Grilled Chicken Parmesan With Veggies

I love all things Italian when it comes to food. I do not think there has ever been a single Italian dish that I have not liked, but as we all know they are not always the healthiest of meals. A few years back I found a recipe in one of my roommate’s cookbooks, which is what sparked my inspiration for this dish. It is a take on Chicken Parmesan with some extra ingredients to create a well balanced meal. I love this recipe because it is so easy and fast to throw together and it saves well so I can have leftovers for another meal.


1 Cup Baby Bella Mushrooms

2- 2 1/2 Cups Spinach

4 Chicken Breast

16 oz Whole Wheat Penne Pasta (or pasta of your choice)

24 Oz Marinara Sauce

1 TBSP Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Parmesan or Mozzarella Cheese

*These measurements are for 4 servings with room for leftovers, but it’s very easy to create more or less.  *


Bring 4 quarts of water to a boil and add add 1 teaspoon of olive oil to prevent pasta from sticking. Add the pasta in and cook uncovered for 10-12 minutes and then drain. While the pasta is cooking, heat a skillet over medium heat and add the remaining olive oil to the pan. Add the chicken and cook for about 8 minutes on each side. While the chicken is cooking, add marinara sauce into a small sauce pan and heat up. Once the chicken is cooked and the juices run clear, take the chicken out of the pan and add mushrooms and spinach into the pan. Cook for 2-3 minutes so the mushrooms brown and the spinach wilts but still holds its’ shape. Once everything is cooked, place pasta down on a plate and top with chicken, spinach and mushrooms, marinara sauce, and then top with Parmesan or mozzarella cheese if you would like.


* You can use whatever type of Marinara Sauce you prefer; I like to make a big batch of  homemade sauce that you can freeze for later use or freeze whatever you don’t use. If you have more time to grill your chicken on the grill, that will add a nice smokey flavor to the dish. Here is a recipe for a quick and healthy marinara sauce:



Strawberry Poppyseed Salad


Photo provided by Pinterest

I am so excited to be sharing this recipe with you all today for two reasons. The first is that it is finally that time of year again when we slowly begin to transition into the fall and leave our summer things behind. For any of you like me, you love cramming all of your favorite summer recipes in before the fall flavors roll in, and this is by far my favorite summer recipe! The second reason is that I just recently found the strawberry poppyseed and chicken salad from Panera Bread and it is phenominal! A lot of you are probably thinking that I have been living under a rock because I have never tried this salad until now, and I am right there with you. Since there are no Panera Bread restaurants in Starkville I decided to try and make this recipe to share with all of you so maybe you can enjoy it as much as me!


Romaine lettuce ( you could use any lettuce you prefer, however I made it the first time with a baby spring mix and found that a lot of the flavors were too overpowering for the fruit and dressing, so be sure to watch out for that)

Fresh strawberries (quartered)

Pineapple (cut into small chunks)

Mandarin Oranges


Pecans (chopped)

Fat Free Poppyseed dressing ( Maple Grove Farms of Vermont is a good one I’ve tried)

Sliced, grilled chicken (optional)


Combine all ingredients together and mix in the dressing. For a more hearty salad you could add in some grilled chicken.