Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Chicken Parmesan Casserole + 30 Days of Dinner!!

This month's feature certainly isn't the most gourmet nor does it look particularly pleasing. BUT Cami basically cooked the entire dish herself with some very slight oven help from me. Kane is interested in cooking, but Cam really throws herself into every small detail. She's careful and methodical. She pays attention to kitchen safety. She doesn't mind prep or cleanup work (actually, she loves it) and takes her time to do things right. So I have started to give her more responsibility when she wants it, including using the stove/oven and sharper knives (all with supervision). So she's really been able to cook entire meals herself. And even though I prefer my alone time in the kitchen, I've loved spending this time with her. So, I'm featuring her first big meal this month—it also happens to be really tasty.

We were on vacation for 10 of these 30 days, but instead of leaving out vacation time, I included it for reality's sake and because, for some reason, people love to see what we eat on vacation. Happy almost end of summer!!

Chicken Parmesan Casserole
(from Emily Bites)

- 2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
- 1/4 cup fresh basil, finely chopped
- 2 cups marinara sauce
- 1 1/2 cups reduced fat shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
- 2 oz parmesan cheese
- 3.5 oz garlic croutons, roughly crushed, leaving some larger pieces

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly spray a 9 X 13 baking dish with cooking spray.
2. Spread the cubed pieces of chicken across the bottom of the baking dish in a single layer. Sprinkle the minced garlic, red pepper flakes and basil evenly over the chicken. Spread the sauce evenly across the top. On top of the sauce layer, sprinkle 3/4 cup of the mozzarella and one ounce of the parmesan evenly across the dish. Sprinkle the crushed croutons across the top and follow with the remaining cheese.
3. Bake for 40-45 minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.

*          *          *

Day 1 (M) -- Blackened Fish Tacos with Avocado Cream
Day 2 (T) -- dinner out
Day 3 (W) -- Cheesy Taco Skillet (with ground turkey); Grilled Corn and Avocado Salsa (Weight Watchers)
Day 4 (Th) -- Greek Chicken Sausage Sandwiches (Weight Watchers); sweet potato fries
Day 5 (F) -- Crispy Panko Chicken Breasts; green salad
Day 6 (Sat) -- grilled steak and salad
Day 7 (Sun) -- dinner out

Day 8 (M) -- Honey Dijon Salmon (Weight Watchers); brown rice; roasted cauliflower
Day 9 (T) -- dinner out
Day 10 (W) -- Fajita Turkey Burgers; sweet potato fries
Day 11 (Th) -- Boudin Bakery: Clam Chowder in a Bread Bowl
Day 12 (F) -- Presidio Social Club: East West Chicken Noodle Soup + Kale Salad (I really still didn't feel good!)
Day 13 (Sat) -- Statebird Provisions: we ate all kinds of delicious dim-sum style dishes
Day 14 (Sun) -- Solbar: Sicilian Halibut Crudo + Niman Ranch Prime New York Pavé

Day 15 (M) -- picnic dinner from Rush Creek Lodge general store
Day 16 (T) -- poolside BBQ at lodge
Day 17 (W) -- Majestic Yosemite Lodge: Caesar Salad + Capellini Pomodoro
Day 18 (Th) -- Sushi Ran 
Day 19 (F) -- Del Popolo
Day 20 (Sat) -- Mission Chinese Food (Kung Pao Pastrami was deeelish!)
Day 21 (Sun) -- airport subs!

Day 22 (M) -- Smoked Salmon Pizza with Whipped Goat Cheese, Capers, and Tomato (Plated); green salad
Day 23 (T) -- Carne Asada Tacos with Pico de Gallo, Avocado, and Lime Crema (Plated); corn on the cob
Day 24 (W) -- Chicken Parmesan Casserole
Day 25 (Th) -- Hobo Pack Chicken Fajitas; black beans; rice
Day 26 (F) -- Braised Pork in Lazy Cherry Ancho Mole (this was PHENOMENAL); Blistered Shishito Peppers
Day 27 (Sat) -- dinner out
Day 28 (Sun) -- dinner out

Day 29 (M) -- Blackened Salmon Sandwich with Kale-Fennel Slaw and RĂ©moulade (Plated)
Day 30 (T) -- Pan-Seared Chicken with Asparagus, Tomato Jam, and Butter Lettuce Salad (Plated)


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