Parmesan Crusted Chicken w/ Kale Pasta & Garlic Marinara

Parmesan Crusted Chicken w/ Kale Pasta & Garlic Marinara

Time: 1 Hour 10 minutes from start to finish
Yield: 4 Large Servings with Leftovers
(17 Item Recipe)

Ingredients:

1 Package Organic Whole Wheat Pasta
2 Cups Organic Kale
5 Cloves Organic Garlic
1 Organic Onion
1 Cup Organic Basil
2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Can Organic Crushed Tomatoes
1 Can Organic Roasted Tomatoes
3 Organic Chicken Breasts or 8 Chicken Tenderloins
1/4 Cup Organic Flax Flakes or Other Natural Flake Cereal
1/4 Cup Organic Crushed Bread Crumbs
2 Tablespoons Whole Wheat Flour (I prefer Bob’s Red Mill Brand)
1 Cup Organic Part Skim Mozzarella Cheese (This is low fat but also optional)
1/4 Cup Parmesan Cheese
1 Teaspoon Organic Basil
1/4 Teaspoon Oregano
Sea Salt & Pepper

Directions:

In a large bowl take your natural organic flake cereal and crush, then add bread crumbs, Parmesan and whole wheat flour. Smash down with the back of a spoon.

Once evenly mixed and distributed add sea salt and freshly ground pepper.

Mix up to evenly distribute all ingredient.  Then set aside.  Next get out your organic chicken breast or chicken breast tenderloins, boneless and skinless.  We used the all natural ones from Trader Joe’s we get about 25-30 tenderloins in a bag for $6 which is a great value for all natural no hormone, no antibiotic or steroids.  These are vegetarian grain fed chickens.  They come flash frozen and are located in the freezer section of Trader Joe’s.

Make sure the bowl you are using is deep.  You are going to fill the bowl with purified water and then salt the water.  Let these sit until they naturally defrost.  You want to check them in about 20 minutes until they have no ice on them and are defrosted completely.  Allowing them to thaw will make for a moister and juicer chicken.

This is the brand of sea salt I use.  You can find it most places and it runs affordable.  You can also get the store brand sea salt at Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s or your local healthy food store for a reasonable price.  Preheat oven to 350.  Once your chicken is defrosted.  You are going to dip your wet chicken into the crumb mixture then put on a cookie sheet.  If you have any extra mixture you can sprinkle some over top of chicken then press it in with your fingers.  Then pop it in the oven at 350. And cook for 20 minutes until juices run clear.

Next you are going to get your onions and garlic out. I used the Trader Joe’s Organic Garlic which was .40 cents for each head.

Remove the skins of the garlic.

Chop up the garlic and the onions.  Put them into a small bowl.

Next take a large pot and heat it up.  Next put your olive oil in it.

Then drop your onions and garlic in with a little sea salt and freshly ground pepper.

Cook on medium heat stirring frequently until they become translucent.  It should also smell really delicious.

Next get out your Organic tomatoes.  You want a large can of Diced and a regular can of Fire Roasted.  Put these in a bowl as you will be adding them as soon as your onions and garlic are clear.

Once your onions are garlic are clear and have cooked a little add the bowl of tomatoes and 8 cups of purified water.

It will look very watery, but don’t worry.  You want to cook this for 30 minutes on medium high.  Give it a stir every 10 minutes or so.  You are cooking this down now so that you get a rich and
thick rustic Italian sauce. Yum.

Wash and pat dry the basil. Next chop up.

Next take your chopped basil and add it to your cooking marinara.  It should begin to really smell amazing. Cook for another 15 minutes stirring it so that it doesn’t stick to the bottom.

In another large pot on medium high heat boil water.  Then add pasta noodles.
Cook pasta according to package directions.

Wash and clean kale pieces.  Remove the stems and cut into nice size pieces.  Once cut and washed drop into the pasta water.

Allow to continue cooking at a rapid boil according to pasta package directions.

Continue cooking pasta until done. Then drain pasta and put in a bowl.

Next go back to your sauce pot.  The sauce will start thickening up and the water will begin to absorb.  You want a rustic thick sauce that is chunky but you don’t want it so thick that it burns at the bottom.  Use your judgement if you need to add more water earlier on feel free to add more.  It should look like this as it cooks down.  Cook another 10 minutes still on medium high heat.  If it is popping around you can turn it down a little or put a cover on it.

Pull out your chicken from the oven.  Depending on your oven it may need 20-30 minutes. You want it moist and juices running clear but not overcooked.

If you are going to add mozzarella cheese to your Parmesan chicken now would be the time to sprinkle each piece with a little.

Continue cooking your sauce  another 5-10 minutes.  Then let it cool.  As it cools it should begin to thicken even more. minutes. While your awaiting your sauce to cool. Pop the chicken with mozzarella in the oven for 3 minutes.  If you aren’t doing the mozzarella don’t worry your sauce will keep your chicken warm.

Next take your cooked kale pasta.

On a plate put a nice bit of pasta.  Then top it with two tenderloin pieces.

Next take your delicious sauce.

Top your chicken and pasta with as much or little sauce as you desire.

If you wish to top it with Parmesan cheese feel free. If not that is fine too.
Enjoy!

Note & Tips:

If you have fresh tomatoes on hand that is even better.  When our tomato plant was gushing with tomatoes I made it with fresh.  Everything applies the same you use 4 Cups of Fresh Tomatoes which is equivalent to 6 – 8 medium to large size tomatoes.  If you are short on time or don’t have fresh on hand the organic can work delicious as well.

We always have leftovers.  You can make chicken sandwiches the next day taking a piece of chicken and some sauce between some bread and its delicious.  You can also store any leftover chicken in the sauce and slice it up for a delicious tomato basil chicken salad.  You can also use leftover sauce for a calzone or pizza.  We usually plan ahead and make extra doubling the recipe and then make a fresh veggie pizza with freshly made whole wheat pizza dough.  I can make a large pizza now for $4.50 which is fresher, healthier, and more affordable then any you can buy pre-made.  You also bypass all the preservatives and extra junk in the packaged foods you don’t need.  Get unsalted tomatoes if you can find them.  I prefer you adding the salt to taste rather then it being loaded with salt you aren’t putting in.

Keep in mind we have been talking about how to prepare in advance and eat healthier for less this is one of those tricks if you make the sauce and make extra or say you are a family of two or three you will have leftover you won’t have to double the recipe you can plan ahead to make pizza the next night.  If you must you can buy the organic dough pre made at whole foods or Trader Joe’s for .99 cents and it makes a fresh healthy dinner easy for you.  You can also opt for a calzone which is simple, fun and super delicious.  Hope these tips help and you can bring out the Italian in you.  Take care Everyone and have a super wonderful week.

Cooking Tips:

Try to coordinate the three things cooking so nothing has to sit and you can get it all done in a streamlined fashion.  Check your pasta noodles to see how much time they need.  Get your oven on and preheated early and the water for the noodles so that it all comes out together and nothing is overdone or cold.  You can also bread the chicken put the tray in the fridge until the sauce is done and then pop it in the oven and start the water at the same time with 20 minutes remaining so when the sauce is done your noodles and chicken are done.  Do your best the timing is always the most challenging part but I have faith and great confidence in all of you and know you will do just fine.

Your Waistline:

Although traditionally my Italian Grandmother would fry the Parmesan chicken in olive oil which I still like to do sometimes, we have cut the fat by baking the chicken and using boneless, skinless guiltless chicken.  The mozzarella if you decide to use some is sprinkled over sparingly and is the lowest fat cheese of all, as mozzarella is part skim made of skim milk keeping you healthy, happy with your food, while maintaining your beautiful body. Eat with confidence and know that it is these Rustic Italian dishes with tomatoes, olive oil, garlic and onions that keep people healthy and living long lives.  We incorporated the kale to add some extra needed nutrition and utilized the whole wheat pasta option to get in some healthy fiber.

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