Tag: healthy living

Taco Spaghetti Squash Boat

Taco Spaghetti Squash Boat

Spaghetti Squash in a Mexican dish? Believe it. I used to make this while I was at school. This is one of my favorite recipes. All the goodness of a taco, in one big spaghetti squash bowl. When cooking spaghetti squash I only cook one half, because mainly I am cooking for myself & my mom.

Instead of directing you all to another link where I explain how I cook my spaghetti squash- I’ll tell ya right here! I’ll save you one less click. So, here’s what you do. Preheat your oven to 450. Prep a cookie sheet, pizza pan, any flat pan by placing aluminum foil over it. Wash your spaghetti squash and cut it in half. No need to do an arm workout that day, because cutting the squash will do. (or am I just that big of a whimp?? hold the answers to that). With 1/2-1 tbsp of oil, for this I use olive since coconut oil hardens very quickly, and using a spoon, spread the oil around the inside of the squash. It’s ok if you don’t get every inch covered. Then give your squash a coating of pepper, paprika, granulated garlic and cumin. Just sprinkle the spices right over it. Flip your squash onto your aluminum foil covered pan, so it is face down. By face down, I mean the inside part where you had covered it in oil and spices. Cook it for 45 minutes.

That’s the general idea of how to cook a spaghetti squash. Depending on what dish I’m making, like if I am making my Spaghetti Squash Lasagna, I usually coat the squash in pepper, garlic, basil & onion powder.

Do not take your squash out before the 45 minutes! Don’t leave it at 40 and say “eh, it’s done. I’m bored. I’m hungry”…. Take it from me. I have been impatient before and the squash turns out crunchy and gross. Let it cook!!

As for the taco meat itself, I love using ground turkey. You can use chicken, grass fed beef, whatever taco meat you usually use, or none if you’re vegetarian!

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The salsa is the Kelly homemade salsa. It is 1 can whole tomatoes, with the juice, some onion, cilantro, garlic, salt and sriracha (told you we use that stuff for everything)… We don’t measure, we just taste test throughout making it. A lot.

Feel free to include whatever veggies you like in this boat. Whether it be black beans, corn, jalapenos- make it all you. I made some green pepper and onion fajita veggies.

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Without further ado, here is what you’ll need to make this Taco Spaghetti Squash Boat!

Taco Spaghetti Squash Boats

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 50 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 20 minutes

1/2 Spaghetti Squash

Serving Size: 2

Ingredients

  • 1/2 Spaghetti Squash, cooked
  • 1/2 c. Taco Meat
  • 1 c. Fajita Vegetables
  • 1/4 c. Tomatoes, diced
  • 1/4 c. Mexican Blend Shredded Cheese
  • Greek Yogurt & Salsa, for topping

Instructions

  • Take your cooked spaghetti squash (_see blog post for details on how to cook the spaghetti squash_) and "fluff" it. Aka, take a fork and run it through the spaghetti squash so it looks more like actual spaghetti. Keep your oven on!!!!
  • Fold in your fajita veggies, taco meat, tomatoes and whatever other veggies you want. Be careful because it is very full.
  • Top with cheese and put it back in your oven. Broil on high for 3 minutes.
  • Take out, let cool, top with salsa & Greek yogurt (_healthy sour cream subsitute_) and enjoy!
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Strawberry Banana Avocado Smoothie

Strawberry Banana Avocado Smoothie

Avocado in a smoothie? If you haven’t heard of it, or if you haven’t tried it- don’t pass judgement just yet!

I was sooooo against trying it for the longest time. Once I did put avocado in my smoothie, I was hooked. It gives it this creamy texture, just like a milkshake. I swear. Sometimes with healthy recipes people are like “it tastes just like the real thing, without the guilt!” Then you try it and you’re like “Uhm, no.”

This strawberry banana avocado smoothie is a great smoothie to get you hooked on adding avocados to your smoothies.

You can’t taste the avocado in your smoothies, but it adds a great texture. Along with the banana, it is super creamy! Per usual, I added 2 handfuls of greens to my smoothie. I always add greens (usually spinach, kale or a mixture of the two) to my smoothies.

I added a little bit of honey in there too. I’m starting to get sick, and I’m not a fan of honey in my tea- but I love it in items such as smoothies or oatmeal.

This is all I add in this particular smoothie. I don’t want to over do it on the healthy fats, sugar or caloric intake in general.

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Strawberry Avocado Smoothie

Ingredients

  • 1 c. Strawberries, about 5 or 6
  • 1/2 Banana
  • 1/4 Avocado
  • 2 handfuls Greens
  • 1-1.5 c. Milk

Instructions

  • In a blender, put all of your ingredients in.
  • Blend until smooth, adding more milk if need be.

Notes

If you use frozen strawberries, you may need to add more milk. If you use fresh strawberries, you will want to add a handful of ice.

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Sweet Potato Hash

Sweet Potato Hash

I have posted some skillet recipes before, and this one is similar- except somewhat healthy. I love making skillets on a Saturday morning if we have left over brats or Italian sausage. I pretty much throw whatever leftovers together and put some over easy eggs on top.

This, is not like my thrown together skillets. Trader Joe’s had $0.99 sweet potatoes- each!!! Yes, each!!!! So, naturally, I grabbed the biggest sweet potatoes my eyes could see. I’ve got some sweet potato recipes that I’m brain storming, but I can’t have a week of sweet potatoes. That would be overkill.

Last week I tried chicken apple breakfast sausage in a scrambled egg spinach mixture topped with melted Gouda (yes, it was heaven on a plate to answer your question)- the chicken apple sausage was so good!! So now I’m all addicted to the idea of putting chicken apple sausage in a breakfast egg dish… I threw some into this hash. Phenomenal!!!!

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You can omit the chicken apple smoked gouda sausage if that just sounds too freaky for you, or you could substitute it with another breakfast sausage. Do you!

I didn’t include any greens, but I’ve seen other hashes with Kale or spinach- which would be a nice addition. Personally, I like the simplicity of the sweet potatoes, onions, and chicken apple smoked gouda sausage (it doesn’t seem that simple when I actually type it out), but you can add in whatever veggies you would prefer! Regular potatoes would work just fine too if you aren’t a sweet potato fan.

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For the Chicken Apple Smoked Gouda Sausage (it was so good), I bought the brand Sausages by AmyLu. They are all natural and gluten free (I’m not gluten free, but for those folks who are). There is a wide array of various different products out for you to choose from! I definitely want to go back to the store and try some more. Here is the link that will take you to the Sausages by AmyLu!

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As you can see in that big frying pan, this batch makes a lot! I put the leftovers in a Tupperware container and I plan on reheating them in a frying pan tomorrow morning for breakfast.

Below you’ll find the printable recipe for this sweet potato hash. Enjoy!

Sweet Potato Hash

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp Oil of choice
  • 1 large Sweet Potato, diced
  • 1 large Sweet Onion, diced
  • 2 Chicken Apple Smoked Gouda Sausage Links, diced
  • 1-2 cloves Garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp Thyme
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste

Instructions

  • In a large frying pan, on medium-low heat, heat up your 2 tbsp of oil. While that is heating up, dice your sweet potatoes.
  • Turn the heat to medium, and put your sweet potatoes in the frying pan. While those are cooking, dice your sweet onion. Once diced, mix your sweet onions in with your sweet potatoes.
  • Allow that to cook for 7-10 minutes. You can put a lid over it if you like. I put a lid over it for about 4 minutes. While that is cooking dice your chicken apple sausage.
  • After you notice the onions becoming transparent and some of the potatoes are browned on one side, dump your chicken apple gouda sausage in the frying pan.
  • Allow to cook for about 5 more minutes. The chicken apple gouda sausage I bought was pre-cooked, so it simply needed to warm up.
  • After your 5 minutes, push your hash to one half of the frying pan. Cook your eggs however you like on the other half.
  • If you wish to, you can cook your eggs in a separate pan- do whatever is easiest for you!
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Banana Nut Oatmeal

Banana Nut Oatmeal

Banana nut bread is great. Such a great breakfast, snack, lunch, whatever- it is so yummy. I’ve had this bag of Trader Joe’s Rolled Oats sitting in the pantry for months now. My mom recently said “wow I haven’t had oatmeal in a long time, I need to have some” and light-bulb (!!!!) I remembered my huge bag!!!!!

I was searching through my cabinets thinking of what I could possibly incorporate into the oatmeal. I had bought some pecans to put on a citrus salad I am making this week (stay tuned it is going to be great!!!!), I love putting bananas in or on any recipe I can and I just recently bought some honey (we were out of some for weeks and I kept forgetting to get some)… then bam, I realized I could do a banana nut oatmeal.

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I used my new rice cooker/slow-cooker/steamer machine I got for Christmas to cook the oatmeal. (See the Amazon link below) When I’ve made oatmeal before, I have either used the stove top or I put it in the Crock Pot for 8 hours. I’m thinking to myself “Ok, I’ll let it cook on the slow cooker setting for 7 hours” uhhhhh, nope. I checked it (cause I made it this morning being too nervous to leave it over night- thank GOD I did) after one hour… ONE HOUR!!!! and it was pretty much done. I stirred it, let it cook for another hour, then left the top off and allowed it to cool for about 20 minutes. Oatmeal always thickens up when it is cooling down.

While the oatmeal was cooling, I chopped my banana and 1/4 c. pecans (I measured the pecans before I chopped them. So, 1/4 c. whole pecans)… 1/4 cup of pecans is seriously like 6-8 pecans, which doesn’t seem like a lot. Butttttt chop them up and it won’t seem like a little bit, it will turn into a lot. Plus, I didn’t want to add anymore, because the serving size was 1/4 cup. In 1 serving size there was 210 calories, 160 of those came from fat. Which, I know, is good for you fat. Still, that doesn’t mean you can eat a whole bag and they will be good for you.

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Ok, below is everything you will need to make this banana nut oatmeal!

Banana Nut Oatmeal

Ingredients

  • 2 c. Rolled Oats
  • 2 c. Water
  • 2 1/2 c. Milk, I use Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk
  • 2 tbsp + more for topping Truvia Brown Sugar Blend
  • 1 Banana, sliced
  • 1/4 c. Pecans, chopped
  • 1-2 tbsp Honey

Instructions

  • For Crock Pot or Slow Cookers- put your oats, water, milk and 2 tbsp truvia in the pot. Cook on low for 6 hours
  • For a Rice Cooker (like mine above)- put your oats, water, milk and 2 tbsp Truvia in the pot. Cook on "Slow Cooker" setting for 2 hours
  • For Stove Top: Bring your liquid to a boil, add in your oats, stir until desired consistency
  • Once your Oats are cooked and while they are cooling, prepare your toppings.
  • After about 15 minutes, top your oats and enjoy! This is a great breakfast to divvy up and have your breakfast for the week!

Notes

You don't have to split up the liquid like I did. You can just use 4 1/2 c. liquid of your choice. All milk, all water- do your thing!

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Citrus Beet Juice

Citrus Beet Juice

I always always always forget I have a juicer. One of my resolutions is to make more juices and drink these greens my mom buys. I was doing so good drinking the greens mixed with OJ and water (and sometimes Bolthouse Farms Green Juice- see the post here)…. butttttttt then I stopped drinking. It is so good for you, I really have to get back on that grind. This Citrus Beet Juice, however, is great tasting and paaaaacked with vitamins and nutrients. This juice features an orange and a grapefruit, which are in season. The oranges and grapefuits are so juicy and full of flavor.

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I am also a big fan of ginger in my juices and smoothies. I like the tangy flavor it adds. If you don’t, no worries, just omit the ginger from this juice.

This is a green juice, believe it or not by the color! It has a whole bunch (like a literal bunch of kale, found in the produce section) and three large handfuls (roughly half a 10 oz. bag) of spinach. It has beets too! I was super nervous, cause as much as I want to like beets, I just don’t. I’ve tried including them in salads with a ton of veggies to maybe get myself accustomed to beets, but it just hasn’t worked. However, either I like the taste of beets in this juice, or they just aren’t as prominent. I honestly wouldn’t know. The beet juice does give the juice that nice, rich color!

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Citrus Beet Juice

Ingredients

  • 1 bunch Kale
  • 2-3 large handfuls Spinach
  • 2 Beets
  • 1 Orange
  • 1 Grapefruit
  • 2 Apples
  • 2 inches, roughly, of Ginger root

Instructions

  • Using your juicer, juice all the ingredients. The order does not matter, but be sure to give the juice a good stir once you have finished.
  • You may need to empty out your pulp catcher/container/whatever you want to call it.
  • Enjoy!
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http://bitsandbitesblog.com/citrus-beet-juice/

Pumpkin Spice Latte Smoothie

Pumpkin Spice Latte Smoothie

Pumpkin Spice Latte Smoothie?? Can you guys handle any more pumpkin?? Do you have pumpkin overload? Maybe a little. Feeling kinda gross, sluggish, and needing to get back on track after this holiday weekend? Yes, yes, yes. I had a little bit of left over pumpkin after making 36, yes 36 (!!!), pumpkin cupcakes on Wednesday. As I am looking through the fridge and cabinets attempting to brain storm what the heck to do with this pumpkin puree, I find 2 frozen bananas in my freezer. Right after, I realize my coffee I had is getting cold. Coffee, pumpkin puree, bananas…. pumpkin spice latte smoothie? Genius! (I just took you inside my thought process, hope you all enjoyed) After Thanksgiving, tailgating all day Saturday, and my dad making Chicken Parmesan last night… I need some nutrients. The pumpkin spice latte smoothie doesn’t taste gross, as some “back on track” smoothies could. It honestly tasted like a milkshake, minus the ice cream and plus bananas!

I am already brainstorming what Christmas recipes to make for you all! I finished all my Christmas shopping between Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Today, being Cyber Monday, I had made sure to use my Ebates account to see if I could get any cash back at my favorite stores! You can sign up for Ebates here, if you haven’t already.

Here’s what you’ll need to make this pumpkin spice latte smoothie!

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A healthy pumpkin spice latte smoothie? Yes, please.

Pumpkin Spice Latte Smoothie

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 Bananas, frozen
  • 1/4 c. Pumpkin Puree
  • 1/2 c. Milk, I used unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1/4 c. Coffee
  • 1 tbsp Pumpkin Spice Coffee Creamer OR 1 tbsp Pumpkin Pie Spice

Instructions

  • Blend together all of your ingredients until smooth
  • If your smoothie is not thick enough, add in some ice cubes
  • If your smoothie is not thin enough, add in some more milk
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http://bitsandbitesblog.com/pumpkin-spice-latte-smoothie/

Roasted Edamame

Roasted Edamame

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I’m always looking to try a new snack. Whether it is sitting in my cube, or sitting at home watching TV winding down after a day at work- I could always go for a snack. In the past, my go-to snack would be popcorn. I love me some popcorn. However, on Pinterest and many health articles, I have seen the idea of roasting edamame. I usually throw some in a bowl, pour water over them, microwave them for a minute or two, throw some lemon pepper on there and call it a snack. I was intrigued and wanted to try this twist on one of my favorite snacks.

First and foremost, let’s start with the edamame. I bought “Shelled Edamame” meaning, they were already taken out of their shells. That way, I didn’t have to spend a ton of time popping each bean pod by pod. I made two different types of roasted edamame because there were so many beans, I couldn’t fit them all on one pan. The first kind I made was just your classic salt and pepper. The second kind was garlic parmesan. Both varieties were delicious. I ate a few handfuls after they were cooled down out of the oven, and today I have them as a topping on my salad for lunch.

Below, as always, you will find a printable recipe containing what you need and what you’ll need to do to make this addicting snack.

I have been brainstorming like crazy, and I cannot wait to share all the recipes I have with you all! Look out for some Thanksgiving ideas (hopefully food and DIY decorations)! If you don’t already, which if you’re receiving this e-mail you do, please subscribe to my blog via e-mail. You will see this option on the right hand-side. It says “Subscribe via E-Mail!” Thank you! Now, without further ado, here is the recipe card I promised!
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Roasted Edamame

Ingredients

  • 1 bag Shelled Edamame
  • 1 tbsp Coconut Oil, melted
    For the Salt and Pepper
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Black Pepper
    For the Garlic and Parmesan
  • 1 tsp Granulated Garlic
  • 1 tsp Parmesan

Instructions

  • Thaw your edamame by placing them in a colander and running hot water over them
  • Place half the edamame on the baking sheet, and pat them dry with a paper towel
  • Drizzle your melted coconut oil over them and shake them around to make sure each bean is evenly covered
  • Sprinkle your salt and pepper and shake to ensure even coverage
  • Repeat those steps, but replace the salt and pepper with garlic and parmesan, and there you have it!
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http://bitsandbitesblog.com/roasted-edamame/

Morning Green Juice

Morning Green Juice

There are two types of people in the world- morning people, and people who need “coffee before talkie”. I am the latter. I roll out of bed thinking of the warm cup of coffee that I will make as soon as I get into the office. Recently, I purchased Bolthouse Farms Green Goddess Juice. It was on sale at the grocery store, so I figured I would buy it. However, after reading up on the contents and if it is actually healthy- it is hard to tell. Yes, there is loads of sugar in it- but then again it is natural sugar. Another decent point I read was the fact that although a company states that their juice is “100% Juice”, the government and other regulations are very lenient and you can never be truly sure if it really is 100% juice. Once I am done with the jug, I am going to start making my own morning green juices. I have before, and it was completely packed with Vitamin C. This is cold season, so if you want- check out the recipe here.

So aside from just the green juice, I have been mixing in this green powder. My mom bought it, and was telling me Dr. Oz recommends it as well. It is called Green Vibrance. You can find it on Amazon here, or you can read about it here.  It has been giving me a ton of energy.

So how I take this drink every morning is as follows,

1 cup Green Juice

1/2 scoop powder

top it off with water

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Please do give this a try, or another powder! I do notice a complete difference in the mornings. I absolutely love it.

Side note: My nail polish I am wearing is OPI’s “Got the Blues for Reds“- it is a great fall/winter color!

Spaghetti Squash Lasagna

Spaghetti Squash Lasagna

To expand my blog to more topics other than food, but keeping food the main priority and point of this blog, I plan on posting more about books I read, makeup I really enjoy to use, nail polish I am loving. I have so many other interests, and I would love to share them with my readers! But, what you’re about to read is a food recipe. I’ll have my other stuff coming out shortly.

So I wanted to do a “Halloween” theme this week, call me corny, whatever- I thought it would be cute. Butttt then Friday, I really wanted to make this spaghetti squash. I will make something Halloween I swear! However, this is one of my all time favorite recipes. It is super easy to make, packed with protein, and just all-over delicious. Plus, with this time around, I have perfected cooking spaghetti squash. There are so many of these spaghetti squash recipes out there, because it is so darn good. It is so versatile, you can go Italian with it (like I did here), you can make taco boats out of the halves, you can make stir fry with it. The list goes on and on and on.

What I also love about this recipe is that you don’t feel as though you are getting “jipped”- it is low carb, has ton of protein in it, yet you are still left feeling completely (if not way more than 100%) satisfied.

Let’s get down to business, how the heck are you going to cook this squash? Preheat your oven to 375, and cut your squash length-wise. Clean out the inside, and coat the inside with olive oil. Then sprinkle on your salt, pepper and garlic. I do roughly a pinch of salt, and two pinches of pepper and garlic. Place your squash face down (so inside down) on a cookie sheet. Cook for 40 minutes.

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This is how you will “fluff” the Spaghetti Squash in the first step of the recipe
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The brown ooey gooey cheesy goodness- not to mention the nutrients. Yes, please!

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Lasagna Stuffed Spaghetti Squash

Prep Time: 40 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Serving Size: 1 person

Ingredients

  • 1 half of a cooked Spaghetti Squash
  • 1/4 cup Low-Fat Cottage Cheese
  • 1/2 cup Marinara Sauce (your choice)
  • 1/2 cup cooked Ground Turkey
  • 1/2 cup Low-Fat Shredded Mozzarella

Instructions

  • Once your squash is cooked, take it out of the oven, and "fluff" it. That means, take a fork and pull all the "noodles" up.
  • Stir in the sauce, cottage cheese, and ground turkey
  • Top with your 1/2 cup mozzarella
  • Place in the oven for 5 minutes, then broil on high for 3 minutes.
  • Let it cool, pour yourself a glass of wine, grab a fork, and go at it! Enjoy!
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Oven-Baked Chicken Fingers and Fries

Oven-Baked Chicken Fingers and Fries

So I have been rearranging and trying to completely reorganize and redo my Pinterest page…. wow that takes a vast amount of time. I really underestimated how much time I would spend! I’m excited for it to be way more categorized. I’m adding a ton of new boards, making everything specific. I want my followers (you can follow me on my page here!) to be able to easily find recipe inspiration for any mood or craving.

Last night, I felt like eating like a kid. So, I decided I wanted to make myself a “happy meal”- aka chicken fingers and fries. The only issue I have with chicken fingers and fries is the fact that they are fried. Don’t get me wrong, I occasionally like to dabble in fried chicken fingers, and on the weekends I find myself frequently dabbling in some fries. Keyword there is : weekends. During the week, I try to eat as healthy as possible. Now, I do still try to eat healthy on the weekends, but I do also like to go out to eat at least once on a weekend. “Treat yo self” as Tom and Donna from Parks and Rec would say. Not to mention I was headed to cycling shortly after I ate these… the last thing I want in my stomach when I’m on a bike for 60 minutes is fried foods.

While reading articles on oven-baked chicken fingers and fries, I read that many people had issues with finding the “perfect” recipe. They were not satisfied their first time around. This made me worried, but luckily I was pleasantly surprised! I loved how the potatoes turned out. They were more wedges than fries, but they were still delicious. The crust on the chicken was crispy, and the chicken was nice and tender. The chicken didn’t turn out dry or over cooked by any means. The sauce you see is simply 1 part ranch and 1/2 part Sriracha!

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After cooking, I had enough for 3 meals. I ate 2 “fingers” and a handful of wedges last night, I have 3 more “fingers” with some wedges for lunch, and a Tupperware with 3 “fingers” and a handful of wedges at home! Honestly, it is a great make ahead meal.

Oven-Baked Chicken Fingers and Fries

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Ingredients

    For the Chicken Fingers:
  • 2 Chicken Breasts
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 cup Bread Crumbs
  • 1/2 cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 1 tbsp Cracked Black Pepper
  • 1 pinch of Salt
    For the Potato Wedges:
  • 3 Russet potatoes cut into fourths
  • 2 tbsp Oil, I used melted Coconut Oil
  • 1/2 tbsp Salt
  • 1/2 tbsp Cracked Black Pepper
  • 1 tbsp Garlic Powder
  • Dash of Lawry's Seasoning Salt

Instructions

  • Preheat your oven to 400°F
  • Slice your potatoes into fourths (Cut in half, then cut those halves in half)
  • Place your wedges into a large bowl and pour the oil over them. Toss until the oil is evenly distributed
  • Lay your wedges onto a cookie sheet and sprinkle with your seasonings (salt, pepper, garlic, seasoning salt)
  • Set your potatoes aside, and do not place in the oven yet
  • Get a small bowl, crack your two eggs in that bowl and whisk. On a separate place, place your 1 cup breadcrumbs, 1/2 cup parmesan, salt, and pepper. Be sure that your breading mixture is well mixed.
  • Grab a pan, and cover it with aluminum foil. At this point you will have an "assembly line" set up. It will go chicken, eggs, breading mixture, pan.
  • Butterfly slice your chicken breasts, but cut all the way through to create 2 separate slices. Then, slice those halves in half. After it all, you will have your chicken cut in fourths.
  • 8. Repeat this step for every slice of chicken: Take your slice, dip it in the egg, then place on breading and make sure it is covered evenly with breading, and then place on aluminum foil covered pan.
  • Once you have done that to all the slices, you may now place both your potato wedges and chicken fingers in the oven.
  • Cook for 25 minutes. After 25 minutes, take your potato wedges, and chicken fingers out of the oven. The potato wedges you will let cool, but the chicken fingers you will flip. Once they are all flipped, place them back into the oven and broil on high for 5 minutes.
  • Take out of the oven, let them cool a little and enjoy!
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