Caprese Bites & Chicken Veggie Pasta

1 Jul

I love cooking for other people! I take any opportunity I get to make food for others, it’s my favorite way of showing love for friends & family! Every week, some friends and I try to get together and take turns making dinner for each other, and I love it. It’s also a good way to utilize some recipes that have been sitting around that I’ve been waiting to try. Turns out, these two recipes were perfect for a mid-summer dinner get together.

For an appetizer, I made these caprese skewer bites:

Cherry or grape tomatoes
Fresh basil leaves
Small (pearl) mozzarella balls
Salt, pepper
Olive oil
Splash of balsamic vinegar

Using toothpicks as the skewers, stack a cherry tomato, basil leaf, and mozzarella ball. Place a bunch of skewers in a Tupperware container and drizzle with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, and pepper, and use your (clean) hand to carefully toss & coat each skewer. Arrange on a plate, and enjoy!

Next, for the main dish… chicken veggie pasta. I don’t have a specific recipe for this dish. I make it pretty often in summer, due to the abundance of fresh veggies. I also know people who roast the veggies in the oven on a cookie sheet instead of sautéing them, which sounds awesome as well! It’s meant to be a fresh and light dinner, hence the lack of a heavy sauce. It’s exactly what you need sometimes when it’s flippin hot out.

1 box whole wheat pasta, any shape
Zucchini, yellow squash, onions (or green onions), red peppers, mushrooms- all chopped- any veggie you want, really!
10-20 cherry tomatoes
2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
(about) 1 can chicken broth
A splash of white wine
Fresh herbs- basil, oregano, parsley- chopped
Fresh grated parmesan or shredded mozzarella
2-3 Chicken breasts, cut into bite size pieces
Olive oil
Salt, pepper to taste

So pretty!

Place chicken breasts on a cookie sheet with foil, drizzle with olive oil, salt, and pepper, and cook in oven at 375 degrees until internal temperature of 165. Or, use rotisserie chicken from the grocery store for added convenience! When they’re done, go ahead and cut them into bite size pieces so they’re ready to toss with the pasta.

Cook pasta in a separate pot until al dente.

Meanwhile, saute veggies (all except tomatoes) in large skillet using olive oil and garlic. Add tomatoes a little later on, or they will wilt and turn to mush.

Add some chicken broth and white wine until it starts to reduce. Add the chicken pieces now, if you want, to absorb some flavor. You can add some cream or lemon juice here too, experiment a little bit!

Don’t add your fresh herbs until the very end- they lose their flavor if heated too long. Toss veggies with pasta, chicken and herbs in a big serving bowl right before eating, along with a good handful of shredded cheese.

Actually, for 3 people, I made all of this for less than $20- not bad at all.

I am pretty sure they all enjoyed it- but I’m sure the wine, frozen dark chocolate covered bananas, and conversation always add to the experience too!

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3 Responses to “Caprese Bites & Chicken Veggie Pasta”

  1. virginiaplantation July 1, 2012 at 11:17 pm #

    The caprese bites look so good. I think we might have to add them to our wine and cheese reception list at the plantation! Thanks for the great post!

    Michelle
    http://www.indiegogo.com/bellegroveplantation

    • Julie July 8, 2012 at 8:48 pm #

      That’s awesome! thanks for the feedback!

  2. Maria July 2, 2012 at 7:25 am #

    This really was a delicious dinner, Julie! Looking forward to another one sometime soon 🙂

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