Thursday, March 28, 2013

Healthy Oven-Baked Chicken Parmesan

One of my favorite magazines that I look forward to getting in the mail every month is Clean Eating. I love all of the advice, product ideas and finds, and of course, all of the recipes. They are all clean, healthy, and for the most part, really easy to make.

One recipe that I made tonight out of the March 2013 issue was Oven-Baked Chicken Parmesan. It was so delicious and flavorful that I had to share it with you. I made a few changes to the recipe and I also used mostly organic ingredients. I served it over whole-wheat capellini pasta (angel hair) with sauteed zucchini as a side dish. It's a meal your whole family will love.

Healthy Oven-Baked Chicken Parmesan

2 tsp olive oil
1/2 large onion, diced
2 tbsp tomato paste
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tsp Italian seasoning
28 oz can crushed tomatoes (I used Kirkland Organic Crushed Tomatoes in the glass jar, 24 oz)
1 large sprig of basil
1/4 tsp sea salt

1/2 cup white whole-wheat flour
1 large egg
1 large egg white
1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper
1/2 cup panko crumbs
2 tbsp grated parmesan cheese
1 tbsp Italian seasoning
1 1/2 tsp fresh rosemary (or 1/2 tsp dried rosemary)
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
2 tbsp chopped fresh basil leaves

Prepare sauce: In a medium saucepan on medium, heat oil. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are translucent and slightly browned (about 6 minutes). Add tomato paste, garlic, and Italian seasoning and stir until combined (about 1 minute). Add tomatoes and sprig of basil. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally (about 20 minutes). Discard basil and add salt. Set aside.

Prepare chicken: Preheat oven to 400 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper (or spray with cooking spray). Set up three plates/bowls for dredging the chicken - to the first one, add flour; second one, add egg, egg white, and black pepper and whisk to combine; and third, add panko, parmesan, Italian seasoning, and rosemary and stir to combine. Dip each piece of chicken in flour, then in egg mixture, and then into panko, flipping to coat both sides. Bake for 16-20 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink. Remove chicken from oven and turn on broil setting.

Spray a 9x13 baking pan with cooking spray. Add chicken in a single layer. Spoon about 1/3 cup sauce over each piece and pour remaining sauce around chicken. Sprinkle mozzarella cheese evenly over the top of the chicken. Put the pan in the oven and broil until cheese is melted, 2 to 4 minutes (watch closely). Sprinkle with chopped basil and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve over whole-wheat pasta for a complete meal.

Serves 4

Recipe adapted from Clean Eating Magazine

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

My Weight Loss Journey

It has been 10 years since I lost 50 pounds on Weight Watchers. Since then I have gained the 50 pounds plus more back. I have lost 10 pounds here and there but I always manage to find it again. I lost 30 pounds before getting pregnant with my daughter and after I had her I lost all the pregnancy weight pretty quickly. I was down to the weight I was before getting pregnant. Now, I have gained some back and have been struggling to find motivation ever since. I shop at Whole Foods, Trader Joe's, and Farmer's Markets. I eat a lot of fruits and veggies. I eat a lot of lean protein and whole grains. My problem is I love sugar WAY too much and I don't exercise enough. I also work at a coffee shop where drinking high calorie drinks for breakfast has become routine. 

I love when I eat healthy and work out because I have so much more energy and feel so much better. But then I give into my sugar cravings (I'm like a crack addict for sugar) and my healthy eating and motivation go out the window. After I come out of the sugar-induced coma I am left feeling sick, low on energy, and my weight is back to square one. 

So, I decided that I would share my successes (and failures) on my blog. I will post healthy recipes and other tips and tricks I find along the way. I know that I will need to remain dedicated and work hard to reach my goal.

My plan for the first month is:
  • Eat healthy, all-natural, organic, and whole foods. I will cut way back on high sugar processed foods and indulge my cravings with a small piece of dark chocolate or frozen grapes.
  • Drink a green smoothie (or 2) daily.
  • Drink 8 glasses of water a day.
  • Work out 3-5 times a week for 30 minutes. I will be walking and taking weight lifting classes.
  • Have one meal out a week with dessert. It will most likely be at Chipotle, Blue Lemon, or Bocata, so I know it will be fairly healthy. 

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Hungry For Change

The documentary, Hungry For Change, changed the way I think about food. I watched it last year when it first came out and ever since I read labels and I know, whether it's good or bad, what is going in my body. I know that diets don't work. I know that sugar is an addiction. I bought the Hungry For Change Book just so I could have a reference manual when I need it. 

In just a couple of days you will be able to watch this film for free online. I promise you that is so worth it. This film is life-changing! (Just watch the trailer above to find out more.) To sign up for the free online screening, click here.