A few weeks ago, I started a new series on this blog. As you are probably aware, I am a huge food fanatic and adore cooking and creating new recipes. Since finishing school, I have had more time at home during the day, and have started to have a proper structured diet throughout the day. In the past year, I have been constantly eating quick convenience food from places such as Starbucks. Yes this food is nice, but after a while I started to realise how processed it was, and how bad my body felt after eating it. I have become much more adventurous with my diet, and have introduced lots of new healthy foods to replace the junk I was eating before. For lunch I have started to make myself filling and delicious salads, with a good proportion of vegeatbles, as well as carbohydrates and protein. I love a good salad, the crunchy leaves, creamy avocado, sweet tomatoes and generous amount of dressing – mmmmm. However, I now also like adding some form of carb, usually pasta or rice. One evening a few weeks ago, I wanted to make a pesto pasta dish. I did start with a recipe, but me being me just went on doing my own thing. It was so yum, and was even better when I was able to heat some up and add it to my salad. I cooked a chicken breast in the oven with a good amount of salt and pepper to accompany the pasta salad. I really want to share the recipe with you for this, as it is great as a family evening meal, as well as perfect as left over food for lunch the next day.
Chicken Pesto, Pasta Salad
Salad – crunchy leaves, cucumber, tomato, avocado and dressing of your choice.
Pasta (serves 4 + leftovers) – 500g pasta, 200g good quality green pesto, 4 chicken breasts cut into chunks, handful green beans chopped in half, 2 tbsp pine nuts, 425ml whole milk, 20g plain flour, 40g butter, handful grated parmesan, salt & pepper.
Start by making the white sauce. In a saucepan add the milk followed by butter and flour, bringing everything up to a gentle simmer. Whisk continuously, until the sauce thickens and becomes glossy in colour. Turn the heat right down, and let the sauce just thicken for about 5 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Once thickened remove from the heat.
In a frying pan, melt some butter and olive oil. Add the chicken and green beans and cook on a medium to low heat until the chicken has browned all over and cooked through.
In a large saucepan, cook the pasta in boiling water. Once the pasta has cooked, drain and return to the original saucepan. Add the good quality pesto to the white sauce, as well as 3/4 of the parmesan. Add the white sauce and pesto to the pasta, and the chicken, green beans and pine nuts. Mix everything together. Serve in the evening with a good sprinkling of parmesan on top.
The next day, the pasta is perfect to be reheated. Start by preheating your oven to 200 degrees (180 fan).
Line a baking tray with foil, and put the chicken breast on the tray. Season with salt and pepper and a sprinkling of olive oil. Cook for about 25-30 minutes.
Whilst the chicken in cooking you can prepare the other ingredients. Into a microwavable bowl, heat how much pasta you would like. I would say for about 2 minutes (800watt).
Prepare the salad, with leaves and additional ingredients and top with some good dressing and olive oil. I also like to add a sprinkle of salt and pepper for extra taste. Add the pasta to the dish, followed by the cooked chicken. I slice the chicken, purely so that I can eat and do something else at the same time!
Lunching – Volume 1 (link)
– have a great week –
I did not copy any recipe to bring this to you, and it is simply my own creation.