Thursday, November 29, 2012

Genovese Pesto Chicken Breast, Fava Beans, Pine Nuts with Arugula

Genovese Pesto Chicken Breast, Saute Fava Beans with Pine Nuts on Organic Greens

Genovese Pesto Chicken (Grilled) with Fava Beans and Pine Nuts on a bed of Arugula

My mom's family is from a northern region of Italy called Liguria. Ligurians are very proud of their pesto sauce among many other amazing dishes such as Foccacia bread. Through the years, my family has kept a very traditional recipe for their pesto. However, I've since doing some research I've seen recipes using kale, arugula, walnuts or almonds instead of basil and pine nuts.  Here is a great read about the history of pesto. If you'd like a great recipe for pesto, check out Culinaria Italia – Italian Food and Cooking.

I really enjoy pesto and can eat it on almost anything; lasagna, potatoes and beans, pasta, meat, pizza, ect. However, it's so high in fat and calories. Not great if you're on a diet or trying to lose weight for a Hawaii trip in one week. Think bikini!

How do I make a 'less-fating' pesto dish where I can enjoy the flavor without the temptation of over-saucing. Got it. Marinate the chicken breast in the pesto sauce!

Pre-Heating Staub 12 inch Grill pan and Grill cover

To start, make a homemade pesto sauce. Add uncooked chicken breast and pesto sauce in a glass bowl. Toss, cover and refrigerate for several hours. Do this step in the morning before you leave for work and by the time you're home the chicken will be ready to cook.

Slowly heat your Staub 12inch grill pan with cast iron press - use 3 tablespoons of oil while heating the grill.

Staub Cherry Square Grill Pan, 12" (Google Affiliate Ad)

Once the grill pan and press are hot, add the pesto chicken breast and cover with the cast iron press. Cook well on medium heat for about 6 minutes. Flip and repeat. Depending on your stove top, cooking time may differ.

Fresh Fava Beans

While chicken is cooking, work on your fava beans. Start by shelling them out of their pods and soaking them in cold water.

Staub Marin-Blue Square Grill Pan, 12" (Google Affiliate Ad)

Fava Beans in Olive oil and sail

Dry the fava beans and, if you want, remove the skin. Lidia's Italy Blog explains in an easy to follow, step-by-step way to clean and remove skin from fava beans. They taste and cook better with skin off. Cook on low heat with olive oil and sail.

Pine Nuts

I use about 2 tablespoons of pine nuts. Some interesting facts about pine nuts:

1. Pine nuts take 18 months to complete its maturity; however, to reach full maturity, the environmental conditions must be favorable for the tree and its cone

2. Pinyon pine cone production is most commonly found at an elevation between 6,000 feet (1,800 m) and 8,500 feet (2,600 m)

Roasting Pine nuts in olive oil and sail

Cook on low-medium heat with salt and olive oil for about 4 minutes

All-Clad Copper-Core Fry Pan - 10" - All-Clad Copper Core (Google Affiliate Ad)

Grilled Chicken Breast - Genovese Pesto Chicken

Once Chicken is cooked (never undercook chicken), remove from grill and let sit for 5 minutes.

Genovese Pesto Chicken Breast, Saute Fava Beans with Pine Nuts on Organic Greens

Toss the arugula, pine nuts, fava beans with a lemon olive oil dressing. Slice the chicken breast and plate! VoilĂ !


- 2 chicken breast
- 1 cup of homemade pesto
- 2 tablespoons pine nuts
- 2 cups fava beans
- pinch of salt and pepper
- lemon
- olive oil
- bunch arugula

Kale Almond Pesto

Monday, November 19, 2012

Mung Bean Soup - Vegan

Mung Bean Soup Vegan

I started a photo album on Facebook, Eat Good Food, after reading about the Chick-Fil-a controversy and how people were waiting in line for fast-food to support the comments made by chief operating officer Dan Cathy opposing same-sex marriage.

Since starting Eat Good Food, I've had several people ask if I could forward the recipes to the many dishes photographed in this album. Here is one I posted last week, Nov. 2012, for an Ayurvedic Detox Diet. Mung bean is Ayurvedic - good for clearing chronic, troublesome digestive issues and helps balance all 3 doshas. Read about Mung Bean Nutrition at Livestrong. This dish is vegan.

Mung Bean Soup Vegan

What is MUNG bean? Mung bean is a seed of Vigna radiata. Yeah, whatever. Most people know it as a bean sprout use in pho soups or just plain ol' sprouts. I purchased my mung bean in Chinatown, but I've heard that Rainbow Grocery carries it as well.

Mung Bean sprout

Mung Bean Sprouts - Now do you recognize them?

Mung Bean Soup Vegan

- 1 cup whole, green mung bean
- 1 cup quinoa
- 6 fresh sprigs thyme
- 2 Tbsp fresh chopped Basil
- 1 bay leaf
- 3 celery sticks
- 1/2 head cauliflower (white or purple)
- 4 large carrots or 1 small butternut squash
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp turmeric powder
- 1 tsp coriander
- 1 bunch kale
- 1 handful of spinach
- 1/2 head of purple cabbage
- salt / pepper (as you wish)
- 3 or 4 cups of veggie broth or homemade chicken broth

- Stub Dutch Oven or soup pot
- chopping board
- knife

My beautiful 9qt Staub Dutch Oven

- Wash mung beans and soak them in water over night (8 hours). Toss water out the next morning.
- Add broth (veggie or chicken) to the pot and bring to a boil.
- Add mung bean and turn heat to medium. Cook for 30 minutes with lid off pot
- While mung beans are cooking, chop veggies into bite-size pieces, take stem off kale and chop leafy green (toss the stems).
- Add carrot or squash, cauliflower, cabbage, and celery
- Cook for another 25 to 30 minutes on medium heat. If the pot is boiling, turn down temp. You don't want to burn the bottom of the pot. Stir often.
- Now add all spices and stir the pot
- On low heat, add the kale and spinach (use one or both)
- Add water if needed and let cook for another 30 minutes to an hour on low heat with cover on pot (put lid on pot). Occasionally stirring.

If needed, add protein:
- Cook 1 cup of quinoa in 2 cups water.
Add small amount of cooked quinoa to individual cup of soup or eat as a side-dish for a cholesterol-free and low-fat source of protein. One cup of cooked quinoa provides 222 calories.

Secrets to Firing Up Your Metabolism

Aim for 25 g to 30 g of fiber per day. To get the most benefit for your calories, load up your plate with these 10 foods, which, in addition to having fiber, Norwegian researchers have found are high scorers when it comes to antioxidant capacity: walnuts, pecans, sunflower seeds, dark chocolate, blackberries, cranberries, boiled artichokes, dried apricots, curly kale and red cabbage.