Pesto Chicken, Roasted Tomato and Quinoa

Good Morning!!   I tell you what…it has been quite the week so far…and it is only Wednesday…MORNING!   Let me start with Monday.  Yes, Monday I was just going about my business, working in the Quad Cities.  I spent much of the morning stopping into see my podiatrists and inviting them to an upcoming event.  Around 11am, I pulled into yet another office.  Knowing the surgeon wouldn’t be in, I prepared to jot him a note. 

Reaching into my desk center console to grab my pen and paperclips, I notice that my secret stash of Zone bars was quite obviously no longer a secret. “Living” on the road…driving 2k-3k-4k miles per month, you just never know when you might need a meal bar, so I keep one in the console and replace it as I eat it. Unfortunately, there was going to be NO snacking on Monday. It seems a little furry friend found it, first. Yes. My Zone bar was DESTROYED. Eaten. Shredded. Nearly Gone. In it’s place were wrapper shreds, seat foam, and mouse turds. You can imagine, I was disgusted and furious. Not only was there a MOUSE in my car…but he ATE my bar! Jerk.

In a mad panic, I called Ryan and shared the delightful news. He encouraged me to rush home. His thoughts, “Well…if mice are eating away your seats (I assume to bury their chocolate chip treasure), they may also be eating away at wires. This isn’t safe and you need to get home. I will meet you there to help clean it out.” Me…the stubborn fool that I am, was ticked. I wasn’t done with work yet. I didn’t drive an hour (each way) to not finish my calls. I was not going to let a mouse alter my plans (or waste my gas!). So…I finished my notes and headed directly to Menards…to save some big money on mouse traps. There, I loaded up on supplies and trapped the heck out of my car. I wasn’t so sure I liked the idea of have mice glued to traps and riding around with me, but…hey, what other choice did I have? Traps in place, I finished my stops in the QC and scurried (no pun intended) back to Iowa City afterwards…praying that a mouse wouldn’t run across my feet as I traveled I-80.

Home mid-afternoon, husband-of-the-year, cleaned out my car, trapped the garage, and by midnight caught our little friend, Stuart. Bu-bye Stu. Don’t mess with my office…err, car. I live there.

After a short nights rest, I was on the road again by 5am on Tuesday. With a 7am case in Des Moines, there was no wasting time. Up at 4…on the road by 5. Only one problem. I wasn’t sure I was ready to hop back into my car. Fortunately, Ryan doesn’t drive his…so I opted to take our “old” ride. Ok…it really isn’t that old…only 10 years…but it certainly has it’s issues. Of particular interest yesterday…a NON FUNCTIONING air-conditioner. Sure. It’s March. BUT IT WAS 70 degrees yesterday! Let’s recap.

5am-7am: Drive to Des Moines. Dark…but smooth sailing.

11am-1pm: Drive back to Iowa City. Nearly peak sun…I was ROASTING.

230pm-4pm: Drive to Waterloo. Yep. STILL HOT.

7pm-830pm: Drive back to Iowa City. Dark again. Sure, smooth sailing.

So…I guess, air-conditioning is only important when the sun is out.

By 9pm last night, I was toast. I’d covered a couple of great cases in a couple of different hospitals across the state, I’d fought off a mouse, and gotten in a few hours in a sauna on the road. Whooo-Weee!

During that short break from 1-230pm yesterday, I also took another shot at “Wife of the Year.” Knowing I wouldn’t be home for dinner, I thought I would whip it up anyway so Ryan could eat more easily while he took care of Bella. Needing something quick and easy, I was reminded of a recipe that my friend Sara posted on her blog a long while back. ( Looking through my fridge, I thought I would make my own version…and it turned out well!

Pesto Chicken, Roasted Tomato, and Quinoa

Serves 4

  • 5 cups Cooked Quinoa
  • 8 oz Classico Basil Pesto (+ add’l 2-3oz, if desired)
  • 1 Handful Green Beans, cut into thirds
  • 1 pkg Santa Sweets (grape tomatoes), roasted
  • 2 large chicken Breasts, grilled and sliced
  • EVOO
  • 2 oz Parmesan, freshly grated

Preheat oven and grill to 400 degrees.

Start by marinading your chicken breasts in a bag with 3 oz pesto and 2 tbsp EVOO. Let sit for 20 mins.

While the chicken marinades, prepare the quinoa as directed on the box.

Trim the green beans, cut into thirds and boil for 3 minutes. Drain and set aside.

Line a baking sheet with tin foil and drizzle olive oil to prevent sticking. Toss grape tomatoes in EVOO and spread across sheet. Roast in the oven at 400 degrees for about 15 – 20 minutes. Watch closely. Pull out of oven when tomatoes are oozing their juices and begin to shrivel. Set aside.

Place chicken on the grill. Medium to large breasts will need to cook for about 6-7 minutes on each side. Pull off when cooked through. Let sit for a few minutes and then slice.

When all of your ingredients are prepped. Grab a large bowl and combine by add the remaning 5 ounces of pesto to the quinoa. Stir thoroughly. Add green beans and roasted tomatoes.

Scoop 1 cup of pesto quinoa to a plate and top with slices of chicken. Sprinkle plate with parmesan and drizzle add’l pesto, if desired!


This was super quick and super easy! And I think Ryan was pleasantly surprised to find dinner waiting for him when he got home…even though I was already miles away…again. 

Enjoy the rest of your week!  I look forward to putting on a few more miles…this time ALONE…and WITH AIR. 

Indulge.  In Life.  In Love.  In Food.

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