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Saturday 21 May 2016

Pesto Chicken Casserole with Feta Cheese and Olives : Low Carb

The best from Italy and Greece, pesto and feta cheese, is united in this amazing chicken dish that is loved by people of all ages.

4 servings

1½ lbs (700 g) chicken, thighs or breast
4 oz. (100 g) red or green pesto
1½ cups (400 ml) heavy whipping cream
½ cup (120 ml) pitted olives, black or green
½ lb (225 g) feta cheese, diced
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
Salt and pepper
Butter for frying

Instructions for cooking can be seen at Diet Doctor site here

Why not serve with baby spinach or other leafy greens tossed with generous amounts of olive oil and a little salt...

Spinach is believed to be of Persian origin. By the 12th century, it spread across Europe and became a desirable leafy green known for good health; a reputation that stands firm to this day. The name Florentine is often used to describe dishes containing spinach (and a creamy sauce). It is thought that this name dates back to the 16th century and the Italian wife of France's Henry II; Catherine de Medici. The unverified tale states that Catherine introduced spinach to the Court of France and to honour her Italian heritage, she then decided to call any dish containing spinach Florentine.

Spinach belongs to the chenopodiaceae family (also known as goosefoot), a family of nutritional powerhouses including beets, chard and quinoa. It shares a similar taste profile with these two other vegetables; the bitterness of beet greens and the slightly salty flavour of chard. There are three different types of spinach generally available: savoy, semi-savoy and smooth leaf.

The popeye effect:
There is much lore regarding spinach, most famously as the source of Popeye's strength. When faced with the sight of trouble, pipe-smoking sailor-man Popeye would burst open a tin of spinach. Once consumed, his biceps would bulge and his new found strength would see him overcome his enemies. Although there is definitely lots of goodness in those leaves, the legendary statue Popeye bestowed on it is slightly inflated.

Nutritional highlights:
Spinach is available all year round but is in season during the spring (March - June). It is well known for its nutritional qualities and has always been regarded as a plant with remarkable abilities to restore energy, increase vitality and improve the quality of the blood. There are sound reasons why spinach would produce such results, primarily the fact that it is rich in iron. Iron plays a central role in the function of red blood cells which help in transporting oxygen around the body, in energy production and DNA synthesis. Spinach is also an excellent source of vitamin K, vitamin A, vitamin C and folic acid as well as being a good source of manganese, magnesium, iron and vitamin B2. Vitamin K is important for maintaining bone health and it is difficult to find vegetables richer in vitamin K than spinach. Others include kale, broccoli and green cabbage.

A 100g serving provides:
23 calories 3g protein 0g fat 4g carbohydrates 2g fibre

Read more about Spinach here

We try and bring a variety of recipe ideas to this blog, and not all may be suitable for you. If you may have any food allergies, or underlying health issues these must always be taken into account. If you are a diabetic and not sure how certain foods may affect your blood sugars, test is best, i.e. use your meter.

Hope you may enjoy this dish ... and some spinach soon

All the best Jan


Jo said...

It looks delicious, I'd leave the olives out though. That's the great thing about the recipes you provide, they're so easy to adapt to your own taste.

Anonymous said...

Looks very tasty and spinach would be lovely too.


The Happy Whisk said...

Happy Eating :-)

eileeninmd said...

Hello, it is always great to have a new chicken recipe. This one sounds delicious. Thanks for sharing, happy weekend!

Dewena said...

I grew up reading Popeye and learned early to love canned spinach. Now I prefer fresh but didn't realize how good it is for you. I eat it because I love it! the chicken recipe sounds good too, Jan, and I love olives with chicken!

Stephanie said...

My dear Jan, what a delight to have a visit from you this morning...thank you! Your comments always bless my heart :)

Your recipe looks and sounds amazing! I think my family and I would thoroughly enjoy this dish. Hugs to you!

Anonymous said...

Such a lovely recipe suggestion. I have been using feta more in many recipes, this is another one to try very soon

Jenny S

DeniseinVA said...

I love the look of this recipe. Thank you Jan :)

TexWisGirl said...

i'd like it sans olives. :)

Red Rose Alley said...

Jan, Nel LOVED spinach when she was a baby. She ate it all the time and really enjoyed it. I think that's why she's so smart today hahaha.

Have a peaceful Sunday, Jan.


Phil Slade said...

That dish of chicken looks seriously tasty, and with such uncomplicated ingredients.
Very interesting information about spinach too. We always have a laugh about how a huge bag of spinach can produce such a small portion on the plate. But then as you say, it's all concentrated goodness.