I am SO thrilled about today’s post! Today I get to share with you one of the recipes from the amazing new cookbook from the talented gals over at my long-time favorite food blog, Our Best Bites. The Our Best Bites girls have been my go-to food gals since long before I was a blogger. My sisters, friends, and I have been making their food for YEARS. Creamy chicken taquitos, sugar cookie bars, baked potato soup, breakfast taquitos, Cadbury Mini Egg Cookies, spicy honey chicken salad . . . I could go on, BELIEVE ME! The OBB girls know where it is AT when it comes to food. Decadent, rich, comfort food!
For that reason, I was a bit nervous when I found out that the new OBB cookbook was . . . healthy. Womp waaaahhh….. I knew that Sara had been on an incredible weight loss journey, so it made sense to me that they were focusing more on healthy options, but I am such a comfort food junkie that I am always wary of food that is labeled “low cal,” “low fat,” or “healthy.” I shouldn’t be, because there is plenty of great, healthy food out there, and I could definitely stand to work on my health and weight, but too many experiences with dieters has me jumpy. I’m sorry, but if you truly think that sugar free brownie tastes “just the same” as a regular brownie then it has been far too long since you had a *real* brownie. Anyway . . . that is an unhealthy soapbox for another day. 😉
I have the other two cookbooks from the OBB gals, and I LOVE them, so you can imagine how thrilled I was when I was asked to review their new cookbook and share a recipe with my readers. Ummm….HECK YEAH!!!! Party time!
I sat down at the park to see if I could find a recipe that I felt compelled to make immediately . . . and ended up tabbing over a dozen. And those were just the recipes that I wanted to make RIGHT AWAY! They all look seriously amazing, and, I must say, NOT like the “health food” I was expecting! What a pleasant surprise! Via Instagram, I asked Kate and Sara (the OBB girls) which recipes were their favs from the cookbook. Sara said the Grilled Pico Steak and Kate said the Banh Mi Tacos. YUMMY! I can’t wait to try those! They are now on my shortlist.
In the meantime, we tried the Zucchini Ribbons and Pasta with Creamy Lemon-Basil Sauce, and the Braised Italian Chicken. Both were very tasty, but I definitely loved the Braised Italian Chicken the most, so I decided to share that one. It was great, and it made delicious leftovers, too! We had guests over for dinner that night, and it’s always a gamble to make a new recipe for guests, but everyone loved it! Rave reviews all around! I am lucky that I get to share it with you below, but for the rest of the awesome 400 calorie or less recipes you will need to snag your OWN copy of the new Our Best Bites cookbook!
Oh, and use the chicken thighs as opposed to chicken breasts. The OBB girls seem to have a deep and passionate love affair with chicken thighs. Seriously. It’s a recurring theme on their blog. 😉
- 1½ - 2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs (6 - 8 thighs)
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt, divided
- freshly ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 cup diced onion
- ¼ cup shredded carrot
- 5 - 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes, undrained
- 1 (14.5 oz) can tomato sauce
- 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
- 1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar, divided
- 2 - 3 Tablespoons chopped fresh basil
- freshly shaved Parmesan cheese
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- To prepare chicken, rinse all pieces in cold water and use a pair of kitchen shears to snip off any excess fat. Blot dry on paper towels. Season one side of chicken with ¼ teaspoon salt plus a few cracks of black pepper.
- Heat a large Dutch over to medium heat. When hot, add olive oil and brush across bottom of pot to cover surface. Add a quick spray of nonstick cooking spray if necessary. Place chicken in pan, seasoned-side down, and sprinkle remaining ¼ teaspoon salt plus a few cracks black pepper on other side of chicken. Cook 2 - 3 minutes. Flip chicken and cook for an additional 2 - 3 minutes. Remove chicken from pan and set aside.
- Add onions and carrots to pot and cook 2 -3 minutes, stirring often. Add garlic and cook for an additional 30 seconds, or until fragrant. Add can of diced tomatoes (including all the juices), tomato sauce, Italian seasoning, and ½ Tablespoon balsamic vinegar. Stir ingredients, scraping up any browned bits on the bottom of the pot, and bring to a simmer.
- Add chicken and all accumulated juices. Cover chicken with sauce and cover pot with lid or a double layer of aluminum foil.
- Bake for 1 hour. Remove from oven and remove lid. Using 2 forks, gently shred chicken into large chunks. Add remaining ½ tablespoon balsamic vinegar and chopped basil. Add additional salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve over pasta, rice, quinoa, or steamed vegetables, or on French rolls of slider buns. Garnish with Parmesan cheese.