Three New Dinner Recipes

We haven't done a whole lot this week except work and prepare for a bunch of our friends to come and visit us this weekend! We are so excited to have some of our friends from home and college in town. In the process of getting ready, we had some really good dinners this week that were simple to make :)

Whole Wheat Penne Pasta with Tomatoes & Spinach

Ingredients
  1. Whole wheat penne pasta (I used 1/2 a box)
  2.  1 box of cherry tomatoes (diced)
  3. 1 1/2 cups fresh spinach
  4. 2 cloves of pressed garlic
  5. 1/4 cup olive oil
  6. 1/3 cup fresh mozzarella (I diced the cheese into small cubes)
Directions
  1. In a medium sauce pan, cook pasta according to directions on box.
  2. In a large frying pan, heat olive oil and cook minced garlic until fragrant (about 1 minute).
  3. Toss in diced tomatoes and spinach into pan and cook until spinach is wilted and tomatoes are soft. 
  4. Stir in pasta into pan and drizzle with olive oil if the dish seems a little dry. Next stir in cheese and let the pasta cook until the cheese is slightly melted. Serve with warm garlic bread and salad!
Panko Parmesan Chicken with Sauteed Asparagus and Onions
This is one of our all time favorite dishes; however, this time, I decided to try a new technique (no use of butter and flour coating the chicken). I also halved this recipe for just the two of us.

Ingredients
  • 6 skinless boneless chicken breasts pounded out slightly
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 tablespoons honey dijon mustard
  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 cups of panko (You can find Panko in your local supermarket in the Asian food section)
  • 1 1/2 cups grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of ground pepper
Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees
  2. Spray cooking spray onto a large baking sheet.
  3. Whisk eggs and mustard in a bowl and set aside
  4. Mix panko, Parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper in another bowl
  5. Place flour into a third bowl.
  6. Cover the chicken in the flour and removed once it is covered. Next, dip the chicken into the egg mixture and then the panko mixture coating the chicken generously. You may have to use your hands to really coat the chicken breast.
  7. Place the chicken in the baking dish.
  8. Bake until brown (approximately 15 minutes). 
  9. I served our chicken with asparagus and onion. To do this, cut the ends off the asparagus and slice the onions into 1/4 inch pieces. In a medium frying pan, drizzle a little oil and cook the onions until they are tender (roughly 6-7 minutes). Next, toss in asparagus and cook for about 10-15 minutes or until the asparagus is tender.
Lighter Version of Chicken Parmesan
This was my first time making chicken parmesan...I decided to use less cheese, sauce, and bread crumbs making it slightly more "healthy" than your average version of this dish.
Ingredients
  • 3 chicken breasts
  • 2 tablespoons of tomato sauce
  • 1/3 cup Italian bread crumbs
  • 1/3 cup parmesan cheese
  • 2 eggs whisked
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Pound chicken to 1/4 inch thickness.
  2. In a baking dish, coat the bottom of the pan with tomato sauce.
  3. In a shallow dish, mix together bread crumbs and parmesan cheese.
  4. Dip the chicken into the egg mixture and then the bread crumb mixture coating the chicken generously. You may have to use your hands to really coat the chicken breast. Place chicken in baking dish.
  5. Cover chicken with mozzarella cheese and bake for 15 minutes. Chicken should be cooked all the way through and cheese should be golden brown. Let chicken cool for 5 minutes before serving.

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