I grew up with some variation on chicken parmigiana as a family favorite meal. However, it was called, “chicken cutlet.” Why? I have no idea. Take chicken breasts, beat a few eggs in a shallow bowl, put seasoned breadcrumbs on wax paper, and dip chicken breast in the egg, and then the breadcrumbs. Pan fry the chicken and serve on noodles with marinara sauce. This was when I became obsessed with marinara. Marinara with big chunks of tomatoes was my preference. But, I digress. Because this was missing large chunks of cheese, I didn’t know that it was almost chicken parmigiana!
Anyway, early in our marriage, I wanted to make chicken parmigiana and used this recipe from Tyler Florence. I like it because he adds fresh basil and olives to the sauce. I’ve been making this crock pot marinara which is great too. Finally, this week, I made a grain free version of chicken parmigiana and served it over spaghetti squash. I know, it’s blasphemy and I don’t regret it one bit! I loosely followed the recipe for the breading and it worked well. Working with grain free ingredients is always an experiment for me since they don’t behave like regular flour. I didn’t love that the cutlets didn’t get a nice golden color when cooked, but the crust was nice. Also, let’s face it, when slathered with cheese and marinara, the color is less of a factor. My husband was in heaven, especially since I made him wait 20 minutes so we could melt the cheese and he was a little hangry.
Whenever I go out of town, I forget that my sweet husband once took care of himself and is able to feed himself. As a result, I make lots of plans to make it easy for him. I want to make sure he has food that is convenient and that he eats nutritiously in my absence. Plus, I don’t like to think that he is all alone and subsisting on beef jerky and gummy bears.
I usually go grocery shopping on Friday night and this past Friday, I got extra food to make extra meals here and there so my sweetie would have more leftovers on which to nosh. This week, I made Turkey Marinara Sauce With Spaghetti Squash and Turkey Stuffed Sweet Potatoes. Since the spaghetti squash and the sweet potatoes had to bake, I stuck them both in the oven at once. Currently, the sweet potatoes are waiting to be stuffed, but that can happen just before eating. Add some green salads and he will be in good shape for the week!
I’d like to say that I never buy nut butter, but I do. However, I know how easy it is to make your own. I try to steer clear of too many nuts because they don’t make me feel full, but after reading about this Cashew Butter, had to give my own sugarless version a shot.
So. Freaking. Easy. [if you have a food processor] I knew it was possible, but seriously. I will not lie to you and say this tastes like Peanutbutter & Co’s Dark Chocolate Dreams or candy or any other nonsense. However, it is really good. It tastes really rich and has some natural sweetness from the coconut butter and the cashews. Enjoy.
Chocolate Coconut Cashew Butter
adapted from How Sweet It Is
10 oz raw unsalted cashews
2 tablespoons melted coconut oil
2 tablespoons high quality cocoa
1. Process the cashews in the food processor until they start to ball up.
2. Add the coconut butter and process.
3. Add the cocoa and process. Taste and adjust according to your wishes.
4. Enjoy! I like to heat it for a few seconds in the microwave. Store in the fridge.
Love. It’s the driving force why we really do anything. Love for God, ourselves, and the ones we hold near and dear. The reason I don’t cook for a living is because I love it and one of my favorite parts of cooking is blessing others with my cooking. For me, doing that for money would take some of that joy away from it. A roast chicken can cheer you up after a long, cold day. A fancy cake can serve as a significant part of a celebration. A taco bar can tell you that it’s time to relax after a busy week. And all of those events are infused with love. It makes all the difference!
I think about this when I’m not motivated to cook. I try to slow down and focus on the moment. Maybe it’s the weight of the knife in my hand, or the cold water running over the vegetables. All of these small moments are amazing and come together to make a meal that nourishes!
I hope your weekend is filled with love!
(Not my photo)
“What is a duffin,” you say? Why, it is a doughnut-muffin combo. Not a combo, like the cheese substance filled pretzel snack, but like mash up, similar to the cronut. I used to live near a bakery that made duffins regularly and I loved that bakery. They had delicious things and really cute windows. It was quintessential small walking town with a train.
Go here for the recipe, because I did nothing to make it my own, other than change the name and used heavy cream instead of milk. Because, use what you have. Anyway, these are a delight since they have pumpkin and are rolled in melted butter and cinnamon sugar.
Dessert for Two is generally a delight because if I make a whole cake, I will eat it in its entirety and that is not a thing that should happen with regularity. I’m trying to make more small batches because I miss baking but I don’t need all that stuff at home. Also, I am baking more things to take to work because I love my coworkers.