Sorry for the late post. Been a bit of a week – family events, travel, meetings, helping out at a bakery – the highlight of my week definitely being the time spent with my nephew.
Aside from all the singing, dancing, laughing, and joking that goes on during his visits, I always look forward to the challenge of mealtime. Like many kids his age, cheesy pasta, burgers, and chicken nuggets are his favorite go-to menu items. Specific veggies make the cut but not many, and while he’s definitely learned to expand his palate with me around, if he had the choice between trying something new and eating pasta with alfredo sauce, he’d be on the Parmesan train so fast Mr. Barilla’s head would spin like spaghetti on a fork!
He’ll try at least one or two bites of whatever we ask him to eat, but most of the time, my nephew’s final verdict is, “Naaah.”
So, as an Auntie, aside from sending him back wired and with a couple of fun, new phrases, it’s my responsibility to make him something he loves to eat, all while making better choices. It doesn’t hurt that Bear and I have already been on the better choices wagon since January 1st (18 pounds lost so far). Last night’s Oven Baked Crispy Parmesan Chicken and Veggies was an absolute hit, and it was incredibly easy to make! It’s mostly done in a large plastic storage bag and only uses two sheet pans to cook. I confess; the prep piece, however easy to cut veggies, is probably the most time-consuming part of this recipe, but the end result will be both healthy and well-received!
2 Chicken Breast, pounded thin
1 Cup Gluten Free Panko Breadcrumbs
1/2 Cup Parsley, finely chopped
1/4 Cup Shredded Parmesan
1 Cup Almond Milk
2 Zucchini, cut into inch-thick sticks
1 Sweet Potato, cut into inch-thick sticks
2 Cups Cauliflower, bite size pieces
4 TBS Olive Oil
1 TBS Fresh Thyme, removed from stem
Preheat oven to 375°.
In a medium-sized bowl, add the almond milk and egg. Season with salt, whisk to combine, and set aside.
In a large plastic sealable storage bag, add the panko, parsley, and Parmesan. Season with salt, seal the bag, shake to combine ingredients, and set aside.
On a large sheet pan, add the sweet potato sticks and cauliflower. Drizzle with one tablespoon of olive oil. Sprinkle fresh thyme over the sweet potato and cauliflower. Season with salt, and toss with your hands to coat all the veggies. Spread the sweet potato and cauliflower evenly across the spreadsheet, and set aside.
To the medium-sized bowl with the almond and egg mixture, add the zucchini sticks and toss to coat. Remove the zucchini with a fork and drop one by one into the bag with the panko mixture. Seal the bag, and shake it up to coat the zucchini. Carefully remove the coated zucchini sticks and place onto one side of a separate large sheet pan, different from the sweet potato/cauliflower sheet pan. Drizzle the zucchini with one tablespoon of olive oil, and set aside.
Add the pounded chicken breasts to the almond milk and egg mixture. Transfer the chicken to the panko breading bag, seal the bag, and shake it up to coat the chicken. Drizzle one tablespoon of olive oil onto the unused / empty side of the zucchini sheet pan. Spread the oil around with your fingers to coat the pan. Remove the chicken from the bag and carefully place onto the sheet pan in an even layer. Add any left over panko from the bag to the top of the chicken. Drizzle with one tablespoon of olive oil.
Add both sheet pans with the zucchini, chicken, sweet potato, and cauliflower to the oven. Bake at 375° for 35 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.
Serve with lemon or your favorite dipping sauce. Sit back, and watch it be devoured by even the pickiest of eaters!
LET’S KEEP IT REAL: First and foremost, I do everything for the love of food. Most of what I write about is because I love it! If I don’t love it, I tell you about that, too. From time to time, I may receive monetary or product compensation for mentioning products, offering recommendations, providing endorsements, or including links to products or services when I blog. While that may be the case for some posts, it is not the case for all. When it’s sponsored, you’ll see #sponsored when I post. When I’m just sharing the love, I won’t use that particular tag or hashtag. What you need to know is that I only give shout outs when I actually use the product or love it so much it deserves a shout out, sponsored or not.