My hubby and I enjoy cooking and when we do together and plan a few meals ahead, it ensures that we plan a grocery list to include items for the week that we will use specifically (rather than overspending and buying what we do not need), we continue to include healthy options and by prepping some meals or portions of a meals, we have more time out of the kitchen during the week. Taking the time to chop, portion, or make extra batches of a meal ahead will help to save you some time during your busy week.
One of our top favourite go-to recipes is Bruschetta Chicken. We prep the chicken topping on the weekend, put it in a container in the fridge or freezer (and defrost it) for a later date.
This recipe has been a mix of family recipes and some of using what you have. Growing up, cooking with my parents and grandparents, they never really measured ingredients. When they asked you to come over and you asked them what they were making and would watch them cook or you stood by them at the stove it was “Throw in a bit of this and then a bit of that” and it always tastes amazing! When you make a certain meal a few times, the recipe sticks with you and at the same time when you cook, you get to know what amount of a certain spice or ingredient tastes great and tend to not focus so much on the measuring for certain things. For this recipes sake and if you prefer to measure (I do with certain meals/ingredients as well), I will include an approximate measurement for each ingredient.
Chop up the tomatoes the night or weekend before for use the next day (keep in fridge), the next week or for a later date (pop in freezer), add in some spices, garlic, balsamic vinegar and olive oil. Defrost the chicken (if frozen). If you buy the chicken the day before, you can keep it in the fridge overnight, and marinate that for a few minutes – usually I do this as the oven is pre-heating, drizzle some PC Blue Menu Zesty Italian Dressing on them and add about half of the bruschetta mix on top. Cook it for about a half hour, then add the remainder of the tomato topping. Cook that for another 10-15 minutes, then enjoy! If you are able to purchase the 5 pack of chicken breasts, we get ours from Walmart and will buy the Maple Leaf chicken breasts (and stock up when it is on sale, we buy about 2 packs), we usually have it with a side of quinoa, or rice and veggies and have leftovers for the next day for lunch and throw in the extra chicken into another meal like a stir-fry with some veggies for dinner the next day! This a great recipe to make for the week as well. For additional meals, you can just keep some of the chicken plain or just with some of the Italian Dressing and a bit of pepper. For the tomatoes mix – make an extra batch and freeze them in separate containers for a future quick weeknight dinner!
4-5 on the vine tomatoes, chopped
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
About a Tbsp of red or green onion (optional)
1-2 Tbsp (of each): dried oregano, basil, pepper and parsley (if you have fresh basil or parsley from the garden – we add in fresh basil from our garden or grocery store – even better!)
A pinch of salt
Drizzle some olive oil and balsamic vinegar (About 2 Tbsp of each, depending on how much liquid/dressing you prefer)
½ a cup of PC Zesty Italian Dressing (Blue Menu)
Defrost the chicken if frozen, or if purchased the day before keep in fridge. Chop up the tomatoes and garlic. Put in a bowl or container. Add in the balsamic vinegar and olive oil. Add in the spices and toss to coat. The bruschetta topping tastes even better the more it marinates. Put that into the fridge or freezer, depending on which day you plan to use it.
When you are ready to cook the chicken breasts, preheat the oven to 400. Place the chicken breasts into a baking dish. Coat the chicken with the Italian Dressing. Let that sit for a few minutes as the oven is warming up.
Right before you place it in the oven, add about half of the bruschetta mix on top. *Be sure not to cross-contaminate with your spoon by touching the raw chicken and then putting it back in the bowl to scoop more tomatoes – I just use a really big spoon so I grab the mix once and pour it over the chicken. Bake it for about 30 minutes.
Then, add the remaining bruschetta topping on top (with another clean spoon). Bake for an additional 10-15 minutes. It smells amazing when it is cooking. Depending on your oven and once the chicken is no longer pink on the inside, it is ready!
Serve with a side salad, quinoa, rice or veggies, etc. Have some leftovers for lunch and/or dinner the next day or some for the week! Enjoy!