Thursday, April 23, 2009

CEiMB: Balsamic Chicken with Baby Spinach and Couscous.

In an effort to keep my meals healthy and my blog active, I've joined the group Craving Ellie in My Belly.  We cook every week from Ellie Krieger's book, The Food You Crave.  Friends of mine have this book and I've been very tempted by what I've seen, so I decided to take the plunge and buy it (as if is a torturous process for me to buy a new cookbook).

Ellie writes about needing a quick healthy meal, since she gets cranky when she is hungry.  Hello?  Have you met me?  I am the CRANKIEST when I am hungry, tired, or hot.  Tuesday night, after working two jobs, I had the potential to become super cranky and unpleasant if not fed soon.  Did I mention also I am moving next week and the house is full of boxes, bubble wrap, and procrastination?

I had some leftover roasted chicken, so I repurposed it for use in this recipe.  I went to find my tomatoes and realized that they were gone or had been packed already, so I had to use tomato paste to my advantage.  This wasn't exactly what I am sure Ellie had in mind, but it was tasty.  In fact, the tomato paste caramelized a bit and melded with the vinegar to make an almost barbecue like sauce.   It made me very happy, and with less then 400 calories and 5 grams of fat a serving, not a huge dent in the diet!

Ellie reports this meal is an excellent source of all kinds of good stuff:  stuff you've heard of like protein, fiber, magnesium, niacin, vitamins A, B6, and C.  It's also full of some good stuff you  may not have heard of, like Pantothenic Acid, which helps break your food down and convert it into energy, and Selenium, which works with antioxidants to help prevent serious disease. 

Balsamic Chicken with Baby Spinach and Couscous
from Ellie Krieger, The Food You Crave

1 tablespoon olive oil
3 cloves garlic, chopped
2 (8-ounce) boneless, skinless chicken breasts, halved
8 ounces baby spinach
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/3 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1 cup low-sodium canned chopped tomatoes with juice
2 cups whole wheat couscous, cooked


Heat a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil and heat. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the chicken and cook about 4 minutes per side, or until cooked through and juices run clear. Remove the chicken and set aside. To the same pan, add the spinach and cook just until wilted, about 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from the pan and set aside. Lower the heat to medium and add the balsamic vinegar and chicken broth to the pan and stir, scraping the bottom of the pan to remove any browned bits. Add the tomatoes, bring to a simmer and cook 3 to 5 minutes.
 Place the couscous in a serving bowl. Top with the spinach, chicken and balsamic-tomato sauce.


thenotsoskinnykitchen said...

Welcome to the group! I haven't made this yet (running behind this week...), but it looks yummy!

Marthe said...

Welcome to CEiMBm, your chicken looks really tasty! Thanks for cooking with me this week!

applecrumbles said...

Looks great. Welcome to the group. My husband thought his chicken lacked flavor. We both loved the sauce and as for my "Quorn"-chicken substitute... I liked it.

Leslie said...

Nicely done! I love it when I can repurpose leftovers and substitute for missing ingredients! I made my sauce a little thicker, too and it was tasty. I think this one will join the recipe rotation.

Sara said...

Looks excellent. I don't doubt that the tomato paste substitution was great, I would probably add some if I made this again.

Jen said...

I really like the idea of using tomato paste. In fact, I should have added some to the sauce to deepen the flavor. As it was, I thought this recipe was a but bland.

What's for Supper? said...

Thanks for all the info regarding how good this meal is for you. It sure was good.

Pamela said...

Neat idea for a sub, and it looks delicious! Good luck with your move, too.

Peggy said...

Welcome! Your chicken looks so delicious. I love your dog! Moving is hard. Try to relax. :)

nick said...

Sara gets SUPER CRANKY when she's hungry too, oh and she hates the heat.

Remind me never to go on a 12 hour hike in the tropics with the two of you!

Good luck with the move, I hope it doesn't suck nearly as much as our last one did. You never realize how much crap you have until you have to pack it all up into a truck and move it somewhere.

AJM said...

I always read Ellie's nutrition notes too. A girl needs to know when she's getting her niacin in, right?