Monday, March 24, 2014

Happy Hour at home with Parmesan Chicken Bites

I enjoy dining out.  In fact, it is one of my all time favorite things to do.  The problem is that I'm not always good about my food choices at restaurants.  Quite often, the next day my joints are swollen and I am miserable.  Now, I cannot see myself ever giving up my love of restaurants, but I also enjoy cooking and have gotten to the point where I really appreciate a good meal at home in a comfy pair of yoga pants, with no regrets of making bad food choices.

Here is a confession.....we love happy hour!  There is a relaxed atmosphere generally and we also enjoy the reduced food prices on the menu. Let's be honest, the choices are usually not great for fighting inflammation and in fact, typically cause inflammation. So....we have mostly given up on happy hour.  I say 'mostly' because we have a favorite place that actually offers healthy choices, such as a hummus platter and satay's.

Even though we do not go out much for happy hour anymore, I love this great recipe that makes happy hour at home (once again in yoga pants) a fun relaxing time to unwind and visit with my husband.  Parmesan Chicken Bites are made out of real chicken breast meat and I choose to use the whole wheat bread crumbs instead of white.  They are baked in the oven to eliminate the deep fried greasy finish.  You can also make it a meal by putting them over pasta and topping with the marinara sauce, with a Caesar Salad on the side.  Give them a try and let me know what you think :)

Parmesan Chicken Bites

2 chicken breasts (cut into bite-sized pieces)
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons of  Italian seasoning
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup of whole wheat bread crumbs
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

In a medium bowl whisk together the egg and mustard.  Add the chicken pieces.  Stir to coat thoroughly and then place the chicken on a rack to drain.

In a large zip-lock bag, add the remaining dry ingredients.  Seal the bag and shake to mix.  Then open the bag and add the chicken pieces.  Seal the bag again and shake until chicken pieces are coated.

Place coated chicken pieces on a greased cookie sheet.  Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes.

Serve with marinara sauce for dipping.

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