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Normally I'd actually cook the chicken and attempt making the pesto, but tonight I just didn't feel like it.

I discovered Flatout flatbread today. They're delightfully thin and are only 90 calories each. A fabulously perfect size for a personal pizza.
You'll need:
1 Flatout flatbread in Light Italian
1/4 c. Pesto (optional)
4 oz. Grilled chicken breast
6 mini fresh mozzarella pearls
10 grape tomatoes
Basil leaves to taste
Pam Olive Oil Non-stick spray (not pictured)
Fresh cracked pepper to taste

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1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2. Lightly spray both sides of Flatout flatbread with Pam.
3. On a cookie sheet, bake sprayed flatbread for 5 minutes.
4. Meanwhile, dice tomatoes, discarding the pulp.
5. Slice chicken into small cubes
6. Make a chiffonade of basil.
7. Remove flatbread from oven.
8. Spread pesto on flatbread with a spoon.
9. Arrange chicken, tomatoes, mozzarella and basil evenly.
10. Add cracked black pepper if you wish.
11. Bake for about 7 minutes or until the mozzarella is melty!

Serve on a big fancy plate and enjoy your Lazy Night!

 
 
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It's no mystery I like Italian-esque food.

I adore pasta, but sometimes it's just too much at the end of the day. I'm always trying to get in more veggies, you know, because More Matters and all.

Zucchini is actually a wonderful substitute for the carb-backed noodles.

You'll need:
3 straight Zucchinis (I used two green and one yellow)
1 T Extra Virgin Olive Oil
3/4 c. Baby Bellas mushrooms
2 Roma tomatoes
1/4 c. red wine
1/2 T. Minced Garlic (I use jarred when cooking for myself)
a few basil leaves (of course!)
1/2 c. Prego Mushroom tomato sauce (I cheat a little)
Salt & Pepper to taste
Shredded Asiago cheese for garnish
1. Measure EVOO in a sauté pan and put on low heat.
2. Slice tomatoes, basil and mushrooms to sauce-sized pieces and place in a saucepan. 
3. Add red wine, garlic and Prego to saucepan and then turn to Low-medium heat.
4. With a vegetable peeler, start making "noodles" by peeling zucchini. Yes, you can use the skin. Peel zucchini until you almost get to the seeds. Discard core.
5. Stir sauce in between peeling zucchini.
6. When all zucchini is peeled, turn heat in sauté pan to Medium.
7. Add zucchini "noodles" to oil and stir often. Zucchini will only take 2-3 minutes. It's done when it begins to turn translucent.
8. Add salt and pepper to taste, then strain excess water from zucchini.
9. Place in the middle of a pretty plate, top with your "homemade" sauce and Asiago cheese.

 
 
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The smell of basil makes me hungry for tomato + mozzarella. With basil of course.

Try this quick & easy lil' recipe for a salad that is a good way to change up your greens grazin' repertoire. I add spinach to give this plate a little bit more substance. Make a chiffonade to make it a little fancy - because you know how much I like my food all fancy-like.

All ingredient amounts are to taste - or whatever makes your plate full of the colors of the Italian flag. Start with a little of everything, and add more if you need to! Use the most fresh ingredients you can find.

You'll need:
Fresh Basil (you can get your own basil plant at your local grocery store)
Fresh Tomatoes (your favorite kind - mix and match is scrumptious!)
Fresh Mozzarella (shreds will not be good with this recipe)
Kosher salt
Fresh-cracked black pepper
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Balsamic vinegar
Baby Spinach (optional)

From here it's easy.
1. If you're using spinach, make this the base of your salad. You want to see all the pretty tomatoes, basil & mozz when you're done!
2. Slice up your tomatoes, place over spinach.
3. Strain your mozzarella and scatter all over.
4. Use a pinch of Kosher salt, a few turns of a pepper grinder.
5. To make a chiffonade: stack up the basil leaves, roll 'em really tight and slice into thin strips. (Click either word "chiffonade" to get a better idea.)
6. Fluff up your pretty basil and adorn your nearly-finished caprese!
7. Drizzle EVOO (not too much!) and Balsamic vinegar (careful!)

Ta da! Beautiful. Delicious.
Grab a glass of Pinot Grigio and sit on your patio to enjoy your creation.

P.S. If you must make this in advance for your fab dinner party, don't make the chiffonade until you are ready to serve it!