I *heart* chicken parmesan. I don’t make it that often (mainly because it takes a while and creates a lot of dishes to wash!), and I don’t order it out that often (usually because I always want to try something new). But when I do eat/order it, I am in heaven. It’s been a favorite meal of mine since I was a little kid. (I used to lovingly refer to the cheese on top as gum. I’d always want more gum!)
So, when this recipe popped up on my Pinterest feed, I was very eager to give it a try. It promised the deliciousness of chicken parmesan (including the gum!) without all the work. The stringy mozzarella was distributed throughout the entire casserole, and the panko on top provided a great crisp.
Start by preheating your oven to 375°…
- Heat 1 tablespoon of EVOO in a large skillet over medium heat.
- Season a package of chicken with salt and pepper.
- Add the chicken to the hot oil and cook until browned, about 5 minutes per side.
- Remove the chicken and let cool.
- Chop an onion and mince up some garlic.
- Add another tablespoon of EVOO to the skillet.
- Add the onion.
- Stir and cook until tender and golden, about 5 minutes.
- Add the garlic and cook for a few more minutes.
- Add 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar.
- Cook until the vinegar is absorbed.
- Add a small can of diced tomatoes.
- Pour in a small can of tomato sauce.
- Sprinkle in 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flake.
- Add 1/2 teaspoon each of dried basil and dried oregano.
- Season with some s&p.
- Stir well.
- Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and let simmer.
- Meanwhile, bring 2 cups of chicken broth to a boil in a saucepan.
- Thoroughly rinse 1 cup of quinoa under cold water.
- Add the rinsed quinoa to the broth.
- Bring to a boil.
- Cook until the broth is fully absorbed. (Follow package instructions.)
- Cut the cooled chicken into bite-sized pieces.
- Add chicken to the sauce.
- Add the quinoa.
- Mix everything up.
- Coat a baking dish with the cooking spray.
- Add half the quinoa mixture to the baking dish.
- Sprinkle 1 cup of shredded mozzarella on top.
- Add the rest of the quinoa mixture.
- Top with the another cup of shredded mozzarella.
- Add some grated parmesan cheese.
- Finish with some panko breadcrumbs.
- Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 15 minutes.
- Remove the foil, and bake for 10 more minutes.
It’s salad season again! Spring and summer promise lots of great new salad recipes. I just love a good salad! They are just so refreshing and satisfying at the same time. And, you can indulge and have seconds of salad without all of the typical guilt.
This salad caught my eye mostly because of the buffalo chicken, which is such a guilty pleasure of mine. The chicken delivered a great crunch, although the buffalo flavor could have been more pronounced. The veggie combination was good. Next time, I would add a cucumber and some peppers for a little more bite. I would also double the chicken. It was so good that it didn’t last as long as the rest of the salad.
Start with the chicken…
- Preheat your oven to 425°.
- Cut 1 package of chicken breasts into bite-sized pieces.
- Crack an egg into a bowl.
- Add a few tablespoons of buffalo sauce.
- Whisk well.
- Pour 1 cup of panko breadcrumbs into another bowl.
- Add 1/3 cup whole wheat breadcrumbs.
- Sprinkle in 1 tablespoon of whole wheat flour.
- Add 1/2 teaspoon of onion powder.
- Mix well to combine everything.
- Season the chicken with some s&p.
- Dip the pieces of chicken into the egg mixture.
- Press the chicken pieces into the breadcrumb mixture, coating all sides.
- Place the chicken on a baking sheet lined with tin foil.
- Bake the chicken for 20 minutes.
While the chicken cooks, make the rest of the salad…
- Crisp up a few slices of bacon in the microwave.
- Chop 1 package of snap peas, a bunch of scallions, and 2 carrots.
- Combine the vegetables with 1 package of chopped romaine lettuce in a large bowl.
Now you’re ready to serve…
- Start with the salad.
- Add some blue cheese crumbles and some of the bacon.
- Top with the chicken.
- Drizzle creamy blue cheese dressing on top.
One Year Ago: Garlic Chicken Stir Fry with Soy Sesame Noodles
Sometimes, a recipe doesn’t work out quite the way you expect it to…
Sometimes, the flavors aren’t there…
Sometimes, you are disappointed…
(Also, sometimes you can’t find the charger for your camera, leaving you forced to use your iPhone to take pictures.)
This is one of those times.
I stumbled across this recipe via Pinterest and thought it looked delicious. The photo included with this recipe showed crisp, colorful vegetables along with what appeared to be juicy pieces of chicken. My final product, however, looked nothing like that picture. I was pretty disappointed with this recipe. Really, I should have known better. Eight hours is far too long for zucchini and squash and peppers to cook. They lost all of their texture and color. My final product was bland looking and not so appetizing. The flavors were so-so. The balsamic and Worcestershire were pretty much lost. It was edible and we ate it. There was no feeling of satisfaction after the meal though.
Despite all of this, I decided to still share this recipe…mainly because I think it can be good.
This meal is salvageable! And here’s how. First, I would cook the chicken alone in the sauce first for a few hours. I’d then add the veggies and cook for an hour or so more. I would also add some more seasoning to the sauce. Maybe some dried herbs. And eight hours was way too much; four on high or six on low would be good enough. So if you try it, please make those adjustments (and let me know how it comes out!).
Start with the veggies…
- Chop 2 zucchini and 2 yellow squash.
- Place the chopped veggies into your slow cooker.
- Chop 1 yellow and 1 orange pepper.
- Add the peppers to the slow cooker.
- Slice a red onion and peel 1 head of garlic. (Leave the cloves in tact.)
- Add the onion and garlic to the slow cooker.
- Trim and cut 1 large package of chicken thighs into chunks.
- Place the chicken on top of all the veggies.
- Pour in 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar.
- Add 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce.
- Season with s&p.
- Stir well to combine everything.
- Cover and cook on low for 6 hours (or high for 4).
If you’d like, serve over rice or couscous or quinoa.
I hope you enjoy it more than I did!
Meatloaf is becoming a go-to dish of mine. (Can someone please tell me how to correctly spell it though?! Half the recipes I find spell it as one word; the other half spell it with two words!) It’s relatively quick to pull together and you then you just throw it into the oven and forget about it. I was excited when I came across this recipe on Iowa Girls Eats because it reminded me that I too had a mini meatloaf pan (thanks Gram!). The pan makes 4 smaller meatloaves, which means less cooking time. It’s also easier to cut into portions. (I’d say each mini meatloaf is 2 serving sizes.)
The BBQ flavors really came through in this recipe. And the cheddar added bursts of cheesy goodness!
Start by preheating your oven to 425°…
- Heat a little butter in a skillet over medium heat.
- Thinly slice 1 vidalia onion.
- Once the butter melts, add the onion.
- Season with some salt.
- Stir to combine.
- Cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, about 20 minutes. (Don’t let them burn!)
- Set the cooked onions aside to cool.
- Spray 4 mini meatloaf pans with the cooking spray.
- Add 1 pound of ground beef to a large bowl.
- Whisk an egg.
- Add the beaten egg.
- Add a tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce.
- Pour in 2 tablespoons of BBQ sauce.
- Add 1/4 cup of panko breadcrumbs.
- Season with black pepper.
- Cut up some cheddar cheese into 1/4 inch pieces.
- Add the cheese to the meat mixture.
- Last, add the cooled onions.
- Mix to combine everything.
- Divide the meat into four sections and place in the mini meatloaf pans.
- Spread 1 tablespoon of BBQ sauce over each loaf.
- Bake for 30 minutes, or until the meat is cooked through.
Serve with your favorite vegetable!
One Year Ago: Roman Chicken
A good cheese steak is certainly a guilty pleasure of mine. Feeling so full and gross after devouring one, however, is not something I enjoy. So, when I came across this recipe, I was excited to put my spin on it. The dish promised all the flavors of a delicious cheese steak without the guilt. It did not disappoint! I enjoyed every last bite of this stuffed pepper.
I did change the recipe up a bit. I excluded the mushrooms and opted to used thin cut beef round instead of roast beef cold cuts. I also cooked my peppers in the oven first to soften them up a bit (a step I definitely recommend).
Start by preheating your oven to 400°…
- Thinly slice a red pepper and an onion.
- Mince up some garlic.
- Cut 4 green peppers in half.
- Place the halved green peppers into a baking dish.
- Drizzle some EVOO over the peppers.
- Season with some s&p.
- Toss to evenly coat.
- Turn the peppers so that the cut-side is down.
- With a paring knife, make a small X on the back of each pepper.
- Place the peppers in the oven and cook until tender, about 20 minutes.
- Remove the peppers from the oven and let cool.
- Once cool, turn over so the cut-side is up.
While the peppers cool, start the filling…
- Heat a large skillet over medium heat.
- Add some EVOO.
- Then add some butter.
- When the butter has melted, add the red pepper, onion, and garlic.
- Season with some of the salt and pepper.
- Cook until tender, stirring occasionally, about 7 minutes.
- While the veggies cook, slice 1 package of thin cut beef round.
- Season the sliced beef with s&p.
- Drizzle some EVOO on top.
- Toss the coat evenly.
- Push the veggies to one side of the skillet.
- Add the beef to the other side.
- Cook until browned, stirring every now and then.
- When the beef is cooked through, stir to mix in the peppers and onions.
- Place half a slice of provolone into each of the green peppers.
- Spoon the beef mixture into each pepper.
- Top with another half slice of provolone.
- Bake for 15 minutes until the cheese has melted.
As I mentioned earlier this month, I have been on a meatloaf kick as of late. After searching through my pins, I came across this recipe, which really appealed to me. Buffalo sauce is just so yummy, and pretty much any meal with it quickly becomes a favorite of mine.
This meatloaf had just the right amount of heat. The buffalo sauce wasn’t overwhelming, but was definitely there.
Start by preheating your oven to 350° then get to the veggies…
- Finely chop 1 onion and 1 stalk of celery.
- Heat a tablespoon of EVOO in a skillet over medium heat.
- Add the onion and celery.
- Cook for about 6 minutes until the veggies soften, stirring every now and then.
- While the veggies cook, mince up a couple of cloves of garlic.
- Add the minced garlic to the softened veggies.
- Stir and cook for 1 more minute.
- Remove the pan from the heat and let the vegetables cool a bit.
Now, you’re ready to make the actual meatloaf…
- Add 1/3 cup of whole wheat breadcrumbs to the bottom of a large bowl.
- Crack an egg into the breadcrumbs.
- Pour in 3 tablespoons of buffalo sauce.
- Add about 2 ounces of ranch dressing. (*Tip: check the salad bar at your supermarket. They normally sell 2 ounces packets for just cents! That’s where I got mine!)
- Add 1/4 teaspoon each of s&p.
- Sprinkle in a pinch of cayenne pepper.
- Add 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella.
- Mix well.
- Then stir in the cooled vegetables.
- Fully incorporate the veggies into the buffalo mixture.
- Add one package of ground chicken.
- Mix well to distribute everything evenly.
- Coat a meatloaf pan with nonstick cooking spray.
- Add the chicken mixture to the pan.
Last, make the glaze for the top…
- Pour 1 tablespoon of buffalo sauce into a small bowl.
- Squeeze in 1/2 tablespoon of honey.
- Add 1/2 tablespoon ketchup.
- Mix well.
- Spread the glaze evenly to the top of the chicken.
- Bake for 1 hour.
- Remove from the oven and let cool for about 10 minutes before serving.
Serve with your favorite vegetable side dish. Enjoy!
Two Years Ago: Tilapia with Green Beans
When I came across this recipe on a favorite blog of mine (Iowa Girls Eats), I just knew that I had to try it ASAP! And I am certainly glad that I did. It was delicious!! I loved everything about it…the buttery avocado, the sweetness of the balsamic glaze, the freshness of the bruschetta. My husband fully agreed. Yum yum yum!
This was a relatively quick recipe to pull together. I
probably definitely could have let the balsamic vinegar reduce for a longer amount of time, but I was hungry! Next time, I’ll let it cook until it’s real syrupy. I made a quick side of spinach to go along with it. But, seriously, the chicken would have been more than enough to satisfy me! I needed nothing else!
Start with the balsamic glaze…
- Pour about 1 cup of balsamic vinegar into a small saucepan over medium-high heat.
- Bring to a boil.
- Then reduce the heat and let simmer for about 20 minutes.
- Remove from the heat and reserve.
- Next, trim one package of thinly cut chicken breasts.
- Heat some EVOO in a skillet over medium-high heat.
- Season one side of the chicken with some s&p.
- Place that side down in the skillet.
- Season the other side.
- Cook until the chicken is golden brown on the first side (about 6 minutes), then flip it.
- While the chicken finishes, preheat your broiler to high and line a baking sheet with tin foil.
- Place the finished chicken on the baking sheet.
- Top each piece with
somelots of bruschetta.
- Slice an avocado and add a few slices to each chicken breast.
- Sprinkle some shredded mozzarella on top.
- Place under the broiler until the cheese has melted. (Don’t walk away! You don’t want to burn this chicken!!)
- Remove from the oven and drizzle the reduced balsamic vinegar over it. (Don’t forget it! I almost did!!)
One Year Ago: Citrus Cranberry Sauce
I’ve been making a lot of different meatloaf recipes lately. It’s fun to experiment with different types of meat and different flavor profiles. For this recipe, I used beef and Mexican flavors. My
(p)inspiration came from here. The creamy guacamole on top along with the hidden layer of cheesy goodness in the middle really made this a meatloaf to remember. I highly recommend giving this recipe a try!
Start by preheating your oven to 350°…
- Add a package of ground beef to a large bowl.
- Add 1 egg.
- Sprinkle in 1 packet of taco seasoning.
- Add 1 cup of whole wheat breadcrumbs.
- Pour in 1 cup of medium salsa (or mild or hot…whatever you prefer).
- Mix well to combine.
- Coat a meatloaf pan with the cooking spray.
- Add half of the beef mixture to the pan.
- Cover with half a cup of shredded cheddar cheese.
- Press the remaining beef over the cheese.
- Bake for 1 hour.
- While the meatloaf bakes, make (or open a package of) some guacamole.
- Chop up a couple of plum tomatoes.
- Remove from the oven and drain any excess liquid.
- Top with another 1/2 cup of cheddar cheese.
- Place back in the oven and bake until the cheese is melted and bubbly, about 5 more minutes.
- Let cool for about 10 minutes before serving.
To serve, top with the guacamole and the tomatoes. Enjoy!
Everyone *loves* my mom’s fried cabbage! It’s a huge hit anywhere she brings it (including parties at my house). I think because she is always willing to bring it and her version is sooooo good, I have never tried to make it myself before. That is, until tonight!
It’s such a simple recipe…only 3 ingredients. It takes a little time and you can’t try to rush it, but it’s sooo worth it in the end. Delicious! And, leftovers are even better. My mom uses an electric frying pan, so if you have one, give it a try. I, however, do not own one so I used just a normal skillet on my stove. It worked just fine!
Start with the onion…
- Chop up 1 onion.
- Heat a skillet over medium-high heat.
- Add 2-3 tablespoons of butter.
- Once the butter melts, add the onion.
- Saute until softened (about 7 minutes).
- While the onion cooks, chop up 1 head of green cabbage.
- Add about 2 more tablespoons of butter to the softened onion.
- Then, add the cabbage.
- Stir to combine everything.
- Cover and let cook until golden brown, stirring occasionally.
- Add more butter if the skillet is getting too dry.
Make sure you give the cabbage ample time to get nice an caramelized. And don’t forget to stir. And no matter what: do not get impatient and increase the heat. It will burn!
I hope you like this as much as I do! Enjoy!
One Year Ago: Minestrone Soup
It is officially Spring now; the weather, however, certainly didn’t receive the memo! It’s cold and there’s still snow in the forecast. So, I am still craving hearty, comforting meals…ones that let the oven warm up the house, like casseroles. Casseroles, however, typically are not the best for your figure.
I was intrigued by this recipe though, since, besides some breadcrumbs, it was virtually carb-less. I was definitely pleased with the results and did not miss the carbs at all! It was very filling and equally satisfying.
Start by preheating your oven to 350°….
- Bring a pot of water to boil.
- Cut 2 heads of cauliflower into bite-sized florets.
- Add a teaspoon of salt to the boiling water.
- Then add the cauliflower.
- Cook for just a couple of minutes.
- Drain the cauliflower then run under cold water to stop the cooking process.
- Meanwhile, heat a skillet over medium-high heat.
- Add some EVOO.
- Using a pairing knife, split open the sausage casings and remove the meat.
- Add the sausage meat to the skillet.
- Break the sausage up with a wooden spoon.
- Cook until browned, about 10 minutes.
- While the sausage cooks, chop up an onion and 4 cloves of garlic.
- Add the onion and garlic to the sausage.
- Cook until the veggies are tender, about 5 minutes.
- Mince up about 2 tablespoons of fresh thyme.
- Add the thyme to the sausage mixture.
- Open a large can of plum tomatoes.
- Break the tomatoes up with your hands, and add them (and their juices) to the skillet. (Watch out! They *will* splatter as you crush them. I recommend an apron!)
- Stir to combine.
- Then, season with some s&p and bring to a boil.
- Coat a baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
- Add the cauliflower.
- Top with the tomato-sausage mixture.
- Stir to combine.
- Top with some breadcrumbs.
- Finish with some shredded (or grated) Parmesan cheese.
- Bake for approximately 25 minutes.
Two Years Ago: Lemon Pasta