For a quick, easy Friday supper that is better for you and more economical than take-out pizza, how about Chicken in Spinach Pesto Sauce? It's a simple skillet dish that cooks in about 20 minutes and includes plenty of good-for-you vegetables as well as low-fat chicken breasts. You probably have most of the ingredients for the dish on hand, or you can find them easily at the market. Pesto sauce keeps the chicken tender and moist and provides incredible flavor to the accompanying sauce. That sauce is rich in diced tomatoes and spinach. A light dusting of shredded Parmesan cheese to finish the dish provides a nutty saltiness. Serve the chicken and sauce alone, with bread, or serve it atop pasta, polenta, or even rice. You can have a great dinner on the table in less than half an hour.
Chicken in Spinach Pesto Sauce -- Serves 2
1 large boneless, skinless chicken breast
8 ounces of fresh spinach
1/2 cup of pesto (commercial is fine--I use the kind from Costco or Sam's that you find in their
1 14-16 ounce can of diced tomatoes (preferably with onion, oregano, and basil)
1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder
2 tablespoons of white wine (optional)
1/4 cup of shredded Parmesan cheese
Heat a large, nonstick skillet over medium heat until hot. Mist it with olive oil. While the skillet is heating, slice the chicken breast crosswise and then into 4-5 thin cutlets about 1/4 - 1/2-inch thick. Put the cutlets in the pan and brown them for a few minutes on each side. Remove the cutlets to a plate. It's okay if they don't cook all the way through. They'll cook more later. Toss the spinach into the empty skillet and add the pesto, mixing it with the spinach. Continue tossing and stirring the spinach until it cooks down into the skillet. Add the diced tomatoes (with their juice), the garlic powder, and the wine, if you're using it. Let the sauce come to a boil, turn down the heat to a simmer, and let the sauce cook a few minutes to thicken it. Add the chicken back into the pan and let it simmer in the sauce a few minutes until it's cooked through. Sprinkle on the Parmesan cheese and serve the chicken and sauce with bread, pasta, polenta, rice, or whatever you'd like.