A few weeks ago, I started my training regimen for the Nassau half marathon. When a coworker asked me if I was following a set diet and increasing my calories, protein, etc., I responded with the truth: Of course I was increasing my calories. But just with anything within reach.
I think this would be those nasty things that we call "empty calories". You know, candy bars, chocolate and other such processed foods. This may be the reason I actually gain weight during my half marathon training, rather than lose or maintain my weight.
After some thought, I decided that I should be a good runner and eat right for the next 8 weeks of training. In my arsenal of recipes (that I will one day have a chance to recreate for myself), I discovered two quick and easy chicken dishes that I had been meaning to, someday, maybe get around to making. Here is the first:
Chicken Stuffed with Goat Cheese & Sundried Tomatoes
from Ask Georgie's recipe
* Note: I doubled Georgie's recipe because I would have had leftover chicken breasts and it's just too easy to freeze the leftovers for noshing on another day.
- 8 sundried tomato halves (not packed in oil)
- 1 cup hot water
- 4 ounces goat cheese
- 1/2 ounce fresh basil, chopped
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 4 (5-ounce) chicken breasts
- Cooking oil spray
1) Place the sundried tomatoes in a small bowl with the hot water.
2) Soak the tomatoes for 10 mins. Drain and chop the tomatoes.
3) Combine the tomatoes, goat cheese, basil, and pepper. Stir the mixture together.
4) Use a paring knife to slice a "filling pocket" into each chicken breast. Do not slice all the way through or the stuffing won't stay in the chicken.
5) Stuff the chicken pockets with the goat cheese mixture. You may need to use toothpicks to keep the chicken together securely.
6) Lightly sprinkle salt and pepper on the outside of the chicken breasts to season them.
7) Place a non-stick skillet over a medium flame and spray the bottom of the pan with nonstick cooking spray.
8) Once the pan is heated, add the chicken breasts and cook on one side for ~5 mins or until golden brown.
9) Reduce the heat to low and turn the chicken breasts over. Cover the pan.
10) Allow the chicken to cook for about 15 mins. This may vary depending on several factors such as the thickness of the chicken and the level of heat.
11) Once done, let the chicken rest for a few minutes before digging in. (It's really difficult to sit there and wait to eat this deliciousness. I know. I've been there.)
I'm not sure why it took me this long to make this recipe. I love goat cheese and I love the tomato/basil combination. And who doesn't love chicken. It's like all my favorite things are wrapped up into one package, ready for me to consume. The sauteed chicken was tender and complimented the soft, tangy goat cheese and sundried tomatoes. The pungent aroma of the basil permeated each bite I took.
Regardless of the number of steps listed above, this recipe is super simple. It's relatively healthy too. Georgie puts this at 239 calories per serving. (1 piece of chicken = 1 serving). I'm sure this will fit right in with my half marathon training plan.
Uh, well, about that training plan. Earlier this week I may have encountered a leg injury, so we'll see what happens in terms of the running.
Now excuse me while I rummage through the rest of my bookmarked recipes to find more of these hidden gems.