Pesto Chicken Florentine
Sieanna Williams & Brian Birkmire
- Olive Oil (2 Tbsp)
- Garlic (2 cloves)
- Chicken breast (boneless/skinless/4 count)
- Fresh Spinach Leaves (2 cups)
- 1/2 White/Yellow onion (chopped)
- 1/2 cup of white wine
- Pepper/Sprinkle of Salt
- 1/4 cup cream
- Parmesan cheese
1. Boil pot of water, preferably large pot. Boil pasta.
2. While preparing the pasta, cook the chicken. Sprinkle some salt and pepper on the raw chicken. Heat some olive oil in pan and brown both sides of the chicken breast. Remove chicken when browned.
3. Add chopped onions and sauté for about 2-3 minutes. While the onions are cooking, slice the chicken in strips. Put aside any pieces already cooked by the browning and the others that aren't cooked to be finished.
4. When the onions begin to brown, add the garlic and sauté for another minute, roughly. Add white wine and and boil until it is half reduced.
5. Add the spinach and undercooked chicken to the pan. Using tongs, turn them over to coat them with the juices in the pan. Continue to cook, turning and stirring often, until the spinach is wilted and the chicken cooked through, about 2 minutes.
6. Turn off the heat and add some black pepper, the pile of cooked chicken pieces and the pesto (basil, olive oil, parmesan cheese sauce). Stir to combine. Drain the pasta put it in a large bowl. Add the cream to the sauté pan and stir well to combine. Add the contents of the pan to the bowl with the pasta and mix well.
The beautiful thing about our meal is that it contains 0% of processed food. There are no additives or preservatives and some of our food is even homemade. Brian and I were originally going to buy fettuccine sauce but it had modified enzymes so we opted to make it ourselves with natural ingredients, as well as the pesto. The spinach leaves were not organic but they were organically grown. The only ingredient on the back was spinach.
We carefully read each of the ingredients on the back of the labels of the foods we used, all of them contained less than 10 g of sugar and fat. There is very little to no grease and the only oil used was olive oil (very little) on the chicken which was sauteed thoroughly. Although our dish is very healthy and will not caused any harm to one’s body from eating it once or twice in a row, the pasta is what dominates the dish. Pasta contains lots of starch and too much starch is very harmful to the body, so we strongly suggest to never eat a pasta meal every single day. On the other hand, it has low Glycemic Index which means it does not increase glucose levels rapidly this makes it easier for the body to maintain energy for longer periods of time. Pasta also has folic acid which is crucial for reproduction.
Our meal contains a variety of crucial dietary nutrients. It is a cleansing meal that will not only taste good but make you feel good.
Ever since I joined the Girls Ultimate Frisbee team last school year, I’d begun to seriously think about eating more healthily. Not only had I never played frisbee before, but I had very little experience with exercise. I’d just joined the team when both boys and girls had gone to the states championship. For both tournament days, my coach, Ms. Echols, kept me in every single game for several points straight. I had never been so run down in my life and I couldn’t figure out how the rest of the girls had so much energy. When I finally had the chance to break, I looked upon the food parents and coaches brought with them. All that had been there were granola bars, bananas, sandwiches, etc. I didn’t think much of it but went on eating. Almost immediately I noticed a change in myself throughout the tournament. The food wasn’t only delicious, but I felt better on the inside. It was then that I’d seriously begun to consider eating more whole foods.
The issue with my new resolution was that once I left frisbee and once I left my boyfriend’s home there was nothing to go home to but processed, artificially flavored and sugary foods. I live in a home where we only have as much food as we do because we are fortunate enough to receive food stamps. But even so, our food stamp money has been continuously cut despite our lowering income. Because of this, my mom has stopped buying as much fruits, she’s opted for pop tarts instead of oatmeal and often I’m starting to see more and more snacks than usual. I know my mom understands that I want to eat healthily (as well as I’m sure she understands that we should be eating this way), but we have a mutual understanding that we simply cannot afford such foods. What do I think is the biggest problem with our food system? There’s too much consumption. Too many people are buying so much food and I believe that’s what has upped the price on natural foods and set the price low for sugary foods. This way, farmers get what they work for by growing so much food so fast and companies make profit. Either way, it’s human consumption that’s caused these issues. There’s too much food circulating when there really does not need to be. Despite this issue, I will continue to try to eat as healthy as possible. Not just because it tastes a lot better, but because it makes me feel a lot better.