Panko Crusted Chicken Stuffed with Ricotta, Spinach, Tomatoes, and Basil
Updated: Jun 22, 2021
I was trolling Pinterest recently looking for some DASH diet recipes and gracefully stumbled upon a few winners. The DASH diet (dietary approaches to stop hypertension) seems to be making a comeback in a BIG way....like wide leg pants and crop tops....and was voted one of the top diets of the year. I had completely forgotten about this widely successful diet which first gained popularity in the 90's (don't quote me on the decade). Anyways, it lacks any kind of quirky gimmic (which is probably why you haven't seen any celebrities quoting its miraculous benefits) and focuses on a diet of whole grains, high vegetable and fruit consumption as well as lean meats/fish/protein alternatives and low fat dairy. More information about the recommended servings, and things to limit, can be found in the link above.
I was super pumped when I saw this particular recipe because 1) it looks delicious, 2) I like anything stuffed with cheese and spinach, 3) anything with basil automatically tastes better, 4) I had all of the ingredients at home :) I had an 8 oz. prepackaged organic, skinless chicken breast defrosted in the refrigerator, so I knew this would make two servings (one for me and the hubby). My toddler likes to pick off our plates so I never really factor her into full servings. Is that mean? Clients often complain that eating "healthy" is too expensive, but when you stick to decent portion control your money goes much further. These "individualized" meats are convenient, but misleading. One "serving" is really two portions in most cases. There you go! I saved you some money and calories. I am that good.
I was pleasantly surprised that the prep work was minimal. I mixed the cheese, pepper (you can nix the salt and use more seasonings) and veggies together and stuffed the mix into the perfectly pounded (another money stretcher) breast. I skipped the pan frying part (obvi) and opted to misto some olive oil on a pan and shoved that into the oven while it preheated to get it nice and toasty. Once, the chicken was placed on the pan, and I spritzed the top of the chicken, I baked it for about 20 minutes. I paired this dish with a green salad and I was totally satisfied......for under 350 calories!
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