Hello Carrots ‘n’ Cake readers! I’m so excited to guest-post on this site because I am an avid follower. My name is Jessica and I am co-blogger of Keep It Simple Foods. My co-blogger, Jennifer, and I focus on creating healthy recipes with moderation as our guideline. We also feature products that we love as well as reviewing exciting restaurants in the Washington D.C. area.
Like Tina, one of my favorite things to do is “healthify” a more indulgent dish that I enjoy. One of those dishes is Chicken Parmesan. Who doesn’t love a fried piece of chicken covered with marinara sauce and cheese! But, I for one, need a variation that doesn’t wind up being a gazillion calories. This is what I’ve come up with.
4 chicken breasts (pounded to 1/4 inch thick or buy thin sliced chicken breasts)
1 cup of whole wheat panko crumbs (I like Ian’s)
1/3 cup of freshly grated parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon of oregano
1/4 teaspoon of rosemary
1/4 teaspoon of thyme
1/4 teaspoon of salt
2 eggs, beaten
1 tablespoon of milk
1/2 cup of all-purpose flour mixed with salt and pepper
About 1 cup of marinara sauce (my recipe will follow)
First spray a glass bakeware lightly with cooking spray. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Set up an assembly line- First set the flour and salt and pepper in one bowl. Then the egg and 1 tablespoon of milk in a second bowl. Then the panko crumbs, parmesan, thyme, salt, rosemary, and oregano in the third bowl. Dredge each chicken breast in the flour and shake off excess. Dip in the egg mixture and then dredge in the breadcrumbs mixture. Spray each side of the chicken breast with cooking spray and arrange in the glass bakeware.
Once all the chicken is placed in the bakeware, bake for about 15 minutes. Then take the bakeware out and spread some marinara sauce over the chicken and sprinkle each chicken breast with about a tablespoon of shredded mozzarella cheese and a sprinkle of parmesan. Put back in the oven and bake until the cheese is melted- about 7 minutes or so.
This always satisfies my craving– just pair with your favorite whole grain pasta (mine is Barilla plus).
Below is my marinara sauce recipe. It’s easy, smooth, and cheaper than bottled sauce. You can also freeze portions of the sauce so you can pull it out for a dinner at a later date.
2 tablespoons of olive oil (classico bertolli suggested)
1 medium onion, finely chopped
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 bay leaf
One 28 oz can of tomato puree
One 15 oz can of tomato sauce (muir glen organics recommended)
3 tablespoons of tomato paste
Dash of salt
1 teaspoon sugar
One large handful of fresh basil leaves, cut coarsely
Heat two tablespoons of oil over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until translucent. Add minced garlic for 40 seconds, be careful not to brown. Then add the tomato puree, tomato sauce, and tomato paste, bay leaf, oregano, thyme, dash of salt, sugar, and parmesan cheese. Bring to a boil. Once sauce is boiling, bring to simmer and cook for 20 minutes on low. Remove bay leaf and add the basil leaves to stir through sauce right before serving.
I hope you enjoy the meal as much as I did!