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Thursday, August 9, 2007

Chicken in Phyllo with Spinach Salad

I wanted to start this post by saying a big 'thank you' to my newest sponsor (okay okay, its my ONLY sponsor), Emeals for You.

Emeals for You is an on-line recipe and meal planning resource targeted to busy parents who struggle to find the time and energy to put nutritious well-balanced meals on the table for their families. We've all been there, right?

I went on over to the Emeals site to check it out and before long I found myself hitting the "print" button on tons recipes (that would be the recipe hoarder in me).

I chose two recipes to make for dinner last night. The first, Chicken in Phyllo really appealed to me, because I like just about anything that comes wrapped in pastry, and as pastry goes, phyllo is a pretty healthy option. The second is a spinach salad that has dried cranberries, feta and pecans. Yum-mo (that would be the Rachel Ray in me)

Best part of all? My kids ate it pretty well... yabba dabba doo (that would be the... oh nevermind)

I would definitely make both these dishes again, but the second time around, I would use less lemon in the chicken and I would use real garlic, rather than garlic powder in the salad dressing.

Phyllo Wrapped Chicken
from emealsforyou.com

2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp butter
2 medium celery ribs, chopped
4 medium carrots, chopped
2 tbsp onion, chopped
4 tbsp pecans, chopped
2 tsp fresh ginger, grated
1/3 cup fresh snap peas
2 tbsp white vinegar
1 tbsp lemon zest
Juice of 1 medium lemon
2 tbsp sesame oil
4 tbsp dry white wine
4 medium chicken breasts
8 sheets phyllo pastry
2 tbps olive oil, for brushing
pinch salt and pepper

1. Melt olive oil and butter in a hot pan. Add carrots, celery, snap peas, onions, ginger, vinegar, sesame oil, zest and lemon juice. Cook until almost tender.

2. Add white wine, pecans and chicken. Season chicken breats and add to the mixture. Cook chicken for about 5 more minutes.

3. On large work area lay down one sheet of phyllo pastry and brush with olive oil. Add another sheet and brush with olive oil. Place a chicken breast and a spoonful of vegetable mixture near the bottom edge of the phyllo.

4. Fold the sides in and roll up the phyllo to make a bundle. Repeat with remaining breasts.

5. Bake on a parchment lined cookies sheet for about 15 minutes at 375F or until a meat thermometer inserted in the middle of the chicken breast registers 165F.

Spinach Salad
from emealsforyou.com

2/3 lb fresh baby spinach
2 tbsp olive oil
Juice of 1/3 of a medium lemon (about 2 tbsp)
1/2 tsp garlic powder
2 oz feta cheese, crumbled
4 tsp romano cheese, grated
2 tbsp dried cranberries
2 tbsp toasted pecans, roughly chopped
3 medium mushrooms, sliced
salt and pepper to taste

1. Lightly toast pecans.

2. Place all ingredients in a large bowl and drizzle with olive oil and lemon juice. Sprinkle with garlic powder, salt and pepper to taste.