Chicken Breast with Homemade Croutons and Peas

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Nearly 20 years ago my father came home from a routine check-up at the doctor’s office. He walked inside the house, said, “Dobar Den”, or “Good Day”, and walked straight to the refrigerator. He opened up the door and began to empty it out. My sister and I thought something was definitely wrong because our dad never cleans!  Few moments later he walked out of the house with a garbage bag that contained most of our food. He then moved onto the pantry, and lastly he cleaned out the cupboard with all the snacks.

Later on that night we found out what had happened:

My father’s doctor warned him that if he did not stop eating the food that he was eating, he would die before the age of 50. At that time my dad was only 36.

His blood pressure and his sugar levels were inside the danger zone. His eating habits were out of control; a bucket of ice cream would be gone in three days, he would eat half pound of feta cheese with each meal, and his favorite meal was any type of grilled meat with a side of Taratur. And lets not get into what he ate in-between meals.

But, within days our kitchen looked like the kitchens at Weight Watchers; lots of chicken, lean meat, vegetables and fruits galore, and plenty of brown rice and whole wheat bread.

My dad is on the same diet to this day, and according to his doctor, his body’s age is 42 even if he really is 56.

Chicken Breast with Peas and Croutons on a white plate

The preparation of this meal reminds me of those days; my mom trying to hang on to the flavor without adding in the extra fixins.

Chicken Breast with Homemade Croutons and Peas
16
16
16
12
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
40 mins
Total Time
50 mins
 
Chicken Breast with Homemade Croutons and Peas
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American
Servings: 4
Calories: 645 kcal
Ingredients
  • 2 tsp. olive oil
  • 4 chicken breasts
  • 3 cups frozen peas
  • 1 cup prepared mushroom gravy
  • 1/4 cup Light Italian Dressing
  • 2 to 3 cups whole grain homemade croutons
Whole Grain Homemade Croutons
  • 8 slices of whole grain bread cut up in cubes
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 clove of garlic minced
  • 1 tablespoon of oregano
  • salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. In a large saute pan, pour in the olive oil and stir in the garlic.
  3. Add bread cubes, and toss to coat.
  4. Season with oregano, salt and pepper, toss and spread on a baking sheet.
  5. Bake for 15 minutes, or until crisp and dry. Set aside.
  6. For the Chicken:
  7. Heat olive oil in skillet on medium heat.
  8. Add in the chicken breasts and cook for about 3 min on each side or until brown.
  9. Stir in peas, mushroom gravy, and dressing, then bring to a boil.
  10. Spoon the croutons on top of and around the chicken in the skillet.
  11. Cover and simmer on medium-low heat for approximately 15 minutes.
  12. Serve warm.
Nutrition Facts
Chicken Breast with Homemade Croutons and Peas
Amount Per Serving
Calories 645 Calories from Fat 198
% Daily Value*
Fat 22g34%
Saturated Fat 4g20%
Cholesterol 149mg50%
Sodium 981mg41%
Potassium 1232mg35%
Carbohydrates 49g16%
Fiber 8g32%
Sugar 12g13%
Protein 61g122%
Vitamin A 921IU18%
Vitamin C 46mg56%
Calcium 139mg14%
Iron 5mg28%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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Chicken Breast with sauce and frozen peas in a skillet

 

33 Responses
  1. Cheryl and Adam

    Chicken and Peas is one of Adam’s favorites, typically involving some kind of rice, usually brown, but I love the croutons instead. Healthy and yummy, what more can you ask for!

  2. Lisa @ Tarte du Jour

    This looks truly scrumptious! I enjoyed the story about your dad. So glad to hear he changed his ways in time and is living a heathy lifestyle!

  3. Evan @swEEts

    That’s awesome that your dad was able to turn his diet around like that and stick to it! I love homemade croutons.. they just taste so much better!

  4. Baking Serendipity

    This looks delicious πŸ™‚ Sometimes I think eating healthy is something we do best when forced. My mom went on a similar refrigerator clean-out when she reached the age her father passed away at. Life is too short for cookies and cakes all the time πŸ™‚

  5. Claudia

    Hurray for your father and his determination. Your chicken dish proves that healthy eating can be delicious. A little knowledge on how to add flavors in a healthy, sustainable humane way could reinvent how we eat. (Add yay to the homemade croutons).

  6. Lindsey @ Lindselicious

    Your dad has amazing will power, what an inspiring turn around! Those croutons mixed in there seem like a great idea!

  7. Kristi Rimkus

    What a testimony your dad is to changing your health through diet! Wonderful story and this meal looks like the perfect Sunday supper!
    Kristi

  8. Mina @ Angellove's Cooking

    Kate, your dad is great and so much reminds me my grandpa – reading your story makes me feel like I am telling it πŸ™‚

    And your chicken breast look absolutely perfect!! Love the croutons πŸ™‚

  9. Sandra

    Great recipe and story. I’m a sweet a holic and love my treats, but I do eat healthy 80% of the time. Delicious and healthy can live together on the same plate. Glad your Dad made that decision.

  10. Christine @ Fresh Local and Best

    I feel that many people need to do what your dad did. We live in a country where there are so many sugary, fatty processed foods. What we need to do is create an environment where we are surrounded by good healthy foods, so that the temptation isn’t there.

    This looks like a such a satisfying and flavorful meal. The mushroom gravy must make all the difference in flavor.

  11. Vicki @ Wilde in the Kitchen

    Kudos on your dad for turning around his habits so successfully! This meal looks amazing, the croutons and peas look like stuffing, yum!

  12. Carla Meine

    Great post Kate..I wish more people had the resolve your dad did. We see all the time where they decide to get on a healthy eating plan and within about 4 weeks they go back to their old habits. So sad.

  13. fooddreamer

    I feel for your dad, it comes as a shock to hear that sort of thing. In my case, I was 37 (still am for a few more days!) and I was not eating much junk and was relatively fit, but my sugar levels were still high (I don’t have blood pressure issues at all). Such is life! This is a great healthy meal to keep your dad and the rest of your family looking and feeling young!

  14. Chef Dennis

    hi Kate

    don’t we all wish we had the resolve your father had, to be able to changer your life in one day without looking back is almost impossible, and he did it!
    Thanks for sharing this wonderful dish, it shows you can eat healthy and still eat good food
    Cheers
    Dennis

    1. Kate @ Diethood.com

      Hi Dennis!

      He quit smoking the same way; he lit a cigarette, said this is my last, and it really was…he was 31 at that time. The bad eating habits started because he gave up the cigs.

  15. Mateja

    Wow, not everybody listens to the doctors advice! You should be very proud of your daddy Kate, God bless him! And the plate looks fabulous, thank you for sharing πŸ™‚

  16. HappyWhenNotHungry

    Good for your father! I’m glad he switched to healthy eating. This meal looks delicious and healthy too. Thanks for sharing Kate!

  17. Hester aka The Chef Doc

    This dish looks awesome, Kate! And kudos to your dad. That’s awesome that he got through it and your mom was able to extract out wonderful flavors πŸ™‚ I should cook more like this!

  18. kathdedon

    Good for your dad! And he became such a great role model for the rest of the family. Too many people today choose to continue eating their bad diets and then try to fix the problems caused by their diets with pharmaceutical drugs.
    Your chicken looks great! πŸ™‚

  19. Jill Colonna

    Gosh, Kate. It just goes to show how a health fright like that can change everything. Good on your Dad how he changed to a healthy lifestyle just like that! Love the homemade croutons, nice touch.

  20. In Katrina's Kitchen

    I’m so very proud of your dad! I know it doesn;t seem like it from my blog but we are very healthy eaters in our family – I just like blogging about the sweet stuff I guess. But my husband and I have started eating better in the past 5 years and are now living a very active lifestyle. We feel better and are enjoying time with our little kiddos. It certainly does take some creativity to get flavor in without all of the extra fat, etc. Great recipe! And great post! πŸ™‚ – Katrina

  21. something_good

    great story πŸ™‚ eating healthy and giving up bad eating habits is definitely one of the hardest thing to do so congratulations to your father! my nutritionist will be sooo proud :))

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