So this is my 200th post and what is more fitting than posting about food. I mean really, I'm all about food. And my dogs, and getting information out to the masses, and I guess my family but not as much as food. I'm pretty food driven. You'd never know that considering all my cuisine issues. The whole vegetarian thing gets in the way but I'd never go back to eating meat. The migraine headaches that I would get just aren't worth it.
So enough about that crap; I'll get right to the food. JR and The Boy loved this. In fact they raved about the stuffing. Personally when you stuff cheese into anything it's got to be good. So here it is, please enjoy:
Stuffed Chicken Breasts
1 small onion, minced
1/4 green pepper, minced (optional)
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup zucchini,minced (optional)
1 cup frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dried
1/2 cup dried breadcrumbs, very fine
1/4 cup sun dried tomatoes, either packed in oil or dried & soaked in warm water to rehydrate, minced
1/2 cup soft goat cheese
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
2 or 3 tablespoons of lemon juice
salt & pepper to taste
4 chicken breasts
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Saute onion, green pepper, zucchini, and garlic in 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Do not brown. Just sweat these a bit to soften. Combine spinach, breadcrumbs, sun dried tomatoes, goat cheese, lemon juice and Parmesan cheese. Add sauteed vegetables. Salt & pepper. Go ahead, stick a fork in this to try it out. If you need more salt & pepper this is the time to decide. This should be a thick paste. Adjust with more lemon juice or breadcrumbs if needed. Go easy on the breadcrumbs though; you don't want it to taste bready.
Place each chicken breast between 2 pieces of waxed paper or plastic wrap. Beat this meat until it is all one thickness. (yeah, I'm pretty sure that there is some technical term for this but beating meat is so much more fun to say).
Put about 2 tablespoons to 1/4 cup of the stuffing in the middle of each chicken breast. Roll up chicken breast and secure with a tooth pick. (I didn't have tooth picks so I used bamboo skewers. No big deal they work on the same principal. You could even tie them up with kitchen twine but really who has this stuff hanging around? Not me! Sounds way too gourmet for me. Remember I'm cheap and easy. Oh wait, that's another story.)
Heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a cast iron fry pan or one that will go into the oven. Brown chicken on at least one side. Put pan, uncovered, into the preheated oven. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until the juices run clear when you cut into it. You decide when you want to take this out. If you are freaked out by the chance of under-cooked chicken leave it in for the extra 5 minutes. If not take it out sooner. JR is particularly concerned about salmonella so I left it in.
I served this with lemon parsley rice and green beans.
I had stuffing leftover which I plan to stuffed into mushrooms, tomatoes, baby eggplant, green peppers, or zucchini. Now that I think about it, you could stuff the stuffing into roma tomato halves then broil them until bubbly (yummmmmm....). Serve as a starter for a party. Now, my mouth is watering.
You could so turn this into a vegetarian dish. I didn't because the guys really haven't had any meat this week. They start to whine and turn really pitiful if they go more than 3 days without. The big babies.
P.S. You'll have to put up with a ton of recipes that include lemon in the next week or so. They are ripe right now and I have two large sacks of them waiting for me to do something with them. I hope to find the time to juice and freeze them this weekend.
P.S.S. I adapted this recipe from a recipe from my Cooking Light Cookbook so I guess it is pretty low fat and calories. I cut the cheese down and added more veggies. Really, it has to be better for you than their recipe.