CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Last week, I became a grandmommy for the first time. I had somewhat forgotten how much time a newborn takes once they are home. Mom and Dad are a little overwhelmed and need to be able to cook affordable, easy and quick meals.
This week, three dinners can be made from a family pack of chicken breasts, and all meals can be prepared and ready to eat in about an hour. Salmon and an Italian casserole complete a week's worth of healthy eating for a busy family.
20-Minute Chicken Parmesan
Makes 4 servings. Source: www.cdkitchen.com.
4 boneless, skinless, chicken breast halves
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs
2 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted
1 3/4 cups spaghetti sauce
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley (optional)
PLACE chicken between two sheets of heavy-duty plastic wrap; flatten to 1/4-inch thickness using a rolling pin. Dip chicken in egg, and dredge in bread crumbs. Cook chicken in butter in a large skillet over medium heat until browned on both sides.
SPOON spaghetti sauce over chicken; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes. Sprinkle with cheeses and parsley (if desired), cover and simmer five additional minutes or until cheeses melt.
SERVE with green salad and warm garlic bread.
Nutrition information: Calories 479, total fat 18 grams, saturated fat 8 grams, cholesterol 175 milligrams, total carbohydrate 29 grams, dietary fiber 2 grams, protein 49 grams, sodium 3,180 milligrams.
Chicken Breasts Stuffed with Pimento Cheese
1/2 cup shredded gouda cheese
2 tablespoons chopped green onion
1 tablespoon sliced pimentos, chopped
1 teaspoon paprika, divided
4 small boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
HEAT oven to 400°.
COMBINE gouda, green onion, pimentos and 1/2 teaspoon paprika in a small bowl. Cut a horizontal slit along the thin, long edge of each chicken breast, nearly through to the opposite side, and open like a book. Sprinkle breasts with 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper. Divide the cheese filling among the chicken breasts, placing in the center of each. Close the breast over the filling, pressing the edges firmly together to seal.
SPRINKLE the breasts with the remaining 1/2 teaspoon paprika and 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper. Heat oil in a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook until browned on one side, about 2 minutes. Turn the chicken over and transfer the skillet to the oven.
BAKE until the chicken registers 165° on a meat thermometer.
Nutrition information: Calories 200, total fat 10 grams, saturated fat 5 grams, cholesterol 76 milligrams, total carbohydrate 1 gram, protein 26 grams, dietary fiber 0 grams, sodium 232 milligrams.
Chicken Breasts Romano
Makes 6 servings. Source: ww.cdkitchen.com.
6 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
1 medium onion, chopped
2 tablespoons vinegar
1 teaspoon garlic
1 teaspoon basil
2 tablespoons parsley
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups tomato juice
1/2 pound mushrooms, sliced and sautéed
1 teaspoon oregano
1 cup Romano cheese, grated
SAUTÉ sliced mushrooms in 1 tablespoon of oil. Just before they're done, add garlic to pan to sizzle. Remove and set aside.
DREDGE chicken breasts in flour, fold edges under to plump breasts and brown with folded edges down to seal and keep shape. Brown smooth side in remaining oil and then arrange smooth side up. Pour tomato juice over all.
SPRINKLE with vinegar, sugar and herbs. Spread onion and mushroom/garlic over chicken. Sprinkle with 4 tablespoons Romano and top with chopped parsley if desired.
COVER and simmer 45 minutes. Remove to serving platter and top with remaining Romano.
SERVE with steamed broccoli and carrots.
Nutrition information: Calories 458, total fat 24 grams, saturated fat 8 grams, cholesterol 137 milligrams, total carbohydrate 12 grams, dietary fiber 1 gram, protein 50 grams, sodium 1,109 milligrams.
Salmon with Pepita-Lime Butter
Makes 4 servings. Source: www.eatingwell.com.
2 tablespoons unsalted, toasted pepitas
1 tablespoon butter