I posted this delicious french toast from Sunday on my Instagram and have yet to stop thinking about it because it’s just that good. I had a couple of people DM me for the recipe, so I just decided to share it with everyone here on the blog today.
We eat a lot of chicken in our house, which I feel like it kind of the norm for most households. Chicken is like the universal protein; most people like it, you can do about a million things to it, and it’s pretty affordable for any budget.
The problem is; it has almost zero flavor on it’s own, so you really have to infuse the meat and add flavor and sauces/gravy to get it absolutely succulent and delicious. Since we make chicken, usually, at least once per week here, I’m always looking for new ways to impart flavor to make it even better.
Don’t get me wrong, we do love chicken here that’s served simply with lemon butter, but sometimes we want something bolder, and this Pesto Chicken definitely fits the bill.
This chicken is my spin on a recipe/EZ Meal I found at Wegmans (because I’m sure you’re all surprised given my immense love of Wegmans). While their original recipe looked delicious on it’s own, I knew a couple of changes were going to need to be made for how we eat chicken here.
For one, we live in an apartment and don’t have a grill, so we had to improvise and roast the chicken in the oven. So, while you don’t get the smokiness of the grill, you still get a really good flavor from searing it in a cast-iron pan then finishing it off in the oven.
Also, we’re not big chicken breast people (as the original recipe called for); we usually prefer thighs. They have more flavor than the breasts and are usually juicier. I also added some chicken stock to give a bit more sauce to the chicken, especially since it was being roasted in the oven. We love when there is a good sauce to chicken that we can spoon over top as it’s being served. I also played around with the ingredient amounts and added a couple of things that are sort of our pre-requisite’s for chicken.
As I’ve mentioned before, I like lunches that I can prep an entire weeks worth of on Sunday’s because doing it throughout the week becomes annoying and sometimes forgotten. I also don’t like the thought of buying lunch everyday because that gets ridiculously expensive really quickly.
It’s also why, most of the time, if you hear me talking about what I eat for lunch, it’s either some sort of salad or pasta salad or something that I made a huge batch of for dinner the weekend prior that I portioned out for lunches. They’re easy to prep ahead and easy to just grab and go at lunch.
I admit, I’m kind of obsessed with those viral recipe videos that you see everywhere on Facebook. I don’t know what it is about watching an entire meal being made in 30 seconds that is so enticing, but they trap me every time. Every time I scroll my newsfeed and one of those little videos starts to auto-play, it has my full attention. Even the stuff I wouldn’t ever eat or make just because it’s not my kind of food, I still watch them. I think I have every one of those kinds of pages liked on Facebook (like Tasty and Tastemade and Cooking Panda and all the rest) and even the media giants like Food Network and Better Homes and Gardens have even started doing them, so of course I watch those too.
And I am not the only one in my house obsessed with them. Devon’s also entranced by them. We have both saved so many of these links and actually made quite a few things as a result of these. One or two things were a little questionable, but for the most part, it’s all as delicious as it looks. Devon, most notably, made this Birthday Cake Cheesecake several times now and it’s so good. He’s also done this One Pot Chicken Fajita Pasta a couple times and we actually did it once with sausage instead of chicken which was also pretty damn delicious.
Out of the long list of things I still have saved and want to try, I’ve done this Italian Mac and Cheese which is also delicious (but you really have to be a mac and cheese fan to appreciate it) and this Pull Apart Pizza Bread was just so much fun.
If you’ve ever ventured to Pinterest, you’ve seen that Mason Jar meals have been a hit for the past couple of years. In fact these meals are the reason why I bought a case of Mason Jars about two years ago. A couple of summers ago, pretty much everything I ate came out of a mason jar. I was obsessed.
Then the obsession sort of died down a bit and I started using these jars to store stuff, like flour, and sugar and spices and stuff.
For my meal plan this week, I decided to make an Italian Chopped Salad, but I wasn’t sure how to store it. I knew I wanted to make a whole weeks worth of salads on Sunday (because we know if I do it daily, it won’t happen) so that I can just grab the container and go in the morning.
Then I remembered my Mason Jars! The whole purpose of mason jar salads was that they were meant to be made in one day and enjoyed throughout the week. Perfect!
So my Italian Mason Jar salad was born.
There is a method to stacking mason jar salads properly so that nothing wilts from the dressing. Even though I opted to not put dressing in each jar (I actually keep a bottle of dressing at work, so I didn’t need to put it in the jars) I still followed the stacking pattern. You want to put your heartier veggies on the bottom. meats and cheeses in the middle and anything delicate (like lettuce) at the top. I’m going to be adding croutons, but didn’t put them in the jars because they won’t last in the fridge.
When I was making this, I even thought that this would make a great pasta salad. Just add some rotini with the lettuce (or instead of the lettuce) and it’s a different kind of salad. You could also change out the salami for some spicy ham, or maybe do a provolone cheese instead of mozzarella and it would be delicious. I used a combo of romaine lettuce and iceberg because I like the crunch, but you can use whatever greens you like.