Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Salad Days

Now that the holidays have come and gone, the food bounty savored, the wine and spirits sipped and swigged, it's about time for that dreaded Diet. It's the crash after a 20-day high. Denial sets in at first ("I'm just bloated"), then Withdrawal ("Should have packed that Marzipan Log..."), and then Reality ("three kilos in three weeks??").

So it's now, dangit, NOW!

I thought I would start to our diet with the Pesto Marinated Chicken Fillets recipe from Expat Kitchen. Skewered and grilled, it's lean and low-fat, but full of flavor from the pesto, garlic and lemon marinade. You can used store-bought pesto, but homemade always tastes better, of course.

Pesto Marinated Chicken Fillets
serves 6

4 chicken breasts, skinned and boned, or
15-18 chicken fillets
1 medium lemon, juiced
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 tablespoons pesto sauce (recipe below)
salt and pepper
pre-soaked bamboo skewers

Cut chicken breasts into cubed, bite sized pieces, or, if using fillets, pound into even thickness.

In a shallow dish or zip lock bag, add lemon, olive oil, garlic, pesto sauce, salt and pepper. Combine well.

Toss in the chicken pieces ensuring all are covered with the marinade. Leave to marinate for a minimum 2 hours, or overnight in the refrigerator.

Ribbon the fillets onto presoaked skewers. Cook on the grill or grill pan until chicken is cooked through.

Serve immediately with a green salad, and some pesto or marinara sauce on the side.

To make pesto - in a food processor or blender add 2 cups packed fresh basic leaves, 2 cloves garlic, 1/4 cup pine nuts, 2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil, 1/2 cup freshly grated pecorino or parmesan cheese, kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Blend until smooth.


  1. Oh yes I understand your situation, am currently fast pace walking to nowhere (treadmill) just to lose weight =P I love pesto...I spread it on buttered toast! Excellent pesto chicken skewers, have to make this soon, I can imagine the pesto aroma filling up the kitchen!

  2. nice idea this grilled pesto chicken...

  3. haha i could truly relate. kaso i think im still on stage 1 haha.
    i love pesto and this is a good substitute to use it over instead of pasta.

  4. Yum yum, chicken and pesto is one of my favorite combinations!

  5. Thanks for your visiting on my blog, chicken and pesto I love it.Cheers Marimi