Thursday, July 7, 2011

Spicy Basil Chicken with Tomato Walnut Zucchini Pasta

The simple fresh herbs and vegetables of summer inspired me to create this dish.  It is simple and light, yet full of flavors and textures.  Thin strips of zucchini are used in place of pasta for a fresh no-cook side dish.  I added baked chicken for substance, walnuts for crunch, and lots of fresh basil for flavor.  Together this dish is the perfect summer meal, although the vegetable dish is so hearty it could easily stand on it's own.  For my vegetarian and vegan readers, obviously omit the chicken when you make this dish and enjoy the rich flavors of this raw vegetable meal.

Juicy chicken and garlic basil vegetables are the perfect dinner combo

Marinated raw vegetables are packed with flavor and perfect in the summer heat
 Ingredients for Chicken:
2 skinless boneless chicken breasts
Fresh basil, garlic and red pepper flakes

For Zucchini "Pasta":
1 large zucchini, sliced thinly lengthwise and then again in 1/4" strips
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved or cocktail tomatoes, quartered
4 tsp olive oil
2 tbs fresh chopped basil
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4c chopped raw walnuts
Fresh ground sea salt

1. Rub basil, garlic and red pepper flakes on chicken breasts.  No need to measure, just add spices to your liking.  Bake at 400F for 15 minutes or until done.
2. Meanwhile, stir together olive oil, basil, garlic, walnuts and sea salt.  Let marinate 20 minutes.
3. Stir in zucchini strips and let set a few minutes more.  Top with more walnuts and basil as garnish (optional).
4. Serve vegetable dish with sliced chicken.

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