Monday, March 25, 2013

Balsamic Garlic Chicken Bake

 I have this favorite salad of mine that unfortunately is a cheat meal. When I say unfortunately, I mean that I can only eat it once a month and I absolutely LOVE it.

It's made with diced tomatoes and red onion, tangy balsamic vinegarette, garlic and olive oil, grilled chicken, fresh basil topped with parmesan and mozzarella cheese, and foccaccia bread over salad greens. And it is a HEAPING serving size.

I can't get enough of it. Something about red onions, cheese and balsamic vinegar that makes me crave it even more. Are you the same way?

I decided to try making a cleaner version of this salad with no bread, and be able to make a large batch of it in casserole form. I loved the taste of my Spaghetti Squash Cassserole with shredded zucchini, so I wanted something that used shredded zucchini and squash again.

And I wanted to serve it over spaghetti squash, so go ahead and prepare your squash, too!

All you have to do is set the oven at 375*, lay out aluminum foil on a large baking sheet, and place a halved spaghetti squash gourd face down. Remember to spoon out the seeds beforehand. Place in oven on top rack for 45 minutes. Remove, and allow to cool. Take a fork, and carefully peel out the pulp of your squash- it looks just like spaghetti!

To make your Balsamic Garlic Chicken Bake, begin with a large pyrex dish- you don't have to oil, but you can!

Lay out 4-6 large chicken breasts on the bottom of pan and place 1/2 tablespoon of minced garlic on each. Drizzle Extra Virgin Olive Oil and your favorite Balsamic Vinegar over each breast portion. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon of dried basil (or fresh basil leaf!) and Oregano on each. Add salt and pepper to your taste preference.

Next, cover chicken with one pint of baby tomatoes, 3-4 cups of sliced mushrooms, and 1/2  of a chopped red onion.

You can place in oven right now on 375* for 30 minutes if you're happy with this dish - otherwise....

This next step is optional, but I covered the chicken with 1 medium yellow squash and 1 medium zucchini, each grated in a bowl beforehand.

I then sprinkled on my favorite Go Veggie Parmesan cheese that is dairy free, vegan and very tasty :)

Once you have made your little chicken and vegguie casserole, place in oven on 375 degrees for 30-35 minutes.

Remove, and serve over spaghetti squash or just eat as is!

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Hi! I 'm Karlene Murphy. A lover of food (especially if it's gluten and dairy free!), getting outdoors, lifting weights, travel, writing, and snuggling with my two puppies. My addictions include chocolate, coffee, cookies, and sharing my love of being HAPPY and HEALTHY! My passion is educating others - whether at my full time job as a high school Psychology teacher, or with YOU my readers. I have been in the fitness wold for almost 10 years, and currently am an Online Fitness Coach, Fitness Instructor, Pilates and Yoga and Aerial Yoga Instructor in Southern New Hampshire. Contact Me if you need help with designing your own fitness and nutrition program.

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