As I said on AHB’s Facebook page, today I am sharing some lighter fare, Chicken Parmesan Salad. I have been a yo-yo this week. Up and then down, then back up again. You get the idea. I couldn’t do my post on Monday like I’d planned because my daughter’s eyeglasses broke last weekend and she’s blind without them. We spent most of Monday morning trying to get into the eye doctor and then a few hours there at the office with her trying to learn how to put in and take out contact lenses. Then because she’d missed school lunch, together the two of us ate an entire family pack of cheddar bites from Sonic.
I filed that one under mother-daughter bonding time, so it doesn’t count.
Tuesday I posted embarrassing photos of me eating failed brownies off a towel, then had someone that I kind of idolize stop by my blog and see my ridiculous mug eating flipping failed brownies off a towel. After that, I ran around doing silly things like Mary Katherine Gallagher poses ( the superstar ones, not the kissing trees or armpit sniffing) because it was my best blogging day in views to date. My best blogging day in views is about equal to the amount in my bank account. To put this in perspective, I work one morning a week cleaning houses. So…yeah, not really that much. But boo-ya, I’ll celebrate the small successes! I celebrated with the not failed brownies from the post.
I filed that one under meeting blogging goals, so it doesn’t count either.
Speaking of small successes, my best friend decided to go on a weight loss journey right about the same time as I started Accidental Happy Baker. She’s doing awesome and is losing more each week. I am happy for her, but it’s cruel timing, I say. How could that be cruel? Well, here’s a little truth about blogging, especially about food blogging that I didn’t think completely through before I started.
You sit on your butt. (while you type and research and edit photos and send emails and create pins and pin pins and resize photos for each foodie website that you try and submit them to, only a ton of them get rejected and…now I’m rambling, but you get the point.)
You sit on your butt a ton.
While you eat the goodies you just made!
Bah, every pound she’s lost, hasn’t really been lost it’s traveled through time and space and landed right on my tail end. I’m a happy eater. I’m a sad eater. I’m a why-did-I-binge-watch-Peaky-Blinders-now-I-miss-Thomas-Shelby-eater. Let’s face it, I tie every range of emotion into my food, that’s part of the reason I wanted to start a food blog.
Last night, while I’ve got this all on my mind, I make the horrible mistake of trying to talk to my husband about the blog. Oh such an innocent little question, “What do you think I should do next for the blog, dear?” You know what he told me? Maybe you should make something with vegetables! Well, this is the reason why today I’m sharing this wonderful recipe for Chicken Parmesan Salad! Hahaha.
But it really is oh so good and light and fresh. It starts out with a mix for a homemade Balsamic Italian Vinaigrette. This is a really great way to have a fresh, not full of preservatives salad dressing. You make up the mix, store it in a small container, pull it out as neede and mix in a few things that you probably already have in your cupboard. Boom you’re good to go. This vinaigrette does call for sour cream and mayonnaise. You might be thinking, that’s crazy, why would I add those things? Let me tell you, the mayo and sour cream work as emulsifiers, so this vinaigrette won’t separate back into oil and vinegar in 30 seconds like a lot of homemade dressings do.
Onto the salad, this thing is sexy enough for date night at home. This salad is loaded with crispy bite-sized chicken pieces coated in seasoned parmesan bread crumbs and paired with lettuce, cherry tomatoes, black olives, and baby mozzarella pearls. It is simple. It is elegant. It screams drink a glass of wine with me, sit back and relax, it’s the weekend baby.
Chicken Parmesan Salad
For the balsamic vinaigrette mix
- 1 Tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 Tablespoon sugar
- 2 Tablespoons Italian Seasoning
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 1 teaspoon basil
- 1 Tablespoon parsley flakes
- 1/2 teaspoon celery seed
- 1 Tablespoon + 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon dried minced green pepper
- 1 Tablespoon onion powder
For the salad
- 1 large chicken breast cut into bite size pieces
- 1 1/2 cups fresh bread crumbs
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 small head of loose leaf lettuce , chopped or torn into small pieces
- 1/2 cup halved cherry tomatoes
- 1/2 cup halved black olives
- 1/2 cup baby mozzerella pearls
- Basalmic Vinaigrette
To Prepare Balsamic Vinaigrette:
Mix together all the seasonings and place in an air tight container.
When you are ready to make a batch of salad dressing combine 2 Tablespoons of the seasoning mix with 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar, 1/2 cup olive oil, 1 Tablespoon of Mayonnaise and 1 Tablespoon of sour cream.
Whisk together until thoroughly blended. Refrigerate for up to a week.
To prepare the salad:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and spray a baking sheet with non-stick spray.
Put the bread crumbs, parmesan cheese, salt, and garlic powder in a resealable plastic bag. Shake well to mix. In a shallow bowl mix together the milk and egg. Place the chicken pieces in the egg mixture, making sure to coat all the sides. Using a slotted spoon and working with batches of 6-7, remove the chicken pieces from the egg mixture and place in bread crumbs shaking well to coat. Place the coated chicken pieces on the baking sheet and continue until all the pieces are breaded. Bake in a preheated oven for 7-8 minutes until cooked through. Then turn the oven to broil and broil an additional 1-2 minutes to brown and crisp them up.
Assemble your salads, saving the chicken pieces to go on last so they will not wilt your lettuce.