There's one part of summer (besides the weather) I'll never not enjoy, and that's a classic rooftop evening. I've lived in my Financial District apartment for the past 6 months, and literally three days ago realized I have a pretty incredible rooftop. For how overpriced NYC rent is, I knew there has to be some reason I was paying as much as I was for my shack of a room. It's definitely the rooftop catch.
For the past two nights, I've invited my girls over to enjoy delicious drinks and a home cooked meal, while watching the sunset go down. Who needs boys when you have 1) pasta 2) cheese 3) your best girl friends? Boys just hog all the food, ya know?
In New York, going out to eat frequently rakes up your Visa too much. That's why I love to have a healthy and affordable alternative so my friends and I can enjoy the city while saving money.
There's one classic staple recipe I feed to every one of my friends, boyfriends, guy friends etc, and it's my gluten-free pesto pasta with goat cheese + lemon chicken. It gets just about everyone. Plus, I got back to my apartment after my friends had arrived last night since work held me late, and I threw together this entire meal in under 30 minutes.
Pasta (serves 3-4, double ingredients x people)
1 bag of gluten-free uncooked pasta (I like fusilli, but any pasta works)
1 pint of pesto (Trader Joe's Genova Pesto is the bomb)
1/4 bag of fresh arugula
Cheese of choice (I alternate between goat cheese + lots of parmesan, mozzarella is also good)
Optional: top with basil
Salt + boil waster. Cook pasta according to directions. Drain. Let sit in colander until slightly cool. Mix pesto, lemon, arugula, salt/pepper and cheese together in one bowl. Put off to side until chicken is complete.
1 package of organic chicken breasts (usually the $10-$11 range is enough chicken)
Other half of lemon
2 cloves minced garlic
A few balls of mozzarella, sliced over chicken
Heat a pan over medium-heat with coconut or olive oil. Throw in tomatoes/minced garlic. Place chicken in the pan, and reduce to low-heat, for about 7 minutes. Place a few pieces of fresh basil over the chicken, as well as the sliced mozzarella and the lemon. Leave the lemon in the pan, and cover chicken for another 5 minutes. Place sundried tomatoes in the pan, and let chicken cook on low for another 2 minutes.
ou can either mix the chicken in with the pasta in small pieces, or leave it on a separate plate for people to choose what chicken they want.
An added recipe: 2 minute arugula salad
1 bag of arugula
1/2 cup of pine nuts
1 avocado, minced
7 dates, cut in half
Mix all ingredients together, top with basil, and squeeze lemon, salt + pepper, and olive oil all over as dressing.