Over the past year or so I have been using pesto more and more. Last summer we got a massive amount of basil from our garden, which yielded lots and lots of tasty homemade pesto. I was able to freeze tons and use it throughout the whole year. Awesome! I have found that pesto actually makes a really great marinade. Recently I am totally hooked on pesto chicken kabobs. Not only are they super fun to eat but they cook in a fraction of the time. Perfect meal for this coming summer.
Tip From the Diva: When using wooden skewers, soak them in water for about 10 minutes before putting all your goodies on them. It keeps them from catching fire and are much easier to handle. Genius right?
3–4 chicken breasts, cut into 1” pieces/cubes
salt and pepper
1/2 c pesto
half of a red onion, cut into 1” squares
red bell pepper, cut into 1” pieces
yellow bell pepper, cut into 1” pieces
- Season the cubed chicken with salt and pepper.
- Place in a container and toss with the pesto.
- Allow chicken to marinade for at least 30 minutes. (I like to let mine soak up all the flavors for 7–8 hours.)
- Thread the meat and the veggies onto the skewers making sure to alternate and discard the leftover marinade.
- Grill skewers for 10 minutes, turning as needed, or until meat is cooked through and vegetables are tender.
Perhaps it’s the Italian in me but I absolutely LOVE a good Italian sausage with peppers and onions. Ta-sty! This is a recipe I tried awhile back when I was trying to trim down on my carb consumption. You can use any Italian sausages but I really like Aidells Italian Style Chicken Sausages. They are flavor packed and the chicken helps cut down on some of the calories from the traditional pork or beef. The whole family loved this recipe! For those not watching their carbs, I served it with some crusty French bread and it was a perfect meal! Quick, easy, and delicious. That’s my style!
Note: The sausage and veggies are absolutely awesome in a sandwich too. Just grab a pack of sandwich rolls, load ’em up, and chow down!
2 pounds Italian sausage (I love Aidells Italian Style Smoked Chicken Sausage with Mozzarella)
4 tbsp olive oil, divided
2 red bell peppers, chopped
2 yellow bell peppers, chopped
1 red onion, chopped
1 fennel bulb, chopped
1 c dry red wine
1 c fresh parmesan, grated
- Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat.
- Add the sausage and cook turning frequently until they turn a nice golden color and are cooked through, about 15 minutes.
- Transfer to the sausages to a large plate and cover with foil to keep warm.
- Add the remaining 3 tablespoons of oil to the skillet along with all the veggies.
- Cook stirring occasionally until the vegetables are softened, about 12–14 minutes.
- Season the veggies with salt and add the sausages back into the skillet.
- Add the wine to the skillet and bring to a simmer.
- Continue to cook for about 4 minutes or until the wine has reduced by about half.
- Sprinkle with the grated parmesan and serve.
Recipe adapted from Food and Wine.
California is one of the leading producers of asparagus in the United Stated. Asparagus is so big in California that the city of Stockton even throws an entire festival in honor of asparagus. True story! I grew up eating asparagus on a regular basis. (By the way, I am 33 and still crack up that it gives you stinky pee. I don’t think I will ever grow up.) I could eat asparagus every day. There are just so many ways to prepare it but I think I have found my favorite way to eat the lovely green spears, grilled asparagus and feta salad. Man this was awesome! My husband and I devoured the whole bowl so if you are cooking for more than 2 people just go ahead and double or triple the recipe. Trust me you will eat it all! There was just so much flavor in the salad and it was so light and refreshing. Perfect for spring or summer. We just served it with a simple grilled chicken breast seasoned with nothing more than salt and pepper and it was the perfect complement. This my friends, is good eating.
Want to know more about asparagus? Then check out this old post and you will be an asparagus pro!
1 bunch thick asparagus, ends trimmed
3 tbsp olive oil, divided
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp pepper
zest from one lemon
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 c crumbled feta cheese
- Preheat the grill to about 325º.
- Place the asparagus in a baking dish and coat with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and then season with salt and pepper.
- Place the asparagus on the grille making sure that they are perpendicular to the grates so that they don’t slip through.
- Close the grill and cook for 3 minutes.
- roll the asparagus over and cook for another 3 minutes.
- Remove the asparagus and transfer to a cutting board.
- Allow the asparagus to cool for 5–10 minutes.
- Cut the spears into 1–2” pieces.
- Place the cut asparagus into a medium bowl and toss with the remaining tablespoon of olive oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, and half of the feta.
- Top the salad with the remaining asparagus and serve warm or at room temperature.
Recipe adapted from Once Upon a Chef.