30 min Creamy Parmesan Garlic Tuscan Chicken… ? Awwww… yes, please! This lovely soft chicken breast pieces in mouthwatering, creamy Parmesan garlic sauce with sun dried tomatoes and green paprika is what I call a very naughty bowl of proper food! Especially naughty if you just made a commitment to become a weekday vegetarian!
Yes, the decision has been made and Mon-Fri we’re going meatless! Long-term health benefits were the main factor and I am really proud and happy we are choosing to be mindful about what we eat. Do I hear: “About time!”, “Well done!” and “Good for you!”?
Yes, yes, yes. This sounds like a really admirable and ambitious lifestyle change attempt, doesn’t it? Well, 3 days into the first meatless midweek I ended up making this amazing looking (and tasting even better!) Creamy Parmesan Garlic Tuscan Chicken for Thursday dinner, and have zero regrets!
30 min Creamy Parmesan Garlic Tuscan Chicken
Just so you know making of the Creamy Parmesan Garlic Tuscan Chicken wasn’t intentional really. In fact, I can honestly say it was totally quinoa’s fault! I’ll explain in a moment…
For now, know that if I was in the “quinoa situation”again, I would make the Creamy Parmesan Garlic Tuscan Chicken again, and again, and again! I know when I REALLY like something and that creaminess of the garlic-Parmesan sauce set off with the gently acidic sun-dried tomatoes is honestly worth the sin and has a potential of converting any vegetarian to a meat-eater! Plus it only takes 30 min to cook!!
“For those who have lived mostly on meat-rich diet, ie.: meat at least once a day, switching to veg for 5 day is not as straightforward as some might think. It is a big thing! If you eat 3 main meals a day, 30% of your diet (over 5 days) has to be rethought and additionally planned for – that’s 5 meals a week you have to be extra intentional about! This means learning how to make tasty veggie versions of what you already know and having to plan shopping trips better etc. or you’ll fail!”
So, with the best intentions in mind and the above Monday afternoon self-pep talk in my head, I had flipped through few food magazines, looked at my favourite veggie-focused food blogs and made a vegetarian only shopping list. I came home with 2 bags full of green intentions and veggie produce for a tasty 4 day menu, which would take us up to Saturday when we can “legally” pig-out on platters of meat. Great! I was all ready to rock the veggie theme!
Lunch: Flavoursome and interesting combination of fried egg, avocado, medley of finely chopped brown rice, butternut squash, beans and kale. We both enjoyed it!
Dinner: Vegan Leek and Pesto Fettuccine (from Garlic Matters) plus Broccoli Parmesan Meatballs from Oh, My Veggies – both absolutely delicious.
Bedtime: I’m full of hope and moods are high!
Lunch – Baked Beans on toast and a fried egg. That’s always a good choice!
Dinner: Creamy Spinach Sweet Potato Noodles with Cashew Sauce from Pinch of Yum. I could eat that cashew sauce with a spoon, on its own, 3 meals a day, 7 days a week, 30 days a month… But the dish itself wasn’t really to my taste as a main event, however, it went down well with Chris. As he pointed out, it would make a great side. So, I didn’t finish my small portion and (still full of fond cashew sauce memories) I decided to cheer myself up with a slice of Mary Berry’s Spiced and Iced Carrot Cake (from ‘the Great British Bake Off” cookbook) I made over the weekend.
Ok, this was disappointing, but let’s stay positive!
Lunch: Always yummy vichyssoise with a little bit of salmon (well, this makes it all pescetarian now, doesn’t it?! Oh, kramp! Never mind. We only had the tiniest little bit anyway! Doesn’t count.).
Dinner: Sprouted Quinoa Black Bean Burgers with Pineapple Salsa from Oh, My Veggies. (This is where Creamy Parmesan Garlic Tuscan Chicken idea crept in…) Long story short: I didn’t pay enough attention to the ‘sprouted quinoa’ to get it to sprout on time. You see, to have your dinner on Thursday you have to get on with the sprouting business on Tuesday! So the quinoa hasn’t sprouted. Can’t make bean burgers. Just great! Now, I’m frustrated and feel like a hungry vegetarian failure! I don’t want bean burgers anymore! Give me meat!!!! Bacon, chicken, any meat!!!
I opened the fridge and saw all ingredients of the Creamy Parmesan Garlic Tuscan Chicken just falling into the perfect dinner recipe slots to save the day. Well, not from the vegetarian theme point of view, but I do blame the quinoa!
I am happy to report that despite a momentary defeat, which I am totally oblivious about (you see, if you feed too much energy to it it might conquer you for good!) today (Day 4 ) we are on track again:
The quinoa has sprouted! For lunch we had Zucchini Zoodles with Asian Spiced Peanut Butter Sauce and cardboard-tasting like tofu (which hasn’t crisped up although it was supposed to).
Sprouted Quinoa Black Bean Burgers with Pineapple Salsa are going ahead for dinner.
BTW, If the sprouted quinoa doesn’t perform I still have leftovers (read backup plan:)) of my beloved Creamy Parmesan Garlic Tuscan Chicken to come to rescue!
- 3 boneless skinless chicken breasts, sliced and gently pounded to about 1 inch thick
- 3 Tablespoons olive oil
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- ⅔ cup parmesan cheese
- ½ green bell pepper, deseeded, sliced thinly (⅓ inch thick)
- ½ cup sun dried tomatoes
- ⅔ cup heavy cream
- ⅔ cup chicken broth
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1 tablespoon of your favourite chicken seasoning (I used McCormick Grill Mates Montreal Chicken Seasoning, which I love!)
- 2 cups spinach
- Season chicken pieces with your chicken seasoning.
- In a skillet, on a medium heat cook the chicken in oil for 3 minutes on each side. Mix in garlic and cook for further 2 minutes before adding a splash (¼ cup) of chicken broth. Cover the skillet with a lid and let the chicken steam for 1-2 minutes. This should ensure that it cooks through properly. (To check that it did you can slice through one of breasts pieces and check that it is not pink in the middle.)
- Take the lid off the skillet. Remove chicken and set aside on a plate. Add all the remaining ingredients to the skillet apart from Parmesan and stirring from time to time allow to simmer on a medium heat for about 5-7 minutes. (You can now mix in the spinach, should you wish to use it.)
- Mix in Parmesan and add chicken back to the skillet. Coat with the sauce and let it simmer for 2 minutes. Serve immediately.