A Weeknight Favorite, On Repeat
It seems to be that while everyone has good intentions of varying their weeknight meals, night after night, that vision and dream of variety is just not always feasible, and not necessarily desired. Sometimes after a long work day, and tiring workout, the last thing we feel like doing is preparing a completely new, and potentially complicated, dinner. Yes, our lives could be busier and more hectic, but this is how our life is unfolding right now. And our cat is extremely demanding (only slightly joking).
I do plan out our weeknight meals (Sunday-Thursday) when we grocery shop so that there's distinct meals in place; however, that doesn't account for the unexpected change in plans and has resulted in a handful of veggies gone bad (sorry, veggies!). For the most part though, we try and stick to the guidelines we set during the weekend.
One of our favorites right now, or all the time, is Italian Breadcrumb chicken with pesto and a side of sautéed zucchini. As you have seen on Instagram, pesto has been getting a workout in our house lately and I think it's because we are craving summer flavors and fresh produce. Our basil plants aren't producing much yet, so for now we are buying it pre-made at a couple of our favorite stores, which is usually pretty good!
For tonight's dinner, we opted to make chicken pesto parm because who says no to melted cheese? We did the breading as usual and then topped each cutlet with a layer of pesto and a heaping mound of shredded mozzarella and a quick dusting of parmesan. After that, into the oven for a couple minutes under the broiler to get all of that cheese ooey and gooey. Yes, we use very technical cooking terms around here! It came out perfectly, and we plated it with a scoop of the zucchini which was sautéed with a little butter and olive oil (more decadent than usual, oops). I love the combination of crispy chicken, flavorful pesto, and hot cheese. And a vegetable because that's our house rule (a veggie every night). A winning meal in my opinion.
While this meal isn't exactly healthy, I wouldn't say it's entirely awful either (look at all the green!). But that's essentially how the weeknights go: dinners are a mix of healthy and scrumptious and we just can't be bothered to measure out the cheese. Did I mention we go to the gym daily? :)
Dinner notes: We purchased a package of chicken cutlets that weighed a little over one pound and had four pieces to prepare. Since we're always starving this created two servings for each of us. I didn't use too much pesto under the cheese layer, just a dollop spread thinly on the chicken. My cheese hand was heavy, but you could easily use a lot less for the same outcome. Our broiler was set to high and it took about two or three minutes to get the cheese melted and perfect. In regard to the zucchini, we used three large ones and split that into two servings. Usually we only cook with olive oil, but we had some fancy butter in the fridge so I decided to add a little to the pan. It was a good decision! We seasoned it with salt and pepper as well. Overall, this meal is super delicious and definitely quick - about twenty minutes from prep to table - and always a crowd pleaser! Well, the crowd is just me and my husband, but our cat seems to love his cooking, too.