I come from a long line of crazy Italians and I LOVE Italian food! No surprise there, given my heritage - but, probably some surprise due to my predominantly grain-free lifestyle.

A little story about me as a little girl... Growing up, my very favorite breakfast was cheese tortellini with butter and lots of salt and pepper. Man, I can taste it as I type this! I don't tend towards this breakfast now, as most of you who follow me know! 🙂 And not that I would be opposed - but it's interesting, taste buds change. Not only between growing up from a kid to an adult - but as we eat differently, taste buds will change. Did you know that?

You can eat a certain way your whole life and then change your habits and your body will begin to CRAVE the new things you feed it. This works both ways of course - you could go from eating a very clean "diet" to perhaps going off the rails for several days (think: the holidays) OR you could go from eating a highly processed "diet" to eating a very clean "diet" -- either way, you will teach your taste buds (and your brain) what to crave.

So, while I LOVE pasta with butter and man - how many times have I had Fettucini Alfredo?! 🙂 I just don't genuinely CRAVE those things anymore. Not that they are bad AT ALL - but, in moderation.

So, this is my way of satisfying my Italian craving, while still maintaining little to no grains.

Please hear me clearly here: GRAINS are NOT bad - this goes for pasta too! In a perfect world, we would have 100% access to sprouted grains all the time... So, when I do eat grains, I try very hard to be sure they are sprouted. I've simply learned that I feel far better when I do this vs not caring. So when I say that we eat a predominantly grain-free "diet" - this is why. Not because I think they are bad for you. Just wanted to clarify this small but significant point. 🙂

I served this with a small herb salad - butter lettuce, spinach, cilantro leaves, chives, a few shavings of raw manchego and tossed with evoo and balsamic vinegar and my "cheesy" roasted cauliflower! It was de-lish!!

Hope you enjoy!

Yields1 Serving

 2 lbs chicken tenders
 avocado oil cooking spray
 1 ½ lbs cherry tomatoes, halved
 5 garlic cloves, finely minced
 8 - 10 fresh basil leaves, julienned
 1 - 2 dried oregano
 salt and black pepper, to taste
 juice of 1/2 lemon
 1 tsp crushed red pepper (optional)

1

Spray a large non-stick skillet with avocado oil cooking spray and place over medium heat.

2

Season both sides of the chicken tenders with oregano, paprika, salt and black pepper.

3

Place chicken into pan (you don’t want to crowd the pan, otherwise the chicken will steam and not get that yummy crust, so you may have to do this in two batches) and cook approximately 4 minutes on each side, or until chicken is almost entirely cooked through (a meat thermometer reads 155 degrees F).

4

Remove chicken from pan and set aside.

5

Add the tomatoes and garlic into the pan with a little salt and cook for approximately 5 minutes until tomatoes are softened completely and the liquid from the tomatoes has reduced a bit.

6

Add chicken back into the pan and coat with the sauce.

7

Add in basil and stir to combine.

8

Turn heat to lowest setting and let simmer for another 5 minutes or until ready to serve.

9

Just before serving, squeeze half lemon over the top of the chicken.

10

Serve with cauliflower rice, cauliflower mash or roasted heirloom potatoes!

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Ingredients

 2 lbs chicken tenders
 avocado oil cooking spray
 1 ½ lbs cherry tomatoes, halved
 5 garlic cloves, finely minced
 8 - 10 fresh basil leaves, julienned
 1 - 2 dried oregano
 salt and black pepper, to taste
 juice of 1/2 lemon
 1 tsp crushed red pepper (optional)

Directions

1

Spray a large non-stick skillet with avocado oil cooking spray and place over medium heat.

2

Season both sides of the chicken tenders with oregano, paprika, salt and black pepper.

3

Place chicken into pan (you don’t want to crowd the pan, otherwise the chicken will steam and not get that yummy crust, so you may have to do this in two batches) and cook approximately 4 minutes on each side, or until chicken is almost entirely cooked through (a meat thermometer reads 155 degrees F).

4

Remove chicken from pan and set aside.

5

Add the tomatoes and garlic into the pan with a little salt and cook for approximately 5 minutes until tomatoes are softened completely and the liquid from the tomatoes has reduced a bit.

6

Add chicken back into the pan and coat with the sauce.

7

Add in basil and stir to combine.

8

Turn heat to lowest setting and let simmer for another 5 minutes or until ready to serve.

9

Just before serving, squeeze half lemon over the top of the chicken.

10

Serve with cauliflower rice, cauliflower mash or roasted heirloom potatoes!

Paleo One-Skillet Tomato Basil Chicken