3 Dinner Plan – updated

Chicken Parmesan SandwichImage by acordova via Flickr

I had to dig up this post and update it.

The last few weeks I have not been able to get the pesto tomato paste that I used in one of the versions of my spaghetti sauce. I figured they were just out of it. Then it occured to me that it is one of the products that will no longer be available since they have been removing products with corn syrup.

This week, everyone wanted spaghetti.  My sister has been laid up recovering from her foot surgery – and requested spaghetti. Then my daughter was like, I want spaghetti too. So I had to make 2 batches this week.

But what to do? I’m not going to make my own pesto. If it takes more than 30 minutes, I typically don’t make it. Healthy eating is one thing. Spending my life cooking and cleaning is quite another. Ain’t happening.

So, I got the tomato paste with one item on the ingredient list – tomatoes, and I set out to see how much the recipe would have to be adapted. Turns out my worry was unfounded. The new sauce got rave reviews.

So – here is the updated 3 dinner plan –

This fast strategy will take care of 3 days this week

Night 1 – spaghetti with salad and italian or french bread
Night 2 – chicken breasts
Night 3 – Killer chicken parmesan Sandwiches

So, here’s what you do –

Make spaghetti on Monday night for Tuesday dinner. Spaghetti sauce is always better the next day you know – plus it will make Tuesday’s dinner a breeze. No jar stuff! That stuff tastes nasty and has all kinds of things in it you don’t want to eat, and you certainly don’t want your kids to eat.

Reserve a cup of sauce before you add meat – if you’re going to add meat. (I like to add some browned Italian sausage for flavor.) You’ll need the reserved sauce for Thursday’s dinner.

Tuesday night, heat up the sauce, cook your pasta, throw together a salad and put out some sliced Italian bread. Wa-la.

Make chicken breasts on Wednesday. Try organic chicken breasts (just not Tyson, they lie.) The difference in taste is amazing, and they really don’t cost that much more. You don’t really need more anti-biotics and hormones for dinner, do you? Anyway…

Simply wash and season the chicken breasts. You can use garlic, or McCormick roasted garlic, or McCormick Fajita seasoning for example.

Put enough butter, or olive oil, or coconut oil just to coat the pan. Don’t be afraid of butter. You’re not actually going to ingest much of it. Let’s be real here. It takes about 5 minutes per side. I cook them covered and on medium low heat. Keeps them juicier, and they cook through faster.

Cook up a couple extra ones while you’re at it for Thursday nights dinner. Slice them, or shred them- Whichever you prefer – and throw it in the fridge.

(It takes about ½ of a chicken breast half per sandwich that you’ll be making Thursday.)

You can serve a baked potato, a baked sweet potato, green beans, fruit – like cantaloupe or fresh pineapple, broccoli, baby carrots, tossed salad, all easy stuff. Pick a couple things.

On Thursday, you have the major ingredients ready
for the Killer Chicken Parmesan sandwiches.

Here are the easy recipes –

Carole’s Old Spaghetti Sauce

2 cans tomato paste plus 3 cans water
1 can petite diced tomatoes
2 teaspoons crushed garlic
2 teaspoons Italian Seasoning
½ teaspoon Oregano
Fresh Ground Black Pepper to taste (I like a lot, so I use
10 grinds)

In a 2 quart saucepan, place tomato paste and 3 cans
(not quite full) of warm water. Mix well. Add the
tomatoes, with juice. Add seasonings. Mix well.

If desired, add cooked meat – lean ground beef,
or Italian sausage chunks, etc.

Bring slowly to JUST starting to boil stirring occasionally.

Reduce heat. Cover and simmer for at least 20
minutes.

If you didn’t make the sauce ahead of time –

Meanwhile, prepare salad, cook your favorite pasta according to package directions, and make garlic bread, or slice Italian bread for dipping in olive oil and Parmesan – or just dip in the sauce.

Here’s another version. This one is my daughter’s favorite at the moment.

New Basil Spaghetti Sauce

2 cans Hunts Natural  Tomato Paste
1 can petite diced tomatoes
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoons crushed basil
Fresh Ground Black Pepper to taste

Follow directions above. Adding precooked crumbled italian sausage really makes this sauce. I use a piece about the size of a piece you would use to make a sandwich. Not a lot. I either cut it into very small pieces, or break it up like you would ground beef. Cook well and drain before adding to sauce.

Now for the Killer Chicken Parmesan Sandwiches on Thursday.

This sandwich is soooo good! And every ingredient has a health benefit.

Secretly Healthy Killer Chicken Parmesan Sandwiches

French Bread (lower in fat)
Olive Oil (good for lowering cholesterol)
Garlic (numerous health benefits – used medicinally for centuries – also keeps vampires away)
Spaghetti Sauce (lycopene- cancer fighting – also anitoxidents)
Skinless Chicken Breasts (low fat – protein)
Mozzarella Cheese (low fat – calcium)

Reheat the chicken you saved last night and the spaghetti sauce from the other night.

Make garlic bread with french bread cut into sandwich sized pieces.

Brush with olive oil and sprinkle generously with garlic powder, or minced fresh garlic. Place in broiler set at 450 degrees (F) for about 2 minutes.

Place chicken on garlic bread. Cover with warm spaghetti sauce. Top with grated mozzarella cheese.

Place bottom portion in broiler only set to 450 degrees (F) just to melt cheese – about 2 minutes.

I put them on a piece of foil so I don’t have to clean the broiler pan. You know, clean freak and all…

Top with other half of garlic bread and serve with a big tossed salad and a glass of red wine. You’ll be stuffed and healthy!

Well, that will get you through most of the week without tearing your hair out.

Enjoy 🙂
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4 thoughts on “3 Dinner Plan – updated

  1. Pingback: Common Sense Living » Blog Archive » At Least the House is Clean

  2. diet-meal-recipes

    Hello, good and explanatory article. I need to add a few remarks. If you have advanced cholesterol, then you may inquire, will a low fat diet lower cholesterol? This is a critical inquiry, because it is a easily known fact that the most effective way to lower cholesterol is over diet. Sure Enough one component of a diet for lowering cholesterol will take on represents low in fat. Only this is simply part of the history. It is important to realize that it is the supersaturated fattens that you want to decimate it from the foods you eat.

  3. Carole Post author

    You are right that saturated fats add to your bad cholesterol. However, current research suggests that there really is no connection between higher cholesterol and heart disease.

    Common sense will tell you that too much fat cannot be good for you, but that doesn’t mean you can’t put real butter on your toast, or put a pat of butter in your pan of green beans.

    Just make moderation your motto!

    Visit http://RebelWithaFork.com for more radical healthy eating tips.

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