Early on in life, my parents forced me into the kitchen on a weekly basis to put together dinner for the family, with the help of my older brother. It was a lot of fun, but we pretty much always stuck to the same foods each week: hamburgers, tacos, and spaghetti with meat sauce. Over the years, my tastes have evolved, and now I try to make something new every time I’m in the kitchen. Sure, there is a lot of overlap when it comes to preparing something for pot luck or when I’m just cooking for myself, but my goal is to try something new in the kitchen weekly.
Now that I have a boo to cook for regularly, I get to try new things pretty often for our date night dinners. Hopefully you’ll enjoy these recipes as much as I do, and I’ll always try to let you know short cuts or twists incase you’re in a rush or have preferences for other main ingredients!
Pesto Chicken Kebabs over Orzo
Serving Size: 4 Kebabs, or 2 people
For the Pesto:
2 cups of fresh basil, packed
1/2 cup grated Parmesan or Romano Cheese
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup pine nuts
3 medium sized garlic cloves, minced
Salt and pepper to taste
2 Medium-Large Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts
1 Bell Pepper (I prefer red or yellow ones)
10-15 Cherry Tomatoes
1/2 cup Orzo
4 Kebab Skewers
Preheat oven to 350.
In a food processor, combine basil and pine nuts, pulsing a few times. Add cheese and garlic, and pulse a few times more. With food processor on, add olive oil in a constant stream, stopping to scrape the sides of food processor with rubber spatula. Add a pinch of salt and pepper to taste.
Cut chicken breasts in 1 inch cubes and set aside. Cut pepper into 1 inch slices.
Put chicken, pepper and whole cherry tomatoes onto skewers, alternating between the three so chicken never touches chicken. Brush pesto sauce onto kebabs, rotating each to get all sides.
Cook in oven for 30 minutes.
While kebabs are cooking, prepare orzo on stove. Orzo is prepared much like pasta; wait for water to boil, with a pinch of salt and a drip of olive oil. Add orzo and stir occasionally for 8-10 minutes.
Serve kebabs over a bed of orzo, and enjoy your date night dinner!
Shortcuts and Alternatives:
Your local grocery store will have pre made pesto sauce in the spaghetti sauce aisle if you’re short on time.
If you’re cooking for more than 2, add an additional chicken breast per person.
You can also add other vegetables to your kebabs. Squash & zucchini are great for kebabs!
Squeeze half of a lemon on orzo for an extra zing!