Easy Breaded Chicken 

Yesterday I posted my “recipe” for homemade bread crumbs. Since realizing that I could make a healthy, clean bread crumb filled with only ingredients I can pronounce- I have been on a quest for all things breaded! After months of setting aside some of my favorite recipes, the floodgates have opened. I have since breaded chicken multiple times, made my own fish sticks, and I am already trying to figure out how to get away with another day or two of breaded meals this week.

This recipe is insanely easy. It requires almost no prep time. I was able to do it all while Cupcake colored. If you know anything about 16 month old attention spans, you know that that is quite an accomplishment!

So without further ado..

Easy Breaded Chicken

Ingredients

1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast or thighs

2 eggs

1 T mayonaise

1.5 cups bread crumbs (you can use a store bought kind, or use my “recipe” for clean and healthy bread crumbs!)

If using unseasoned bread crumbs- add 1 t garlic powder, 1 t Italian seasoning and salt/pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Trim any excess fat off your chicken. Set aside.
  2. Turn broiler to high.
  3. In a bowl, mix together the eggs and mayo.
  4. In a separate bowl, add bread crumbs (and optional seasoning)
  5. Dip chicken first into egg/mayo mixture and then into bread crumbs. Be sure to coat entire piece. Place on foil-lined pan.
  6. Put pan in oven. Cook for approx. 8 minutes. Flip and continue to cook until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees. Remove from oven and let rest for five minutes before serving.


 

    

Homemade Bread Crumbs

In the life of a blogger, there comes a moment when you are about to hit “publish” on a post and you wonder if what you are writing is sincerely foolish. I mean, a recipe for bread crumbs? I don’t even know if I can call it that in good faith! However, I once had to look up a “recipe” for bread crumbs and I wanted to share it with you all. Maybe it’s not so much of a recipe, but rather a method. Either way you put it, it seems crazy because it is so SO simple.

This was where the problem started. Dear Cupcake had a milk protein intolerance that she has thankfully outgrown. As a nursing mama, however, I had to completely eliminate any sources of this protein from my diet for the first year of her life. I went on a rampage! I read every label. I called and contacted many companies and restaurants. I talked up every waiter I could and wrote in special requests at weddings. I was that person, but I was willing to do anything to ensure that my baby girl wasn’t in pain from me consuming any delicious, wonderful, magical dairy.

I had to seriously alter the way I cooked. I am half-Italian, so cheese was a pretty favorite food of mine. It was easy enough to cut that out of recipes. What wasn’t easy? Realizing how many foods have dairy hidden in them! My favorite bread crumbs was one such item that I had to eliminate. I remembering sitting in my kitchen with the canister in my hand. I looked at the ingredient list, found the offending dairy, and realized we had an even bigger problem than I thought. If you ever want to make yourself sad (and waste about five minutes trying to decode unusual words), look at the ingredient label of your favorite bread crumbs.

So, I gave up bread crumbs. I gave up making breaded chicken. We no longer had fish sticks. We no longer made my favorite pork chop recipe. I was sad. Even after I could have dairy again, I couldn’t fully accept my old bread crumbs anymore. I mean, if I don’t know what’s in it, do I want to put it in my body? In Cupcake’s body?

It wasn’t until last Tuesday that a silly idea hit me. As a family, we were now exclusively relying on bread I made from scratch. It definitely doesn’t last as long as the store bought kind in the fridge. By day 5, it starts losing some of it’s softness, but we just couldn’t always eat it fast enough. I wondered what I could do with the three slices we had leftover before they went stale.

Bread crumbs. 

I could make bread crumbs. I could make breaded chicken with homemade bread crumbs! But, how on earth do you do that? It seems silly to just use bread, right? There has to be some magical list of ingredients or some special process, right?

I sent my hubby to play with Cupcake while I started my experiment in the kitchen. A few websites suggested baking it, but it was 95 degrees outside and I did not want to turn my oven on! I decided I would toast my bread. In order to avoid it burning, I did three cycles on a low setting.

Then, I laid out the toast on a cookie rack to allow any extra steam to escape. Once the bread had cooled, I added it to my food processor and voila! Bread crumbs. Three slices of my homemade bread yielded about 1.5 c of bread crumbs. It was that easy. I used them just the way I would use the store-bought kind. Being made from my homemade bread, they were pretty simple on flavor. When cooking, I decided to add Italian seasoning and salt.

So, again, I feel silly even writing this. Maybe the thought that bread crumbs should only really have bread in it has already crossed your mind. However, if you are like me and have taken nearly 30 years to come to this realization, I hope this helps! I used this first batch to make a super simple breaded chicken (recipe to come!) and it tasted so much better than I could have hoped!

Since I have rediscovered my ability to make all things breaded, what are your favorite recipes that require bread crumbs? Comment below with your links!

Easy Crockpot Clean-Eating Thai Chicken

You know what seems really terrible? Teething.

My poor Cupcake is currently working on adding eight more teeth to her little mouth. She is in a ton of pain. She is drooling all over the place, not sleeping well, and barely eating. As a result, I have a very clingy little girl who just needs her mama!

You all know that I try to cook in a “clean” way.I try to not drive myself too crazy about it (I’m looking at you delicious Oreos), but overall I do attempt to make clean recipes. Often when I am looking online for some momming inspiration in the kitchen, I find what looks like a great recipe. That is, until I realize it is either labor or ingredient intensive. Mama ain’t got no time for that, especially with a sad Cupcake on my hands.

After searching for a little, I kept coming across a few recipes for Thai-inspired chicken. I noticed a theme and started pulling bits and pieces from different recipes. I decided I wanted something I could literally just dump in the crockpot without doing anything extra. That is the type of easy I wanted. Plus, with the crockpot doing all of the work for me, I had more time to hang out with my favorite little lady and cheer her up!

I was surprised with how simple prep was (approximately 5 minutes), how good this was! I have made it using chicken breast, thighs or drumsticks. Pick whichever is your favorite or on sale this week, depending on your needs!

This recipe can also be made as “clean” as you want. It does have soy sauce, which in my house we use, but it’s up to you if you’d prefer a substitute! All of our ingredients are from clean brands, but you’ll have to read the labels carefully if that’s your thing.

Little side note, store brand natural peanut butters tend to be made of only peanuts and salt. Brand name ones include sugar and added oils. So, I save money and get my clean pb? Works for us!

Onto the deliciousness…

Ingredients:
1 lb chicken
1/2 c salsa
1/4 c peanut butter
3 T soy sauce
3 T lime juice
3 T water
1 T ground ginger
1 T ground garlic

(Using freshly chopped ginger and minced garlic would probably be super yummy, but again, no time).

Directions:
1. Put all ingredients into ziplock bag. Shake, massage, etc. to spread ingredients all over chicken.
2. Dump bag and all contents into crockpot.
3. Cook on low 6-8 hours

I serve ours with rice and cooked veggies for a delightfully awesome dinner.

I apologize for the lack of pictures! Once my hubby got home last night, it was time to eat and then put Cupcake (and this Mama) to bed! I will try to get some for the next time we make this and update!

Clean Your Pantry- Chili Pasta

March comes in like a lion, and goes out like a lamb. Unless you live in New England, like me. Then, you’re just stuck with that lion. 

This is today’s sky:



Yucky days like this always make me crave something yummy and warm. When trying to figure out what to make, we had 1 lb of ground beef, which usually would be plenty for our small family. However, we were having guests tonight and 1 lb wasn’t quite enough. 

I went down to the pantry to try and see what I could start clearing out. We have a TON of canned beans (thank you ShopRite can-can sale) and a TON of pasta. Immediately my brain went to work. Chili is one of my favorite “go-to’s” when needing to stretch meat further since the additional beans make the meal last longer. I decided I’d attempt to create a hybrid meal and it was gooooood! All of us had multiple servings and we will probably be making this again within just a few days. It was that good. 

Ingredients 

1 lb ground beef (or turkey) 

1 small onion, diced

1/2 c chopped celery 

28 oz canned diced tomatoes, undrained

2 15 oz cans beans (kidney or black beans work great!), drained and rinsed well 

1 c uncooked macaroni (elbows, ziti, whatever you have in your pantry!) 

1/2 t garlic powder

Chili powder to taste (I used 2 t, but we like a bit of spice) 

Sour cream or shredded cheese for garnish 

Directions 

1. Add meat, onion and celery to a medium pot. Cook until meat is browned and veggies are tender. Drain fat. 

2. Add canned diced tomatoes with liquid, beans, uncooked macaroni and seasonings. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cover.

3. Cook for 20 minutes, or until macaroni is tender, stirring often. 

4. Serve in bowls topped with sour cream or cheese! Or, if you’re dairy-free like me, as is! 



Try this recipe and let me know what you think! 

Silk Cashew Milk Review

This week’s New Years Resolution Recipe is brought to you by Silk Cashew Milk. (I’m just being silly and am not affiliated with them in any way.)

IMG_3794So, darling Cupcake is still nursing, and therefore I am not having any dairy still. I saw a commercial for Silk’s new Cashew Milk. I have tried a ton of non-dairy milks in the past few months and have mostly stuck with Almond Milk. However, we recently purchased some Flax Milk on sale and both my husband and I LOVE it. We have been using it as the creamer in our coffee and couldn’t be happier. So when I saw that this new product was coming out, I got adventurous.

I rushed to the grocery store and purchased this product. I was SO excited. I poured myself a nice glass and was nothing but disappointed. It had an interesting flavor that didn’t really float my boat. My husband also did not like it. Thankfully, Silk has a super awesome policy. If you try one of their products and do not like it, simply contact them for a refund. I emailed them and within 24 hours, I received a reply indicating a refund was on the way. I couldn’t be happier!

But, I also had a big carton of cashew milk left. We are on a pretty tight budget these days, so I couldn’t let the whole thing go to waste. But, I couldn’t exactly pour myself a glass either. While I was visiting the Silk website to log my complaint, I noticed they had an intriguing recipe for Creamy Cashew Curry. I thought I’d give it a try (with a few Momming revisions, of course)!

Ingredients

1 T olive oil

1 small onion, chopped

1 t garlic powder

1/4 t ground ginger

1 T curry powder (I used 2 for our taste preference)

2 1/2 c Cashew Milk (or other milk of your choosing)

2 T cornstarch

Salt, to taste

Directions 

1. Saute onion in olive oil, garlic and ginger until tender (approx. 5 min)

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2. Add curry powder and cashew milk and let simmer for 5 minutes. Be careful to keep heat low, as cashew milk can scorch just like cow’s milk.

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3. Add cornstarch and mix well. Let simmer 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

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Results 

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We served ours over cooked vegetables, rice and chicken. The original recipe did not call for cornstarch and it was the consistency of broth. I prefer a thicker sauce for curry based recipes. Adjust the amount of cornstarch for your chosen thickness.

The taste also was slightly bland in the original recipe. As you can see in the second picture, I added a hearty dusting of curry and garlic powder to the finished meal. I also thought that there needs to be a decent amount of salt to bring out the curry flavor.

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Overall, this recipe sort of saved the cashew milk experience for me. I still have quite a bit left, so I will be looking into a few baking recipes to try and use up the remainder.

Bottom line, would I buy this product again? Probably not. Would I make this recipe again and substitute a different non-dairy milk? Definitely.

Breaded Pork Chops

Start the applause now… I made a recipe that doesn’t use a crockpot! I did! Me! And it was good! Say whaaaat?!?

No one, and I mean no one, loves a pork chop as much as Cupcake. She could munch on one all day long. So, we make them a lot. Which is great, ish. After you have pork chops prepared the same way over and over, even a yummy thing can seem boring. Since I made it my New Years Resolution to try new recipes, I did what any self-respecting woman in her late-20s would do. I turned to Pinterest.

And lo and behold, I found the perfect recipe! I wrote it down on a piece of paper and did not think two things about it. Until I realized I have no clue where I found this recipe originally. I hate not being able to give credit where credit is due, so just know-this isn’t really my recipe. Well, it wasn’t at first. You all know I never really follow a recipe as it’s stated, so this one is certainly momming-ed up!

Ingredients

6 boneless center-cut pork chops, with fat trimmed

2 T spicy brown mustard

1/2 c breadcrumbs

1 t dried thyme

1 t dried parsley

pinch salt

pinch pepper

1 T olive oil

Directions

1. Heat oven to 450 degrees

2. Mix breadcrumbs and spices. Set aside.

3. Rub mustard evenly over pork chops. Coat chops with breadcrumbs mixture.

4. Heat oven-safe skillet to med-high. Add oil. Cook chops for 2 minutes.

5. Turn over and put in oven for 8 minutes.

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Note

My Farberware non-stick skillets are not safe to 450 degrees. So, I cooked the chops for 2 minutes on the stove and then transferred to a pan for 10 minutes.

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That’s a pretty looking pork chop, am I right?

It tasted every bit as good as it looked. The one “downside” was that we only had breadcrumbs in our house from our days of not-so-clean eating. I’d really like to try this recipe again with a cleaner crumb to make it even better!

Do you have any good suggestions for a clean breadcrumb that works well in savory dishes? Let me know!

Easy and Clean Crockpot Pork Tenderloin

The other day I was playing around on the web and stumbled across Whisking Mama. She had a recipe for “The Best Crock Pot Pork Tenderloin” and it really started a craving! It combined all things I loved. It seemed easy, it had clean ingredients, it used a crockpot, and pork tenderloin was on sale. I knew I had to try this so-called “best” recipe as part of my New Years Resolution to try a new recipe each week!

Cupcake seems to be confused and not realize that she is a tiny 9-month old who needs her naps. She took one 5 minute nap in the AM, which thankfully was all I needed to throw this recipe together. Cupcake’s godfather, who is one of my best childhood friends, came over in the afternoon to see the cutest little girl around. It was so lovely to have my crockpot slaving away over dinner so I could enjoy his company! I *heart* the crockpot.

Okay, enough of my yammering away..here it goes.

Ingredients

2 lbs pork tenderloin

1/4 c soy sauce (I like low sodium)

1.5 T mustard (we used spicy, but yellow is what the original recipe called for)

2 T olive oil

3 T maple syrup

1 t onion powder

1.5 t garlic powder

1 shallot, chopped (I omitted this because we didn’t have it in the house)

Directions

1. Mix together all ingredients in a bowl (except for the tenderloin). Set aside.

2. Put tenderloin in crockpot.

3. Pour mixture over tenderloin.

4. Cook on low 5-6 hours. Recommended in the original recipe is to turn the pork twice (at 2 and 4 hours) to ensure even cooking. I did this and thought it was perfect!

5. Serve with juices over meat

People, I loved it. Loved it! When I first thought of mixing oil, maple syrup and mustard together, I was admittedly a bit skeptical. After my giant flop last week, this was a magnificent surprise. Seriously, Whisking Mama was not kidding. This is the best. It was amazing and my husband already asked when we could have it again. It was seriously awesome. In fact, I am wholeheartedly enjoying my leftovers for lunch today!