Happy Monday everyone!
I'm not really into "cheat" days or "Cheat" meals -- the whole idea implies that eating healthy is like a hard exam or an unpleasant task that every now and then you get a break from. Not really what I'm into...
However, every now and then Patryk and I will indulge a little more than usual. Always whole foods (for the most part), but a little bit heavier than were used to. This weekend was definitely one of those. I cooked a lasagna on Friday night, then we had a classic slumber party on Saturday night with some friends. We made mini french bread pizzas, a crepe bar (with 4 different kinds of homemade whipped cream!), red vines and popcorn, M&Ms, fresh baked cookies, and MORE.
Let's just say -- the house was a gold mine of sweets and carbs all weekend.
But, even in meals and weekends of heavier eating, it's important to find a middle ground between the 'unhealthy' and the 'healthy' -- meaning, try not to classify one or the other, but make healthy foods taste delicious or make unhealthy foods a little healthier.
This recipe is one of my favorite unhealthy/healthy hybrids. Classic Chicken Parmesan is typically SO heavy and huge, but this twist makes the portion sizes smaller. Also, the breading is lighter than usual and gluten free, and there's much less cheese on these. However, they still taste the same (if not better) than classic Chicken Parmesan!
Mini Gluten Free Chicken Parmesan
1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into thin strips
2 cups of panko crumbs or crushed Rice Krispies
2 large eggs
Sea salt and fresh black pepper to taste
3/4 cup marinara sauce
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
2. In large shallow bowl, add 2 cups of panko crumbs.
3. In medium shallow bowl, beat the two eggs.
4. Rinse and pat dry the chicken. Season the cut chicken strips on both sides with salt and pepper.
5. Lightly coat the chicken strips with the panko. Shake oﬀ excess.
6. Dip the chicken strips into the egg mixture and allow all the excess egg to drip oﬀ the chicken.
7. Then lay the chicken strips into the crumbs for one last coating.
8. Place all the coated chicken strips on the lined sheetpan.
9. Bake the chicken for 15 minutes. Turn the chicken to cook on the other side for 8 more minutes.
10. Take strips out and spoon a thin layer of marinara onto each, followed by a sprinkling of mozzarella cheese. Place back in the oven and cook for 2-4 more minutes, or until chicken is cooked through and cheese is melted.