I find everyday food planning has a lot to do with what’s in your “food wardrobe” as you will. Much like building a wardrobe, main staples like…….a little black dress, a great pair of pants, or a jacket that can take you from casual to dressy, it’s important to have main food staples, to build on.
Being Italian, I’ve had to rethink the main staple part. No, I still eat pasta, just not wheat pasta. I’ve found the best alternative is “brown rice pasta”. However, I still try to eat less simple carbs, so most of my meals are protein based.
Once you’ve figured out what your main staples are, you can then start building recipes based on these staples. We eat a lot of protein, therefore I try to buy organic whenever I can. My main staples for menu planning are chicken, lamb, beef, legumes, vegetables, then pasta. I have had to come up with different ways to cook all of these things so I, primarily, don’t get bored!
I’m not much for having fifty million herbs and spices in my cupboard either. I like to use what I’m familiar with and what I like, but I find the older I get the more adventurous I am in trying different things. Especially if I read they are good for you. My recipes reflect what I think tastes good and what I happen to have in the fridge at the time. They have to be nutritious, beautiful to look at, easy to make, and don’t keep me in the kitchen for hours! I have better things to do, like EAT!
The photo above is a chicken breast recipe I came up with this summer when a friend gave me some homemade pesto. I had just bought some fresh, mozzarella cheese and sun-dried tomatoes, so I was inspired. hope you enjoy!
PESTO AND MOZZARELLA STUFFED CHICKEN BREASTS
4 Chicken Breasts, butterflied
Butterfly chicken breast and open up
Spread a good amount of pesto on both sides and add the cheese (goat cheese is also very good in this recipe)
Fold over and secure with toothpicks
2 tbsp Butter
1 cup Dry White Wine (one you would drink)
1 tbsp sun-dried Tomatoes, chopped
1/2 tsp Garlic powder (or 1 large clove, chopped)
Sea Salt to taste
Melt butter on med heat
Add wine and turn heat to med high to bring to boil
Add sun-dried tomatoes
Place chicken breasts in liquid
Cover and turn heat to med low and simmer for 3 -4 min
Turn over and continue cooking covered for another 3- 4 min
Remove lid, turn over again and continue to cook until the liquid reduces and the cheese is oozing from the center (if the cheese is not oozing it means the chicken is not cooked in the center, in this case you may want to put the lid on for another min)
This will happen quickly, so you have to keep watch
As the chicken is getting golden from the liquid reducing, flip one more time to coat it all well. Remove from heat.
Plate, and pour any remaining sauce on top. Serve with your favourite steamed green vegetable.
My next blog will be vegetarian using Quinoa, till then……………