More simple whole food weeknight dinners – Baked bruschetta chicken and Thai chicken salad

Who said that eating healthy, whole foods was difficult? These two simple dinners prove that it just takes a little bit of creativity to prepare tasty, whole food meals, even after a long day at work.

The Baked bruschetta chicken was inspired by a pretty crusty looking red onion left over from the previous weeks grocery shop. This meal took hardly anytime to prepare, and in fact, I did some weights at home while it was baking in the oven.

As for the Thai chicken salad, I had some bean sprouts and edamame from my latest visit to the Asian supermarket and thought they would be tasty in a salad.

Actually, that is not so creative after all, but hey, I ended up with two nutritious and easy dinners with protein from the chicken and vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fibre from the vegetables.

Baked bruschetta chickenBaked bruschetta chicken with creamed spinach

Ingredients

1 or 2 chicken breast (for a light dinner share 1 chicken breast between two or if you are feeling hungry have a whole chicken breast per person)

1 red onion, diced

1 tomato, diced

¼ cup balsamic vinegar

1 clove garlic, minced

1 tablespoon dried basil or 2 tablespoons fresh basil, finely chopped (I didn’t have any fresh basil so I had to go with the dried option)

Salt

Pepper

Creamed spinach

250 grams frozen spinach

¼ cup cottage cheese

Pinch of nutmeg

Method

  • Mix together the diced red onion, tomato, balsamic vinegar, garlic and basil. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Butterfly the chicken breasts (I didn’t really do this properly; I made a half-assed attempt at it. Here is a link to the proper technique if you are willing to do take the time to do it properly http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/food-recipes/cooking/tips/g1952/butterfly-chicken-breast/?slide=6).
  • Place the chicken breasts on a baking tray lined with baking paper and spoon the bruschetta mixture over the top.
  • Bake in the oven at 180°C for about 30 minutes (my PhD was on Campylobacter jejuni, a bacterial species that lives in chickens and is the world’s leading cause of gastroenteritis so I am particularly paranoid about cooking chicken and tend to over cook it just to be safe).
  • For the creamed spinach, thaw the frozen spinach in the microwave for about 4 minutes. Mix in the cottage cheese, nutmeg, salt and pepper and serve with the Baked bruschetta chicken. Thai chicken salad

Thai chicken salad

Makes 2 serves

Ingredients

1 chicken breast, cut into thin strips

1 vegetable stock cube

Dressing

2 tablespoons soy sauce

Juice of 2 limes

3 tablespoons coconut milk

1 clove garlic, finely minced

½ teaspoon ground ginger

¼ teaspoon chilli flakes

Salad

½ a 250 gram packet of bean sprouts

1 carrot, peeled into ribbons

1/3 red capsicum, cut into strips

1 cup cucumber, thinly sliced

½ a tomato, thinly sliced

1 cup shelled edamame

1 shallot, green part only, finely sliced

Method

  • Mix together all the ingredients for the dressing.
  • Crumble the vegetable stock cube into a non-stick saucepan along with ¼ cup of water. Add the chicken along with half of the dressing. Cook the chicken over medium heat adding water as necessary to prevent sticking.
  • While the chicken is cooking, prepare the salad by mixing the bean sprouts, carrot, capsicum, cucumber, tomato, edamame and shallots in a large bowl. Serve the chicken over a serving of salad drizzled with the dressing.

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