Blogger Love (+ Chickie Chickie Parm Parm)

Things were pretty happy around dinnertime in our household last night because this was on our plates!

I’ll get back to that in a minute.

It’s no secret that I adore my fellow healthy living bloggers. I’ve even been lucky enough to meet many of them in person, like here, here, here and here. It’s kind of crazy that I didn’t know that this whole healthy living blog world existed until a year ago- and how important it is my life. If you’re not a blogger, or even if you are, and you haven’t met up with any of your “blends” (blogger+friend) in real life, you might think it sounds strange. But, I can tell you- it’s absolutely wonderful and not weird at all! I have built a strong bond and connection with so many other bloggers without meeting them in person. And for those that I have met, it feels like we’ve been friends for years.

One of those bloggers that I love is my soul sister, Kelly.

Kelly did a wonderful guest post for me a couple of weeks ago, and we got to meet in person at the Blend retreat. We bonded immediately before we even met, and our friendship has grown even stronger since the Blend retreat. Needless to say, Kelly will be a life-long friend (which will be much easier when we move to Colorado… whenever that’s going to happen…). I admire many things about Kelly, and one of them is her beautiful collection of recipes (not to mention her food porn- her photos are gorgeous!). I’ve yet to make any her fabulous Chobani recipes (mainly because I suck at baking- unless it can be done in a microwave), but they’re on my list!

When Kelly posted her recipe for Parm Chicken CousCous (using the Whole Wheat couscous that we got in our Blend swag bag), I knew I had to make it asap! I mean, who doesn’t love chickie chickie parm parm?

(Don’t you just love Parks & Rec??!!)

In true Lauren style, I didn’t follow her recipe exactly, but was inspired by it. Instead of using bread crumbs, I toasted a piece of whole-wheat bread and ground it up in the food processor. I also added Italian spices and some Parmesan cheese to the mix. I also beat one egg to coat the chicken breasts with before dipping them in the coating.

(There was quite a bit of egg left over, so I nuked it and gave it to the doggies. They were very appreciative.)

I put the chicken breasts in the oven, and upon flipping them over half-way through, I added some Mozzarella style rice shreds to melt on top (“real” mozzarella would have been great too, but we didn’t have any on hand).

I’ve never made Israeli couscous before, so I wasn’t even sure how to cook it. I’m used to sticking with the standard 3:1 ratio when cooking grains, but this only called for about 1.5 to 1 (if that)! And it cooked up a lot quicker than the package stated. Since I don’t generally buy pre-made marinara sauce, I mixed in some salt-free crushed tomatoes and added my own spices. It reminded me of Spaghettios!

I only cooked two chicken breasts (a larger one for Greg and a smaller one for me), so they were ready right around the same time that the couscous was. I love it when a plan comes together like that!

I also roasted some squash to serve alongside the Chickie Parm, which I ended up mixing up with the couscous after I started eating. It was a perfect combination!

A little fresh basil (from my herb garden!) for a finishing touch and voila!

From start to finish, this took all of 25 minutes to make.

Winning!

(Haven’t heard that for a while, have you?)

It was delicious! Greg’s only complaint was that he could have eaten two chicken breasts instead of one. :)

**

Maybe I’ll tackle one of Kelly’s baking recipes next.

Maybe.

Do you ever make your own bread crumbs? What’s your favorite grain?

Comments

  1. Awwww, you’re so sweet friend!! And you ARE my soul sister – which is why I need you in Colorado STAT!!! I know, I know… you have stuff to figure out first. But I am so looking forward to that day.
    YOUR chicken parm looks amazing. And all homemade ingredients is good. I took more shortcuts :) And I love your chickie chickie parm parm name/reference!! And lastly, you should totally cook up some of those strawberry banana muffins – they couldn’t be any easier and they are delicious with nut butter – which I know is one of your favorite things!!

    • Just keep sending positive thoughts my way! If you want something bad enough, aren’t you supposed to put it out there and keep thinking and talking about it (wasn’t that an Oprah thing)? That’s what I’m doing with Colorado! :)

  2. I already told Mark that he should make this over the weekend when I’m in TX so he can use up the cous cous. Plus, he needs to make some more marinara sauce anyway.

    I have been making “bread crumbs” from corn flakes and rice krispies. Those two things are just about as cheap as regular bread, and the combo of both makes for a good breading.

    • Oooh corn flakes are a GREAT coating! I think I need to experiment with tortilla chips (since it’s all crumbles at the bottom of the bag anyway) and crackers!

  3. Loved the looks of this on Kelly’s site & on yours’. I’m thinking eggplant parm, veggie-style, might be in my future very soon! :) I think my favorite grain is arborio rice, risotto baby! :)

  4. I love the pic with the 2 lbds!!! That recipe seriously looks beautiful!!!!!!! I’m sure that’d be kevin’s complaint too. Hah.

  5. I always make my own crumbs! So much better… and cheaper!

    Thanks for making me miss our Blend weekend. Again.

  6. Wow, that dinner looks so good! I always make my own bread crumbs, it’s too easy not too.

  7. Nope! couscous add to any meal

  8. I made my own bread crumbs all the time. . .I’m cheap.

    I love Israeli couscous! It even looks like Spaghetti-Os.

  9. heather says:

    I just made chicken and Israeli couscous with pasts sauce to take ti work for munch tomorrow! Lol yum! Also I find that it gives the couscous a better texture if you toast it with some oil in the pot first :)

  10. heather says:

    Wow my kindle changed lunch to munch lol

  11. Yum! I’ve been wanting to try Israeli couscous but have been on the hunt for a whole grain version and can’t find it…

    • This was Bob’s Red Mill Whole Wheat… would that be okay? You could order it through their site if you can’t find it!

  12. “chickie chickie parm parm” AND “winning”? – ha! you crack me up. YES, parks and rec is hilarious! My favorite show.

    That zucchini you have rocking to the right looks rather scrumptious too. Lucky me I have some in the fridge ’cause now I’m craving!

  13. yumm this looks awesome! just pinned it bc u know i got some of that couscous! :)

Comments are welcome (and encouraged)!