breaded chicken & veggie couscous

have you ever tried couscous?

my mom thinks she doesn't like it.

my dad would hate it.

jake says "i like it just fine but it's hard to eat."

and the kids like saying "couscous" so i don't get too many crunched noses when i spoon some on their plates.

tonight we had breaded chicken and veggie couscous for dinner. i made up the breaded chicken and adapted the couscous recipe from here.

this meal is really easy to make and is ready super fast.  perfect.  because i didn't feel like cooking.

for the chicken, i get my two bowls and pour 1/4 cup of egg substitute in one bowl and 1/2 a cup of italian bread crumbs with 1/4 cup of shredded parmesan in the other.  i always use frozen chicken tenders that i've had thawing, all day on the counter, in a ziplock baggie.  i know, you're not supposed to thaw meat at room temperature.  i don't really worry too much.  it's usually still a bit frozen by the time i start cooking anyway and so far no one has died or became ill so i think we're okay.  hopefully i don't regret it in the future. 

anyway.  first thing is the egg substitute.  i use egg substitute all the time.  trying to keep my cholesterol in check.  egg substitute is good.  don't argue with me until you've tried it consistently for at least four years.  saute up some green onions and mushrooms in a small pan coated with pam spray and throw in the egg substitute with a little low fat mozzarella and you're sitting pretty for breakfast (that was just an idea, not part of this recipe). 

back to the chicken.  okay, so i realized today that italian bread crumbs - when purchased from the market already nicely mixed and packaged - have a never ending ingredient list consisting of way more than italian seasoning and bread.  next time, i'll run out to the local gourmet market and pick up some whole wheat bread crumbs and mix in a little garlic powder, onion powder and italian seasoning to make my own.  i bet it's yummy and will yield a lot less sodium per serving.  but today, i made due with what i had.

obviously you dip the chicken in the egg substitute and then lightly into the bread mixture.  i had to run to the store to pick up some parmesan cheese.  we were out.  i love parmesan cheese.  anyway,  i was blown away when i discovered that store brand was way lower in sodium, fat and calories than the major name brand and $2 cheaper for the same amount!! check those labels people!

okay, spray your pan with pam spray (i use olive oil spray.  my dad hates it.  he says it tastes like olive oil).  lay your chicken tenders down oh-so-gently and bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. yum.

now the couscous is just as easy if you know how to chop up carrots and zucchini julian style (which i do not).  i need one of those fancy chopper things.  it took me way too long to achieve the "look" ... next time, i'll just chop as usual to save some energy.

i have yet to find whole wheat couscous at the grocery store.  thank goodness for my favorite gourmet market.  they have a nice little room in the back where you can stock up on all sorts of yummy "bulk" foods including whole wheat couscous. 

back to the task at hand. first thing you want to do is spray your pan with more pam spray and heat it on medium high heat.  saute the sweet onion for about three minutes and then throw in the remaining chopped veggies, cumin and coriander.  {next time, i'm going to add mushrooms to the onions and let them sweat for a bit to give a little more moisture to the dish}.  toss the veggies around for about 5 minutes and then add the chicken broth.  bring to a boil and then cover and simmer the veggies for another 5 minutes.  remove the pan from the heat and add the couscous.  cover and let sit for another 5 minutes.  fluff and serve. yum.


side note: today i saw an advertisement for chicken broth that said something along the lines of "no msg in our broth unlike every other chicken broth" so when i went to pick up some groceries i looked into their claim.  turns out the store brand not only doesn't have msg, it was also fat free and had a lot less sodium than the other. even better, i do believe organic free range chicken broth has even less sodium than both previously mentioned broths and would be free of msg as well.  just a guess. anyone know for sure?

tonight i served the fam whole wheat dinner rolls with their dinner but i didn't indulge myself.  the couscous was enough carbs for me.  i really liked it.  let me know if you try it and, if you have any recipes to share with me.  i'm always looking for new ideas!

breaded chicken (yields 6); one serving 144 calories; 2.3g fat (.9 saturated fat), 44mg cholesterol, 7.4g carbs, .4g fiber,  435mg sodium, 23.4g protein.

veggie couscous
1 small sweet onion chopped
3 carrots (sliced, diced, chopped, whatever)
2 celery stalks
1 small zucchini
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp coriander
1 cup low sodium, fat free chicken broth
2/3 cup whole wheat couscous

veggie couscous (yields 6 one cup servings); two cups (what i had) 212 calories, 1.2g fat (0 saturated fat), 0 cholesterol, 237mg sodium, 46.2g carbs, 7.1g fiber, 7.1g sugar, 7.7g protein.

1 comment:

Scottkids said...

I LOVE couscous!

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