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  • Colleen Clesen

Jerk Chicken + Coconut Pesto Zoodles

This recipe was inspired by an AMAZING dinner we had at a Caribbean inspired restaurant on our baby-moon road trip out in Ashville, NC. The restaurant is Nine Mile, and it was our second time eating at this restaurant because we love it so much! I always get a jerk chicken dish that comes with a creamy dairy-free pesto sauce and steamed zucchini noodles. I've done my best to re-make this recipe at home. This meal is dairy-free, gluten-free, and paleo and has some creative flavors that all blend very well together. If you're ever out in Asheville, you have to try Nine Mile for dinner!

Ingredients

· 2 organic chicken breasts

· 2-3 zucchini spiralized

· 1 cup mushrooms chopped

· ½ onion chopped

· 1 red pepper chopped (optional)

· 2 tbs coconut oil

Jerk Seasoning:

· 1 tsp sea salt

· 1 tsp chili powder

· 1/2 tsp pepper

· ½ tsp cinnamon

· ½ tsp garlic powder

· ½ tsp cumin

· ½ tsp paprika

· ½ tsp ginger

· ½ tsp nutmeg

Pesto Ingredients:

· 1/3 cup of fresh basil

· ¼ cup of sunflower seeds

· 1/3 cup full-fat coconut milk

· 2 cloves of garlic

· 1 tsp salt

· ½ tsp pepper

· 1-2 tbs water to thin out the sauce

Instructions:

1. First, you will want to season your chicken breast. In a dish or plastic bag, combine all of the jerk chicken seasonings and coat your chicken breast. Leave them to sit and let the flavors marinate in while you prep the veggies.

2. In a cast-iron skillet on medium-high heat add 1 tbs of the coconut oil and sauté your mushrooms, onions, and peppers.

3. While the veggies are cooking, you will want to spiralize your zucchini into noodles if you didn’t buy them pre-cut already.

4. Once you’ve prepped the zucchini you will want to start cooking the chicken. In a separate cast iron skillet heat up the remaining coconut oil on low-medium heat and pan-fry your chicken breast. I usually keep the heat on low and cover the chicken to ensure it will be cooked through.

5. Keep an eye on your chicken and cook at least 6-7 minutes on each side.

6. While your chicken is cooking you can prep your coconut pesto sauce. In a blender combine all of the ingredients and pulse until they’re well incorporated. This sauce will be a thinner consistency and not as thick as traditional pesto more like a broth.

7. Once your pesto is done, you can add your zucchini noodles to the pan with the rest of your veggies and soften the zoodles.

8. Top the zoodles and veggies off with the pesto sauce, and reduce heat to low so the veggies simmer in the sauce.

9. Remove the chicken from your cast iron skillet once the chicken is cooked through and serve on top of the bed of coconut pesto veggies and zoodles!

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