To avoid post-holiday letdown, my husband suggested that we have a few friends over for supper. All I needed was a quick and easy entreé, such as the pan-seared chicken breasts topped with tomato tapenade, which follows.

This recipe takes only about 45 minutes to make, from start to finish, and calls for readily available ingredients. A classic tapenade prepared with coarsely chopped kalamata olives, chopped red onion and garlic, plus flavorings of thyme and dill, is jazzed up with an addition of chopped sun-dried tomatoes. You can make the tapenade and serve it right away, or you can assemble it a day or two ahead and store it in the fridge. Either way it will be delicious.

For the chicken, boneless breasts are marinated in lemon juice for 30 minutes, rubbed with seasonings, and then pan-seared and popped in the oven for a few minutes. For serving, I spoon some of the colorful olive melange atop the breasts, then add a sprinkling of crumbled goat cheese.

For sides, I am planning to offer sautéed spinach and saffron-scented rice, but a salad of winter greens tossed in a vinaigrette sauce and some roasted red-skin potatoes would also make tempting garnishes.

This chicken entree is not laden with calories, a fact that will definitely please my guests, all of whom are likely to be dieting at this time of the year. They never say no to a home-cooked meal, and they can eat this one without guilt!

Betty Rosbottom is the author of "Big Book of Backyard Cooking."