when you know it’s bad. That’s when you know that you probably overindulged on the snacks in order to compensate for your team not playing.
In my defense- what else was I supposed to do during the 35 minutes that absolutely nothing was happening on my TV?

Chicken sausage, ready to be sauteed.

Chicken sausage, ready to be sauteed.

So the next day, I made a massive salad for dinner. It didn’t immediately make me feel better, but it was a start.

First, I sauteed up some sliced chicken sausage. At the same time, I toasted some walnuts in my toaster oven until they were just crispy enough.

Dressing, pre-mixed version.

Dressing, pre-mixed version.

Then I threw together this insanely simply honey mustard dressing (recipe below).

Added it all together and I had my own form of Super Bowl redemption- a salad that maybe would even have a place in Beyonce’s diet. Which I imagine to be strict, because really, no one looks that good on happy hour beer and half priced pizzas.

Finished product!

Finished product!

Redemption Salad, or, Chicken, walnut and honey mustard salad:

1. Slice a chicken sausage (I got mine from Trader Joe’s) and saute it in a pan until just cookied.

2. Roast a fourth of a cup of walnuts for about 5-6 minutes, until just browned.

3. Place both on a plate of lettuce. Drizzle with honey mustard dressing, mix, and enjoy.

Honey Mustard Dressing

3 tablespoons whole grain mustard

2 tablespoons honey

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons white vinegar

Measure all ingredients into a bowl, mix thoroughly with a pinch of salt and pepper. Serve.

feta and tomato stuffed chicken breasts

Got someone you need to impress but not a whole lot of time?
Maybe you have limited culinary skills but you’re dating someone that likes to eat. Maybe your parents are in town, but you only have an hour free to get ingredients and make dinner.

Maybe you feel like making yourself a nice solo dinner because you deserve it, and who needs someone to eat dinner with anyway?

I have the recipe for you. It looks like it took you forever. It tastes like it took you forever. People will think it’s difficult.

It’s not. It’s even healthy.

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First, you saute up some crushed tomatoes and feta cheese. Cook it down long enough so that the tomatoes aren’t soupy. Being patient during this part of the process is the hardest part of the whole entire dish. I swear.

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Slice a pocket in two chicken breasts.

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Fill with the tomato-feta mixture you just cooked.

DSCF7179 Season. Bake. Serve. Delicious- especially with the lemon Parmesan roasted broccoli I made the other day.

Feta and Tomato Stuffed Chicken Breasts

1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Grease a baking dish

2. Simmer 1 cup of diced or crushed tomatoes over low heat for 10-15 minutes, until the liquid reduces.

3. Add a half cup of feta cheese. Stir to combine.

4. Cut a pocket in each chicken breast. Spoon in the filling. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

5. Place in the baking dish. Rub the top of each chicken breast with a pinch of garlic powder, sprinkle with dried basil and dried oregano.

6. Bake 40-45 minutes. Enjoy!