My comforter in college could have served as a Rorschach Test.
Freshman year, I spilled a Spaghetti Lean Cuisine all over it, leaving a pinkish red stain in the middle.
Sophomore year, the year Old Man and I were drunk about 96.3% of the time, we managed to smear chocolate sauce (we were making peppermint patty shots–don’t judge!) and Chef Boyardee Ravioli all over the bottom half.
When I was a junior, I had a boy…well, he was a man at the age of 27…come over and we ate dinner on my bed. That’s when I dumped a bowl of artichoke ravioli with tomato sauce all over the end of the comforter.
Senior year? Dancing. Margaritas. Chips and Salsa. ‘Nuff said.
When I threw that comforter out at the end of those four years, I saw the remnants of way too much fun permanently stained in to the fabric. Also, I realized that I have a real hankering for carbs and quite possibly a raging case of the “dropsies”. (It is a real condition; wiki it.)
Oh, carbs, how I love you. I want to hold your hand…in public. I want to give you a backrub. I want to take long, hot showers with you until my fingers turn pruney and I have scalded every last scrap of skin off my back. I want to confess my deepest, darkest sins and fears to you and have you tell me “It’s ok, Lemmy. I still accept you.”
Carbs are comfort. Carbs are life. Carbs are a beacon of light in this mad, crazy world. I cannot live in a world lacking in their soft touch.
Luckily, I don’t have to cast them asunder. Of course, one cannot stay svelte eating huge bowls of pasta doused in parmesan and oil…but whole wheat pasta? Bring it on. Dr. Atkins can shove it. Growing up, I ate pasta at least twice a week and it is just something I am not willing to forgo. I came up with this chicken parmesan recipe as an excuse to eat a little bit of pasta, but it quickly turned in to the star.
Who wants some spaghetti when you can eat chicken covered in sauce and cheese? The panko breading is essential here. It is much crunchier than normal bread crumbs and holds up well to the the pan frying. Also, the parmesan mixed with the panko serves a dual purpose: it helps the chicken stay crispy, hence replicating a fried texture, and it permeates every single bite with cheese. I used chicken tenders for this recipe; they were on sale and cook a bit faster. This is one of my favorite, homey recipes. It is pure comfort food and not bad for you at all thanks to the egg beaters, whole wheat flour and low-fat cheese. It tastes so good it almost made me forget about the pasta. I could stare in to it’s eyes forever.
Just don’t drop it on the way to your bed…
Non stick spray
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 chicken breasts or 8 chicken tenders, pounded to 1/2″ thickness
1 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup egg beaters
2 teaspoons dry basil
2 tablespoons grated parmesan
1 cup panko bread crumbs
Salt and pepper
1 cup tomato sauce, jarred or fresh
1/2 c low fat mozzarella cheese
Preheat oven to 425. Spray an oven proof dish with cooking spray.
Create breading station. These dishes should contain:
* Dish 1: flour, pinch salt, a few grinds of pepper
* Dish 2: egg beater, a few grinds of pepper
* Dish 3: panko, parmesan, dried basil
Heat a frying pan and add spray and 1 tablespoon oil. Dip each piece of chicken in your breading station (Dish one, then two, then three, obviously). Fry each piece of chicken for about 2 minutes on each side in hot pan and place in baking pan when done.
When all pieces are done, cover each with sauce and the mozzarella cheese. Bake in oven for about 20 minutes. Serve with whole wheat pasta.