Saturday, July 9, 2016

Pesto Zoodles with Grilled Chicken & Burst Tomatoes

Today, folks, might actually be a sunny day!

Indeed, I've been (impatiently) waiting for a sunny day for almost a week now. The hubby worked his tail off last weekend to finish the patio and the garden area out back for our rained-out 4th of July barbecue. The area frankly looks amazing, and I've had no chance to take pictures of it all week thanks to clouds, rain, and general gloominess. But not today! It's finally sunny, and I plan on taking full advantage of that. And I can't wait to share the results. The hubby is truly a miracle worker.

In the meantime, we are going to discuss one of probably the easiest summer meals that looks like you spent way more time preparing it than you actually did. 

Seriously, zoodles and pesto? This combination is quickly working its way to one of my most favorite pairings. Zucchini and pesto were made for each other! The pesto takes minutes to make in a blender or food processor. By spiralizing the zucchini, you cut the cooking time down to nil. Pesto zoodles are quite simply uncomplicated and effortless. 

Grilled chicken is my favorite way to eat chicken. Plus, it's perfect weather for it right now.

I'm fairly consistent with grilled chicken. I know by pressing on the chicken with my tongs if it's done or not. This has taken years of practice, but chicken on the grill is my jam. 

I'll tell you guys this- my spiralizer has been a worthy investment. I've been using it non-stop. There are so many vegetables you can put in that thing. Zucchini (duh!), carrots, cucumber, bell peppers, onion, etc. In fact, I'm currently working on a baked curly fries recipe where I spiralize the potatoes. It's going to be good when I complete that recipe!

I used garden basil for the pesto. Because, like I wouldn't, right? 

After spiralizing the zucchini and making the pesto, I simply heated the zoodles in a teaspoon of olive oil for a minute or two before adding the pesto to the pan. Toss the zoodles to coat them with pesto, and you are done!

How easy is that?

I wanted a little more color for my pictures, so I sautéed some grape tomatoes in a little olive oil and garlic until they burst. This only takes a few minutes on the stove. Don't stir too often, and you too will end up with lovely color marks on the tomatoes.

Put it all together for a bowl of summer deliciousness!

Oh, that's right. I made up the word "summerlicious" to describe that :-)

Another weekend, a couple more days closer to when my family comes to visit! I'm so excited! My parents are driving across country this time, mainly so my mom can stop in Kansas to visit her cousin, and they are leaving on Monday. We are getting down to the wire! The good news is the yard is done. The house is mostly done, as the hubby and I picked up a cheap bed to sleep more people. I'm currently working on treats to have around while my family is in. Because when you come visit the food blogger, you have to try their food right? Right. So far, I've made Watermelon Popsicles, Cherry Vanilla Ice Cream, a batch of Poppyseed Dressing, a batch of Blue Cheese Dressing, and a batch of Raspberry Peach Jam. I still need to make a couple more ice cream flavors, and maybe some cookies. Of course, I'll make the cookies closer to the time of arrival. 

I'm so excited I can hardly see straight :-)

Have a great weekend everyone!

Ingredients (serves 2):

Grilled Chicken-
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 tsp olive oil
salt, pepper, garlic powder

Pesto Zoodles-
4 ounces fresh basil
1/4 cup parmesan cheese, shredded
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/2 tbsp kosher salt
1/4-1/2 cup olive oil
2 medium sized zucchinis, spiralized (you can julienne the zucchini if you don't have a spiralizer)
1 tsp olive oil

Burst Tomatoes-
1 tsp olive oil
2-3 garlic cloves, minced
8 ounces grape tomatoes


1. Preheat gas grill to high heat. 
2. Prepare the chicken- rub chicken breasts with olive oil and season to taste with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. When the grill is hot, turn outside burners to low and center burner to medium. Place chicken on grill, close, and grill for 4 minutes. Open grill, flip chicken, close the lid, and cook for another 4 minutes. Open grill, flip chicken, close lid, and cook for 1-2 minutes. 1 minute for smaller chickens, 2 for larger chickens. Flip chicken, close the lid, and cook for a final 1-2 minutes. Again, 1 minute for smaller chickens, 2 for larger. Remove chicken from grill, and allow to rest for about 10 minutes. 
3. While the chicken is resting, prepare the zoodles. In a food processor or blender, combine basil, cheese, nuts, juice, and salt. Pulse until combined. While the processor is running, pour the olive oil down the chute. Add olive oil until the pesto is emulsified and creamy. Set pesto aside. In a large pan, heat olive oil. When warm, add the zoodles. Sauté for 1-2 minutes. Add in 1 cup of pesto, stir to distribute. Add more pesto to taste, if desired. Remove zoodles from heat. You will more than likely have leftover pesto. Store leftover pesto in an airtight container in fridge for up to 2 weeks. 
4. In a small pan, heat olive oil over medium-high heat to cook tomatoes. When oil is warm, add garlic and sauté for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Add tomatoes to pan, and cook for 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Tomatoes are done when they've begun to shrivel and burst. Remove from heat.
5. To serve, place zoodles on plate. Top with sliced chicken and burst tomatoes. Serve immediately. 

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  1. This recipe looks delicious and sounds easy to boot.

    Thanks for sharing.

    Sorry your 4th got rained out. I hope you have great weather while your folks are there. Have a wonderful time with them.

    Love & hugs ~ FlowerLady

    1. Thanks FlowerLady! Our 4th wasn't too bad, we spent the day indoors playing games like Twister with the kids. Everyone had a great time, but I am hoping the weather is better for my parents! :-)

      Have a great week FlowerLady!

  2. I love Pesto Pasta as I call it and I have a zoodler so I can make this! have a great visit with your parents and hope they have safe travels - they will be close to me in Kansas - I'm j ust down one state in Oklahoma!

    1. I love pesto pasta too! I was just outside looking at the basil and thinking something needs to be made with it, it's growing out of control!

      My parents will be very close to you, my aunt lives in Wichita! :-)

      Have a great week Kelli!

  3. We started making zoodles last summer! I have mine with pesto, whereas Beate does not (she is allergic). I have not had them with chicken though. Sounds good!

    1. I love zoodles. They aren't really a substitute for pasta for me, but they are good as their whole own creature :-)

      Have a great week Keith!

  4. That is definitely a summerlicious dish! Wow! I am so jealous! I thought I was going to start on some zucchini dishes yesterday and just found out I have a problem in the garden. Bummer!

    Have fun with your family :)

    1. I wish I could grow my own zucchini, but I've never had a successful year. Luckily, the hubby's father does great growing them and I run into an overabundance usually. Zucchini bread, coming right up :-)

      Have a great week Kris!

  5. This all looks so good! I made zoodles for the first time the other night and they were yummy. I can't wait to try them with pesto. Have a blast with your parents. I am sure they are looking forward to it too! Your treats all sound amazing too, so if nothing else they are going to eat well!

    1. I was pleasantly surprised the first time I had zoodles! Such a great way to eat them, and a nice change of pace from the usual preparation. You'll love them with pesto!

      And yes, I plan on sending my family home a couple lbs heavier, LOL :-)

      Have a great week Carlee!


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