Over the past week, the sun is finally beginning to shine in many parts of the country. Although I am lucky to have sunshine most of the year in Southern California, I distinctly remember busting out my shorts and flip flops as soon as it reached 50 degrees growing up in New England. It also always meant it was finally time to break out the grill, get outside, and try to soak in as much good weather as we could before the inevitable late season snow storm hit. And today's recipe for Cilantro Pesto Chicken Skewers is perfect for those first days of warm weather.
The secret to this recipe is in the yogurt that is used in the cilantro pesto. Not only does it significantly lower the calories and fat by replacing most of the olive oil, it also ensures a tender and moist chicken breast since yogurt is a great way to tenderize meats. Then after some marinating, the chicken pesto skewers can be baked or grilled. If you want to add veggies, I recommend cutting the chicken in chunks instead of strips. Cherry tomatoes, red onion, bell peppers, zucchini, or summer squash would all be delicious addition. Served with a big green salad, some brown rice or quinoa, or on a bed of spaghetti squash and you have one delicious meal.
Cilantro Pesto Chicken Skewers
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- 1 cup fresh cilantro
- 1/4 cup nonfat plain yogurt
- 2 U garlic cloves
- 2 tbsp. lemon juice
- 2 tbsp. Parmesan cheese
- 2 tbsp. almonds
- 2 tsp. olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- 1.33 lbs. boneless skinless chicken breast
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Pulse everything except the chicken in a food processor to create the pesto. Cut the chicken into 1 inch strips. If you plan on adding veggies, cut the chicken into squares. Marinate the chicken in this mixture for at least 30 minutes or overnight.
Thread the chicken onto skewers. Make sure to soak wooden skewers for at least 30 minutes before using to prevent burning.
To grill: Grill on a medium to medium hot grill for 3-4 minutes per side or until chicken is fully cooked.
To bake: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Place the skewers on a baking sheet covered in foil. Bake for 18-22 minutes or until juices run clear and chicken is fully cooked.
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
The Nutritional Values provided are estimates only and may vary based on the preparation method.
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