Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Holy Artichoke-y!

Welcome to the South Beach edition of the blog. Rule #1 of this diet (besides "don't eat carbs"), is DON'T GET BORED. I spent a lot of time trying to think up new ways to eat chicken that wouldn't put me or Marques to sleep. I keep working on him to try shellfish, but until then, creativity must reign. This recipe won't change your life, but it's pretty hearty for a meal without carbs.

I was inspired by lots of greek flavors for this dish, and substituted hearty veggies for any kind of starch that might have gone alongside. This dinner is South Beach Phase 1 friendly! Join us as we embark on the pre-pre-wedding diet (or, add your favorite pasta!) Easily doubles to feed four.

The Goods:
- 2 skinless chicken breasts
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 small white onion, chopped
- 1 handful grape tomatoes
- 1/2 can artichoke hearts, quartered (in water - marinated is a whole other blog!)
- Reduced fat crumbled feta cheese, for topping
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 2 tbsp chicken stock
- Preferred seasoning: Lemon pepper or garlic pepper
- Olive oil
- Oregano

Make It!:

1. Heat 1-2 tbsp of olive oil in a large, oven safe skillet over medium heat.
2. Season one side of chicken with preferred seasoning (or whatever you have on hand) that resembles lemon and/or garlic pepper, and oregano (if dry, about 2 tsp. Less if you're using fresh). Place in heated oil SEASONED SIDE DOWN. Let sit for 3 mins
3. Season other side of chicken. Flip, and cook on that side for 3 minutes.
4. While chicken is cooking, preheat oven to 375.
5. Chop garlic and onion. Set aside.
6. When chicken is cooked almost all the way through (barely pink in the middle), remove from pan and set aside
7. Deglaze pan with chicken stock and lemon juice. Add garlic - MAKE SURE IT DOESN'T BURN. After one minute, add onion.
8. When onions are nice and transluscent and most of liquid has cooked off, drain artichoke hearts and add to pan. Heat through. Add grape tomatoes (don't forget to rinse them!)
9. Add chicken BACK to pan, top with feta cheese (just a few crumbles!) and put in oven to finish cooking. Feta will not completely melt, but will be somewhat gooey (and otherwise delicious).
10. After about 10 minutes (tops!), your dinner will be complete. Place onto a plate of your choice!

Don't Forget the South Beach Rules:

- Watch your portion size. A portion of meat is about the size of your fist. So, sure, this is a diet friendly meal, but not if you eat four servings
- Use reduced fat cheese. With feta, you hardly notice the difference in taste.

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