YIKES, I have really really REALLY fallen off the blog wagon. Funny, early in my pregnancy I was wishing and wishing to go public with our news so I could blog every week, archive my every craving, and precisely track my training habits for future pregnancy reference. Has that happened? Obviously not. In fairness to myself, this second trimester stuff is pure bliss and I don't have much to report! I have seemingly boundless energy (without caffeine, even though I do still drink one regular caff cup/day), my appetite is back to normal, and my narcolepsy seems to have vanished with the close of trimester 1. I will spare my readers the details of my woes with frequent urination while running, plus there are other ways to burn calories at the gym... so overall, I'm loving life right now!
This weekend though, I realized my days of limitless time for meal prep are numbered and I had better practice quick-and-easy healthy meals that I can whip out at a moment's notice with little prep. Lord knows I love my weekly scouring of Pinterest for new and adventurous recipes but that's not realistic to think I can continue this habit with an infant whom I plan to breastfeed. So, let the meal prep practice begin!
Thanks to Pinterest, I found a recipe for a quinoa pasta pesto salad that seemed pretty simple. Not enough protein for this family however, so I modified the recipe I found on Pinterest and definitely nailed a winner. It's relatively inexpensive to put together and it makes a large enough quantity to have leftovers for lunch the next day! Enjoy!
Greek Chicken Pesto Pasta Salad
1lb organic chicken breasts
1 cup italian or greek dressing (marinade for chicken)
1 box quinoa pasta noodles (I chose shells)
4 oz prepared pesto (I used about 1/2 an 8 oz jar for this recipe)
1 large tomato
1 large red bell pepper
1 8oz can sliced kalamata olives
1/2 cup feta cheese
3 "bunches" of green onions
Seasoning to taste: italian seasoning, salt, pepper, garlic powder
Marinate chicken in dressing for 2-3 hours before baking... or just dump the dressing over the chicken prior to cooking (but marinating does make end product taste better). Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Bake chicken for 30 minutes.
While chicken bakes, chop the veggies and toss into large bowl. Bring water in small pot to a boil for quinoa pasta and boil for 6-9 minutes once water is boiling (note: don't overcook quinoa pasta! It turns mushy and gross and you won't want to eat it. Air on the al dente side!).
Once the pasta is boiled, drained and add to large bowl with veggies. Add the pesto and spices then toss to mix.
Remove chicken from oven when baked. Cut into small pieces and add veggie/pasta bowl mix. Add feta at the end and serve warm with a side of italian bread and olive oil :)