Now that summer is officially drawing to a close and the kids are back in school and their various activities, many parents are already stressed out and over committed. It’s pretty sad, but most people are burned out by Labor Day! As a result, wholesome meals are often sacrificed for the sake of time and convenience. Many of our patients at Longevity as well as my friends tell me they just don’t have time to cook healthy meals, so they rely on microwave meals and drive-thru dinners. That just won’t do!
I’m always on the prowl for quick and simple meals that can feed an active family without skimping on good nutrition. That’s what inspired this four-item dinner recipe. Yes, you read that right, FOUR items! Chicken, goat cheese, fresh spinach leaves and Trader Joe’s jarred bruschetta. This dish is high in protein, gluten-free, and can be prepped in minutes. That’s my kind of meal!
Ingredients (Serves 4):
4 chicken breasts
1 bag of baby spinach leaves
4 oz of goat cheese (I used the garlic and herb kind to add a little more flavor)
1 jar of TJ’s jarred bruschetta
- Cut a slit (Butterfly Cut) in the side of each chicken breast and lay them flat in a large casserole dish.
- Open the breasts and spread 1 oz of goat cheese inside each one.
- Lay about 5 spinach leaves on top of the cheese inside each breast.
- Close the breasts back up. Empty the jar of bruschetta on top and spread evenly.
- Cook for about 40 minutes at 375 degrees, or until the chicken is at least 160 degrees and tender. Serve and enjoy!
There are several ways you could tweak this recipe. You could switch out the spinach for fresh basil. Or, you could switch out the goat cheese for pepper jack, feta or another cheese that tickles your fancy. If you don’t have a TJ’s near you or can’t find a good bruschetta you like, you can use marinara sauce instead and serve the chicken over pasta for a more Italian spin. You could also serve it with quinoa, brown rice, or just skip the starch all together and go with veggies. Some of the different recipes I used for inspiration called for turkey bacon inside the breasts. The options are endless!
So you see, a nutritious, family friendly dinner is possible despite your crazy schedule! Do you have a go-to meal that helps your family get good nutrition on the run? (Some of the “old faithfuls” in my repertoire include chicken lettuce wraps, white bean chicken chili and turkey and vegetable meatloaf.) Please feel free to share your secrets with me and my readers!