Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Flextarian Chicken

Grilled Chicken with Pumpkin Seed Pesto
I don't eat a lot of animal protein. I wish I could say it were for moral reason, but the truth is I just don't enjoy it that much. I see it as a necessary part of my diet and have evolved into what Michael Polan refers to as a flextarian (also spelled flexitarian--someone who eats mainly vegetarian but will include animal protein in their diets occasionally). I have found that I am able to enjoy it more in smaller quantities.

Eating meat less often allows me to indulge and only buy the highest quality available. I also flavor meats such as chicken with wonderful ingredients and sauces. Below is one of my favorite ways to prepare chicken breast. The marinate keeps the chicken moist during the cooking process and the pesto compliments it to perfection. However, if you are in the mood for a vegetarian meal don't hesitate to substitute tofu for the chicken tenders. It's excellent either way! My favorite part about the pesto is that I get to sneak in some Swiss Chard into Mr. Picky's diet (age 6) and he even asks for more.

Did you know that the average person in the U.S.A. eats about 59.2 pounds of chicken per year? That's more than double what our consumption was in 1970. Kind of makes you think, doesn't it?

What's your favorite way to prepare this popular bird?

Grilled Chicken Tenders with Pumpkin Seed Pesto (4 servings)

Marinade Ingredients:
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons of soy sauce (gluten-free available at health food stores)
1/4 cup of orange juice
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1/4 -1/2 tsp of chili powder
1 pound of chicken tenders

Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and marinade the chicken in it for 30 minutes to one hour in the fridge.

Pesto Ingredients:
1 cup, well-packed, cilantro leaves and stems
1 cup of Swiss Chard, leaves only
1 tablespoon of Tahini
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1/4 cup of orange juice
1/2 cup of pumpkin seeds
1/4 cup of chopped scapes
1/2 cup of shredded parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper to taste

Combine in the food processor. Pulse until almost smooth. If need be add some more orange juice to thin down.

Serve with a fresh salad and some home-made refried beans or a white bean puree sprinkled with fresh chopped cilantro.

4 comments:

chefectomy said...

Hi Alexa,

I do enjoy meat but only eat it occassionaly. I agree that buying a higher quality product is preferable. I love your idea for the pesto, very innovative.

I'll be back to visit.

Marc

Alexa said...

Hi Marc,

Thanks for your comment. This pesto is great on everything. I love it on fish tacos or over white beans as well.

Alexa

Aran said...

Hi Alexa- Thanks for stopping by my blog. You have a lovely blog yourself. This pesto sounds amazing!

Alexa said...

Thanks Aran. I am glad you stopped by for a visit.:-)

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