Chicken parmesan meatloaf muffins

Two 'muffin'-sized meatloaves made of ground chicken and seasonings are topped with homemade marinara sauce and mozzarella cheese. Served with cauliflower risotto.I love chicken parmesan when I go out to eat, but I’ve been avoiding it due to the elevated sodium levels I know the sauce will undoubtedly have, the breading on the chicken, etc. I’ve been learning that some of my favourites from restaurants over the years are not the healthiest of choices and tend to have a million calories, two million grams of fat and an ungodly amount of sodium. Chicken parmesan is no exception, sadly.

But does this mean I have to swear off of it? No! Why not make my own and adjust things to fit my dietary needs? I’ll save my waistline from expanding (or my feet!) and save my pocketbook too!

I had a craving for it one night but didn’t have any chicken breasts to make it myself. What did I have? Ground chicken. What could I do with that? Well, I make beef meatloaf ‘muffins’ all the time, so why not do the same with the chicken? They’d have bread crumbs worked into them, using a similar theme to chicken parmesan. And heck, I have light parmesan in the fridge at all times! If I made up my own sauce, I could control the sodium considerably. So I went to work on it and here’s what I did:

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Low-carb adventures: vegetable barley soup

A large bowl of vegetable barley soupIn my quest for low carb-friendly comfort foods, I got thinking about the things  I loved when I was a child. One of those things was my mom’s beef barley soup. It was to die for! I miss that soup and wanted to capture that again, except that I had no beef in the house for  it. Broth, yes. Meat, no. Well, why not make  it without the meat? Despite there being no meat in it, I found this soup to be insanely satisfying and filling. Next time, I might even add some more veggies, like broccoli and cauliflower to add some texture to it. Here’s what I did:

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Christmas leftovers stew

A bowl of stew with a spoon sticking in it.We all end up with leftovers at Christmas (or whatever holiday you celebrate!), don’t we? I know I do. Not only did we have leftover chicken from our Christmas-Day-at-home this year, but also turkey that Mom sent home with us the night before.  We had an entire veggie tray that was just going to waste, too. So, I put  on my thinking cap, set my big stew pot on the stove and started to clean out the fridge. Here’s what I did…

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Apple-baked chicken & noodles with apple cream sauce

Apple-baked chicken with noodles drizzled with an apple cream sauce, accompanied by asparagus tossed in a balsamic vinaigrette dressingBefore I start to explain, go to this Food Network recipe for Apple Cider Chicken by Sunny Anderson. This is what I based my chicken dish off of. The main difference is that instead of finishing the entire dish off on the stove, I baked mine in the end. I still seared the chicken breasts (and I had 6, not 4) in the pan and sauteed the apples, onions, garlic, seasonings, etc. in the pan. Then after the apple cider was added and cooked down a bit, it was then poured over the chicken , I added a bit more cider, and I baked it all off at 350F for 30 minutes until the chicken’s internal temperature was 165F.

Then, while the chicken baked off, I got to work on a sauce for some egg noodles as a side dish. Here’s what I did:  Continue reading

My totally fake slowcooker “Stroganoff”

Egg noodles in a sauce of ground beef "stroganoff".There are going to be people who look at this and say, “That’s not Stroganoff!!” and I will say, wholeheartedly, that they are correct. This is more of a Stroganoff-inspired dish that was more about using up some ingredients in my fridge before their best before dates and less about being authentic.

Here’s what I did… Continue reading

How I saved my overcooked chicken

A plate of egg noodles coated in chopped chicken, cheese and sauce, topped with green onions and shredded cheese.So last night, I knew I had several boneless, skinless chicken breasts which needed to be cooked up but I rapidly found myself running out of evening to cook them in. I thought I’d be clever and throw them into the crockpot with some honey-garlic sauce (VH), onions and a can of pineapple, let it on low and wake up in the morning to fantastic chicken.

Boy, was I wrong. Boneless, skinless chicken breasts are not good for the crockpot, because they dry out very easily, despite being drenched in liquid. I didn’t realize this.

Hubby said he’d eat it, but I told him to leave it alone, let me think about it and I’d see if I could salvage it and make it more palatable. I had a few ideas after searching through my cupboards. Here’s how I saved my chicken… Continue reading

Steak & bacon stew!

steakstew2Yeah, so, Red Angus beef quick-fry steaks were on sale this week, so I came home with several pounds of these steaks last night. And I do mean several pounds. Last night, we just simply had fried steak and asparagus in garlic butter. And that was so good that I ate it before I remembered to take a picture — sorry!

Here’s what I did tonight: Continue reading