Our kids have no idea how good they have it! When my dad was a kid he went to overnight camp for one week where the boys played baseball, basketball, went hiking, fishing and other fun and tiring summer camp activities. Everyday, after a full morning of fun, the boys would line up at the Mess Hall after working up an incredible appetite for lunch. What did they find day after day after day….sharp cheddar cheese sandwiches- UGH! But he ate them, what choice did he have – it was that or starve. It took him 20 years to slowly develop the taste of cheddar cheese again. Meanwhile, last week I sautéed broccoli rabe in olive oil and garlic for the salad bar at my kid’s school cafeteria for lunch. But I guess I shouldn’t complain, my mom used to pack me 4 course brown bag lunches for school. She even wrapped the tomato in separate wax paper because it made the turkey and lettuce sandwich mushy. Each lunch came complete with a sandwich, fruit, chips, dessert and of course a little love note (“Have a great day Missy! Love, Mom”. I am incredibly embarrassed to tell you that this continued through high school as any of my Gwynedd friends can attest. Was I grateful? Not exactly, I sold my lunch to the highest bidder so I could “buy” once a week. Go figure.
This is a good dinner to make and then let in sit in the oven if you have something else to do right before dinner. Also great for a group of 6 people (make about 10 chicken breasts). I just made this one up as I went along!
- Heat a little fresh garlic in EV olive oil for a minute or so in a large frying pan.
- Salt/pepper (thin) chicken cutlets and dip lightly in flour. Cook chicken in the hot pan on both sides until brown and almost completely cooked through. Remove and place in a baking dish. Cook in batches adding more oil if needed until all the chicken is cooked. You can skip the flour if you like, however, it keeps the chicken moist. Any kind of flour works.
- Pour a can of whole peeled tomatoes in the pan and smash with a spoon. Sprinkle with some basil (fresh or dried), garlic powder, salt/pepper. I added some broccoli florets (zucchini or spinach works too) to the tomatoes. Cook sauce for a few minutes and pour on top of chicken.
- Bake on 350 (until cooked through about 20-30 minutes).
- Cooked some spaghetti in salted water. Drain and toss with a little EV olive oil.
- Serve pasta plain on bottom of the dish, then spoon chicken and sauce on top. Sprinkle with a little parmesan cheese.
I had a few beets in the fridge that I wanted to use up. They added nice color and I could let them sit in the pot after they were cooked (while the chicken was in the oven).
- Peel and boil yellow beets. Drain and add EV olive oil (or butter), salt and pepper.
- They have a great color, a very mild flavor and very nutritious.
How Can Kids Help?
- Pour flour in bowl and salt/pepper each chicken as mom dips it in the flour.
- Help mom open can of tomatoes (learn how to use can opener).
- Tear basil into little pieces for the sauce.
- Help gently smash tomatoes in the pan.
- Activity; Hen Maze: http://www.coloring-crafts.com/printable-mazes/maze-hen-heron.html