Spinach & Artichoke Stuffed Chicken Breast

CHICKEN. It’s what’s for dinner! 99% of the time.

Amiright?

Chicken was always a staple of our household growing up. Pretty much most weeknight meals at our home consisted of either chicken or pasta. When I started taking an interest in cooking, I soon realized that while chicken is one of the most readily available and easy to cook ingredients out there, it’s easy to fall into a chicken rut.

Don’t take it out on the chicken, Rachael. It’s not its fault it’s boring to eat!

There’s only so many things you can add to a chicken breast before you get sick of it. So you have to start getting creative…

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A little while back, I blogged about La Terra Fina dips and how much my roomie and I LOVED THEM.

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The Chunky Artichoke & Jalapeno was definitely my favorite of the two. It has mild chilies in it that go PERFECTLY with the cream cheese-based spread. Add in artichokes and I’m in heaven.

While I decided that the Chunky Artichoke & Jalapeno was my favorite to go at with chips or veggies, the Spinach Artichoke & Parmesan screamed RECIPE to me.  It’s a bit more smooth than the Artichoke & Jalapeno, and is delicious heated up. And thus this recipe was born.

Delicious dips + boring chicken –> miracle recipe!

Though La Terra Fina’s dips are all made of natural ingredients, are gluten free, and include no trans fat, they don’t claim to be “low-fat” or “light” or any of that nonsense.

So to keep this entree on the healthier side, I used a trick I often do when cooking chicken breasts, which is: to butterfly them and split them in half. One serving of chicken breast is 4 oz (about 140 calories)…Most chicken breasts that you buy in the store come in at nearly twice that size. Unless you’re a body builder, you probably don’t need that much protein in one sitting! Butterflying your chicken breasts makes them a healthier portion size…plus, your chicken will cook faster! With the space you save on your plate, you can load up the rest of your plate with more veggies, salad, whole grains…whatever is your jam.

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PLUS, butterflying your chicken breast makes it much easier to wrap around some delicious spinach & artichoke dip 😉 How bad can that be?

INAAAAAAA. How’d you get in there?!

Spinach & Artichoke Stuffed Chicken Breast
makes 2 small servings

1 large chicken breast, butterflied & split into 2 separate pieces
2 tbsp La Terra Fina Spinach Artichoke & Parmesan Dip (or your preferred dip)
~1/4 cup breadcrumbs
salt & pepper
cooking spray

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. After cutting your chicken width-wise down the length of the side of the breast and splitting into two thinly sliced pieces, season with salt and pepper. Place about 1 tablespoon of dip on the chicken breast, closer to the base of the breast. Carefully roll the chicken over the filling, using a toothpick or skewer to keep the ends closed.

Sprinkle/cover/roll chicken breast in breadcrumbs (If you want, you can coat the chicken in egg wash first, but I found it wasn’t necessary) and place on a baking dish sprayed with cooking spray. Cook for about 15 minutes, or until done. Watch out for dip oozing out of the sides 🙂

Disclaimer: La Terra Fina provided me with dips to review/taste/develop recipes. All opinions, however, are my own!

Friday Faves

Hello and TGIF!

Hope you all have some fun plans for the weekend. For me, Halloween starts tomorrow…goes on through Thursday…until Friday, when we celebrate it one last night for my roomie’s birthday! Needless to say there’s a lot of fun in my future 🙂

I also happened upon some fun things this week. Gather round while I share the goods!

1. This gif. AKA me in a nutshell.

GETTING READY

To go out:

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For work:

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I never have makeup on before 10am at work. I actually may or may not have just not put on makeup at all today….#lazy

2. Group Halloween costumes

Some of my favorite costumes of the last 5 years have been the group/couples costumes I’ve done (Taylor Swift/Kanye… Betty Draper/Joan… Bike riding Mormons….) This weekend, I’m participating in a group costume that is sure to turn some heads:

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I’ve no doubt admitted my unabashed love for this song before. We’re toootally taking it to a whole new level.

3. The t-AB-ata workout from GPP Fitness

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This ab workout has been one of my most dreaded favorites for a long time now. The last time I did it, it left me sore for 2-3 days! So when I picked up my outfit for the aforementioned costume (which definitely shows off my midriff…and then some), I knew I’d have to whip my abs into shape! Since they posted it back in June, I’ve started incorporating V-ups into my normal workout routine…they kick my butt, but get my abs soo much stronger/more defined!

4. This article: How to Celebrate Halloween Without Being a Sexist 

Also relevant. I can see both sides of this issue and I like that the article goes into both sides and defends the so-called “sluts” of Halloween as well. For the first Halloween since college, I will be scantily clad tomorrow…I’m not looking for any unwanted attention or “asking for it”, my friends and I just happened to pick a current idea for a relevant pop culture Halloween costume and feel comfortable sportin’ it!

75% of the reason I exercise 4x per week is to feel good and feel good about myself, but I’d be lying if I said that other 25% didn’t involve wanting to look good! What’s the use of these gunz and abs if no one ever sees them? 😉

5. These 2 blog posts!

Alisha over at Alisha’s Appetite wrote an awesome post this week about not letting injury get you down – something I’m all too familiar with! And Becky at Olives n’ Wine has an awesome post up today as well, based on this simple quote: “If tomorrow, women woke up and decided they really liked their bodies, just think how many industries would go out of business. – Dr. Gail Dines”

Side note: I’m super excited to see these two girls (and Carly & Sara) in Chicago in just TWO WEEKS!! I’m so looking forward to a Blend girls weekend full of food, fun, football, and shenanigans 🙂

6. La Terra Fina dips

Several weeks ago, I was sent some new-to-me dips from La Terra Fina. Their dips have always been available at places like Costco, but they’re currently rolling out to other grocery stores. I am 100% all about dips and snacky meals (see here and here), so I was stoked to try them. According to La Terra Fina, their dips are “Made with all natural ingredients…gluten-free…contain no nuts or trans-fats and are fresh alternative to traditional dips.” ….so they’re practically healthy, right? 😉

Anyway, they sent me the Spinach Artichoke & Parmesan and (my personal favorite) the Artichoke & Jalapeno…you guys, my roomie and I TORE THROUGH every last tub of this stuff. It is so good. I have a recipe coming your way involving the dip, but rest assured it was also amazing scooped up with crackers/chips, veggies, a spoon…you name it.

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My favorite way to enjoy it was with some hot spaghetti squash and stir-fried veggies! It almost became like a pasta sauce.  MMMMMM. pasta. {I’m currently avoiding carbs after 6pm to avoid bloating/any stray belly fat tomorrow…Lord help me!!}

Hope you all have a fun and safe weekend!

What are you planning to dress up as for Halloween?

What’s your favorite kind of dip?