Pesto Chicken 3-Ways

Pesto chicken topped salad

Pesto chicken topped salad

Pesto chicken 3-ways, maybe 4 or 5 or 6……

Hi everyone! I should have named this post herb pesto 3-ways and more. Pesto is so flavorful and versatile, I’m sure you will find other ways to use the leftovers. Actually, I made and egg white omelette this morning and dabbed on a teaspoon – yum! Interestingly, my uber picky eater eats pesto. I certainly won’t complain because I can get good mileage out of a batch and it’s very healthy! But, I find it curious that she will eat pesto, but not something simple as corn…. sigh. Onward!

We grow a lot of herbs and use those those all season in salads and all of my cooking. I’ve convinced the kids that herbs are essential  for making a dish look good and taste good. In addition, herbs are really healthy! I count them as vegetable in our house.

Even my picky eater will eat this - separate, of course

Even my picky eater will eat this – separate, of course

You mentioned healthy?

As mentioned, I treat herbs as a veggie. They are packed with nutritional value. Basil is a good source of vitamin A, C and K and has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. Cilantro has much of the same vitamins but also boosts a few more minerals and helps lower bad cholesterol. Fresh oregano is a good source of minerals like potassium, iron and calcium is great for digestive health. Parsley is considered a “super food”. It packs a punch with vitamins A, C and K and minerals iron, magnesium, and potassium like the others but also supports kidney, urinary tract health and fights cancer. Most herbs are good sources of fiber and are low in calories, anti-inflammatory and nutrient dense. Pesto sauce is concentrating all those great properties into a meal.

 What’s in the pesto?

My pesto recipe is really a basic pesto recipe. I do not add garlic as that is not acceptable for TQ’s fructose malabsorption. Honestly, I don’t miss it. But, if you are a garlic fan, then certainly add a clove or two. Sometimes, I use garlic flavored olive oil to get that hint of garlic and it is quite tasty.  Otherwise, the key players are the 3 cup of freshly packed herbs. The herbs I use most are basil (traditional), parsley, cilantro, and oregano. My daughter is especially a big oregano fan. I also use 3-4 green onion tops. I think that rounds out the flavor and since we don’t use garlic it adds a little kick.

This recipe couldn’t be any simpler. I used my blender to pack in the herbs, olive oil, parmesan, juice of half of a lemon and salt and pepper to taste. I used 1/4 cup of pine nuts, but before you add them to the blender toast them in a pan for a few minutes. Place the pine nuts to a dry skillet over medium heat until they are fragrant,  toasty and slightly brown, Turn off the heat once they start browning, so they don’t burn. Add them to the blender. Blend all of the ingredients, start with a pulse of two to incorporate. Once blended, you are left with a lusciously beautiful green sauce that can be use in endless ways.

Luscious, vitamin packed pretty herb pesto

Luscious, vitamin packed pretty herb pesto

Let’s talk versatility…

I used about 3/4 cup of the prepared pesto to a zip bag along with 1 pound of chicken tenders. The chicken marinated in the bag (in the fridge) for several hours.  Make the pesto the night before and prep the chicken, and marinate so it will be ready when you get home in the evening. I cooked a large batch of chicken for leftovers possibilities. Our first evening meal was gluten free pasta tossed with pesto and the marinated chicken.

Pesto chicken tossed with pasta

Pesto chicken tossed with pasta

I made myself a salad topped with the chicken and drizzled a little touch of pesto as my dressing along with a few crumbles of goat cheese which I highly recommend. Our second meal included make your own sandwiches. Toppings included grilled red pepper, green lettuce, goat cheese and little extra pesto for the bread. They can be eaten warm or cold. Perfect for a quick weeknight meal!

Pesto chicken and veggie sandwich

Pesto chicken and veggie sandwich

I had mentioned topping my egg whites with the pesto but I also think this would be a really delicious topped on cubes of baked tofu, or combined to make a pesto tofu salad or wrap. I may try that and report back. It could be spread as a condiment on any sandwich veggie, turkey or grilled cheese. What ideas do you have? What should I do with my next batch?

Pesto chicken pasta artfully designed by my son :)

Pesto chicken pasta artfully designed by my son 🙂

Herb Pesto - low FODMAP style
Serves 16
Luscious, vitamin packed pretty herb pesto versatile in many ways from a marinade for chicken, pasta sauce or topping for potatoes and veggies.
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
10 min
Total Time
15 min
Prep Time
10 min
Total Time
15 min
92 calories
3 g
2 g
9 g
2 g
1 g
24 g
186 g
0 g
0 g
7 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
24g
Servings
16
Amount Per Serving
Calories 92
Calories from Fat 78
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 9g
14%
Saturated Fat 1g
7%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 6g
Cholesterol 2mg
1%
Sodium 186mg
8%
Total Carbohydrates 3g
1%
Dietary Fiber 1g
5%
Sugars 0g
Protein 2g
Vitamin A
8%
Vitamin C
21%
Calcium
6%
Iron
8%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 3 cups Fresh herbs (basil, parsley,cilantro, oregano, chervil)
  2. 1/2 cup Extra virgin olive oil
  3. 1/4 cup Pine nuts - toasted
  4. 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
  5. 3-4 Green onion tops
  6. 2 TB fresh lemon juice (half of a lemon)
  7. 1 tsp Salt (or to taste)
  8. Pepper to taste
  9. Optional garlic clove - but not low FODMAP
Instructions
  1. Toast pine nuts in a dry skillet over medium heat for 2-3 minutes, until fragrant. Remove from heat.
  2. Place herbs, lemon juice, green onions (and garlic, if using) in bowl of food processor or blender.
  3. Pulse a few times and scrape the sides with a spatula to make sure all is blending.
  4. Add parmesan cheese and pine nuts, pulse a few more times.
  5. Add olive oil in slow stream to allow sauce to emulsify.
  6. Enjoy endless ways: Marinate chicken or tofu, toss in pasta, serve on eggs, over potato, mix in veggies, serve on sandwiches, top on fish or seafood.......
Notes
  1. Gluten free
  2. low FODMAP
  3. low sugar
beta
calories
92
fat
9g
protein
2g
carbs
3g
more
karinakappelonline.com http://karinakappelonline.com/

Scrumptious lettuce wraps (GF)

Scrumptious and quick to make chicken lettuce wrap

Scrumptious and quick to make chicken lettuce wrap

Hi everyone! This quick and healthy recipe is a family favorite. Not only that, it really is so versatile for so many, low fat, low carb, naturally gluten free, nutritious and safe for fructose malabsorption – a winner. These are my scrumptious chicken lettuce wraps. Mamas like me won’t even feel guilty over indulging on this dinner! The best part, you can have dinner on the table in 30 minutes or less.

Let’s get started

I think many of these ingredients are pantry staples. At least, if you are like me, and your family loves this meal, you’ll have these on hand so you can whip up a batch in a pinch. The pantry items are sesame oil, tamari (gluten free soy sauce), rice wine vinegar, a can of water chestnuts and rice vermicelli (optional). Next, chop the other ingredients uniformly and fairly small. That included 4-5 green onion tops, a handful of fresh cilantro (or parsley), 1/2 red pepper (orange or yellow). Freshly grated ginger and a little kimchi (totally optional) rounds out the ingredients.

Prepping the chicken lettuce wrap ingredients

Prepping the chicken lettuce wrap ingredients

Let’s get cooking!

Basically, everything gets thrown into a large saute pan. Begin by heating up a tablespoon of sesame oil until it becomes fragrant. Add the ground chicken, stirring often to break up the pieces and cook until almost all the pink is gone. Next, add the ginger, give it a stir. Add the water chestnuts and red pepper next and allow those the soften a bit. Keep the contents moving and drizzle in the tamari and rice wine vinegar. Toss the cilantro in at the end to keep its nice green color and freshness.

Chicken filling quick to make

Chicken filling quick to make

Serve spoonful on open butter lettuce leaves, fold and enjoy!

Serve spoonful on open butter lettuce leaves, fold and enjoy!

Let’s chat about options

Normally, lettuce wraps would have a hoisin sauce, which is a sticky and sweet/tangy sauce that accompanies many Chinese dishes. Hoisin sauce is not a safe product for our family’s food allergies so it has been avoided in this recipe. I mentioned rice vermicelli. My son loves rice noodles in his wraps so I do soak a handful in boiling water while the chicken is cooking. Personally, I like to add a bit of kimchi to the top of mine for a nice punch of heat and tang. With all of the news lately about adding fermented foods to our diet, this is an easy way to do so!

You said this was healthy?

Nutritionally speaking this is a one pot wonder! I add the red pepper for the added vitamin C, B6 and magnesium.  And the cilantro is rich in vitamin A and antioxidants. The butter lettuce has a good supply of your day’s vitamin K. In addition, this recipe is a good source of lean protein. Healthy all around.

Lettuce wraps with rice vermicelli

Lettuce wraps with rice vermicelli

Healthy, light and delicious lettuce wraps

Healthy, light and delicious lettuce wraps

Addicting chicken lettuce wraps
Serves 4
This quick and healthy recipe is a family favorite. Not only that, it really is so versatile for so many, low fat, low carb, naturally gluten free, nutritious and safe for fructose malabsorption - a winner.
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
25 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
25 min
274 calories
9 g
153 g
13 g
30 g
3 g
247 g
610 g
3 g
0 g
8 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
247g
Servings
4
Amount Per Serving
Calories 274
Calories from Fat 117
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 13g
20%
Saturated Fat 3g
16%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 3g
Monounsaturated Fat 5g
Cholesterol 153mg
51%
Sodium 610mg
25%
Total Carbohydrates 9g
3%
Dietary Fiber 2g
9%
Sugars 3g
Protein 30g
Vitamin A
43%
Vitamin C
49%
Calcium
4%
Iron
15%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 1 Tb Sesame oil
  2. 1 lb Ground chicken thigh
  3. 1 8 oz can Water chestnuts
  4. 4-5 Green onion tops
  5. 2 Tb Low sodium tamari (gluten free soy sauce)
  6. 1 Tb Rice wine vinegar
  7. 1 Tb Fresh ginger, finely grated
  8. 1-2 Tb Fresh cilantro
  9. 1/2 cup Red bell pepper finely minced
  10. 1 head Boston leaf lettuce
  11. Optional ingredients: Kimchi and mung bean noodle (or rice vermicelli), siracha
Instructions
  1. Heat sesame oil in a saucepan over medium high heat.
  2. Add ground chicken and cook until almost browned, about 3-5 minutes, breaking up chunks of chicken as it cooks.
  3. Stir in finely ground fresh ginger.
  4. Stir in water chestnuts, red pepper and green onions until tender, about 1-2 minutes; season with salt and pepper, to taste. cook an additional 2-3 minutes.
  5. Add tamari sauce, rice wine vinegar and toss in cilantro at end. Taste and adjust any seasonings.
  6. To serve, spoon the chicken mixture onto the center of a Boston bib lettuce leaf, fold and enjoy!
Notes
  1. Gluten free
  2. Dairy free
  3. Low fat
  4. Low Carb
beta
calories
274
fat
13g
protein
30g
carbs
9g
more
karinakappelonline.com http://karinakappelonline.com/

 

Gluten Free Mung Bean Korean Pancake

gluten free mung bean Korean pancake

gluten free mung bean Korean pancake

Gluten free mung bean Korean pancake it’s whats for dinner! Lately, I’ve been interested in incorporating more plant protein into our diets. Of course, it’s economical, healthy and better for Mother Earth. However, finding a plant based protein that the kids would get on board with is a whole other challenge. My search led me to mung beans, actually I kind of stumbled onto it while searching bean varieties. Well, I had one of those Duh! moments. TQ used to love Korean pancakes before all of the food allergy diagnoses. I totally forgot about them! Best yet, these can be made easily gluten free. Maybe even MK would like them, its a pancake after all……. (we’ll see!)

Let’s talk mung beans

These little beans pack a nutrition punch! Not only are they high in protein and low in calories, but they offer many B vitamins, magnesium, potassium and fiber. In addition, they are low in fat and cholesterol. Today, I’m using them to make a gluten free Korean savory pancake but they could be really versatile by adding to soup or stews. And as a side note, I did try to sprout them which worked and I ate them on my salad.

What about the pancake

Korean pancakes are very versatile. Pick your favorite filling and everyone can tailor it to their tastes. They cook up with a slightly crispy edge and soft center nestling in the fillings. An Asian based dipping sauce rounds it out completely. So good! Make a big batch and then freeze them for lunches or another quick dinner.

Let get started on our gluten free mung bean Korean pancake

The filling is really up to you! I picked things I had on hand: shrimp, green onion, mild kimchi (kids doesn’t like spicy, but you could make it spicier), baby zucchini – julienned, a couple of napa cabbage leaves shredded. Julienned carrots and/ or peppers work as well, I just didn’t have any. And many Koreans use a little minced pork as well.

 A little pre-planning will be necessary to make this dish so you can get the beans prepared. Soak beans over night.  Next day, rinse them and discard the liquid. Place them back in the bowl with 1/4 cup of rice and soak 8 hours or so. (I did this in the morning so by the evening the beans and rice were ready for dinner.

mung beans soaking with rice

mung beans soaking with rice

Next, prep all of the ingredients that you are using to fill the pancakes. I cut everything small so they would cook fast. 

Prepped pancake fillings: shrimp, green onions, kimchi, zucchini and napa

Prepped pancake fillings: shrimp, green onions, kimchi, zucchini and napa

Once the beans are finished soaking, drain the liquid, I did not rinse to keep a little of the rice starch on the beans. Place beans in a heavy duty blender with the egg, salt and 1/2 cup of water. Give it a blend and look to see if more water is needed. I ended up using about a cup (alternatively, Koreans authentically use the kimchi juice along with some water, that wouldn’t fly in my house but I thought I’d mention it). Blend until all of the beans and rice break down –  the batter should be like a thin pancake batter, not too thick.

 I poured all of the batter into a large bowl with all of my veggies and shrimp. However, if you wanted to customize pancakes for different people/palates you could keep veggies in a separate bowl.*

Time to fry them up!

On a large preheated skillet (medium heat), drizzle a little ghee or veg oil and drop a ladle full of batter onto the pan. They should sizzle around the edges. I cooked them about 3-4 minutes first side, flipped then cooked only about 1-2 minutes on second side. (Making sure shrimp or pork was cooked through)

Frying the pancakes

Frying the pancakes

* If you want to customize each pancake – drop a ladle full of the plain batter onto the pan and drop the veggies or meat over the top. Here, I would cook first side 2-3 minutes (or until it is set, flip) and cook the second side a little longer to cook the ingredients 3-4 min. 

Pancakes are slightly crisp on the outside, tender on the inside and make great leftovers (as I told you about – hehehe)

Gorgeous golden brown savory gluten free Korean pancake

Gorgeous golden brown savory gluten free Korean pancake

The gluten free mung bean Korean pancakes are a perfectly rounded meal in itself. but, I added a little fresh salad to the plate for some brightness and a tangy Asian dipping sauce. Dinner is served! In conclusion, MK even liked this dinner. The texture of the pancake is one thing that sold her. We will be adding this recipe to rotation during the year. What would you favorite fillings be?

Korean mung bean pancake

Dinner is served, gluten free mung bean Korean pancake

Gluten Free Mung Bean Korean Pancakes
Serves 6
Healthy and nutritious protein packed gluten free mung bean Korean savory pancake fry beautifully crispy on the edges.
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
12 min
Cook Time
20 min
Prep Time
12 min
Cook Time
20 min
170 calories
26 g
42 g
2 g
12 g
1 g
103 g
1919 g
3 g
0 g
2 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
103g
Servings
6
Amount Per Serving
Calories 170
Calories from Fat 21
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 2g
4%
Saturated Fat 1g
3%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 1g
Cholesterol 42mg
14%
Sodium 1919mg
80%
Total Carbohydrates 26g
9%
Dietary Fiber 6g
26%
Sugars 3g
Protein 12g
Vitamin A
7%
Vitamin C
12%
Calcium
8%
Iron
18%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 1 cup Dried mung beans
  2. 1/4 Brown or white rice (or combo)
  3. 1 Egg
  4. 5-6 Large shrimp
  5. 7-8 Green onion
  6. 1/2 cup Mild kimchi (or hot)
  7. 1 Baby zucchini - julienned
  8. 1-2 Napa cabbage leaves shredded
  9. 1TB kosher salt
  10. Dipping sauce
  11. 1/4 cup low sodium tamari
  12. 1-2 TB rice wine vinegar
  13. 1 tsp toasted sesame oil
  14. 1 tsp sesame seeds (optional)
Instructions
  1. Soak beans over night.
  2. Next day, rinse them and discard the liquid.
  3. Place them back in the bowl with 1/4 cup of rice and soak 8 hours or so. (Do this in the morning so by the evening the beans and rice were ready for dinner.)
  4. Prepare all of the ingredients that you are using to fill the pancakes. Cut everything small and uniform to cook evenly. Place in large bowl.
  5. Once the beans are finished soaking, drain the liquid, no need to rinse.
  6. Place beans in a heavy duty blender with the egg, salt and 1/2 cup of water.
  7. Blend 10 seconds and look to see if more water is needed. Add more if too thick.(alternatively, use the kimchi juice along with some water for extra kick).
  8. Blend again until all of the beans and rice break down - the batter should be like a thin pancake batter, not too thick.
  9. Pour all of the batter into the large bowl with the veggies and shrimp. However, if you wanted to customize pancakes for different people/palates you could keep veggies in a separate bowl.*
  10. On a large preheated skillet (medium heat), drizzle a little ghee or veg oil and drop a ladle full of batter onto the pan. They should sizzle around the edges.
  11. Cook them about 3-4 minutes first side, flip and cook only about 1-2 minutes on second side. (Making sure shrimp or pork was cooked through)
  12. * If you want to customize each pancake - drop a ladle full of the plain batter onto the pan and drop the veggies or meat over the top. Here, I would cook first side 2-3 minutes (or until it is set, flip) and cook the second side a little longer to cook the ingredients 3-4 min.
  13. Pancakes are slightly crisp on the outside, tender on the inside and make great leftovers.
  14. Dipping sauce - super simple just combine the ingredients and enjoy.
beta
calories
170
fat
2g
protein
12g
carbs
26g
more
karinakappelonline.com http://karinakappelonline.com/