When you start taking your food blog seriously (which I decided to do almost a year ago), one of the things "they" tell you is to post often and consistently. Preferably everyday.
It's supposed to help build your readership and, of course, earn you page views which = income. If you ran ads on your blog. I don't currently, but do understand people who rely on blog ad income to support their family so that would be especially important to them.
I've really tried to be consistent and post 3-4 recipes a week but I gotta be honest. Like most, I work full-time and during some seasons of the year, my work life is at a frantic pace and my hobbies - including this blog - get put off. Which is how it should be.
The summer is winding down but one of our big events of the summer actually happens right at the end - camp. In previous places, camp meant loading up the kids and some fun supplies and going. Someone else had spent their entire year working on our camp experience. This church, however, does their own camp - which is wonderfully rewarding but more work than you can imagine! Unless, of course, you've run your own weeklong sleepaway camp for kids that span from 8 to 18. And if you have - please email me so we can chat!
That, combined with my usual summer load, has me a little overwhelmed this week and will have me completely out of pocket next week. If I had thought ahead, I would have lined up guest posts but in my chaos I just couldn't think that far ahead. And I certainly can't spring a last minute guest post on a food blogging friend!
So, this is the last recipe I'll be sharing until next weekend. But it's a good one! A really, really good one, actually.
When you're trying to watch what you eat, just about anything Italiany is out of the question. Pasta! Cheese! Huge portions! Did I mention cheese?
Oh, how thankful I was to find this recipe - it tastes so much like Chicken Parmesan that you'll never know you're eating less than 300 calories for dinner. If you don't care much about calories, you could pull a Jason and boil some pasta to eat with it - he just added more marinara sauce to his bowl to cover all that pasta.
The chicken is flattened, stuffed with spinach and cheese, rolled and breaded in Parmesan. After baking, top it with marinara sauce, fresh sliced mozzarella, and basil. I mean, really. Who wouldn't love that?
It's super easy but gorgeous and impressive enough for guests! If I were coming to your house for dinner, I would want you to make this for me. Please?
Psst - this makes 8 portions so feel free to cut it in half!
Baked Mozzarella Chicken Rolls
2 lbs boneless/skinless chicken breasts
1 cup whole wheat Italian bread crumbs, or sprinkle Italian spice blend into plain whole wheat breadcrumbs
6 tablespoons grated Parmesan, divided
5 ounces fresh baby spinach, chopped
1 clove minced garlic
1/2 cup part-skin ricotta cheese
1/3 cup beaten egg whites
1 cup marinara sauce
fresh basil, thinly sliced
Cut the chicken into 8 pieces and pound each piece until thin.
Heat a skillet over medium heat. Drizzle in some olive oil and add the garlic and spinach. Cook 2-3 minutes or until just barely wilted.
In a mixing bowl, combine the sauteed spinach, ricotta, Parmesan, and 2-3 tablespoons of the egg whites.
Place the remaining egg whites in a shallow bowl. Mix the breadcrumbs and 2 tablespoons Parmesan in another shallow bowl.
Spray the bottom of a large baking dish with non-stick cooking spray and preheat the oven to 450. Place one piece of chicken on a working surface. Put a spoonful of the ricotta-spinach filling in the middle and roll the chicken up so that the edges meet. Dip the entire piece in egg whites and then roll in breadcrumbs. Place in baking dish, seam side down. Repeat with remaining 7 pieces, being careful to not crowd the pan. Bake for 25 minutes.
After 25 minutes, the chicken should be cooked through and browned on top. Cover the pieces with marinara sauce and slices of mozzarella. Bake for another 3-5 minutes or until cheese is melting. Sprinkle with fresh basil.
Serves 8. Each portion is 264 calories, 9g fat, 11g carbs, 33g protein.
Source: Pinch of Yum