Recipe Review: Artichoke Lemon Pesto Chicken

Art Lem Chix

THIS was THE best recipe I’ve reviewed in a while.  It was really great!  It was recommended to me by a participant of the 4-week challenge I just facilitated for Reebok CrossFit Medfield.  I LOVE when people share recipes with me.  I used 2 cans of artichoke hearts because I couldn’t find them in olive oil – only in yucky unhealthy oil.  The only other change I made to this is rather than serve it over spaghetti squash I used my new favorite kitchen tool, the Veggetti, to make zucchini spaghetti.  Not because I don’t like spaghetti squash, but because I’ve served that twice in the last two weeks and I wanted to use my new fun tool. :)

This recipe “as is” isn’t exactly family friendly for some families with more persnickety children (or husbands for that matter).  I would suggest pulling some of the cooked chicken out of the pan before adding the pesto and spinach.  You can also make traditional pasta for those that may not be keen on the spaghetti squash or zucchini spaghetti.  HOWEVER, give your children/husband both and encourage them to try it.  My husband looked at the zucchini spaghetti with a critical raised eyebrow, but he tried it and then commented, “That was better than I thought it would be.” VICTORY!  Also, if you aren’t following a Paleo diet or dairy-free diet, topping this recipe off with a little parmesan cheese is YUM.

You should definitely try this one soon!

Recipe Review: Tuscan Chicken Skillet

tuscan chicken skillet

This is a great new recipe we tried tonight.  It was easy to make, healthy and family friendly.  It’s also gluten and dairy free.  I served it with brown rice and roasted broccoli.  I’ll definitely keep this one in the 3-ring recipe binder to make again.

Adaptations: No one in our family is particularly fond of mushrooms.  So, I left those out.  I also excluded the sugar.  I didn’t see why it was needed and it was just fine without it.  I think adding in baby spinach leaves before serving (stirring in so they wilt) would be a great addition worth trying.

Weekly Meal Plan: 10/24 – 10/30

Art Lem Chix

If you are really paying attention, and of course I hope you are, you will notice two recipes that were on last week’s plan are re-appearing this week.  There are two reasons for this: 1) I realized on Tuesday that I had WAY too many leftovers on-hand.  Unless I made a complete glutton of myself everyday for lunch (not that hard for me, but NOT ideal for weight management), there was no way to get through it all unless we invoked a leftover night.  The husband isn’t a big fan of leftovers, but I think I’m more not a fan of wasted food, and since I prepare the meals, Tuesday became leftover night. ;) I really, really, really don’t like to throw food out.  This is one factor that leads to me over-eating on a near-nightly basis, BUT that’s a topic for another time.  2) The husband had an evening seminar come up Wednesday he wanted to attend.

So, I apologize that means there is only one official “new” dinner recipe for your reference on the plan this week. :(

Friday: There is a 7th and 8th grade school dance and we are the lucky hosts of 8 tween girls “getting ready” prior to the dance.  Serenity now… Anyway, I’ll be taking the easy route and providing pizza.  Our 12yo is gluten sensitive and can’t enjoy traditional pizza without potential negative impact.  I recently discovered that our local bakery Blue Moon Bagel Co. makes gluten free dough on Fridays that you can purchase.  They sell the shells in bags of three.  We purchased a bag a few weeks ago and have one shell left in the freezer.  They’re pretty good.  We’ll be purchasing them again in the future.

Saturday: We are heading into Boston and who knows where we will find ourselves for dinner!

SundayPan Roasted Chicken with Spicy Chickpeas – This is a recipe my good pal Debra recently posted on her blog.  The recipe comes from Epicurious originally, but this link reflects the adaptations she recommends.  I’ll also serve Garlic Roasted Kale and GF pasta (wilted greens for me).

MondayTuscan Chicken Skillet – This is a new recipe.  I’ll omit the mushrooms and sugar! I’ll also serve brown rice and roasted brocolli.

Tuesday: The husband will be at a BC game and our 12yo goes from soccer practice directly to dance which leaves the 9yo and I on our own.  Maybe breakfast for dinner?

Wednesday: Artichoke Lemon Pesto Chicken which was recently recommended to me by a participant of the 4-Week Fitness Challenge I facilitated at Reebok CrossFit Medfield.  I’m going to use my fun new kitchen tool, the Veggetti, to make zucchini spaghetti rather than use spaghetti squash.  I’ve used spaghetti squash a couple of times over the last couple of weeks.

Thursday: As always, the husband will not be home.  The girls and I will have leftovers OR I’ll enjoy leftovers and they will luck out and get a treat of Bell & Evans brand chicken fingers. :)


Forever on a quest to find new lunch choices for our gluten sensitive 12yo, who btw, is the pickier of my two children.  Not a good combination… More often than not, my 9yo and I end up eating the things we make. Good grief…

This week I’ll try:
Carrot Breakfast Protein Cake
Pumpkin Waffles

Two Recipe Reviews

spag squash

Over the last few days I’ve tried a couple of successful recipes I wanted to share.

1) Last night we tried a recipe a good friend recommended: Spaghetti Squash, Black Bean, Corn & Kale.  We all enjoyed it!  A great healthy twist on a mexican dish.  Two substitutions: I used frozen corn (instead of ears of corn) and a jar of diced tomatoes (instead of chopping tomatoes).

2) Saturday night I tried a new recipe for Slow Cooker BBQ Pulled Pork.  I don’t have a link to provide because it came as an insert with my monthly meat delivery from Walden Local Meat.

3-4 lb pork shoulder or roast
2 cups cider vinegar
2 tsp dry mustard
1 tsp onion salt
1 TBS Worcestershire
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup ketchup
*1-2 cups of barbecue sauce of your choice

Place pork in the slow cooker.  Mix all ingredients (excluding the barbecue sauce) in a bowl, mix then pour over pork in slow cooker. Cook on low for 6-8 hours.  Half hour to an hour prior to serving remove the pork from slow cooker, remove any fat from pork and from broth in slow cooker, pour out the majority of liquid in pot, shred pork with a fork, return pork to slow cooker, add the barbecue sauce, mix, cover and cook for an additional 1/2- 1 hour.

I’m always on the hunt for a new recipe.  Have you tried something you really enjoyed lately?  Please share!

Weekly Meal Plan: 10/17 – 23

tuscan chicken skillet

This weekend we are home and I’m cooking.  Two things that rarely happen at the same time!

Cooking six nights in a row provides a good opportunity to try out some new recipes. Next week will also be the final week of the Fall Fitness Challenge I’m facilitating at Reebok CrossFit Medfield which means no dairy, no grains, no sugar.

Friday: I am making the Spaghetti Squash Pizza Pie I didn’t get to make earlier in the week due to the husband being at a last minute work event.

Saturday: Our day is pretty crazy with soccer games and baby showers AND we have friends coming for dinner.  So, I’m embracing the slow cooker!
Pulled Barbecue Pork – I’m trying a new slow cooker recipe that came with my monthly meat delivery from Walden Local Meat.  I’ll try it first before sharing the recipe.  I hope it’s good since I’m serving it to friends. :)
Roasted Root Vegetable Salad – This is one my favorite salads.  You can mix up the recipe a lot for variety.  You can really roast whatever kind of root vegetable you like.  I’m fond of butternut squash and red onions.
Corn bread – I’m using Pamela’s Gluten Free brand mix as a base and I’ll add corn niblets.

Sunday: I’m hoping for a “The Husband Cooks Dinner Sunday” (Hint… Hint…)
Porter House Steaks from Walden Local Meat on the grill.
Baked Butternut Squash & Apples – I’m modify this recipe to exclude the maple syrup, reduce the butter and use apple cider rather than apple juice.

MondaySpaghetti Squash with Black Beans, Corn & Kale – I’m embracing Meatless Monday!  This is a recipe that a friend recently raved about I’m excited to try.

Tuesday: Pan Roasted Chicken with Spicy Chickpeas – This is a recipe my good pal Debra recently posted on her blog.  The recipe comes from Epicurious originally, but this link reflects the adaptations she recommends.  I’ll also serve roasted diced carrots tossed in coconut oil.

WednesdayTuscan Chicken Skillet – This is a new recipe.  I’ll omit the mushrooms and sugar! I’ll also serve steamed french style green beans.

Thursday: As always, the husband will not be home.  The girls and I will have leftovers OR I’ll enjoy leftovers and they will luck out and get a treat of Bell & Evans brand chicken fingers.  :)


This week we are trying Paleo Pumpkin Bread.  I think I will add some cacao nibs to it. ;)

Weekly Meal Plan: 10/10 – 10/16



It’s a 4-day weekend for the Medfield school system!  YAHOO!  Every year we head up to Vermont over the Columbus Day weekend for one of my two favorite Vermont events: The Annual Chili Cook-Off!  This may seem crazy, but I just love this little home state tradition.  After we enjoy tasting all of the chilis (there is always a surprisingly wide variety of recipes!) and cast our votes, we will head up to Okemo for their Fall into Winter Celebration.  Sunday we will go apple picking and the girls will pick out their pumpkins to bring home for carving.  Sunday night my mom is cooking a big family dinner as my early birthday celebration before she and my dad head to FL for the winter.  Such a fun weekend!

Unfortunately I’ll have to return to cooking on Monday night! :) This will be week 3 of the 4 week Fall Fitness Challenge I’m participating in and facilitating for Reebok CrossFit Medfield.

Monday: Turkey Basil Meatloaf (Tried and true recipe my daughters love!  I use ground turkey instead of chicken.), cubed and roasted sweet potatoes (tossed with olive oil, salt and pepper) and Garlic Roasted Kale (new recipe)

Tuesday: Spaghetti Squash Pizza Pie (Sounds weird, but it’s really good!) and Shredded Beets w/ Orange Zest & Basil (I’m using the beets my mother-in-law brought from her very own garden!)

Wednesday: Chicken with Brussels Sprouts & Mustard Sauce, roasted new potatoes and red onions (tossed with olive oil, salt and pepper) and steamed green beans.


We enjoyed these larabars so much I thought we would try these Pumpkin Pie Larabars this week.  I’m only going to try one recipe because we still have some Raisin Bran Muffins and Pumpkin Cranberry Muffin Tops in the freezer.

Weekly Meal Plan: 10/3 – 10/9

cauliflower bake

Next week begins week 2 of the 4-Week Fitness Challenge I’m facilitating AND participating in at Reebok CrossFit Medfield.  I’ve picked recipes for the week that allow me to collect all my daily food-related points: no dairy, no grains, no sugar.

Friday: My daughters are having friends sleepover which is always a call for pizza night.  I recently learned our local bakery Blue Moon Bagel Cafe sells gluten free pizza dough on Fridays.  My 12 yo is recently diagnosed with a gluten sensitivity.  She didn’t care for the gluten free pizza the local pizza place sells so I thought we would give this dough a try.  Fingers crossed… I am going to have the Winter Lentil Soup I didn’t get to make yesterday.

Saturday/Sunday: I’ll be in Portland Maine for two nights with my running club girlfriends.  On Sunday some of us are running a half marathon and a few are doing the full marathon.  I opted to do the half.  I’m psyched to see my friend Debra run her first ever marathon.  I supplied the training plan and she has put in the miles and is ready to toe the line.  Since I’m only doing the half I’ll be able to take care of her when she finishes.

Monday: I can’t figure out where I came up with this recipe.  I’ve made it before and have a printed recipe, but internet research is yielding no results.

Chicken, Tomatoes, Roasted Peppers & Capers
Pint of cherry tomatoes
1 tsp minced garlic
2 TBS olive oil
Jar of roasted red peppers
2 TBS fresh lemon juice
1 TBS drained, capers
salt/pepper to taste
1-2 lbs of chicken (approx. 3 breasts)
Spinach or other greens
*I noted on the recipe that last time I made this I added some sundried tomatoes and a 1/4 tsp of red pepper flakes.

  1. Saute cubed chicken, set aside and cover
  2. Saute cherry tomatoes, garlic and olive oil
  3. Add red peppers, capers, lemon juice (and sundried tomatoes if you opt to use them)
  4. Salt and pepper to taste (and red pepper flakes if you want to add a little spice)
  5. Add chicken back into the tomato mixture
  6. Serve over wilted greens (or orzo, brown rice, other grain)

Tuesday: Baked Italian-Style Cauliflower When I made this once before I left out the olives and bread crumbs.  I’ll also serve the parmesan on the side for the rest of the family since my 4-Week challenge excludes dairy.  I plan to use ground beef from my Walden Local Meat delivery.

Wednesday: Slow Cooker Steak Fajitas I haven’t made this recipe before.  I have two skirt steaks in the freezer from my Walden Local Meat delivery I need to use.  I feel like grill season has passed.  So, I thought this would be a good recipe for them.

Thursday: There is no school on Friday in our town, one of my daughters already has a sleepover lined up and the husband is always at indoor soccer on Thursday nights.  So, I’m thinking leftovers or some soup I have in my freezer.


We are always looking to broaden our gluten free lunch options for my 12yo.  This week we are going to try Paleo Pumpkin Muffins!