Thursday, March 4, 2010

Hunger Pangs

When I get home from work, I like to have a routine. Part of my routine has always been to eat a snack.

It goes back to when I was a kid. After school my brother and I would get home from school, fight over who got to bring in the mail, call Mom to tell her how unfair the fight was, then raid the cupboards. (See, routine! LOL)

Mom and Dad decided that the raids had to end when my brother hit a growth spurt and could eat for weeks on end and never be full. We had a snack bin in the bread box with Little Debbie's, granola bars, fruit snacks, etc. We always called them"treaps" (treats).

Sunday was grocery shopping day; when groceries were being put away it was my job to label the snacks for the week. Each person got a set number of "treaps" and they could only eat the ones with their own initial (M for mom, D for Dad, A for Adam, and B for Becca- pretty cheesy I know. But, it worked.) Once your snacks were gone for the week you were S.O.L.

As an adult I don't label my treaps. With no teenagers in my house yet I only have to worry about my husband and my niece eating my snacks, and they just know better.

My deeply ingrained routine has changed in the last few months. I try not to eat snack when I come home now. Jon gets up at about 4pm. I try to have supper on the table by 5:15pm. He's starving waiting for "breakfast" and I'm starving for my dinner.

Today I was looking for something quick and easy with only a few ingredients. (It's time to buy groceries kiddies) I remembered an old standby I haven't had in a while, chicken Parmesan bake. I used to make it with canned chicken since that was super quick. But, the sodium content can get a bit high if you don't take the time to rinse the chicken. So, I made some changes to make the recipe a bit healthier. It was a true winner. Jon was hovering over the leftovers asking what the plans were for them. :)

Amazing what a few staple ingredients and a little imagination can do for your dinner plate.

Here's to you and your culinary adventures, friend. Cheers!

Easy Chicken Baked Parmesan
270 Calories per serving
Serves 4

2 cups dry rotini pasta
1/2 cup spaghetti sauce
9 ounces boneless, skinless chicken breast
1/3 cup part skim mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1 clove garlic
1/4 cup dry bread crumbs
1/2 tsp dry Italian seasoning
salt and pepper

Dice chicken into small bite sized chunks. Season with salt and pepper. Saute, with garlic, in a hot skillet sprayed with cooking spray. Cook until no longer pink.

Cook pasta in lightly salted water. Drain. Return to pot.

Add chicken, sauce, and cheeses to pasta. Stir until well mixed.

Pour into a small casserole dish that has been lightly prepared with cooking spray.

Mix seasoning into breadcrumbs.Top with bread crumbs.

Bake in a 350 degree preheated oven for 20 minutes to warm through and toast bread crumbs.

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