Thursday, November 11, 2010

Cravings Make You Do Crazy Things

Julia Child I am not.

Truth be told, I don't cook very often. Ok, that's an overstatement. I don't really cook EVER! Thankfully, the good Lord above blessed me with a hubby who doesn't mind doing the cooking (and he's pretty darn good at it). Once in a blue moon, though, I will walk into the kitchen for more than a snack. I will (dare I say it?) COOK. Did you get chills like I just did? (probably not).

Something has come over me recently. I've wanted to do some cooking. I chalk it up to my temperamental stomach. For the most part, I have been cutting out dairy and gluten or wheat. Apparently, my stomach is not too fond of either of these. With this being said, I've been craving Italian food like CRAZY! My cravings wanted a giant pile of cheesy lasagna, but my brain said lets try something a little less painful. I began my search for something to appease my craving for 'Chelle-friendly Italian food. My criteria was simple: it had to be something that didn't make me feel like I wanted to die after eating it; it had to be simple but tasty; finally, I had to have the majority of the ingredients on hand. I opted for a baked version of my second favorite Italian dish - chicken parmesan.

Many moons ago, Chas and I were on a weight loss program that we both had very good success with...until we got lazy and stopped doing it (I'm just sayin'). But I digress...This program came with a very expensive helpful cookbook filled with a lot of great-tasting, low-fat/low-sodium alternatives to traditional recipes. I decided that this would be the perfect place to start. Fortunately, there was a chicken parmesan recipe in the book. I liked the recipe as it was in the book, but I decided to make a few changes to it. For instance, I decided to use gluten-free tortilla crumbs instead of traditional bread crumbs. I also opted not to top the dish with cheese (I know. I know).

'Chelle's Chicken Parmesan Experiment
2 chicken boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/2 c. gluten-free tortilla crumbs
2 eggs
1 can tomato sauce
1 (or 3) dash of garlic
1 dash of oregano
1 dash of salt

1.Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
2. Pour beaten eggs into a shallow bowl. In another shallow bowl, mix the tortilla crumbs, garlic, oregano, and salt. Dip chicken breasts into tortilla crumb mixture.
3. Pour tomato sauce into the bottom of baking dish. Place battered chicken in bowl. Pour remaining tomato sauce over chicken.
4. Cover the baking dish with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for another 10-15 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.

Unfortunately, I didn't think to take the picture of this dish, but it turned out so good. The chicken stayed nice and tender, and the tomato sauce and spices definitely satisfied my cravings for Italian food. This was my first time to cook with tortilla crumbs, and overall I was happy with them. It left a little bit of a corn-y taste to the meal, but nothing that I couldn't get past (and I'm a flavor person). This dish will definitely be one that I will make again (especially since Chas liked it). On the next go around, I think that I will blend some spinach into the tomato sauce to add some veggie content. I will also add some more Italian spices (i.e. PamperedChef  Parmesan/Garlic) to the crumb mixture. I will also consider topping with almond cheese, and serving over rice pasta.

I can't believe I'm actually posting a recipe on my blog. What is this world coming to?


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