I like to keep fresh produce lying around, but it spoils so quickly.  So I have determined a few ways to keep fresh produce on hand but have it last as long as possible.  First tip, cherry tomatoes.  They keep for a long time and you can use them for everything from sandwiches to pasta.  Second tip, Spinach.  I have no idea why, but spinach seems to last forever in my fridge.  Once again, I use it as my green addition to everything.  My third tip is for protein, chicken freezes very well.  So I always buy it in bulk.  The best way to freeze chicken is to…. Trim it, wrap each piece with plastic wrap and then tightly wrap with aluminum foil.  Use a marker to write the date and you are good to go.  It thaws in about 5-6 hours in the fridge.  So using my go to ingredients I made a quick pasta.  Delicious.

Chicken, Spinach and Tomato Pasta

  • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 cup zesty Italian dressing, bottled or click here for a recipe
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 6-8 oz baby spinach
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tbs fresh basil, thinly sliced
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 3/4 lb spaghetti, angel hair or cappellini pasta
  • 1/4 freshly grated Parmesan Cheese

Prepare the Chicken

Marinate the chicken in the Zesty Italian Dressing (feel free to substitute regular Italian Dressing) for at least 1 hour.

Marinate the chicken

Then grill over medium/high heat until the juices run clear.  Remove from the heat and let the chicken rest.

Cube the chicken

Once cooled, cube the chicken and set aside.

Make the Pasta

Meanwhile bring a large pot of water to boil and cook the pasta until it is al dente.  My suggestion is to set a timer for 1-2 minutes less than the amount on the pasta box.  Take a sample when the timer is up.  If it has a little bite to the pasta it is perfect.

Prepare the Sauce

Place a large skillet over medium/high heat and add the olive oil.  Then add the garlic and stir for 10 seconds.  Then add the tomatoes and cook until they are caramelized and the water is removed from them.  This will fill the pan with tomato juice.

Cook the Tomatoes

Then add the spinach and cover.  Let cook for 1 minute.  Then remove the top and stir.  Continue to cook until the spinach starts to cook.

Add the Spinach

Add the basil, chicken, pasta, salt and pepper.  Stir until fully incorporated.

Incorporate the Ingredients

Plate and serve. I have found that it is easiest to use tongs to do the plating.  Grate a little Parmesan over the top and you have a light and healthy meal.

Time to Eat

This meal was a home run.  Quick, easy and delicious.

Rex is an avid griller, barbecuer and bacon enthusiast. He is the Pitmaster for the Rex BBQ competition team. Rex was also featured on the TV show American Grilled. If you have any questions or wish to have Rex decode your favorite dish, click on the ASK REX link in the menu above.

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