Baked Parmesan & Romano Wings

Baked Parmesan & Romano Wings platter
served with marinara sauce
5 lbs chicken drummettes

salt & pepper to taste
garlic powder
onion powder
1 stick butter, melted
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/2 cup grated romano cheese

Preheat oven to 375.
Line a baking sheet with foil.
Place chicken wings on baking sheet in a single layer.
Sprinkle with salt, pepper, garlic powder, & onion powder – toss to coat.
Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes.
Remove chicken from oven after 30 minutes and set aside. Do not turn oven off!
In a large bowl, add melted butter and cheeses; stir to combine.
Add chicken and pan juices to butter/hot sauce mixture and toss to coat.
Clean baking sheet and line with new sheet of foil.
Place coated chicken on baking sheet and bake in hot oven for 10 minutes.**
To serve, plate on serving platter. Spoon on an remaining juices/sauce from the baking pan over the chicken wings.
To accompany the wings, serve with marinara sauce.

** To make ahead, prepare as directed above, until the second baking. You can make this in advance and keep warm in a 250 degree oven an hour prior to serving in place of baking the second time for 10 minutes.

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Spinach & Artichoke Appetizer Wreath

Spinach & Artichoke Appetizer Wreath
recipe courtesy of Pampered Chef

2 (8 ounce) packages refrigerated crescent dinner rolls
1 (14 ounce) can water-packed artichoke hearts, drained & chopped
1 (10 ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and well drained
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese
1/2 cup diced bell pepper
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1 egg white, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheesePreheat oven to 375*F. In bowl, combine artichokes, spinach, mozzarella cheese, feta cheese(or Parmesan, red bell pepper, mayonnaise, garlic and black pepper. Mix well. Set aside.

Unroll the 2 packages of crescent rolls onto work surface. Separate into 16 triangles in a circle on a large round pizza pan(or baking stone) with wide ends 3″ from edge of pan and points towards the outside. Points will extend off the edge of the baking stone or pan(depending on size).


Arrange remaining triangles in center of baking stone or pan; matching wide ends with triangles already in place Points will overlap in the center.


Using rolling pin, roll over seams of triangles where the wide ends meet, creating a smooth surface for filling. Do not seal center triangles.


Using an ice cream scoop, scoop filling evenly over dough in a continuous circle.


Beginning with the last triangle placed in center of baking stone or pan, bring point of triangle straight across filling.


Next, bring point of opposite outside triangle diagonally across point of previous triangle. The filling will show.


Repeat, overlapping points of inside and outside triangles to form a wreath. Tuck last end under first.


Brush top of wreath with egg white. Sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese.
Bake 25-30 minutes or until golden brown.

Italian chicken bruschetta soup

This soup was made for my Soup & Sandwich Swap event, which you can read about HERE for more recipes and pictures.

Joelen’s Italian chicken bruschetta soup

1 large can marinara sauce
1 large can whole tomatoes w/basil
3 tomatoes, chopped and seeded
1 bunch fresh basil leaves, chopped
1 onion, finely minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 cup low sodium chicken broth
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasted, diced
1-2 tablespoons italian seasoning
1 cup grated parmesan cheese
salt & pepper to taste
1 cup cooked small pasta (optional)

Combine everything (except pasta) in the crockpot and set on low for 6-8 hours.
Before serving, stir in cooked pasta.

WW: Eggplant Rollatini with Tomato Basil Sauce

For dinner tonight, I had a special guest over… my 6 year old nephew. To keep things healthy yet kid friendly, I made something similar to a lasagna (a favorite of my nephew’s) – Eggplant Rollatini. Little did he know that it was completely vegetarian! I served this with a baked bone-in chicken breast, seasoned with italian seasoning. Thankfully it was a hit and he enjoyed it… so did the rest of the family.

*Tip: You could make this in advance and is freezeable too, just like a traditional lasagna!

Eggplant Rollatini with Tomato Basil Sauce
courtesy of Weight Watchers Best Eats cookbook

1 medium eggplant, unpeeled, cut lengthwise into 8 (1/4 inch slices)
1 teaspoon olive oil
3 garlic cloves, chopped
2 cup canned crushed tomatoes
4 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1 small zucchini, diced
1/4 cup minced onion
1/2 cup part skim ricotta cheese
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 large egg
3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Preheat the oven to 450F degrees. Spray a large rimmed baking sheet with nonstick spray. Arrange the eggplant on the baking sheet in one layer and spray lightly with nonstick spray. Bake until browned, about 10 minutes on each side. Reduce the oven temperature to 400F degrees.

To make the sauce, heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium hat. Add 2 cloves of the garlic and cook, stirring occassionall, until fragrant. about 30 seconds. Add the tomatoes and 2 tablespoons of the basil; bring to a simmer. Cook until thickened, 10 minutes.

To make the filling, spray a large nonstick skillet with nonstick spray and place over medium-high heat. Add the zucchini, onion, and remaining 1 garlic clove; cook until the vegetables are softened, 5 minutes. Transfer to a medium bowl; allow to cool slightly. Stire in the ricotta, parsley, egg, remaining tablespoons basil, 2 tablespoons of the Parmesan, the salt and pepper.

To assemble the rollatini, spray a 1 1/2 quart baking dish with nonstick spray. Spread 3 tablespoons of sauce in the dish. Place 2 tablespoons of the filling at one end of each eggplant slice. Beginning at the filled end, roll up the eggplant slices and place, seam side down, ina single layer in the baking dish. Spoon the remaining sauce over the rollatinil sprinkle with the remaining 1 tablespoon Parmesan. Bake until heated through completely, about 25 minutes.

Serves 4
Serving size: 2 rollatini
WW Points value: 3 Points

Don’t Be a Dip…

I’m a snacker and love snack food & snack portions. One of my fave snacks are dips (preferably involving cheese) with something crunchy. However these days I’ve been trying healthier alternatives to our favorite foods without sacrificing flavor.

Rather than whipping up a spinach & artichoke dip to munch on for lunch, I decided to throw a little spin on it by using a healthier version of the dip to create a more substantial and healthier meal. So for lunch today, I made Spinach & Artichoke Chicken adapting this recipe for Spinach & Artichoke Dip. Rather than using as a traditional dip, I topped boneless, skinless chicken breasts with it and served it with a sauteed yellow squash, zucchini, mushrooms and tomato.


Here’s my recipe for Spinach & Artichoke Chicken:

1 cup thawed, chopped frozen spinach
1 1/2 cups thawed, chopped frozen artichoke hearts
6 ounces low fat cream cheese
1/4 cup low fat sour cream
1/4 cup low fat mayonnaise
1/3 cup grated Parmesan
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
4-6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

Breadcrumb Topping:
1/4 panko breadcrumbs
1/4 cup grated parmesan

Boil spinach and artichokes in 1 cup of water until tender and drain. Discard liquid.
Heat cream cheese in microwave for 1 minute or until hot and soft.
Stir in rest of ingredients and set aside.
Preheat oven to 350.
On a baking sheet, place chicken and season with salt & pepper to taste.
Top each chicken breast with the spinach & artichoke mixture.
Combine the ingredients for the breadcrumb topping and sprinkle over the spinach & artichoke mixture.
Bake in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes or until juices run clear.

Comforting Italian…

I think I mentioned before how my husband isn’t much of a pasta guy. However I do like pasta and well, he’ll eat what’s for lunch or dinner regardless. So today, I was considering chicken parmagiana… breaded & fried, slathered with sauce and topped with gooey cheese. But with my recent efforts of getting back to shape, I wanted to lighten up where I can.

Taking the idea of stuffed chicken and combining it with the idea of lasagna rolls, I concocted these Chicken Parmigiana Rolls. You can easily make these in advance and freeze for future meals. They are also baked, not fried making it a bit healthier. I served this with pasta and a homemade chunky vegetable wine sauce.

Here is my recipe for Chicken Parmigiana Rolls:

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, butterflied
1 cup pasta sauce
4 basil leaves
2 slices of mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese
1 cup flour
1 egg, scrambled
2 cups panko breadcrumbs
1 tablespoon italian seasoning
salt & pepper to taste

Open up the butterflied chicken breasts and cut in 2 equal pieces.
With a meat pallet, pound each piece of chicken flat to form a paillard.
On each piece of chicken, spread a tablespoon of pasta sauce.
Top sauce with a 1/2 slice of mozzarella cheese, sprinkle of parmesan cheese and 1 basil leaf.
Carefully take one side of the chicken and begin rolling it into a chicken roll. Secure chicken roll with a toothpick to stay intact.
Dredge chicken roll in flour.
Dip chicken roll in the scrambled egg.
Combine the italian season, salt, pepper and panko breadcrumbs in a shallow bowl.
Coat the chicken roll with the seasoned breadcrumbs.
Repeat with remaining chicken pieces.
Place on a baking dish and bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes.
You can choose to top the chicken rolls with sauce and cheese if you’d like.

*I’m also submitting this to the Presto Pasta Nights blogging event done by Ruth of Once Upon a Feast. Katie of Thyme for Cooking is hosting it this week! Check out the upcoming pasta dishes they feature each week!*

Fresh Tomato, Basil, & Garlic Sauce over Angel Hair Pasta

The following recipe was shared during my Chef Spotlight Dinner highlighting recipes of Chef Wolfgang Puck. You can view other recipes and pictures of the event HERE.

Fresh Tomato, Basil, & Garlic Sauce
over Angel Hair Pasta

shared at the event by Joelen
Original recipe here

2 pounds ripe tomatoes
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 red onion, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
1 oregano sprig Pinch chili flakes *(I omitted)
1 teaspoon sugar
1 pound dried angel hair pasta
1/4 cup grated Parmesan, plus more for garnish
1/4 cup chiffonade basil, plus whole sprigs for garnish
*(I also added 1 tub mozzarella, cut in chunks)

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and prepare an ice water bath. Cut a small “x” on the bottom of each tomato. In batches, place the tomatoes in the boiling water and blanch them for about 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until the skins are easy to peel away. Remove and immediately plunge into the ice bath. Peel the tomatoes and halve horizontally. Squeeze out the seeds, using your fingers to get them all. Roughly chop the peeled and seeded tomatoes. Set aside. (You can also use whole peeled canned tomatoes. Simply drain them, seed, and roughly chop).

Heat a large saute pan over medium high heat. Add the olive oil and heat. When the oil is hot, add the onions and garlic and saute for 2 minutes. Add the thyme leaves, oregano sprig, and chili flakes and saute until the garlic begins to turn golden brown. Add the tomatoes and the sugar and stir well. Lower the heat and cook slowly until the mixture is fairly dry, about 15 minutes.

Cook the angel hair pasta in boiling, salted water until al dente. Drain the pasta and add it to the sauce. Add the Parmesan and basil and toss well. Place in a large pasta bowl and garnish with Parmesan and basil sprigs.

* I also served marinated Chicken Breasts on the side to pair with this dish.