Tuesday, March 19

Cook Once Eat Twice: Subs & Spaghetti

BBQ season is underway here in Southern Arizona. The weather has been beautiful. Shorts, t-shirts, and sandals. Fun stuff. I will be missing this warm, but not too hot weather in a few months. Our days are filled with hanging out at the park and walks every evening. To celebrate this amazing 70-80 degree weather, I made my favorite summer food - BBQ-ed Balsamic Chicken Bruschetta subs and tweaked it into a pasta meal for the next day. I found this recipe awhile ago on pintrest. (Thank you pintrest I love you) I make it often just because its super easy and I am addicted to basil and tomatoes. We have talked about my love of tomatoes, haven't we? I used to grow some on my patio in California. I really should talk to someone about that small tiny little obsession. In the mean time make this! If its not quite warm enough, in your area yet, its almost as delicious inside on the grill. There is just something to that wonderful smoke from a bbq that transforms meat. 

So here you go two recipes for the cooking time of one. Both are delicious and easy. The first meal comes from a great site for yummy food called the Picky Palate. Second meal is mine. 

Note: For either recipe below there is one important step to complete at least 2 hrs before but up to weeks when you buy the chicken and freeze it.  Make the marinade. This will impart much flavor into your otherwise boring boneless skinless chicken breast. It will also keep it from getting dried out on a grill. In a large gallon sized freezer bag make the marinade for the chicken. Mix 1/4 cup olive oil + 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar for each 2 whole breasts or 4 breast halves. It freezes beautifully for an easy make ahead meal.

Meal #1:Bruschetta Chicken Sub Sandwiches


1 half boneless skinless chicken breast per person marinated in the fridge
6 fresh basil leaves
2 medium to large sized tomato
1/2 Tbs balsamic vinegar
1 Tbs olive oil
1/4 tsp salt 
1/8 tsp pepper
1 Tbs minced garlic 
1 Sandwich roll per person
2 slices of fresh mozzarella cheese per person
1 slice of provolone cheese per person

How to make it: 
1. Pound the chicken a little for flatter, more even cooking. 
2. Grill the chicken. Throw away the marinade. Cook 4-5 minutes each side. Flip only once for nice grill marks. If making the second meal grill the chicken for that at this time also. 
3. While chicken is cooking combine salt, pepper, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic, tomato and basil in a bowl. Let the mixture sit at room temperature letting the flavors develop. 
4. During the last minute of the chicken cooking, heat the rolls on the grill, and top each piece of chicken with the cheese. Don't put the cheese on the chicken for the second meal. 
5. Top each bun with a cheese covered chicken half. Then top the chicken with a spoonful of the bruschetta topping. 

Serve warm with sides of your choosing.... watermelon, chips, salad, grilled corn ect. Enjoy! 

Meal #2:Bruschetta Chicken Spaghetti 

1/4 cup of shredded mozzarella cheese per person
1 half chicken breast per person (previously marinated and grilled) 
1 cup of your favorite spaghetti sauce*. I used my freezer pasta sauce. Click here for it. 
half box of thin spaghetti noodles,  whole wheat *
5-6 fresh basil leaves thinly sliced
1 tomato
1/2 Tbs balsamic vinegar
1 Tbs olive oil
1 Tbs minced garlic 

*These amounts will serve 3-4 adults. Add more sauce, noodles, and chicken as needed. This recipe is easily transformed from a 2 person meal to a 6 person meal. 

 How to make it:
1. In a large pot, cook the spaghetti as per box directions to 1 minute short of the al dente cooking time,  in salted boiling water 
2. While noodles are cooking, mix together the bruschetta topping in a bowl. Combine finely chopped tomato, garlic,  basil, olive oil, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp pepper, and olive oil.
3. Once noodles are 1 minute shy of al dente, toss with the sauce of your choice in the same pot over low heat. 
4. Add the grilled chicken to the pot. Use tongs to nestle the chicken into the noodles and keep reheating. Add a little bit of water if needed to loosen the sauce up. You want a gentle simmer not a boil.

5. Top each piece of chicken with shredded cheese. Serve once everything is heated through and cheese is melted. 
6. Serve topped with the bruschetta topping and extra shredded cheese. 

Serve warm/hot with yummy sides like garlic bread, cooked vegetables, or cheesy garlic french bread, or parmesan basil biscuits, or salad. Enjoy! 

Two recipes for the time of one.  
Healthy. Mouthwatering. Comforting Italian food twisted slightly in new ways. Great for company. Not what you would usually expect from a regular chicken sub sandwich nor some plain jane spaghetti.  
From my kitchen to yours

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