Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Chicken Tomato and Spinach Paninis and Gazpacho Salad {Recipes #67 & 68}

November was an incredibly busy month for me! 

2 Craft Fairs, 2 Thanksgivings and multiple extra family gatherings.

Needless to say not a lot of time for blogging. 

Good news though for those of you keeping track, I only have 19 recipes left to meet my goal before 2013. 

I think I can make it.

If you are thinking that math doesn't add up... it's because I am more behind on the blogging portion.. 

Here are 2 more that were particularly good!

Chicken Tomato and Spinach Paninis
{borrowed, adapted and enjoyed from The First Real Kitchen Cookbook}

Serves 4 

4 Roma tomatoes
olive oil for brushing 
4 small boneless skinless chicken breasts (1lb)
1/4 cup butter
3 cloves of garlic, finely peeled and chopped
6 oz fresh spinach
8 pieces of crusty bread
8 slices of provolone (without added smoked flavor) or mozzarella cheese

1) Preheat grill, grill pan or Panini Press (if you are so lucky!) on medium high heat.
2) Halve and seed the tomatoes, then brush the tomato halves with the olive oil. Grill them over high heat for 2 minutes on each side or until soft. 
3) Flatten the chicken breasts between waxed paper and grill for 5 minutes on each side or until cooked through.
4) Meanwhile, melt 2 T of the butter in a frying pan over medium heat. Add the chopped garlic and cook, stirring frequently for a minute. Add the spinach and cook for 5 minutes, or until soft.
5) Spread butter on one side of each piece of the bread. Put the bread butter side down on a work surface. Place one slice of cheese on each piece of bread and top with chicken breasts. Place some spinach on top of the chicken and then top with 2 tomatoes each. Finally put another slice of cheese on top of the tomato and place the last piece of bread on top. 
6) Place the sandwiches butter side down on the pan and weight it tdown with a heavy pan or bowl. Cook the sandwiches for 3 minutes on each side or until the bread is golden brown and toasted. 
7) Slice the sandwiches in half and serve immediately with the Gazpacho Salad on the side.


Tip: Use fairly thick slices of bread otherwise they my break during the flipping process creating extremely messy results {see picture below}. Still yummy though! :)

Gazpacho Salad

Serves 4

3 Roma Tomatoes
1 cucumber
1 red bell pepper
1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced
2 T fresh lemon juice
2 T olive oil
freshly ground black pepper and sea salt to taste

1) Halve and seed the tomatoes. Cut the halves into 1/2 inch pieces and place them in a bowl. Peel and cut the cucumber into similar sized pieces and add to the bowl. Halve, seed and chop the bell pepper into 1/4 inch pieces and put them in the bowl as well. Add the chopped onion and minced garlic also. Mix.
2) Put the lemon juice and olive oil in a bowl and whisk vigorously to combine, then pour over the veggies and mix with hands or utensil until combined. Season with sea salt and pepper and refrigerate until ready to serve.


This was a nice fresh meal, Kyle and I decided that you don't really even need the chicken. The cheese & veggie combo was delicious! Seriously it was amazing! Its also a great way to use up LOTS of spinach that is about to go bad! We decided to try it veggie next time. The salad was also a nice alternative to our typical lettuce/spinach salads. It was really fresh and cool. 

What is your favorite panini or green salad alternative?

All for now,


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