Grilled Chicken With Sun-Dried Tomato and Olive Tapenade

25 06 2014

This Mediterranean dinner is quick and oh so tasty! Get creative with finishing simple grilled chicken, like thinking outside the traditional sauce. Try something rustic like tapenade!

Grilled Chicken With Sun-Dried Tomato and Olive Tapenade

The following serves 2 (compliments of This Girl’s Gotta Eat):

  • 2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • Salt to taste
  • Garlic powder to taste
  • 1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained and roughly chopped (oil reserved)
  • 1/4 cup sun-dried tomato oil
  • 1/2 cup kalamata olives, roughly chopped
  • 2 garlic scapes, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp green onions, chopped
  • 4 large basil leaves, finely chopped
  • Zest and juice of half a lemon
  • 1 head broccoli, cut into florets
  • Pinch red pepper flakes
  • Parmesan cheese, grated
  • Fresh parsley, chopped
  • Crumbled reduced-fat feta cheese

Preheat oven to 400.

In a small bowl, combine the sun-dried tomatoes, olives, garlic scapes, green onions, basil, 2 Tbsp oil, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Season with a little pinch of salt and pinch red pepper flakes. Cover and store in the fridge 30 minutes to an hour, or until ready to use.

In a large bowl, toss broccoli with 1 Tbsp of the sun-dried tomato oil, salt to taste, pinch red pepper flakes and some parmesan cheese. Spread out in a single layer on a non-stick pan sprayed with non-stick spray. Roast for 15 minutes, or until beginning to brown, rotating half way through.

Preheat grill to high.

Season chicken with 1 Tbsp of the sun-dried tomato oil, pepper and garlic powder to taste and just a little salt (don’t over salt as the tapenade will be salty). Grill on high heat until cooked through and juices run clear, 6-8 minutes per side. Remove and top with a little of the tapenade and tent with foil to rest.

Serve chicken topped with more of the sun-dried tomato and olive tapenade, garnished with feta. Enjoy with roasted broccoli.

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Polenta Squares With Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Basil

15 06 2014

This is a unique, and tasty appetizer that I’m sure you won’t see at many parties! It’s perfect for summer picnics or potlucks because you serve it room temperature. You could also serve these polenta squares as a side dish, making this versatile too.

Polenta Squares with Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Basil

The following makes 12-16 squares (adapted from The Party Girl Cookbook):

  • 4 cups water
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 6 oz. sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained and chopped (Don’t waste the oil, save it to use in something else!)
  • 1 cup chopped basil
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated

Bring water to a boil in a large sauce pot over high heat. Add salt. Slowly add the cornmeal and whisk constantly. When the mixture boils (which will happen quickly and be careful, the mixture will be hot), reduce the heat to low and continue stirring (with a wooden spoon) until very thick, about 30 minutes.

Add the sun-dried tomatoes and basil and stir well. Pour the polenta into a square 2.5 quart casserole dish sprayed with non-stick spray, making sure to spread evenly. Chill in the fridge until firm.

Preheat the oven to 350.

Sprinkle the top with parmesan cheese and bake for 20-30 minutes until lightly browned. Cool to room temperature and cut into squares. You can get more squares if you go for smaller, bite-size pieces.

You can make this a day or two ahead of time and store covered in the fridge. Just bring to room temperature before serving.





Sun-dried Tomato and Garlic Vinaigrette

13 05 2014

I indulge in a lot of salad. So naturally, I’m always on the hunt for new and healthy dressings to try! This vinaigrette was inspired by Food Network Magazine, and packs a punch of flavor. You won’t miss any store-bought dressing with this recipe, that’s for sure!

Sun-dried Tomato and Garlic Vinaigrette

The following is enough for 2 salads (compliments of This Girl’s Gotta Eat with inspiration from Food Network Magazine):

  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 small shallot, thinly sliced
  • 2 heaping Tbsp sun-dried tomatoes
  • 2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
  • Salt and pepper to taste

In a small skillet, heat 2 Tbsp of oil and add garlic. Cook on low a few minutes. Add the shallot and sun-dried tomatoes and cook a few more minutes, stirring often, until garlic browns.

Transfer cooked oil mixture to a small food processor, add vinegar and pulse until chunky. Continue to pulse and slowly stream in more olive oil until the vinaigrette reaches your desired consistency, between 2-4 more Tbsp worth of oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Serve vinaigrette over salad. The salad pictured above includes:

  • Organic arugula
  • Sliced grilled chicken
  • Sliced cucumber
  • Sliced baby yellow peppers
  • Halved grape tomatoes
  • Reduced-fat shredded Italian cheese
  • Walnuts




Sun-dried Tomato and Goat Cheese Stuffed Burgers With Kale Pesto on Multi-Grain Ciabatta

6 05 2014

The hubster recently bought a StufZ Burger Press, and was excited to use this stuffing contraption tonight! It’s not a bad little gizmo, but sometimes the best tools in the kitchen are your own two hands. 🙂

These Mediterranean burgers are quite tasty! By using fresh kale pesto as the condiment, and multi-grain ciabatta as the bun, you’ve got yourself a healthy burger rendition too.

Sun-dried Tomato and Goat Cheese Stuffed Burgers With Kale Pesto

The following makes 4 burgers (compliments of This Girl’s Gotta Eat):

  • 2 lbs ground beef
  • Kosher salt
  • Red pepper flakes
  • Garlic powder
  • Lemon zest
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes
  • 2 cups kale, stemmed
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan
  • 2 Tbsp toasted pine nuts
  • 1-2 cloves of garlic
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing
  • 1 loaf multi-grain ciabatta bread, cut into burger size tops and bottoms

Preheat grill to medium to medium-high.

Mix ground beef with salt, red pepper flakes and garlic powder to taste, along with 1/2 Tbsp lemon zest. Mix until just combined, being careful not to over-mix. Form seasoned meat into 8 small patties.

Combine goat cheese, sun-dried tomatoes and about 1 tsp of lemon zest in a bowl.

To stuff the burgers, use half the patties and add some crumbled goat cheese and chopped sun-dried tomatoes in the middle of the patty, about a heaping Tbsp or so worth on each of the four burgers. Be sure to leave an outside edge. Top each with the remaining patties and press to seal the edges firmly all the way around.

Brush stuffed burgers with a little olive oil on both sides and grill until desired temp. Grilling time will vary based on how large your burgers are. Once cooked to your likeness, remove burgers from the grill and tent with foil. Allow to rest for 5 minutes.

While the burgers rest, make the pesto by adding the kale, parmesan cheese, pine nuts, garlic, 1/2 tsp each salt and red pepper flakes and the zest of 1 lemon to a food processor. Pulse until everything is finely chopped, then stream in 1/4 cup of extra-virgin olive oil and process until well combined and smooth.

Brush the ciabatta with the kale pesto, top with a burger and serve with a salad, like a corn and arugula salad.

To make the salad, grill 4 ears of corn tossed in a little olive oil over medium-high heat. Grill until charred on all sides and kernels are tender, about 10 minutes. Remove from the grill and cool until you can handle. Using a large knife, scrap the kernels off the cobs into a large bowl. Mix with some of the kale pesto, olive oil and lemon juice. Fold in a couple handfuls of arugula, top with some crumbled goat cheese and enjoy alongside the burgers.





Savory Bread Pudding with Spicy Sausage, Gouda, and Sun-Dried Tomato

15 01 2014

Last week I shared that Orlando Baking Company asked me to taste-test their True Grains, 100% whole grain bread and blog about what I thought (https://thisgirlsgottaeat.wordpress.com/2014/01/11/purple-wheat-raisin-bread-french-toast-with-yogurt-caramelized-bananas-and-nuts/). Next up in the sample package, their Honey Grain bread, hence this second installment of my taste-testing adventure.

You may think of dessert when you hear bread pudding, but you can make it equally savory as you can sweet (think of it like stuffing). Because this Honey Grain bread is a bit on the sweeter side, I thought it would offset spicy sausage…winner!

Usually bread pudding is made with a crusty loaf of bread or day-old bread, but you can easily turn any bread into a base for bread pudding by simply leaving it out uncovered overnight, or toasting it in the oven. The benefit to using bread like the Honey Grain in a dish like this, is for its nutritional value. Honey Grain is 100% whole grain containing OMEGA 3, which is an essential nutrient that promotes cardiovascular health.

Savory Bread Pudding with Spicy Sausage, Gouda, and Sun-Dried Tomato

Savory Bread Pudding with Spicy Sausage, Gouda, and Sun-Dried Tomato

The following serves 4-6 (adapted from Adventures in Cooking):

  • 4 eggs, whisked
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 lb bulk hot Italian sausage (you could also use mild/sweet)
  • 5 cups dense bread or day-old bread, cubed (since I used a softer bread, Orlando True Grains Honey Grain, I cubed it and toasted in the oven first)
  • 2 and 2/4 cups skim milk
  • 1 cup gouda cheese, grated
  • 1 cup sharp white cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1 bag (3.5 oz) julienne cut sun-dried tomatoes
  • 2 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped – plus more for garnish
  • 1 tsp dried rosemary
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (or black pepper)
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt

Preheat the oven to 350.

Cook the sausage in a small frying pan over medium heat, stirring frequently, until slightly browned and cooked. Remove from heat and set aside.

In a large bowl, mix together the eggs, milk, rosemary, salt, red pepper flakes and 1 Tbsp of the fresh parsley. Add the bread, garlic, cooked sausage, sun-dried tomatoes, cheddar, and 3/4 cup of the gouda. Mix and allow to sit, 5 – 30 minutes depending how much time you have, or until the bread is soft and wet.

Spray a 9 x 13-inch rectangular or 10-inch circular casserole dish with non-stick spray and pour the mixture in. Sprinkle the top with the remaining fresh parsley and gouda.

Bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 10 – 15 minutes before serving.

You could also make this bread pudding as a side dish. If making ahead of time, in the morning for instance…just keep it covered in the fridge until you’re ready to bake.





Linguine with Sun-Dried Tomatoes, Olives, and Lemon

18 04 2012

This is such a simple, light and delicious meal….perfect for a weeknight! And let’s face it, we could all use a little more “simple” during the week 🙂

Linguine with Sun-Dried Tomatoes, Olives, and Lemon

The following serves 4 (compliments of Giada De Laurentiis):

  • 1 pound linguine pasta
  • 1 cup (6 ounces) chopped or julienned sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) medium green olives, pitted (I used kalamata olives)
  • 1 packed cup fresh basil leaves (I used parsley)
  • 1 clove garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Zest and juice of 1 large lemon
  • 3/4 cup grated Parmesan
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, 8 to 10 minutes. Drain and reserve about 1 cup of the pasta water. Place the pasta and reserved pasta water in a large serving bowl.

In a food processor, combine the sun-dried tomatoes, olives, basil or parsley, garlic, oil, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Pulse until blended but still chunky.

Add the Parmesan cheese to the pasta and toss well. Pour the tomato mixture on top and toss until the pasta is coated. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

This Girl’s tip: I like to finish cooking my pasta in a saute pan. So rather than mixing everything in a large bowl, I heated a little olive oil in a large saute pan and sautéed about 1/2 cup chopped red onion and a small pinch of red pepper flakes until soft. Next, I added the sun-dried tomato mixture for a few minutes, to heat through. Then I added the drained pasta and reserved pasta water to that pan, and tossed to combine, finishing cooking for another minute. Off the heat, I mixed in the cheese and added salt and pepper to taste.