Healthier Chicken Cutlets with Linguine and Alfredo Sauce

>> Thursday, March 31, 2011

Key word "healthier". This recipe still uses some ingredients that many will consider no-no's on a diet, but compared to the real deal, high cal, high fat version you might get at a restaurant, this one is bound to be better for you- just based on the fact that it is made at home, so you know what is going into it.


1 cup homemade breadcrumbs (recipe to follow)
zest of 1 lemon
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 TBSP Neufchatel* cheese
1 TBSP unsalted butter
3 TBSP fresh chopped parsley
1 garlic clove, minced
2 cups 1% or skim milk
2 TBSP AP flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup egg whites
4 thin chicken cutlets
1/2 cup whole grape tomatoes (or cherry tomatoes halved)
salt and pepper to taste
1 box whole wheat linguine or pasta of your choice

Directions for the Chicken Cutlets:

1. In 3 seperate dishes, place your whole wheat flour, egg whites and bread crumbs. Season the flour with salt and pepper. Add about half the lemon zest to the bread crumbs as well as 1/4 of a cup of the Parmesan cheese and 1 TBSP of the parsley.
2. Heat some olive oil (enough to coat the bottom of the pan) over medium heat and then dredge the cutlets through the flour, wash in the egg whites and then bread each side. Cook in the pan for about 3-4 minutes per side. (These are fast cooking because they're so thin).
3. Transfer to a plate and put them into a warm oven while you finish making the pasta and sauce.
Directions for the Alfredo Sauce:

This goes really fast, so sorry there are no "in process" photos.

1. In a medium sauce pan melt your butter then add the garlic and remainder of the lemon zest. Cook over medium heat for about 1 minute- until garlic just begins to brown.

2. Add the AP flour and stir until it is all combined and golden brown in color.

3. Whisk in the milk and stir continuously until it thickens- about two minutes.

4. Melt in the Neufchatel and remaining Parmesan cheeses, stirring until smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Follow package directions for cooking your pasta, drain and reserve about 1/4 cup of the starchy liquid.

Combine the pasta, alfredo sauce, grape tomatoes and remaining parsley in a large bowl. If the sauce starts to bind up as it cools, stir in the cooking liquid from the pasta and it will thin it back out again.
Remove your chicken cutlets from the oven and serve immediately.
*Neufchatel cheese is virtually identical to cream cheese in appearance and flavor. In fact, it is shelved right next to the cream cheese at the store and the packaging even looks the same. The difference is it's lower in fat and calories, making it a better alternative.

Homemade Bread Crumbs: This is really simple to do, I haven't purchased breadcrumbs at the store for more than a year, now that I figured this little gem out!

1. Save all the heel ends of your loaves of bread (I also save the crusts because I have one finicky child who wont eat it!) We use Fiber One brand bread, so I know that right there- my bread crumbs will have more fiber in them than normal store bought crumbs! Store your bread in a zip top bag in the freezer.

2. When you're ready to make your meal, simply pull out the desired amount of bread and pop it into either a mini chopper or blender.

3. To season, I use 1-2 TBSP of dried Italian seasoning, tossed right into the chopper with the bread. Pulse to a fine consistency.


Work In Progress Wednesday, Week Five

>> Wednesday, March 30, 2011

This week is all about outdoor stuff.

We've been digging up the giant roots of these forsythia bushes. They were overgrown, not pruned properly by the previous owners and didn't flower like they should anymore- so we decided to rip them out.

The plan is to put in some lovely emerald green arborvitae trees along the fence and then in front of that will be our new vegetable garden area.
We are digging these up by hand.
Which is why it's not finished yet.
And I'm stalled out because of this
And YES, I had gloves on (everyone is asking me that)

We also did the gutters.
See that pretty green MOSS growing on the facia board under where the malfunctioning gutters were?
We also had to replace 70 feet of rotted board.
Progress, progress.
At least now the house is ready for power washing and then (hopefully) paint! (it is such a barren, bland eyesore, I feel like I should be on one of those shamed-into-working-on-my-yard TV shows!)

What are YOU working on this week?


Post Number 250! Made and Listed to Etsy

>> Tuesday, March 29, 2011

I just realized this is my 250th blog post! Holy cow, that's a lot of chatter about my life!

To celebrate, please enjoy some new pendants I've just made and listed to my Etsy Shop.


Work In Progress Wednesday, Week Four

>> Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Amongst other things (finishing some pendants, making some ring bearer shells and doing mountains of laundry)

I am working on this today
This is my father's baby quilt. Made for him by his grandmother when he was born.
The quilt will turn 70 this August.
I took an old shirt that was passed down through all my boys and cut it into strips.
I also used an old bandana.

I took some Stitch Witchery and fused the fabrics together.
This will hang on the wall in the little boys' room once the dowel and brackets I spray painted are dry.

What are you working on today?


Made and Listed- Ring Bearer Scallop Shell Holder

>> Thursday, March 17, 2011

Available now in my Etsy Shop!


Work In Progress Wednesday, Week Three

>> Wednesday, March 16, 2011

More soldering taking place this week.

I have 14 pendants left in progress; I chose these 7 to try and complete today.

The boys' room is still also very much a WIP. Although I have made a significant dent in it. Here is a sneak peek.
BTW, sanding, priming and spray painting MDF furniture is SO easy!
I've ordered something custom from Etsy for one wall in their room and also have another WIP for a different wall, which I'll share next Wednesday.

What are YOU working on today?!


Diet and exercise update. The next chapter.

>> Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Just a quick post to update how things are going on the "new year, new me" front.

I've just completed 50 workouts- finishing my 9 week program in the EA Sports Active 2 game. I am now using the game's miscellaneous preplanned workouts in conjunction with a few of my own that I've created to work out 4-5 times a week.

Some interesting milestones I've surpassed in the game:

I have thrown more than 2,300 punches in boxing
Burned nearly 8,000 calories
Run a distance of 34.8 miles
Exercised for more than 24 hours
Done more than 1,000 squats

My losses thus far:

Pounds: 13
Total Inches: 7.75!
Waist- down 4"
Arms- down 1"
Hips- down 1.5"
Thighs- down 1.25"
Pants- down 1 size

In addition to continuing to workout using EA Sports Active 2, I have begun walking and running. I started walking about a month ago and then about 2 weeks ago, I decided I want to run a local 5K race at the end of May. I am using the run/walk method of training; running for 10-12 minutes, walking for 2-3 minutes, then back to running again.

Today I completed a 3.5 mile course, 2 of it running, 1.5 of it walking. A
5K is 3.1 miles, so I am well on my way! (I am lucky- this is my view as I exercise!)
I am so grateful the snow is finally all melted. It was really rough trying to walk at a good clip back in February when several sections of sidewalk were still severely iced over!

In addition to exercise some things that I have found are helping with the diet portion of this process is being sure to have breakfast every morning. I have taken a liking to Kashi's Heart to Heart Honey Toasted Oat Cereal. I add some berries and some almond milk (less carbs and less calories than regular skim milk and slightly sweet) and it's a nice way to start my day.
The second big thing is eating every few hours. I try not to go longer than 3 hours without something to eat. It keeps me from being famished and definitely keeps my energy level up throughout the day.

The last big thing is that I am really working at drinking enough water. I just take a reusable water bottle with me wherever I go and keep it filled all day long.

All in all, my progress is slow, but steady. I have a goal of 13 more pounds before we go on vacation in a month (18 pounds more in total), but with the pace I've been losing, I'm not sure I'll make it. BUT- I am still going to try and at the very least, I will be lighter than I was the last time I had to put on a swimsuit, lol!

Well, I guess that is about it for now, this is probably a pretty boring post to most of you, but it's nice for me to have an outlet where I can share my progress, so there you go!


I've been added to a springy green Etsy Treasury!

>> Sunday, March 13, 2011

My green and white pottery shard earrings on the third row!



>> Thursday, March 10, 2011

I just had to document that I'd actually gotten something completed from yesterday's mess of pendants

Started: 15
Finished: 1


Work In Progress Wednesday Part Deux

>> Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Today is all about soldering. I am playing catch-up on some pendant and bracelet orders and also making a few new pieces that will go into my Etsy shop.

Also still a work in progress- the headboards. I am being really persnickity about the paint. Thin layers, lots of layers=lots of drying time. I've used nearly 2 cans. I am still undecided about the distressing. They look so clean and crisp right now, but my heart is telling me they will not look that way for long once the boys get into them...
Whatever my decision, I am going to go buy a can of clear coat to spray over it in an attempt to protect the finish a while longer.

The new box springs and mattresses are in the garage waiting and the plan is to start painting the walls this weekend.

Oh, I also just discovered that the hand-me-down chest of drawers they have in their room currently and a nightstand we have in the basement have the same dental moulding detail on them.
I want to spray paint those white to match- but it's shiny wood laminate. Not sure if it will work well or not- anyone have any experience painting over it?

What are YOU working on today?


Three New Pendants Listed to Etsy!

>> Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Slender Leaf Patterned Pendant
Red Leaf Patterned Pendant
Blue and White Pottery Pendant

Available now in my Etsy shop!


Cranberry Cinnamon Bran Muffins

>> Sunday, March 6, 2011

I received this yummy recipe from Val over at Vonlipi's Favorites after seeing her bake them using some of her lovely vintage Pyrex.

They're perfect for someone like me- on a high fiber, healthy carb diet.

Before I give the recipe, though, I'll just let you know I had no cranberries in the house, lol. So I used fresh blueberries instead. They still came out wonderful and I can't wait to try them next time with the cranberries! My adorable assistant is Avery, who was home from school, sick, last week with double ear infections. (He's feeling 100% now!)


1 cup wheat bran
1/2 cup All-Bran or 100% bran cereal
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup boiling water
1 cup skim milk
1 cup dried cranberries
1/3 cup Splenda
1 omega-3 egg
1/4 cup canola oil
1 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon

1. Preheat oven to 375 F. Line a 12 cup muffin tin with paper or foil liners.
2. In bowl, combine bran, cereal and salt. Pour boiling water over and stir to combine. Stir in milk and cranberries and set aside.**
**Note: if using fresh berries instead of dried, do not add them in this step.
3. In another bowl, whisk together Splenda, egg and oil. Stir into bran mixture.
4. In a large bowl, stir together baking soda, flour and cinnamon.
Pour bran mixture over flour mixture and stir until just combined.
(This is the time to add fresh berries if you are using them)
5. Divide batter among muffin cups.
Bake for about 20 minutes or until tester inserted in center of muffin comes out clean.
Makes 12 muffins.


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