Thursday, September 4, 2008

Don't Always Eat Alone!

Hello, food-friends!

Ok, so here's the deal. This blog is all about my kitchen-adventures and the many different things that I create to maintain a healthy and affordable lifestyle. But we can't forget that the recipe for a happy life needs sometimes include other people!

I know, novel concept, right?

Last night, three of my close friends joined me for dinner and the premiere of America's Next Top Model. Obviously, Single Servings don't really work when there are four of you... but what does work is the same techniques that you'd use for cooking by yourself!

I left my office and made my way to the Amish Market. The very first thing that caught my attention was a small container of dried cranberries. It just so happened that they were sitting next to the chopped walnuts (kind of a "mix your own trail mix" type station) -- and that was enough inspiration for me to know EXACTLY what I would make...


(I made this last night for four people -- sorry, no pics cuz we were hungry! This isn't the exact recipe I used. I've changed it here so that you can do this on your own!)

1 handful chopped walnuts
1 handful dried cranberries
1 handful crumbled Gorgonzola
1 tbs softened cream cheese
1 6 oz chicken breast, pounded to 1/4 inch thickness
1/4 tbs butter
1 handful dark mixed greens
1 tbs balsamic vinaigrette

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.

Use a small pan to toast the walnuts over medium-low heat. Careful not to burn them! They'll get very fragrant and deepen in color when they're ready -- about 3 minutes

In a small bowl, use a fork to mix the half of the walnuts, half of the dried cranberries, cream cheese, and half of the Gorgonzola together. Season your chicken with a little salt & pepper, and then spread the cheese mixture on top. Start at a narrow end and roll the chicken up. Place in a greased baking dish and top with the butter. Bake for 15-18 minutes.

While the chicken bakes, toss together your greens and the remaining walnuts, cranberries, and Gorgonzola. Drizzle with the vinaigrette. Serve the chicken alongside and enjoy!

So I know this isn't the healthiest of meals, but it's not like getting one of those 1400 calorie meals from some random fast food joint. If I had to guess (based on typical calorie counts for all of my ingredients) I would say this comes in between 400-450 calories.

And it's absolutely delicious! The tang of the Gorgonzola, the earthiness of the walnuts, and the sweet cranberries work together unbelievably well!

So go ahead and indulge yourself. Or a group of friends -- I promise they'll be SUPER appreciative :-)