Sunday, July 15, 2012

Sunday night dinner

It's Sunday night. Six o'clock to be precise. Mark and Miles are seated at the dining room table, and I am carrying a serving platter with a beautiful pot roast. My boys smile at me as I slice the meat and pile their plates high with root vegetables. We have a nice, healthful family meal as soft music plays in the background. We talk and laugh at each other's wit.

Wit is making us laugh. Wit and charm. We are not amused because one of us decides to take video of Miles pooping in his high chair. I did mention that this scenario was a fantasy, right?

Our normal Sunday night dinner is far from the big family meal I would like to be. I tend to cook a more involved meal on Saturday, leaving Sunday to be something quick and simple. Our weekends have been go, go, go this summer and whatever meal I have prepared, we can barely get ourselves to TV trays in front of the couch much less a table.

Tonight, though, was different. Tonight was a Sunday dinner. We enjoyed a healthful meal and each other's company though one of us may or may not have taken a video of Miles doing, well ...

We'll save that for another time. We're at the table.

Healthy family dinner

Lighter Chicken Parmesan

16 ounces boneless, skinless chicken breast (about 1.5-2 breasts)
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup whole-wheat bread crumbs
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning*
1 teaspoon True Lemon*
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt*
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese*
8 ounces whole wheat rotini or pasta of choice
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 slices mozzarella cheese
4 ounces baby spinach
1 jar marinara sauce or 3 cups homemade

*I just sprinkled and dumped these herbs and seasonings. Exact measurements not required.

Place chicken in glass baking dish and cover with buttermilk. Allow to marinate for several hours in the refrigerator, turning every hour.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil and set a wire rack on top of the baking sheet.

In a large, shallow dish, combine bread crumbs, Italian seasoning, True Lemon, salt and cheese. Mix well with a fork. Remove the chicken from the buttermilk and coat evenly with bread crumbs; place on wire rack. The wire rack allows heat to circulate around the chicken for even baking and no soggy bottom. Bake for about 30 minutes or until juices run clear.

Meanwhile, boil a pot of water and cook pasta according to package directions; drain. Heat olive oil in a large saute pan over medium to medium high heat.

Remove chicken from oven. Using tongs, move the breasts to the saute pan, cooking about 2 minutes. Flip. Add mozzarella cheese to top of breast and cook 2 minutes more. Place chicken on plate and set aside. Add spinach to saute pan and cook until just beginning to wilt. Pour in marinara, stirring in spinach, and cooking until sauce is hot. Add pasta to the pan, tossing to coat, and re-warm the pasta.

Serve 1 cup of pasta mixture with 3 ounces of chicken. Makes 4 servings.

Enjoy heartily. At the table, of course.


  1. That little man can sure make a mess!!! Love him nonetheless!!

    Love you friend, hoping you and your family have LOTS and LOTS of healthy happy meals . . . at the table!!!!

  2. Looks delicious and sounds like a fabulous sunday night dinner! I want to be a part of your dinner because it just sounds/looks so happy and full of love :)

    1. Too sweet. If you ever want to drive a few hours, you are more than welcome for dinner!