Chicken Parm Sliders

I have been a burger-like mood lately. I mean way more than usual. The delicious burger I shared last week is great – but obviously, like I said, more of a “cheat day” type meal.

Lucky for you, this week’s post is still a between-the-buns offering, but is more on the healthy side. Best news? Perfect for a game day gathering – which is majorly important now that football is upon us (Woo hoo!). These savory sliders are easy to prep ahead of time, pop in the oven and during a time out, dress them up and plate them!

Sliders_cookingonthebrightside

I had some ground chicken to use and I can only imagine your surprise that it didn’t go towards buffalo something or other. Instead, I added some sautéed onions and marinara sauce that keep the patties from drying out while cooking. I’ve done this as a dinner for two with some crispy zucchini chips as a side, and have also done a big batch for a larger gathering – easy to customize for any size group!

Chicken Parm Sliders (Makes 8 sliders / 5 WW points per slider)

2 tsp. olive oil

3/4 cup yellow onion, chopped.

2 Tbsp. Italian seasoning

2 tsp. minced garlic

1 pound ground chicken (I usually opt for ground chicken breast – leaner)

1/2 cup reduced-fat grated Parmesan

1 Tbsp. bread crumbs (I use whole wheat crumbs if possible)

1 cup Prego Light Smart sauce, divided

1/4 tsp. kosher salt

1/4 tsp. black pepper

1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper

8 whole wheat slider buns

1/2 cup reduced-fat mozzarella, shredded

Fresh basil leaves for topping

Spray butter (I use “I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter” spray)

Preheat oven to 375.

Heat olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Add garlic, onions and Italian seasoning and saute for 3-5 minutes until onions are softened.

In a medium bowl, add ground chicken, half of the Prego sauce, grated parmesan, sautéed onions, bread crumbs, salt and peppers. Mix together by hand until ingredients are dispersed evenly. Form into 8 small patties. Line a plate with wax paper and add patties. Cover and chill at least 20 minutes to ensure binding.

When you’re ready to cook, remove patties. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and cook at 375 for 15 minutes. Flip and cook another 10-15 minutes until cooked through. Remove patties from the oven.

Add a cooked patty to the bottom half of each slider bun. (I also spray the top halves and put them in next to the patties to let them toast a little.)Top with about 1 Tbsp. of shredded mozzarella. Add 1 Tbsp. Prego sauce from the remaining 1/2 cup. Return to oven for 5 minutes or until the cheese has melted slightly. Top with a basil leaf and bun.

Then, well, you know what to do…

Chicken Parm Sliders_cookingonthebrightside

Have a great weekend y’all!

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Orange Mustard Glazed Pork Chops

So the first thing I thought of when I woke up today?

This epic scene from Friends. Because we all know I can’t go a day without something relating back to the best show of all time. Could I be any more predictable?

So Happy Valentine’s Day to all of my readers – I love y’all to chocolate-covered pieces!

Obviously, today is a day to let the love flow. I’ve never been a huge fan of a big outing or major to-do on the holiday, but I think any day designated to tell the people you love just that can’t be all that bad.

In addition to a silly card and a bag of the hubby’s favorite candy (anything peanut butter and chocolate) I usually plan a nice meal in for us to celebrate. One year that involved my Mustard Glazed Lamb – and another year that involved us ordering pizza. It is what you make it people.

This year I have a special little treat – which I won’t divulge quite yet since I have a good hubby who reads my blog – but I’ll have to share it with y’all next week. Too fun.

Anyways – obviously I try out a lot of new recipes on my husband. Some good. Some not. Some “meh” – but I always look for an honest response from him on whether or not I should put it in our regular rotation.

Well a few weeks ago, I tried a new recipe from Cooking Light and it was pretty good. The next week I found myself with some ingredients to use up and figured I’d make the same recipe again with some modifications. It must have been better the second time around, because the hubby took a bite and said “Whoa, tell me about this one!”…like he had never had it before. It certainly made me chuckle, but it also made me smile that I didn’t have to coax out an opinion. Clearly, this one was a keeper – just like the Mr. (Awwwww).

Plated Pork Chops

Give it a try and let me know what you think! It’s pretty easy to throw together and the time it spends in the oven gives you time to clean up, assemble sides, etc.

Orange Mustard Glazed Pork Chops (Serves 2 – 8 WW points/serving)

Original recipe from Cooking Light found here.

Ingredients

2 6 oz. boneless lean pork chops, trimmed

1/2 cup fresh orange juice

2 Tbsp. orange marmalade

1 1/2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard

1/2 red onion cut into chunks

1 Tbsp. dried rosemary (or 4 fresh sprigs)

1/2 tsp. canola oil

Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 425.

In a small saucepan, whisk orange juice, marmalade and mustard together. Bring to a boil, reduce slightly and cook about 10 minutes, allowing it to thicken.

While sauce is heating, season your pork chops with salt and pepper on each side. Add oil to an ovenproof skillet and heat to medium. Cook chops 5 minutes. Sprinkle with rosemary turn and add onion wedges. Pour the sauce over the chops into the pan and bake 10-12 minutes until cooked through.

Glazed Chops - Add Sauce

Plate chops and spoon sauce and onions over top. This is great with some roasted veggies and any sort of potatoes or bread.

Orange Mustard Glazed Pork Chops

Hope y’all have a great weekend…and Happy Valentine’s Day!

 

Drunk Shrimp

I don’t know about y’all, but I say bring on the holidays!

This has to be my favorite time of year – gearing up for a few days to spend with family and reflect on what we’re all thankful for, and then we turn around and get to experience all the joy of the Christmas season. It does seem super busy – but I just feel like everybody is in a better mood right now looking ahead to the holidays!

I have to catch up later on my “what I’m thankful for” list – but some of them were a little more in-depth and I wanted to put some more time into the explanations. “Friends” just doesn’t cut it, you know?

However, one of the overarching things I’m thankful is just nostalgia in general. I love reminiscing about the past and I love when certain things do that for me. Scent is a big trigger for me, as well as food. I’ve probably told you several times that something about seafood, shrimp in particular, reminds of time spent with my grandparents in Gulfport, Mississippi. So many wonderful meals together and some fun times spent on a shrimping boat!

I made this dish throughout college, perhaps because it reminded me of home a little, but also due to the delicious flavor and the ease! It makes a ton of sauce, but trust me, with some potatoes, rice or bread, you won’t mind at all.

Drunk Shrimp (Serves 2 / 7 WW points per serving)

Ingred

8 oz. cooked shrimp, tails removed

2 Tbsp. reduced-calorie margarine

1 Tbsp. butter

3 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce

1 Tbsp. dried oregano

1 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper

6 oz. light beer

In a medium skillet, melt margarine and butter and whisk in Worcestershire. Add salt, cayenne and oregano and whisk to blend.

Add shrimp and stir to coat. Cook over medium for 3 minutes. Pour in beer, stir and cover. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook another 3-4 minutes.

Step by Step

I added the shrimp on top of some mashed potatoes, and then poured that delicious sauce all over them. And I may have brought in a roll for clean up duty when the potatoes were gone…

Drunk Shrimp

Hope y’all have a great weekend!

Chicken with Pepperoni Marinara Sauce

Dear October,

Where did you go?

Y’all, seriously. I just looked at my calendar and freaked out a little. I have been a very very bad blogger! It has been absolute chaos (the fun kind!) in our house these past few weeks. Just a little overview:

  • Wrapped up Sept. with a church community service project and then drove to Oxford, MS for a cousin’s wedding and some family birthday celebrating.
  • Then finished our bathroom (woot woot!).
  • Rang in October by celebrating our 2nd anniversary which included a delicious meal cooked by my husband and one of the best dining experiences I’ve had in my life at a restaurant I’d been dying to try. I may have made reservations in July to make sure we got there.
  • Hosted a couple’s shower for some friends – I love throwing parties, but they leave me exhausted. At least we had leftovers to eat for 3 days before we packed up again!
  • Headed to Orlando for another wedding – this time one of my best friends from college. Spent a day with Mickey and the gang, ate our way around the world at Epcot’s Food & Wine Festival (which was AMAZING), got some girl time with my besties (sadly minus my Punk – but gotta keep her baby safe!) and celebrated the marriage of two wonderful people.
  • And this past weekend we celebrated another wedding – one of the husband’s best friends from college. He was in the wedding – so a whole weekend of festivities.

So – all of that to say. Hi. I’m back. And happy to be back in my kitchen cooking meals for 2 people for a little while. In order to get back in the swing of things, I needed a super easy recipe with stuff I had on hand and I found this little gem on the Cooking Light website.

Chicken with Pepperoni Marinara Sauce (Serves 4 / 7 WW pts. per serving)

Ingredients

Original recipe found here.

4 (5 oz.) boneless, skinless chicken breasts (I buy thin sliced or cut a big one in half)

1 tsp. olive oil

Garlic powder and pepper

1/2 tsp. minced garlic

2 tsp. Italian herb seasoning

1/4 tsp. garlic salt

16 slices Turkey pepperoni, chopped

1 1/2 cups marinara sauce

1/2 cup reduced-fat mozzarella cheese, shredded

Heat a large saucepan to medium. Coat with nonstick spray and add olive oil.

Sprinkle chicken breasts with a little garlic powder and pepper on each side. Add to skillet and cook 3-5 minutes on each side until chicken is cooked through. Remove chicken and set aside.

Steps

Add garlic and chopped pepperoni to pan and cook about 2 minutes. Pour in marinara sauce and stir in Italian herb seasoning and garlic salt. You may want to add a little more salt or some pepper depending on the sauce you purchase – I like to cut the sweet a little.

Pour sauce over the chicken breasts and add 2 Tbsp. cheese on top of each piece. (To make this an easy one-pan meal – I pushed the sauce to one side and then added the chicken back in.) Cover for 2-3 minutes until cheese has melted.

Close Up

This was super easy and required ingredients I usually have on hand – so it worked out perfectly, I didn’t even have to make a run to the store! I hope you enjoy it as much as we did…

Chicken Pepperoni-Marinara Sauce

Have a great weekend y’all!