I’m becoming a weekday Paleo. I was not ready to commit to the Whole 30 this summer…there are too many fun events peppered throughout the calendar to completely abstain from sugar, grains, and alcohol for 30 days straight. It’s just not happening. But after trying a modified version for a couple weeks (modified because I still had a little dairy) I can definitely see how beneficial it is. After getting over the first few days of sugar cravings, I felt really good. The hardest part was where food intersected with my social life. No one likes food restrictions when you’re trying to figure out where to go to dinner or when to meet for happy hour. So I’m keeping these restrictions in my life, but only on a part time basis.
For my first weekday post with this new commitment, I give you my favorite Whole 30-approved dinner. It is so delicious that even my carb-loving husband is a fan. And it’s so easy to make that after a long day at work I am not even tempted to order takeout. If you really need some carbs in your life, you can also toss this with pasta and a little extra olive oil and you’re set.
This is also a great meal to make with leftover chicken. In that case, I’ll dice the chicken and cook it again with the zucchini. The end result is more of a chicken and veggie bowl, but it is equally delicious.
For the herb mix, you can use your favorite dried herbs or a mix you already have and a little salt and pepper. Or you can mix your own mediterranean herbs by combining 1/2 teaspoon dried basil, 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme, 1/4 teaspoon mustard seed, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and 1/2 teaspoon salt.
Heat a seasoned cast iron skillet over medium heat and add the chicken breasts. Sprinkle the tops with the herb mix, cover and cook for 5-6 minutes. Turn and cover again, cooking for another 5-6 minutes. Check for doneness with a thermometer and cook longer if needed.
Slice the zucchini into 1/2 inch disks and then slice each disk in half. Cut the red pepper into small bite sized pieces. Peel and mince the garlic.
Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the minced garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes. Add the zucchini and toss, cover and cook for 5-6 minutes. Add the red pepper and cook another 1-2 minutes. Add the spinach and olives and cook for another 1-2 minutes, or until spinach is slightly wilted.
Combine the chicken with the veggie mix and serve hot.