Dinner Spotlight-Chicken Parmesan Burgers

I discovered this recipe for Chicken Parmesan Burgers on Healthy Food for Living over a year ago.  Lauren’s blog was one of the first that I started following when I was just getting involved in the blogger world.  I was so impressed when this reader recipe appeared Cooking Light a few days later.  I made it immediately and since then, it has been one of the BOY and my favorite quick and satisfying dinners.




It only takes a few ingredients and less than 30 minutes to create these flavorful burgers.


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Since the BOY planned to spend the day in the library, I told him that I would be in charge of dinner.  We haven’t had these burgers in a little while (because we’ve been eating everything off the grill), so they were my first choice to make for dinner.




We opened up one of our wine club whites to pair with tonight’s dinner.  And in honor of our trip to Door Country next month, I pulled out my favorite DC wine glasses.


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They BOY had the full Chicken Parm sandwich on a fresh ciabatta roll from Whole Foods.




Dripping with sauce and oozing with cheese, this burger really is the best!



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I decided to top my burger with fresh avocado, which was a fantastic idea, if I do say so myself!





Along with a side of lemon garlic asparagus and brown rice, I was thrilled to sit down and dig into my dinner.





And my glass of wine.  Although after this afternoon’s BRICK, my legs are a bit sore every time I get up to refill my glass.  But at least I know that I earned every sip : )  Along with the dark chocolate square I had for dessert.  Now it’s time to sit back and finally work my way through the 10 episodes of Girls that I have saved on DVR.


Looking for more healthy Italian?  Here is my all time favorite quick and healthy Chicken Parmesan recipe!



Chicken Parmesan Burgers

Recipe from Healthy Food for Living

Serves 2



1/2 lb ground chicken

1/3 cup + 2 Tbsp marinara sauce of choice, divided

1/2 tsp Kosher salt

a few grinds black pepper

1/4 tsp red pepper flakes

1/2 tsp thyme

1/2 tsp rosmary

2 slices low-moisture park-skim mozzarella cheese (or 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella, divided)

2 individual square ciabatta rolls

olive oil cooking spray

garlic powder



Lay two pieces of plastic wrap (about 6 inches x 6 inches) on the counter.

In a medium bowl, combine the ground chicken, 1/3 cup marinara sauce, and seasonings. Gently stir with a rubber spatula just until combined. Using the rubber spatula, divide the mixture evenly between the two pieces of plastic wrap. Fold the excess plastic wrap around each patty, gently forming the patties into squares to fit the rolls. Chill in the refrigerator for an hour or so. Remove the chicken patties and let sit at room temperature for about 5-10 minutes before cooking.

Heat a cooking spray-coated non-stick skillet over medium/medium-high heat. Unwrap the burger patties and carefully drop them into the hot skillet. Cook the burgers for 5 minutes, flip, and cook for another 4 minutes (you may need to add a few more sprays of cooking oil before the flip). Top burgers with mozzarella cheese, tent with aluminum foil, remove from heat, and let sit for 1-2 minutes.

While the burgers are cooking, cut the ciabatta rolls in half. Spray each half with cooking spray, then sprinkle with garlic powder. Toast for 2-3 minutes, or until crisp and golden. Spoon 1 Tbsp of the remaining marinara sauce onto one half of each roll.

When the burgers are fully cooked (juices run clear when gently pressed) and the cheese has melted, sandwich the burgers between the garlic bread roll halves and serve.


Note: I typically buy the ground chicken at Whole Foods where they have all white meat ground chicken that you can buy in smaller increments.

Soda Bread Scones

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!


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Are you expecting 80 degree weather too?  It is absolutely beautiful here, and I am thrilled to have the day off to enjoy the sunshine and then a a quiet evening at home watching basketball.


But first, I needed some Irish soda bread to start my day.  Last year, I made this Brown Irish Soda Bread from Cooking Light.  It is delicious, but I wanted to try something new this St. Patty’s Day.




I have never made scones before, but these Soda Bread Scones from Vegetarian Times looked easy and good!


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Instead of currents, I substituted in raisins.  They are my favorite in soda bread!




I  was surprised at how easy it was to cut the bread into triangles. 


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I sprinkled the tops of the scones with cinnamon and sugar.



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I baked the scones for only 15 minutes and they were perfectly browned.








These sweet scones are crunchy on the outside and soft through the middle.  They are unbelievably good and a wonderful breakfast on March 17th or any other day of the year.






I recommend enjoying them warm with Trader Joe’s Fig Butter!


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What holiday foods are you making and baking for St. Patrick’s Day today???

Are you going out or enjoying a relaxing day/night in???



Soda Bread Scones


From Vegetarian Times

Makes 8 scones


Ingredient List

    1 tsp. ground cinnamon

    2 1/2 cups white whole-wheat flour

    1/2 tsp. baking soda

    1/2 tsp. coarse salt

    3/4 cup low-fat buttermilk or plain soymilk

    3 Tbs. pure maple syrup

    3/4 cup dried currants

    8 tsp. raw sugar, such as turbinado, optional


        1. Preheat oven to 450°F. Coat baking sheet with cooking spray.

        2. Whisk together flour, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt in bowl. Whisk together buttermilk, maple syrup, and currants in separate bowl. Stir buttermilk mixture into flour mixture until soft dough forms. Transfer to floured work surface, and shape into 8-inch round. Cut round into 8 wedges. Transfer to prepared baking sheet, and sprinkle each wedge with 1 tsp. sugar, if using. Bake 20 minutes, or until browned.


        Nutritional Information

        Per scone: Calories: 193, Protein: 6g, Total fat: <1g, Saturated fat: <1g, Carbs: 44g, Cholesterol: <1mg,

        Sodium: 226mg, Fiber: 4g, Sugars: 15g

        Not My Typical Dinner

        So a friend and his wife came over to hang out and he pointed out that my BOY might be less likely to hit up fast food on his way home from work if there were options other than black bean burgers and parsnip chips at home.  He also made some quote about two unhappy parties reaching compromise….which got me thinking about my recent menu selections.  Definitely a lot of vegetarian dishes for dinner.  With that being said, I decided to try a new approach to dinner. I saw this recipe in Clean Eating Magazine. I thought it looked fabulous and I loved the idea of a hearty casserole to warm up this wintery weather.


        First step is making the pasta.  I couldn’t find farro at a few stores, so I went with whole-wheat farfalle.




        While that was cooking, I started by chopping and sautéing my vegetables.




        Then I added 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth.


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        I brought the broth to a boil and then let it simmer.  I used half the veggie and 3/4 of the liquid mixtures in my food processor with a cloth over the top to keep the steam from escaping.  I had to guess on my portions and then added sour cream and the other ingredients.  Then, I returned the sour cream mixture to the pot, along with the pasta, chicken, and peas.


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        I stirred everything together and poured the casserole into my greased baking dish, topping the casserole with the rest of the cheese.  FYI,  I had trouble finding graded Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, but the nice people at Whole Foods made some for me.




        I pulled it out of the oven after 25 minutes. It looked good and smelled incredible!




        We had a few house guests who were snowed in at our house and stayed for dinner.  Everyone enjoyed the meal (even the side of veggies).  Plus we had some extra Pumpkin Blondies for dessert!



        Chicken Tetrazzini Casserole


        Olive oil cooking spray

        1/2 lb (8 oz) whole-wheat or farro short pasta

        1 Tbsp olive oil

        6 oz cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced (about 2 cups)

        1/4 cup finely diced sweet onion

        1 medium carrot, peeled, halved length-wise and thinly sliced (about 1/2 cup)

        1/2 Tsp sea salt

        2 cups low-fat, low-sodium chicken broth

        1/3 cup low-fat sour cream

        3 Tbsp finely chopped fresh parsley

        1 oz Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, finely graded (about 1/3 cup), divided

        2 Tsp finely chopped fresh tarragon

        1/2 Tsp finely grated lemon zest

        1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice

        5 oz roasted chicken breast, torn into bite-size pieces (about 1 cup)

        3/4 cup frozen peas

        1/4 cup roughly chopped raw almonds, optional


        ONE: Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Lightly mist an 11-cup (2.6 L) casserole dish with cooking spray; set aside.

        TWO: Cook pasta to al dente according to package directions, drain, rinse under cold running water and drain again; set aside.

        THREE: Meanwhile, heat oil in a large nonstick skillet or Dutch oven over high heat.  Add mushrooms, onion and carrot and cook, stirring for 1 minute.  Add salt and continue to cook, stirring until mushrooms are golden brown and carrot has softened, about 4 minutes.  Add broth, bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium and simmer gently until carrot is tender, about 5 minutes.  Transfer three quarters of broth and half of vegetable mixture to a blender and puree until smooth.  Add sour cream, parsley, half of Parmigiano-Reggiano, terragon, lemon zest and juice and pulse blender until mixed.  Return pureed mixture to skillet and toss with pasta, chicken, and peas.  Transfer mixture to prepared casserole dish, and sprinkle remaining half of cheese and almonds if desired over the top.  Bake until sauce is bubbling and top is golden brown, about 20 to 25 minutes.

        MAKE AHEAD: Casserole can be assembled, wrapped tightly in plastic wrap and stored in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours.


        Nutrition (per 1 1/2 cup serving including almonds)

        Calories: 269, Total fat: 7 g, Carbs: 36 g, Fiber: 5 g, Sugars: 4 g, Protein: 16 g, Sodium: 226 mg, Cholesterol: 27 mg