Italian Chicken Bake

Oh man.  We are back!  So sorry to leave you all for the holidays…. we were both busy cooking up our own holiday deliciousness and hanging with our families.  And we made a couple of amazing meals to share with each other as well.  My man cooked up an amazing spread for my birthday dinner, shared with Evan and Justin.  And Justin cooked up our shared families Christmas Eve brunch.  Super super thankful for Evan and our shared food (and really faith, life, parenthood, etc…) journey!  AND, we are excited to have a bunch of new stuff in the pipes to send your way, and hope you all are ready for some new (and tasty) non-processed food ideas!

First up is this super easy Italian chicken bake.  Ehren and I have committed to eliminating all grains for the month of January.  Basically, we are just curious if we will feel any different – weight, energy levels, skin, workout performance, etc.  It is a fun challenge for me, as I love trying new things in the kitchen!  This is a meal that I would have totally, without even thinking about it, served over whole wheat pasta.  But today, I piled on some more veggies, and served it with oven roasted broccoli.  Neither of us missed the pasta.  Not one bit.  Whether you eat this with pasta, or pair it with another side dish (it would be great over spaghetti squash), I hope you like it as much as we did.  We were practically licking our plates clean.

italian chicken bake

INGREDIENTS:
  • 4 organic chicken breasts
  • 5 tomatoes (any variety will do, we used Roma)
  • 1 small jar artichoke hearts (look for one with artichokes as only ingredient)
  • 5 crimini mushrooms
  • 1/2 zucchini
  • 1 small shallot
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese (we used organic, whole milk mozzarella… for more on diary, read this)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
METHOD:
1.  Drizzle some olive oil in a casserole dish, and spread around.
2.  Place chicken breasts in the dish, and season with salt and pepper.  I used smoked sea salt that Evan gave me for my birthday.  It is so amazing.  You should get some.
3.  Dice all veggies.  I cubed tomatoes and artichokes, thinly sliced mushrooms and zucchini, and minced garlic and shallots.  Dice basil, and set aside.  You will put this on last.
4.  Combine all veggies in a bowl, and coat with 2 tablespoons olive oil.  Stir until mixed, and season with salt and pepper.  Pour over chicken, taking care to leave the top of each chicken breast exposed so it cooks.  Does that make sense?  Place the veggies around the chicken, but not directly on top.
5.  Place casserole dish in 370 F oven, for 30-40 minutes, or until chicken is cooked and no longer pink.
6.  While chicken is cooking, grate cheese.
7.  After chicken is cooked, remove from oven and sprinkle cheese over top.  Turn oven on to broil, and place dish under broiler until cheese is melted and golden.  Watch CAREFULLY!  It will burn quick.
8.  Remove from broiler, and sprinkle fresh basil on top.  The warmth of the cheese will wilt the basil.
9.  Serve up, eat up, and enjoy!  Let us know if you make it and how you like it!!

 

*Use organic ingredients whenever possible.
**Adapted from Our Story.
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