So here's the thing: this was not a low-fat, low-calorie meal. It wasn't plant-based. I didn't make all the ingredients from scratch--I shopped at the local heavenly Dave's Fresh Pasta for the pasta sauce. I didn't even use super heart-healthy oils this one time.
But here's what it was:
1) familiar from childhood, but improved to be gluten-free
2) delicious and nutritious
3) comfort food for two people who need some comfort lately
My mom makes the best chicken cutlets. It was one of my favorite meals as a kid. Lately, I'm needing some of that home-cookin' comfort food. We eat plant-based, minimal-ingredient, meals all the time. Once in a while, it's nice to have something that's tastes really good and makes you feel good. I made some modifications so I can stick to my goals of eating less wheat and sugar as I enter the spring season.
So here's the recipe. Make it like I did. Make it the way you want to. I hope it brings you as much comfort and joy as it did for us. My girlfriend and I are each struggling with some stressors in our lives right now---car repairs, haircuts that didn't come out right, some medical hurdles. I knew just the solution: sunlight streaming through our curtains, crisp cutlets, soft quinoa pasta and tender arugula and spinach leaves.
Our food was truly our medicine.
Gluten-free Chicken Cutlet Dinner
1-2 lbs organic, free-range chicken cutlets (I added some dried thyme to dress them up a bit)
1 package gluten-free breadcrumbs (or homemade, if you can make 'em)
2-4 Tbs vegetable oil (enough to cover bottom of large saute pan)
1 package gluten-free pasta (rice or quinoa)
fresh pasta sauce (I used the mascarpone tomato sauce from Dave's Fresh Pasta in Somerville, MA)
grated romano or parmesan cheese
fresh baby greens, arugula or spinach (I used BOTH!)
light salad dressing (I used Honey Poppyseed from Dave's Fresh Pasta)
1) Lay out two plates: one has a generous pile of bread crumbs the other is for the finished cutlets in a deep dish, crack open two eggs and whip with a fork to combine
2) Lay each cutlet in the bread crumbs, coat, move to the egg dish, coat and back to the bread crumbs again. Lay the breaded cutlet on the plate. When you have done this to all your cutlets, move over the stove.
3) Add 4 quarts of water to a pot and bring to a boil for your pasta.
4) Heat oil over medium high heat in a deep, flat saute pan. If the oil sizzles when you put of drop of water in it, you know it's ready.
5) Carefully lay each cutlet in the pan. Brown one side for a minute or two and then turn over. Place browned cutlets on a plate beside your stove. Be careful! The oil will be hot and the gluten-free crumbs formed a hard shell around the chicken, unlike when I've used wheat breadcrumbs. Make sure the chicken is cooked by cutting into it with a knife.
6) When your water is boiling, add the gluten-free pasta and cook according to package directions. drain in a colander and quick rinse with cool water.
7) Warm pasta sauce in a small pot over medium-low heat.
8) Toss baby greens in a colorful with dressing.
9) Set your table.
10) Finish browning cutlets and serve with a portion of pasta and spoonful of pasta sauce.