8.13.2014

Baked Honey Wheat Pretzel Chicken Strips


My whole family loves snacking on pretzels! It doesn’t matter if they are crisps, rods, or twists. They also love chicken, so I paired the two for a simple and delicious dinner.

My kids always have fun when recipes call for crushing ingredients and then dipping and making messes! This recipe is sure to please everyone from the fun preparation to the delicious end result. Get messy! Have fun! And eat healthy!



Baked Honey Wheat Pretzel Chicken Strips Recipe

Ingredients:

1 ½ pound chicken breast cutlets- cut into strips (use cooking scissors- makes it so much easier to create strips!)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
2 cups honey wheat pretzels- crushed (or whatever kind of pretzels your family likes)
2 eggs- whisked
cooking spray

Directions:

1.)  Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2.)  Take a large Ziploc bag and put the pretzels inside and seal bag. Let your kids mash, crush, smash, and pound the pretzels until they become crumbs. Try using a mallet or a rolling pin.
3.)  Set out 2 bowls- one for the pretzel crumbs and one for the whisked eggs.
4.)  Spray a 9x13 baking dish or a lined baking tray.
5.)  Salt and pepper both sides of each chicken strip, then dip the seasoned strip first into the eggs and then into the pretzels, until completely coated.
6.)  Place strips side by side on tray.
7.)  Bake 30-35 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.

8.09.2014

Skinny Banana Bread with Coconut Sugar


I tried two new things this weekend. First, I went to the park with my daughter WITHOUT my cell phone! I watched as parents pushed their kids on the swing one handed while the other hand texted. (I am usually the one texting.) It felt liberating to have no phone!



Also new today, my daughter and I baked banana bread using coconut sugar. Dr. Oz has said that alternating coconut sugar with regular sugar is a good sweet alternative because coconut sugar’s glycemic index (GI) is 35, which is in the Low GI range whereas table sugar is around 60. For those new to understanding GI - GI is a ranking of carbohydrates on a scale from 0 to 100 according to the extent they raise blood sugar levels after eating. Foods with a High GI are those which are rapidly digested and absorbed and result in fluctuations in blood sugar levels. Low GI foods are slowly digested and absorbed and produce gradual rises in blood sugar levels and have proven benefits for health.

My daughter helped peel the banana, mash it, pour in all the ingredients, and taste test the batter. She approved! After the banana bread cooled, we both dug in to see how coconut sugar tastes. Her exact words, “AMAZING!” Get messy! Have fun! And eat healthy!

Banana Bread Recipe:

1 ripe banana- peeled and mashed
½ cup coconut sugar
1/8 cup white sugar
1 egg
1 ½ cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp vanilla
1/3 cup applesauce
¼ cup Greek Yogurt
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
1 cup chocolate chips

Directions:

1.)  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2.)  Combine all ingredients.
3.)  In a sprayed loaf pan, pour in batter and bake 25-30 minutes or until you put a fork in the middle and it comes out clean.

8.05.2014

Grilled Banana Boats


I can’t believe summer is sadly in the home stretch! I hope for the last few weeks left, you take advantage of pool time, sunshine, and summer foods! One of my favorite summer treats is S’mores! And lucky for everyone, August 10th is National S’mores Day. (Thank you to whomever who declared this day!)



            In honor of this campfire treat, here is a fun, nutritious, and delicious way to incorporate S’mores into your life. Get messy! Have fun! And eat healthy!

Grilled Banana Boats Recipe:

Ingredients:

1 banana
1 Jolly Oak S’mores Skinny Mini Snack Pack OR 1/4 cup chocolate chips, 1/4 cup mini marshmallows, and 1/4 cup crushed graham crackers
Aluminum Foil

On the Grill

1.)  Take foil and half way wrap a banana with the peel still on but peel partly open so you can slice lengthwise down the middle.
2.)   Sprinkle the middle of the banana with a Jolly Oak S’mores Snack Pack OR the chocolate chips, marshmallows, and crushed graham crackers.
3.)  Press the banana together and wrap the foil so the banana is covered.
4.)  Grill for 5-7 minutes or until the banana is hot and the chocolate is gooey!
5.)  Be careful opening the foil as a lot of steam may come up. Enjoy with a spoon.

For the Campfire

1.)  Take foil and half way wrap a banana with the peel still on but partly opened so you can slice it lengthwise down the middle.
2.)  Sprinkle the middle with Jolly Oak S’mores and press banana together and wrap the foil so the banana is covered.
3.)  Roast over fire for 5-7 minutes. Be careful unwrapping the foil because there may be a lot of steam. Enjoy with a spoon.

7.31.2014

Pan Roasted Flat Iron Steak with Help From Madison & Rayne


I prefer meals that are simple and quick to cook. Recently, I was at an event and tried a heavenly chicken quinoa. When the woman serving it said I could easily cook it at home, I was intrigued. With a little help from Madison & Rayne, a new Chicago food delivery service from Josh Jones, who was a chef at Spring Restaurant, you can transform into the fancy chef at home (minus the hard parts)!

My kids helped me choose and cook the Pan Roasted Flat Iron Steak, which also came with a watercress salad with faro, shaved vegetables, and a delicious homemade balsamic dressing. My son declared the steak “fabulous”! Even better, the delicious meal presented beautifully!

I was apprehensive at first when choosing what meal to order because the recipes sounded complex, but the ingredients came easily labeled and fresh. All ingredients are from local farms. Even the watercress had a damp paper towel in the bag to keep it crispy.

Each recipe comes with a card with easy to follow directions. My glamorous meal took all of 15 minutes! No stopping at the grocery store for ingredients, no measuring, and no chopping. Madison & Rayne is a personal shopper and delivery service all rolled into one. Minimal prep and minimal clean-up means my time is better spent enjoying dinner! It really was simple after all!

So pretty!
Save time and break up the monotony of cooking the same meals each week. Enjoy as a family or put those kiddos to bed and take pleasure in a restaurant style meal in the comforts of your own home! Order at www.madisonandrayne.com.