Healthy and Hearty

We recently moved into a new house.  And since today is January 1st, that means we moved OVER THE HOLIDAYS.  We didn’t *have* to do it, but we’ve been working on this remodel for nearly 9 months, so we were anxious to get in and get settled.  I was determined that we were having Christmas at the new house, so I decorated there, and put all the presents over there, and even though we weren’t technically moved in, I brought over everything I would need to prepare Christmas Day brunch and dinner over there.  We got up on Christmas morning, drove to the new place, spent the day opening presents and eating, then came back to the “old” house to sleep.

We moved in on the 27th.  Yeah, that was rough.

I had intentions of documenting my first meals in the new kitchen from the stewed tomatoes with shirred eggs and monkey bread in the morning to the prime rib roast and duchess potatoes for dinner.  I was a bit frazzled cooking in the new kitchen for the first time, so I didn’t capture many pictures at all.

We have now been in the new place for 6 days, and while we still have lots to do, I do feel sort of “settled in.”  Sort of.

Given the craziness of moving, we’ve been eating out a lot, so I decided that tonight I would make a proper meal.  Since it’s back to adulting tomorrow with work and whatnot, a proper dinner seemed like the right thing to do.  It’s frigidly cold here, so I wanted something hearty, but at the same time healthy because let’s be honest, I’ve eaten way too many Reese’s Peanut Butter Trees.  I whipped up this chicken dish using boneless skinless breasts, and stuffed them with goat cheese, spinach, and sun dried tomatoes and served it up with some mashed potatoes.  It hit the spot.

Goat Cheese and Spinach Stuffed Chicken Breasts with DF Chive Mashed Potatoes

2 large boneless skinless chicken breasts
1/4 cup diced yellow onion
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cups roughly chopped fresh baby spinach
1 tablespoon cooking marsala
2 oz. garlic and herb seasoned goat cheese (1/2 of a 4 oz log)
1/4 cup dried julienne sun dried tomatoes, chopped
1/4 cup GF flour (or regular)
1 tablespoon olive oil

Using a sharp knife, carefully slice a deep pocked into each breast, without cutting all the way through.  Set aside.

Cook the onion in olive oil in a large skilled over medium high heat.  Add the spinach, stirring to coat the spinach and cooking just until wilted.  Add a splash of cooking marsala or wine, stir, and remove from heat.  Place the goat cheese in a bowl, breaking it up with a fork, add the sun dried tomatoes, working them into the cheese.  Spread the cheese mixture into each chicken beast pocket using a fork to work the cheese into the chicken.  Carefully scoop the cooked spinach into the chicken pockets on top of the cheese.  Close the chicken breast with about 3 toothpicks in each to keep the contents inside.  Gently coat the breasts in the gluten free flour on each side.  Heat the olive oil in a cast iron skillet or other oven proof pan over high heat and sear each chicken breast until they are golden brown and crispy on each side, about 3 minutes per side.  Place the pan in a 425 degree oven to finish cooking for about 10-15 minutes.  Use a meat thermometer if you are unsure if the chicken is cooked all the way through; it should be at least 165 degrees.

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Dairy-Free Chive Mashed Potatoes

Boil about 5-6 peeled medium sized potatoes until fork tender (you’ll want about 24 ounces of cooked potatoes).  Drain and move to a large mixing bowl.  *I like to use Ore Ida Steam and Mash potatoes from the frozen food aisle to save time when I’m in a hurry. img_0936Mash the potatoes with 1 container of plain coconut milk yogurt (or sour cream if you eat dairy), 1 tablespoon dairy free margarine, and 4 tablespoons almond milk (or regular milk).  Mash until you reach the desired consistency, add more milk or yogurt if needed.  Fold in a couple tablespoons of chopped fresh chives and season with salt and pepper.

Serve the chicken with the potatoes and a drizzle of balsamic glaze.

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