Friday, May 30, 2014

havarti stuffed chicken, olive tapenade, brussels and my love for food.

Almost 6 months after deciding to live "clean", 
food that is,
(I'm still convinced) I'm living life to the fullest with the right foods.
Occasionally, I choose terrible foods, and let's be honest, it's totally intentional. 
For 26 years of my life, I've understood that if you like it, you eat it.
I love grabbing the whole container of ice cream from the freezer and a spoon. And making a meal.
I love sushi, I love Mexican food, I love Italian food.
I love chips and dip, I love junk food, and I love healthy food.

I just love food.
Mostly, I love to eat.

So, the decision was made for me, my own fault I left myself feeling horrible for too long…
I decided I still loved food. That's never going to change.
No choice but to make what I eat beneficial to my body.
Of course this isn't every meal... but most of the time.
And after buying clean foods, 
life is still delicious, friends.
And it's more fun actually, because I've learned so much in the kitchen!
The kiddos watch me cook, they love to help, and they're even eating their greens.
I'm a proud mama.

-havarti stuffed chicken breast with 
olive tapenade and brussels sprouts-

This meal was the kind after you wake up, you sail through your day with 
this on your mind as the prize. 
Crazy or not, that's me.

The chicken I cut a 2" pocket in the thickest part of the breast, and stuffed them with sliced havarti. I seasoned the chicken with salt and pepper, baked in a sprayed glass pan,
 in a 350 degree oven for one hour. 
Half way through, I added (real) butter on top of the chicken…

Brussels sprouts, I trimmed ends and sliced each into three pieces, threw them in a pan heated on medium/low heat, with a little olive oil to coat, and salt and pepper to taste. 
(I'm sure butter would be fantastic here too!)
Keep them moving around with your spoon here and there, not to get too done…
Sometimes I cover the pan to almost steam the brussels sprouts to soften them.

and the best part...

A few years ago, I found a recipe. It was one of those recipes that you just don't forget.
It's amazing. It's versatile, it's unforgettable! 
It's olive tapenade.

-olive tapenade-
1 can (average can size, I can't remember ounces) whole pitted black olives, chopped
3 tbsp fresh thyme leaves (I use more, thyme is my favorite!)
1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts
1/2 cup dried cranberries, (I cut these in small pieces)
Olive oil

Drain the can of olives and pour olives into a food processor. (Or you can chop by hand) Pulse until the  olives are chopped enough to mix well.  In a bowl, combine first four ingredients, and drizzle enough olive oil in the mixture to lightly coat the mix. Not too much olive oil. That's it. (Of course you can add more/different ingredients to make it yours!) I've served this on crostini and goat cheese (OMG.), in pastry wrapped brie, and …on chicken! 

So, that's that. That was the recipe of the 
week that made me so entirely happy!
Please cut me some slack on the direction description, I've always been terrible at explaining things…

Enjoy this recipe!!! It's colorful and delicious and it's wonderful as leftovers too!!

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Living with intention. Life in the south as a wife, mama, hairstylist, and food lover.