Saturday, March 29, 2014

ZFW: Cilantro "Pesto" Chicken and Rice

I purposely didn't meal plan for tonight's dinner. I wanted to make sure I had a night available this week to use up anything that needed to be used before it went bad. I figured at the time that tonight would be leftovers but I must be doing a good job at judging portions because we have no leftovers at all in the fridge. They are going quickly for lunches theses days which is exactly how I want it. That however left me with nothing planned and no leftovers for dinner tonight.

I played around with pinterest for a bit searching the random items I have in my fridge that were about to go bad. I have some fresh Italian parsley and cilantro and I know those will be the first to go bad (I bought them weeks ago) so they were my priority and the majority of my searches. I ended up finding this Quick Lime Cilantro Chicken and this Italian Parsley Pesto. I liked the idea of using the stems of the parsley along with the leaves to make pesto and decided to try making cilantro "pesto" with the same flavor combinations of the quick lime cilantro chicken. Now this is not a true pesto because it does not have nuts or parmesan cheese more a "kind of looks like a pesto so that is what I am calling it" version.

In the end I came up with a Cilantro "Pesto" Chicken and Rice dish.

Cilantro Pesto Chicken and Rice

1lb chicken
Olive oil
Chili Powder
1 bunch of cilantro, stems and all
Garlic, about 2 Tbsp minced
3-4 Tbsp Lime juice
2c Brown rice, precooked 

Dice the chicken breasts and add to a hot pan coated with olive oil. While the chicken browns add the cilantro, garlic, and lime juice to a food processor and pulse till thoroughly chopped.
Once your chicken is thoroughly cooked sprinkle generously with the chili powder, cumin, and salt. Then add the cilantro "pesto" and brown rice to the pan and heat through.
My favorite part of this meal? No leftovers! Everyone ate well and dinner was a success! Now to find a use for that Italian Parsley. If I had some lemon juice I would be making the Italian Parsley pesto for sure. I might have to pick up a lemon the next time I am at the commissary.

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