How to Make Italian Chicken the Easy Way! (52 New Foods, Week 15)

Posted by Jennifer Lee on April 16, 2012 2 Comments

Need an easy recipe for busy weeknights? Here’s how to make Italian chicken that's deliciously simple and tasty. Less than 15 minutes to fabulous!

There’s no doubt that Chicken Parmesan will please most crowds, including the crowd at my house. But it’s a bear to make on weeknights and a healthier version without the breadcrumbs and cheese would certainly be a welcome addition to our stable of recipes. Here’s how to make Italian chicken that’s so simple, easy, and tasty it is sure to become a regular on your weeknight menu!

Feature Recipe: Easy Italian Chicken from The Family Chef

how to make Italian chicken

My kids love roast chicken (and Chicken Parmesan, of course!) but tend to be hesitant to try chicken any other way. Same goes for lots of other foods. So at our house, I award bonus points for trying a food my kids already like, prepared in a new way. This keeps me out of the recipe rut and makes it fun for my kids to try familiar foods prepared in an unfamiliar way. When Amy The Family Chef showed me how to make Italian chicken, I jumped at the chance to give it a try. Not only is it a new twist on an old favorite, it is a simple recipe my kids can make in less time than it takes to order a pizza! 

How to Make Italian Chicken (the Easy Way!)

Prep time: 10 min
Cook time: 10 min
Ready in: 20 min

Ingredients:
1 lb organic boneless chicken breast
1 cup mushrooms, chopped
½ tsp garlic powder
½ tsp thyme
½ tsp salt
2 Tbsp olive oil
¼ cup white wine
2 Tbsp butter

Directions:

1)    Wash and trim the chicken. Cut the breasts in half lengthwise to create thin slices. Dry completely.

2)    In a small bowl, mix together the garlic powder, thyme and salt.

3)    Sprinkle about ½ of the seasoning mixture onto the chicken (leave the remaining half for when you turn the chicken in the pan).

4)    Heat a pan to medium high heat. Once heated, add olive oil, then the chicken, seasoning side down. Do not move the chicken in the pan.

5)    Add the remaining seasoning mix to the chicken.

6)    Once the chicken is browned and turning white on the sides, flip and cook the other side. Cook another 3 to 5 minutes or until the chicken is firm when you press it, and nicely browned.

7)    Remove the chicken and set aside.

8)    Deglaze the pan with ¼ cup of white wine. Be sure to scrape up all of the tasty bits.

9)    Add mushrooms to the wine mixture; simmer lightly for about 3 minutes.

10)  Add butter to the sauce. Mix to melt completely.

Serve the chicken with a side of fettuccine and garden fresh broccoli. Drizzle the mushroom sauce over the chicken and pasta. Enjoy!

Crunch a Color Kids Vote: Fast and fabulous!

What we liked: This delicious recipe can be made start to finish in less than 15 minutes. A weeknight winner! Pair it with my easy, homemade tomato sauce and a dash of Parmesan cheese, and you’ve got a healthier (and easier) version of Chicken Parmesan. My favorite tip from Amy: “Put the chicken in the pan and step away from the stove! Let the pan do the work.” Brilliant! Gives me enough time to clean the dishes before serving up a fast and fabulous supper.

What is your favorite weeknight recipe? Dish it up!

Next up: Healthy Caesar Salad

Our Italian dinner party wouldn’t be complete without Caesar salad! Tune in next week when we toss up a fantastic recipe for Healthy Caesar Salad.

Craving more new recipes to try? Catch up on last week’s recipe: Easy, homemade tomato sauce.

About the author: Jennifer Tyler Lee is a mom of two children and the creator of Crunch a Color™ -- the award-winning game that makes healthy eating fun. Like most parents, she struggled to get her kids to eat healthy, balanced meals, so she decided to make it into a healthy eating game and she’s giving back to support non-profit children’s nutrition programs including Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution and FoodCorps. Watch her picky eaters tell the story of how they turned into healthy eaters playing the game. Follow @crunchacolor on Facebook and Twitter to tune into Crunch a Color's healthy eating adventure and Jennifer’s tips and kid-friendly, easy recipes.

Read More

Healthy Eating: Week 6, Curry (#52NewFoods)

Posted by Jennifer Lee on February 11, 2012 5 Comments

Slow Cooker Curry The Family Dinner 2Winter days call for cozy meals. Load up the healthy ingredients, relax and get ready to enjoy a wholesome, easy dinner that will have your whole family eating healthy -- Slow Cooker Curry from The Family Dinner.

The kids are comfortably settled in school, the holiday rush is over, but life continues to feel frantic. Imagine yourself stumbling into the front door after a long day, groceries and book bags overflowing from your arms. What could me more satisfying than to be greeted by the wonderful aroma of a healthy meal calling, “Dinner’s ready!”? Thank goodness for the slow cooker! My new best friend – he stays home all day, carefully simmering and flavoring our dinner so we can come home to a relaxed meal together as a family. That’s the kind of easy, healthy eating I need.

Feature Recipe: Slow Cooker Chicken Curry from The Family Dinner

The Family Dinner is a fantastic source of easy dinner ideas that will get your whole family eating healthy. Adorned with beautiful pictures of delicious and easy recipes, it was hard to pick just one to try! Then I spotted it: Slow cooker curry. Paired with freshly prepared Naan and a side of spicy green beans, chicken curry ranks in the top 10 of my favorite winter dishes. Sadly, it’s been a solitary dish, as my two kids tend to shy away. Could The Family Dinner provide the answer to my food dilemma: How to cook a curry my whole family would love?

Crunch a Color Kids Vote: Delish! (Mom’s side note: jaw dropping)

Slow Cooker Curry The Family Dinner 3What we liked: I really couldn’t believe that my picky eater liked this dish. When she bravely tried a “taster”, then asked for a serving, and bellied up to the bar for seconds I knew I had a winner on my hands. The flavor in this dish is mild, making it easy for my kids to love. As for ease, this recipe knocks it out of the ballpark. Prep was under 15 minutes and I came home to a delicious healthy feast my whole family loved. I’m adding this family-friendly recipe to my list of favorites and making a special place on my shelf for this fantastic cookbook.

Next up: Bok Choy

Bok ChoyWhen I arrived home from the hospital as a naïve new mom, my very good friends showered me with meals. It was exactly what I needed, and I continue to pass it forward. Each time I visit a new mom, I bring a helping hand and a hot meal! The most memorable of all those wonderful meals was clay-pot chicken. I hope you’ll tune in next week when we make A Family That Eats Together’s Easy Claypot Chicken. Will it get my kids to try Bok Choy? We'll see! 

Craving more new recipes to try? Catch up on last week’s recipe: Sunbutter bites.

About the author: Jennifer Tyler Lee is a mom of two children and the creator of Crunch a Color™ -- the award-winning game that makes healthy eating fun. Like most parents, she struggled to get her kids to eat healthy, balanced meals, so she decided to make it into a healthy eating game and she’s giving back to support Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution, FoodCorps, and Alice Water’s Edible Schoolyard. Watch her picky eaters tell the story of how they turned into healthy eaters playing the game. Follow @crunchacolor and #52NewFoods to tune into Crunch a Color's healthy eating adventure and Jennifer’s tips and kid-friendly, easy recipes.

 

Read More

Healthy Eating: Week 5, Sunbutter (#52NewFoods)

Posted by Jennifer Lee on January 30, 2012 3 Comments

No bake, nut-free cookies that kids can cook! Paired with a sweet touch of honey and wholesome oats, these protein power bites are the new lunchbox regulars at our house.

No Peanut Butter“But the best ‘wich that I ever had was
A peanut butter sandwich made with jam
Yum yum yummy yum yum!”

Raffi’s wisdom runs deep, and never more than when it comes to peanut butter. A staple in most kids lunchboxes, that creamy creation is the go-to, normally no-fail solution for moms struggling to get their kids to eat lunch at school – me included! So when our school went nut-free, I had to find an equally unequivocal lunchtime companion. The recommendation from teachers and allergy-experienced parents: sunbutter.

Feature Recipe: No Bake Sunbutter Bites from The Scramble

No bake peanut butter bites The ScrambleRemember the joys of baking your very own cupcake creations under the heat of a lightbulb in the Easy Bake Oven? My love for baking started early, and though I still have a high-school-crush-style love of the sport, busy mom syndrome has set in and I don’t often have time for whipping up homemade creations. I’m always on the hunt for tasty, easy, healthy recipes my kids can cook, so when I stumbled on No Bake Peanut Butter cookies from The Scramble I jumped on it. Quick and easy to make, I decided to take these bewitching bake-free bites for a spin, using sunbutter instead of peanut butter to create a healthy, nut-free lunchtime snack.

Crunch a Color Kids Vote: 2 Thumbs Up! Best in class!

Sunbutter bitesWhat we liked: These mini-morsels were so easy and fast, we decided to make two batches: one with sunbutter and the other with peanut butter. Unlike on a sandwich, it was tough to tell the difference between the peanut butter and the sunbutter bites in our blind taste test. Whether it was because of the hint of honey, or the wholesome crunchiness of oats, this recipe resulted in a healthy treat that will become a regular feature on our lunchtime and afterschool snack menu. Next time we’ll try adding raisins or cranberries to the mix! A nice added bonus -- go ahead and enjoy the batter.

Want a prize for trying something new? Tell me which new food you’d like your kids to try and enter to win a 3-month subscription to The Scramble. Life just got a little easier!

Next up: Curry

Slow Cooker CurryA cozy curry with piping hot vegetables and a side of Naan is a winter-time recipe I love. My kids normally shy away from this wonderful, Indian-inspired dish. But when they meet Slow Cooker Curry from The Family Dinner they may change their minds. Our next new food of the week: curry.

Craving more new recipes to try? Catch up on last week’s recipe: Spinach Cake Muffins.

About the author: Jennifer Tyler Lee is a mom of two children and the creator of Crunch a Color™ -- the award-winning game that makes healthy eating fun. Like most parents, she struggled to get her kids to eat balanced meals, so she decided to make it into a healthy eating game and she’s giving back to support Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution, FoodCorps, and Alice Water’s Edible Schoolyard. Watch her picky eaters tell the story of how they turned into healthy eaters playing the game. Follow @crunchacolor and #52NewFoods to tune into Crunch a Color's healthy eating adventure and Jennifer’s tips and kid-friendly, easy recipes.

Read More

Healthy Eating: Week 4, Spinach (#52NewFoods)

Posted by Jennifer Lee on January 28, 2012 0 Comments

Planted firmly toe to toe, it was a piercing stare down contest of epic proportions. Two unrelenting, iron wills: Spinach vs. my picky eater. What’s a mom to do?

healthy eating spinachDark, leafy and overflowing with wholesome healthiness, spinach has long been the holy grail of healthy eating. Popeye cried, “I'm strong to the finich, ‘cause I eats me spinach!” to coax children into eating spinach to channel superhero strength. But not my picky eater! First, the polite pass, “No thank you, not today.” Second, the more direct, “My taste buds and spinach aren’t friends.” Culminating in the uniquely Seussian, “Not in a car, not in a tree, not on a train, Mom, let me be!”  

To succeed, I needed a game changer: a crafty, colorful creation my picky eater could have fun cooking. There’s one person I know who could pull that off: Catherine McCord of Weelicious.

Feature Recipe: Spinach Cake Muffins

weelicious spinach cake muffinsWeelicious is a gold mine of tasty, easy, healthy recipes you and your kids can cook. Catherine has done the heavy lifting for us busy moms and figured out how to make healthy eating easy and fun. She’s woven beets into pancakes, gone wild for wheat berry, and in this case, spun spinach into healthy muffins. In my house, no one is going to turn down a piping hot muffin and with fewer than 10 ingredients and ready to bake in less than 10 minutes I decided I'd take Spinach Cake Muffins for a spin.

 

Crunch a Color Kids Vote: 2 Thumbs Up! It’s my turn with the food processor!

spinach cake muffins cuisinartWhat we liked: Any recipe that involves a Cuisinart is sure to be a winner with kids. What’s more fun than loading a bushel full of ingredients into a big bowl and flipping the switch to blend it into a blur? Instant entertainment. We also had a blast guessing the “magic” ingredient. We baked up a batch, shared it with friends, and challenged, “Guess the magic ingredient!” Green tea, melon, peas, mint chip ice cream and avocado were some of the speculations. With each bite, a new guess. So much fun! These mighty muffins are tasty, healthy and easy: the trifecta of healthy eating. A great lunchbox snack or power breakfast partner, Spinach Cake Muffins will be a regular in our kitchen this year.

Watch Catherine and her helper Chloe whip up these tasty treats in this adorable Weelicious video:

Do your kids like spinach? What are some of your favorite folate-fortified recipes? Share your comments!

Next up: Sunbutter

no bake sunbutter bitesWhen our school went nut-free, I sighed a long, tired sigh. What would I do without those cute, crustless PB&J sandwiches? Sunbutter, a peanut butter alternative made from sunflower seeds, was recommended. But on a sandwich it made my kids simply long for the real McCoy. Thanks to the amazing Aviva Goldfarb at The Scramble, I may have found the solution. Next up: No Bake Sunbutter Bites.

Craving more new recipes to try? Catch up on last week’s recipe: Avocado and Orange Salad.

About the author: Jennifer Tyler Lee is a mom of two children and the creator of Crunch a Color™ -- the award-winning game that makes healthy eating fun. Like most parents, she struggled to get her kids to eat balanced meals, so she decided to make it into a healthy eating game and she’s giving back to support Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution, FoodCorps, and Alice Water’s Edible Schoolyard. Watch her picky eaters tell the story of how they turned into healthy eaters playing the game. Follow @crunchacolor and #52NewFoods to tune into Crunch a Color's healthy eating adventure and Jennifer’s tips and kid-friendly, easy recipes.


 

Read More

Healthy Eating: Week 2, Brussels Sprouts (#52newfoods)

Posted by Jennifer Lee on January 16, 2012 0 Comments

Sizzle, sizzle, pop! A comforting aroma filled our kitchen as we fried the pancetta for our new food of the week: Brussels Sprouts. If I plan to advocate for my kids to try new foods, I figured I had better set a good example by trying something new myself!

Setting a Good Example 

brussels sproutsFor me, Pancetta goes hand in hand with comfort food. My grandmother used it in every one of my favorite family dishes. Reasoning that I liked most everything that I had tried with Pancetta, I thought the addition of this deliciously crispy complement would make Brussels Sprouts palate pleasing for my whole family (me included!).


Feature Recipe: Pan-Seared Brussels Sprouts with Lemon and Pancetta

cooking brussels sproutsDawn Viola is masterful at creating delightfully easy recipes that showcase the beauty of bringing together a few simple ingredients. Using what are staples in most kitchens – lemon, garlic, olive oil, and pancetta (or bacon) – her recipe for pan-seared Brussels Sprouts with Lemon and Pancetta was a delicious addition to our meal and made our weekday dinner feel like a special occasion.

Crunch a Color Kids Vote: 2 Thumbs Up! We'd make it again.

What we liked: This dish required minimal prep work (yeah!), was easy enough for my 5 year old to make, and made a ho-hum weeknight dinner feel festive.  I always try to get three colors on our plate with healthy sides, but I tend to lean heavily on the basic (and sometimes boring) lightly steamed version of fresh veggies. Dawn’s recipe provided an easy and tasty way for me to dress up our dinner! While they are still in season, we’ll keep Brussels Sprouts on our weekly shopping list.

Healthy Eating: Week 3, Mandarin Oranges

mandarin orangeWith Chinese New Year fast approaching, my mind has turned to the special treats we love to indulge in at this time of year. Mandarin oranges, with their bright personalities both in taste and appearance, are an important part of this celebration. Ambassadors of prosperity and good luck, these mini bursts of citrus delight always make my little food adventurers smile. So I thought I’d try a new twist on an old favorite. Our feature recipe for week 3 of #52NewFoods comes from Natalie Perry at Perry’s Plate: Avocado and orange salad with hazelnuts. I’ll swap mandarin oranges for the regular orange slices called for in this dish. I hope you’ll try it with me.

Do you celebrate Chinese New Year? What are some of your favorite dishes to bring in a New Year filled with prosperity and good health?

Craving more new recipes to try? Catch up on last week’s Beef Vegetable Soup.

About the author: Jennifer Tyler Lee is a mom of two children and the creator of Crunch a Color™ -- the award-winning game that makes healthy eating fun. Like most parents, she struggled to get her kids to eat healthy, balanced meals, so she decided to make it into a healthy eating game and she’s giving back to support Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution, FoodCorps, and Alice Water’s Edible Schoolyard. Watch her picky eaters tell the story of how they turned into healthy eaters playing the game. Follow @crunchacolor and #52newfoods to tune into Crunch a Color's healthy eating adventure and Jennifer’s tips and kid-friendly, easy recipes.

 

Read More