Thursday, June 12, 2014

Gluten Free Brown Rice Rotini with Pesto Cream & Chicken

Pesto. Yum. Homemade Pesto, even yummier! The best part? I can load it full of spinach and get my kids to eat it! Basil is growing in the garden and I've got a whole lotta gluten free pasta taking up space in my pantry. Thank you to my local discount store that has a random assortment of sometimes decent gluten free items.  I also had some chicken I had baked, shredded, and reserved from last week sitting in my freezer. Chicken is tricky. We all love it, but my 4 year old son has recently been diagnosed with a chicken allergy, among-st many other bizarre and frustrating allergies (insert mommy's sad sigh here) so if we're going to have it it has to be an optional ingredient so I can split up the dish and make his without. This is a simple dish that could be simplified even further with some store bought pesto and a rotisserie chicken (or without chicken at all). Sometimes I even add some cooked frozen green peas for some more vegetables and color. It's so good!

Basic Pesto:

1 c of loosely packed spinach
1/2 c of loosely packed fresh basil leaves
1 tsp of minced garlic
1/4 c olive oil
1/4 c pine nuts (you could also use almonds)
1/2 c. grated Parmesan cheese
a few drops of lemon juice
1/2 tsp of salt
a few cracks of pepper

In your food processor or blender, add all ingredients except for the olive oil and give it a good pulse. Once the ingredients pretty much pulverized, stream in the olive oil and continue to mix until combined. Give it a little taste and add salt or more garlic to taste.

Brown Rice Rotini with Pesto Cream & Chicken
Brown Rice Rotini
2 cups of shredded cooked chicken
2 tbsp Cream Cheese
1/4 c. Grated Parmesan
3/4 c. Prepared Pesto (see above recipe or use store bought)

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and cook Rotini to package directions. Drain and return to pain. Add cream cheese to hot pasta and toss to melt so that it coats pasta evenly. This should be done while pasta is still very warm.  Add pesto and chicken and toss to combine. Top or serve with remaining Parmesan. Enjoy!

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