Monday, November 14, 2011

Sun-Dried Tomato and Feta Chicken Roll Ups

Well I am home from a very fabulous weekend with my girlfriends scrapbooking! We go on this trip annually and it is where we get the bulk of our scrapbooking done for the year. I completed 50 pages! Together we finished 218 pages and we are pretty proud of ourselves. We also eat way too much on this trip. They make it easy for us by providing such delicious meals and snacks. The problem is we are too sedentary to really need that much food and there is a small issue with a lack of vegetables for me. (I forgot my V8 this year.) Don't get me wrong, I am not complaining in the least. I loved the Saturday morning breakfast of oatmeal and yogurt with all kinds of fruit toppings and brunch yesterday was a delicious egg bake. We also had sandwiches on homemade bread, taco salad, and chicken cordon blue. The highlight of the trip comes Saturday afternoon when they do the cheesecake parade. That is right, a parade for cheesecake!

We all stand up and clap to some very fun music as he parades his cheesecakes around. Then they go cut them up and we go enjoy! I picked pumpkin and a slice of green grape cheesecake. They are small slices so no worries. There are SO many different kinds it is hard to choose.

Here we are Friday night just getting started really!

Needless to say after a weekend of indulging and a lot of sitting I came home feeling pretty stuffed! Since Miles was home with the kids by himself all weekend he didn't do too much cooking either. It is possible that no one ate a single vegetable all weekend long. So we declared today and probably tomorrow to be a phase one kind of day. By that we basically mean no carbs, no sugar, and no fruit. We will then eat fairly strict the rest of this week with limited carbs and fruit but still no sugar. That's the problem with indulging too much! You can do it for a couple days but then you have to be strict for several days to even things out.

So tonight I made a little invention. Even though we will be eating strict I still want my food to taste great and feel like it is something special. I made a sun-dried tomato paste tonight that I rolled up inside some chicken breasts. Miles' words, "Oh my gosh! Did you write this one down?" I think we have a winner folks!

First place some sun-dried tomatoes in a bowl of water to soak. I used about 1/2 cup of julienned tomatoes. Next you need to pound your chicken breasts flat with a rolling pin or mallet and set them aside. The recipe for the filling will do about 4 chicken breasts. You could probably sneak out a fifth if you needed too.

Give the tomatoes at least 10 minutes to soak and then grind them up with a little of the water. To this I added 1/4 cup of feta cheese, 2 tsp. of chopped basil (jarred), one tablespoon each of balsamic and olive oil, and 3 garlic cloves minced.

It was having a hard time getting chopped and mixed well so I took it all out and microwaved it for 30 seconds then gave it a few more whirls in the food processor. It came together nicely after that. I also added a bit more feta at this point.

Spread it generously over your flattened chicken breast.

Then roll up the chicken starting with the most narrow end and place some toothpicks in to hold it in place. Put in a pan seam side down and cover with aluminum foil. They go into a 400 degree oven and cook for 30 minutes. I decided after eating them that a couple minutes less would have been perfect! They weren't really dry but they weren't super moist. So just watch them closely.

While my chicken was cooking I did my favorite trick with green beans. I had already steamed them in the microwave for 5 minutes. Then I put them in a pan with some olive oil, a little chopped red onion, red wine vinegar (be generous), and sliced almonds. Saute them for about 5-7 minutes.

I sliced up the chicken and served them up with the green beans and some salad. Remember we are eating strict so we needed to have 2 vegetable servings tonight. I don't mind though. I was vegetable deprived. I ate salad for lunch too. It felt good to be back to my normal diet. My body is really thankful too! I also think that these would be great just smothered in the sauce if you don't want to take the time to roll the chicken.

Even though I have to eat strict the next few days it is worth it and this is why. My little girl poured over her completed pages for quite some time last night. Her brother was equally thankful and excited to see his pages too. Portion of goodness, you bet!

I think now I will have some hot tea and catch up with the DVR. It has been a while and we miss each other!


4 chicken breasts pounded flat
1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes soaked in water
1/3 cup feta
2 Tbsp. chopped basil (I used jarred but fresh is good too)
1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp. olive oil
2-3 cloves garlic, minced

When tomatoes are soft, drain the liquid reserving 1/4 cup, and place in a food processor. Chop up finely with the liquid. In a small bowl place the rest of the ingredients listed (except the chicken) and add the tomatoes. Microwave for 30 seconds and put all ingredients back into the food processor. Spin until mixed well.

Spread a generous amount over each chicken breast. Roll up starting with the narrow end and insert toothpicks. Place seam side down in baking dish and cover with aluminum foil. Bake for 28-30 minutes at 400 degrees. Slice and serve immediately.

No comments: