April 24, 2012



Today’s post is all about the ABC’s.

Atlanta Bread Company.


(Atlanta Bread has since gotten a new logo, but this is the one I remember.)


After I graduated from Rollins, I moved back home to Gainesville for a couple of years.  While living at home with my mom, we had a tradition of eating at Atlanta Bread Company after fun, random trips to Target. 

At that time Gainesville didn’t have a Panera and ABC was the closest thing to it (since then, G’ville has gotten a Panera and ABC has closed).

One night, I remember trying a bite of my mom’s Chargrilled Chicken Pesto Panini Sandwich and loving it.  I had never tasted Pesto before and was hooked.  From that moment on, that was my menu choice every time we ate there.  It was deelish.



Ingredients listed on the menu are as follows:  Chargrilled Chicken tossed in Basil Pesto with Havarti Cheese and Tomatoes grilled on Focaccia.


The original, as delicious as it was, I remember to be a little greasy.  I don’t know if it was the cheese or focaccia or too much pesto, but there were always oily marks left on the paper basket liner.

Well, in my ultimate quest to make yummy classics just as tasty as the originals only healthier, here is my recreation how-to and ingredient swaps: 

  • whole wheat flatbread instead of focaccia
  • reduced fat feta and mozzarella instead of Havarti 
  • smaller amount of pesto mixed into the chicken instead of layered on top in mounds

I must say, my new version tasted JUST LIKE I remembered and it definitely took me on a stroll down memory lane.  Enjoy!


Grocery Lane’s

Chicken Pesto Panini






Here’s how:

1.  Sauté or grill two chicken cutlets until done (I like to use cutlets in this recipe for the simple fact that they cook faster than breasts).  If sautéing in a pan, use 1T of olive oil to prevent sticking.  Chop into small pieces.

Add the chicken back into the pan and then add about 2-3 T of store bought (or homemade) basil pesto along with 1/3 C drained petit diced canned tomatoes.  I saved the rest of the canned tomatoes for a later meal.  Waste not want not!



2.  Mix all of the ingredients together to combine in a warm pan (low heat).



3.  Add desired amount of reduced fat feta cheese.  I added about 3 T, or 1/4 C.



4.  Instead of using focaccia, I used my new favorite flatbread (mentioned in this post) and even found it in whole wheat.  Score!

I followed the package instructions, drizzled with water and heated for a few minutes in a 350 degree oven to make the flatbread warm, flexible and easier to fold over to make the panini.  After warmed, sprinkle a little bit of reduced fat mozzarella to help stick the two sides together.



5.  Add half of the filling on one side of each panini and fold over.



6.  Press in a heated panini maker until cheese is melted.  If you don’t have a panini press, or griddler, heat a dry sauté pan and top with a smaller pan.  Weigh it down with canned goods for extra weight to get the “pressed” affect (see below).



(Photo source above)


7.  Enjoy!


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