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Pesto Cauliflower Gnocchi & Grilled Chicken Recipe

Pesto Cauliflower Gnocchi & Grilled Chicken Recipe

Nickie Crocker is back in full force y’all!

I’ve always loved hosting dinner parties, but get so nervous to cook for other people.

What if I poison them? Will my food taste awful? Maybe I’m just not meant to be in the kitchen. 

So now, back by popular demand, I’m hosting Monday’s at Mora’s for The Bachelor. I’m using Monday nights to try a new (healthy) recipe and will be taking you on the ride with me. 

Up first:

Cauliflower Gnocchi with homemade pesto, grilled chicken, and roasted veggies. 

I’m a self-proclaimed lazy girl in the kitchen and I know a bunch of you are too. I like to eyeball measurements and improvise as I go. 

What you’ll need:

  • Chicken breast cutlets (I like mine thinly sliced)
  • Dijon mustard
  • Lemon
  • Olive oil
  • Chile lime salt from Trader Joe’s (you can substitute this for a seasoning of your choice)
  • 3-5 Garlic cloves
  • Butter
  • Garlic Powder
  • Brussel sprouts
  • Cauliflower 
  • Fresh basil
  • Cauliflower Gnocchi (I got mine from Trader Joe’s, but I think Costco also has them) – 1 pack from TJ’s feeds about 2-3 people so adjust accordingly

First, prep your chicken:

Make the marinade according to how many people you’re cooking for. I made this for 9 girls.

I mixed some olive oil (again, I eyeballed it and didn’t want to use too much oil), the juice of half a lemon, and a teaspoon of dijon mustard together in the bowl before adding my chicken. Add your chicken and then season with garlic powder, chile lime salt, a little salt and pepper. I toss the chicken around and make sure the marinade + seasonings really soak. Cover your chicken with saran wrap and put it in the fridge for an hour or two. If you don’t have time for that, just cover it and prep your other sides until you’re ready to cook your chicken.

 

About 15-20 minutes before dinner is to be served, pop your chicken breasts on a grill or pan-fry. 

Fun trick: I use my panini maker as a grill! It keeps chicken breast super juicy and does not require any oil to cook. 

About 5 minutes on each side and you’re all done! 

For your veggies:

I took my own shot at making homemade garlic butter to put on the veggies while they roast.

Grate 3 cloves of garlic. Melt your butter in a bowl and add the grated garlic. Mix well and pour over your chopped up veggies.

I roasted my brussel sprouts and cauliflower at 350 for 30 minutes. Pop these in 10 minutes before you start cooking your chicken and gnocchi. 

 

For your pesto:

My guests had nut allergies, so we had to nix the nuts for this recipe. I also didn’t have a food processor on hand, but a Magic Bullet works perfect for this – it just takes a little bit longer. 

Depending on how much garlic you like, use 2 or 3 cloves and “blend” first. 

Mix in a handful of basil, a handful of parmesan cheese, a squeeze of lemon, add your olive oil. I added the olive oil little by little in between blending until the pesto became the texture I preferred. 

If you don’t have a nut allergy, you can use a handful of pine nuts instead of parmesan! 

For your cauliflower gnocchi:

I suggest leaving your gnocchi packs out for about 30 minutes before you’re ready to cook them to allow them to defrost a bit. 

There are instructions on the back, but from my research, people found their gnocchi to be mushy and not as great consistency wise. My friend Nikki makes this all the time and instructed me on a better way to cook them. 

Heat a large pan and spray with olive oil.

Add your gnocchi and spray the tops of it with olive oil. Try and separate any of the gnocchi that are stuck together. 

Let it cook for a few minutes and splash a tablespoon amount of water. Don’t put too much water or else the gnocchi will get really soft. 

Stir sparingly and until the gnocchi starts to brown/turn golden 

Add your pesto and toss in the pan. Cook for another minute or two.

Pour into a serving bowl and top with parmesan and sun-dried tomatoes!

Serve it all together with a romaine salad and you’re good to go! Easy, simple and lazy girl approved! 

xo NM

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