Does anyone else every think of a recipe as a safety net? When I cook something, I just like to have a set of instructions there in front of me. It’s like Ikea furniture. I always glance at the instructions, but can usually assemble it myself without going step by step. I think of a recipe in the same way. I see something I like, I plan to make it, glance at the instructions and then set off on my own. Like the instructions, it’s nice to have something to refer back to if I get confused, or in trouble, but it’s not necessarily needed.
Disclaimer: I’ve only ever assembled bookcases and shelving units from Ikea. I’m sure a couch or something would probably require following the instructions more closely.
I rarely ever make a recipe exactly as it’s written. I like to put my own spin on it and make changes based on our preferences, but it’s still nice to have. When I come up with an idea for something I want to make for dinner and can’t find a recipe for it, it stresses me out, which is ridiculous. I’ve decided to challenge myself to make dinner at least once a week by winging it. Last week it was a chicken breast stuffed with spinach, goat cheese, marinated tomatoes and olives, and it turned out better than I could have imagined!
This dinner was easy, delicious and came together quickly with the ingredients I almost always have on hand, and created around something I almost never have: the marinated tomatoes. I use these for my pesto pizza, and they’re amazing. Inspired, I used some of the other flavors from that pizza (the goat cheese & olives), sautéed some baby spinach and then mixed it all together. It turned out to be an amazing dinner!
Veggie & Goat Cheese Stuffed Chicken
- ¼ cup of Whole Foods marinated tomatoes; finely chopped (if you can’t get these, sun dried should work)
- ¼ cup of Kalamata olives; finely chopped
- 2 cups of baby spinach
- Olive oil
- 2 oz. of goat cheese; crumbled
- 2 chicken breasts
- Salt & pepper
- Toothpicks or kitchen twine
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees
- Cut a slit in the chicken breasts, being careful not to cut all the way through.
- Heat 1 T. of the olive oil over medium heat in a skillet with oven safe handles. When the oil is hot, add the spinach and sauté until it has wilted.
- Once you’ve chopped the tomato & olives, set them on a paper towel to get rid of some of the excess moisture.
- Add the spinach to a separate bowl and add the olives, tomatoes and goat cheese. Mix together well and add the mixture to each chicken breast.
- Season the chicken with salt & pepper, and wrap the chicken in the kitchen twine, or secure the opening with toothpicks. Add more olive oil to the pan you cooked the spinach in, and heat it over medium-high heat. Gently add the chicken to the pan and cook for about 3-5 minutes on each side. When both sides are golden, move the pan to the preheated oven and continue cooking for ten minutes.
- Let sit for a few minutes and then remove the toothpicks or cut off the kitchen twine.
(I’m linking up with Celebrate Southern.)