Lightened Up Pesto (on Chicken Mozzarella Panini Sandwiches)

Tonight’s dinner? Holeeeeee…

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I’d been thinking of tonight’s meal ever since last night when Jay and I actually made a half-assed attempt at a meal plan for the week. Yeah, we’ll see how that pans out…but for now, we’ve already got one solid meal in the books!

I knew I wanted to use some of the bread that I picked up from the Farmers Market on Saturday, and I also wanted to use some of the fresh basil I have coming out of my garden (squeal!). Pair that with some chicken that we had in the fridge, a ball of fresh mozzarella, and some sundried tomatoes, and I had the beginnings of a killer panini.

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Jay and I haven’t had panini sandwiches here since October, so I’d say we were  definitely long overdue!

While Jay cooked up the marinated chicken, I sliced the fresh mozzarella and whipped up a quick and delicious pesto, which we really need to talk about. The pesto was not only delicious, but it’s even lightened up quite a bit – only 2 teaspoons of olive oil in the whole batch. How’s that for a win-win?!? Be sure to scroll down to the bottom of the post for the recipe!

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Once our paninis were assembled, I brushed them with a little bit of olive oil and a sprinkling of seasonings, then placed them on the panini maker and let them do their thing. The end result? Incredible.

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The mozzarella was gooey, the chicken was cooked to perfection, and the pesto was out of this world.

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Jay and I may both have cuts on the roofs of our mouths, but we both agreed it was totally worth it.

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We had some yummy corn on the cob along with our paninis and enjoyed them out on the patio amongst quite a few “oh my god these are so awesome” comments.

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Definitely gotta have these again sometime soon…especially since I’ve got some more pesto leftover! Speaking of which…

Lightened Up Pesto

Ingredients:

  • 1-1/2 cups tightly packed fresh basil leaves
  • 2 teaspoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 tablespoon slivered almonds
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon each, salt and pepper
  • 2-3 tablespoons low-fat cottage cheese
  • 2 tablespoons freshly grated parmesan cheese

Directions:

Place basil leaves, olive oil, water, almonds, garlic, salt, and pepper in a food processor. Pulse until combined. Add cottage cheese and parmesan cheese and process until smooth. Enjoy!

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Give it a try – it’s awesome! Smile

National Candy Month

Iiiiiiiiit’s…breakfast time?

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You’d think so, by checking out that bad boy, but that is my delicious lunch from today. I was in the mood for eggs, what can I say?

This scramble was filled with lots of good stuff: broccoli, onions, diced tomatoes, deli ham, and a slice of provolone cheese.

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The cheese got all melty throughout, making for one heck of a yummy meal.

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Man, I’ll tell ya. When in doubt, go with an egg scramble. It never, ever fails me.

On the side, I snacked on some fresh strawberries from the Farmers Market.

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They are literally the best strawberries I’ve had all season. So fresh and sweet.

After my breakfast-like lunch, I was still craving a different kind of sweet – preferably of the chocolate variety – so I decided to break into a new stash of chocolate I recently received.

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And of course Cody photo bombed…but anyway.

I was recently sent this assortment of Belgian chocolate bars from Dylan’s Candy Bar and have been waiting patiently to dive right in.

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The assortment pack shown above includes 10 of their signature Belgian chocolate flavors: Dark, Hazelnut, Milk, Milk Almond, Dark Raspberry, S’mores, Cookies and Cream, Dark Mint, Caramel and Milk Toffee Crunch.

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Any guesses on which one I broke into first?

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If you guessed S’mores, props to you. Winking smile It is delicious.

FYI: For anyone who’s interested, did you know it’s National Candy Month? And in honor of this especially sweet month, Dylan’s Candy Bar is offering all of you an opportunity to win some free candy in their Show Us Your Wrapper Contest. It’s super easy to enter the contest if you have a Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest account as it only requires a simple photo upload submission.

Feel free to click on the link above to find out more about the contest if you’re interested!

Heads up: I was sent the candy free of charge in exchange for promoting the Show Us Your Wrapper Contest. I love Dylan’s Candy Bar, so I was happy to do so…especially when free chocolate is involved. No judging allowed.

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Yoga DVD Giveaway Update

Thanks to an email from a reader yesterday (thanks, Seema!) it was brought to my attention that there was a small error in the yoga DVD giveaway. When I chose the two winners yesterday, my computer somehow pulled up an older, cached version of the post, so it only showed 182 entries when, in fact, there are 253.

I reached out to Acacia to see if we could somehow make good on my error, and they have graciously offered to throw in one more DVD pack! So this time, I chose one winner in entry #’s 183-253 and the winning entry is #241.

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(I still have yet to hear back from one of the original winners so be sure to check out the post and make sure it’s not you!)

FYI – speaking of cached versions of my page. Over the last month or so, I’ve received numerous emails and comments from you guys saying that my blog isn’t showing the latest posts and you can only view them by clicking on direct links via Twitter, Facebook, etc. If that’s you, I am so sorry! I’ve been working on the cache plugin that I have installed to make sure that this gets resolved and I *think* we may have it on lockdown. However, if you notice it’s still not working, try clearing your own browser cache (aka, history) and that should do the trick!

PHEW! Lots to chat about this afternoon…time to get back to the rest of that candy bar work.

Question for the Afternoon:

What would your ideal candy bar flavor be?

Father’s Day at Citi Field

Good morning! Did everyone have a great weekend? I know I sure did. It was a busy one, so let’s go ahead and get ya caught up…

Well, yesterday was all about this guy.

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Early yesterday morning, I met up over at my parents’ house so we could make the trip down to the Mets game. My dad and brother have LONG been Mets fans, and while I honestly don’t really follow the sport, they’re still the team I’m going to root for, if anyone.

I’d been to a couple games before when they still played at Shea stadium, but this was my first time at the (somewhat) new Citi Field, and it was really nice.

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Instead of going right to our seats, my dad and brother offered to give us ladies a little tour of the stadium. In addition to me and mom, my one grandma (aka, “2 Nanas” – a story I know I’ve mentioned but can’t remember when) also joined us for the day. She is a die-hard Mets fan (no joke) so she was super excited to be there for the day.

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The more we walked around the stadium, however, the more I began to realize that I did not dress appropriately for the day. For some reason, I was under the impression that it was going to be about 90 degrees, but that was totally not the case. Try more like 70…but in the shade with wind. Yeah.

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We eventually made it to our seats shortly before the game got started.

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Check out the zoom with that camera lens. Winking smile

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By the time the second inning rolled around, I was ready to grab some lunch. The tickets we got for the seats we were in yesterday also included a free hot dog, fries, and soda, which I had been looking forward to all morning long.

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Well, the fries were great, but unfortunately, the bun to my hot dog was as hard as a rock. Literally, it crumbled as if it was a piece of toast. Such a let down.

But hey, like I said…at least the fries were awesome. Smile

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Unfortunately, the Mets didn’t get a win yesterday, but it was still a great (albeit, chilly) way to spend Father’s Day with dad. By the time I got back home last night, it was about 8:30 and I was wiped, so I hung out on the couch with the boys for a bit before hitting the hay.

This morning, I was wicked pumped for another life-changing breakfast.

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Another batch of Kodiak Cakes was on the agenda for today, prepared the same was at Saturday, with some chia seeds and sliced bananas cooked right inside.

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I topped ‘em off with a little bit ‘o peanut butter, more banana slices, and some sugar-free syrup and, oh.em.geeeee…

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They’re just so darn good.

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I’ve had a few people who were curious about the calorie count for a plate as decadent looking as this – from what I’ve tallied, I’d guess this plate to come in at around 345 calories (1/2 cup dry mix = 195, half banana = 50, chia seeds = 20, sugar-free syrup = 20, peanut butter = ~60). Not too shabby, right?

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I feel like I’ve got about 1,001 things to do today, so I think it’s about time to get crackin’ those. Happy Monday!