Kale, Spinach and Basil Pesto Chicken, Fennel and Bean Salad

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No doubt about it, green crunchy food can make you feel alive……. Being alive can make you feel alive too.

That’s exactly what I thought a month back after I managed to step out of my car in one piece. The car was wrapped around a telegraph pole when I looked back on it, and from then on I felt that nothing would worry me again, being alive and in one piece was all that mattered.

A month and a half has passed by without me having a car and I have forgotten the joie de vivre that I felt standing on that footpath looking at the lucky escape I had. Insurance is a mean thing and navigating car salesmen even more joyless.

The car

After much worry and stress I now have a cute blue car. I have dealt with car salesmen and sharks of the car world and although a few issues remain I have been very impressed with my own steely determination. I have car.

To celebrate I’ve made some quick and lively food. This is perfect for a weeknight dinner. The kale and herb pesto is full of crunchy almond bits and it is delicious.

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Crunchy Pesto chicken with shaved fennel salad and beans- alive food!

Kale-Pesto-Chicken-Fennel

This Kale , Spinach and Basil Pesto originated in The SuperFoods Kitchen Cookbook for Bioglan and is a recipe by Jacqueline Alwill. I have altered it a little by adding parmesan and lemon and lots more green leafy things than the original had. It would be great with pasta and even greater with zucchini vegetable pasta ( spiralized).  But here it is in a kind of light and fresh, no grains or gluten kind of weeknight meal.

5.0 from 3 reviews
Kale Pesto Chicken, Fennel and Bean salad
 
My Kitchen Stories: 
Italian style
Keep this yummy green pesto in the fridge for pastas and even to add to the top of soups, add to dressings and serve on toasted sour dough.
Ingredients
Green Kale Pesto
  • 3 cups of firmly packed baby spinach, basil & parsley leaves only (100-120gm)
  • 3 Tablespoon dried kale powder ( bioglan)- don't skip it is perfection
  • ½ cup of raw almonds ( skin on) - 75gm
  • ½ cup of grated parmesan
  • ¼ cup lemon juice ( ½ a lemon)
  • ½ clove of crushed garlic
  • ¾ cup olive oil ( or 185 ml)
Chicken Salad
  • 500gm ( 1 lb) of chicken tenderloins
  • 1 medium fennel bulb shaved or cut very fine ) 21/2 - 3 cups
  • 1 small sliced Spanish Onion
  • 1 x punnet of ½'d cherry tomatoes ( 200gm- 7oz)
  • 400gm green beans
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • Extra 2-3 Tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ cup crushed galic
Instructions
To make the Pesto
  1. Put the nuts, garlic and parmesan into the food processor and blitz briefly just to break up a bit. Add the leaves, lemon juice and olive oil and process in bursts cleaning down the sides . Keep it chunky. Taste for salt and if there is enough oil to combine the pesto. Add at will. Set aside
  2. Put a pot of salted water onto the stove and bring to the boil. Add the prepared beans and bring back to the boil. Drain immediately and refresh with cold water. Set aside
  3. Put the dijon, vinegar and oil into a bowl with salt and pepper. Add the sliced or shaved head of fennel and toss.
  4. In another bowl big enough to hold all of the chicken add 3-4 tablespoons of the kale pesto and set aside. ( You can also add a teaspoon of white balsamic or lemon juice and some more oil & salt to taste)
  5. Heat a non-stick pan on high. Add 1 Tablespoon of oil and the Spanish onion. Sauté on medium until softening. Add the tomatoes and toss till just starting to wilt. Add this to the fennel and toss well.
* Note 1
  1. Clean down the pan with kitchen paper and heat again on high. Add another tablespoon of olive oil, then the chicken to the pan. The tenderloins will cook very quickly, turn down the heat and cook for 5-8 minutes or till just firm to touch ( test one by cutting open. Put the chicken straight into the bowl with the pesto and roll them around to coat.
  2. Serve along side the salad with any left over pesto from the bowl
Note 1 You can leave the onion and tomato raw if you like. i like mine just wilted.
Chicken-with-kale-pesto-and-fennel-My-Kitchen-Stories

 

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10 Comments

  • Yay! I look at that photo and it’s scary. Then I see telegraph pole and I chuckle. We yanks know those as telephone poles – we moved on from the dark ages.

    Your chicken salad is very grown up and modern so you get big points for this one. It looks delicious!
    Maureen | Orgasmic Chef recently posted..Tides Waterfront DiningMy Profile

  • o gosh..I am so relived that you are OK! Good thing that I don’t drive!!
    The pesto chicken with bean salad looks utterly delicious and good for you too.
    Angie@Angie’s Recipes recently posted..Eggplant Fans with YoghurtMy Profile

  • Hotly Spiced says:

    It’s so amazing you weren’t injured in that accident. I’m so glad you now have a car! And yes, it’s is terrible being a woman and having to deal with the secondhand car market. I do love the look of your dish and the kale pesto sounds terrific xx
    Hotly Spiced recently posted..Tomato and Thyme Tart and…My Bio-AgeMy Profile

  • Oh you poor thing Tania! I’m glad you are ok and glad that you’ve got the new blue car. I loathe dealing with dodgy car salesman, we’ve had some horrors who think if you’re looking then you’re buying but how can you buy before you look, some get so cranky when you say your off to look elsewhere! Anyway back to this delicious chicken dish of yours, it looks and sounds amazing, that salad sound scrumptious too!
    Have a gorgeous weekend and enjoy that little car.
    Dannielle@zamamabakes recently posted..Fabulous Foodie Fridays #51My Profile

  • I’m so sorry about your accident, but really glad you are ok! I hope you aren’t too shaken up by it all and the new car is going some way to make up for the crash and associated challenges.
    Kari @ bite-sized thoughts recently posted..Middle Eastern spiced bean and date ragoutMy Profile

  • thanks God that your okay my friend….
    The salad seems simply damn delicious!!!
    Dedy@Dentist Chef

  • Krista says:

    I am SO glad that you are safe AND that you have a lovely new car to drive. XO I share your joy because I just got a car as well, and it is a wonderful thing. This salad is gorgeous and so savory. 🙂

  • Wowzers! That was a lucky escape! It’s true what they say, that everything is replaceable except life itself. I trust you are enjoying the shiny blue car. This looks totally delicious and is perfectly timed, as I have some chicken tenderloins in the freezer that are begging to be eaten. I just have to track down some of that kale powder… in what other ways/dishes can you use it?
    Sammie @ The Annoyed Thyroid recently posted..The Ultimate Rabbit Hole #18My Profile

    • My Kitchen Stories says:

      Hi Sammie. Nice to see you yesterday. You can use kale powder in just about anything you want some green goodness in. Smoothies, mayo, sauces ( last minute). I have just made some zucchini patties and put a couple of tablespoons in there. I am so not a kale person. i hate the prickly hard leaves but the powder is awesome>

  • Lily Lau says:

    Oh no, poor you! 🙁 I’m so relieved everything’s fine, phew…!
    Lily Lau recently posted..The Coolest Offices In The WorldMy Profile

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