Monday, May 09, 2011

Bite me!

So, hi. It's me again. This time with a learny thing that you may or may not want to stick around for, depending on your current level of domesticity.

Grant, you can leave now. This will not appeal to you, I'm pretty sure.

Yes, I have a recipe again today. It's like I'm freaking Betty Cracker or something, right? Six or more recipes a year makes me practically a food blogger!

Anyhow, this is a dish I kind of made up with the help of a dozen different ideas gleaned from the internet that seemed 1) too hard. 2) too time-intensive, 3) too recipe-rich, or 4) too not-what-I-want-to-bite-right-now.

Clearly, dinner is a time fraught with choice-making at the Tiny House. FRAUGHT, I say, and with the FRAUGHT comes the desperations, from which this recipe was born.

Forthwith - - -

Chicken/Spinach bake, Tiny House style

This recipe serves 4 people generously. And, according to the calorie-converter site I just used, has the following properties:

Kind of fuzzy and awful, I know, but the bottom line is that a serving (generous, remember?), has lots of good stuff mixed in with probably too much fat (cut the half and half if you want to ameliorate the impact) and salt (I overestimated the Parm cheese to be on the safe side), but also has the following awesome things:

only 442 calories (not freaking bad at all!)
44 g protein (whoa!)
15% of the RDA of fiber (can I get a woot woot?)
High in niacin, selenium, vitamin A, and vitamin C (icing on the cake, babes!).

The good > the bad, IMHO, so here we go.
You will need:

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into small finger-size pieces (that's right. 2. No more! It's plenty!)
1 medium onion, diced
1 medium tomato, diced
1 16-ounce package frozen spinach, thawed
2 TBSP olive oil
2 TBSP half and half
1/2 c skim milk
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1/2 c grated Parmesan cheese
herbs to taste

  • Brown the chicken pieces in 1 TBSP of olive oil, season with pepper while browning, set on paper towel to drain
  • Saute the onion in the remaining oil until golden, add spinach.
  • Add half and half and milk, top with herbs of choice and tomatoes, heat through. Add 1 TBSP grated Parm and herbs as desired (Basil? Oregano? I'm calling your names, darlings). Let bubble for 10 minutes to thicken slightly.
  • Mix bread crumbs, remaining Parm, and remaining 1 TBSP olive oil in a medium bowl into moist crumbs, adding other herbs as desired (fresh oregano, dried basil, and dried parsley worked today).
  • Place spinach mixture in baking dish (11X17 works great), top with chicken, then spoon bread crumb mix on top, coating evenly.
  • Bake, uncovered, in 375F oven for 20 minutes or until coating is nicely browned.
  • Let set for 10 minutes, serve with rice (adds calories) or alone (my choice).

NOTE: From start to finish this took about 40 minutes, which is like fast food at our house. ALSO NOTE: We sometimes cook dinner for 2 or more hours a night, which makes us weird, but it's our time to just revolve around each other and 'be' without having to plan an activity, so hush with the 40 minutes. When the kitchen window is serving up gushes of honey-colored sunbeams, and the birds are chirping as merrily as the day Mary Poppins jumped through a chalk painting, and the kids aren't arguing, why then 40 minutes of THAT is a bit of heaven on this earth, amiright?

Honestly, this could serve 6 modestly-eating people, but it took 4 of us (recall - 2 teenage boys among us) to almost finish off the dish, so I'm going with 4 servings in an attempt to be calorie-honest. Be aware, there is a significant amount of fat and sodium in this dish, but it's not all THAT bad, right?

If you try it, let me know. The Things said to save the recipe, so I'm encouraged that others might also like it.

With that, Tiff out. In the immortal words of Mama Celeste - ABBONDANZA!


Image courtesy of this Zazzle site. I think I want me one.

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