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.
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
- 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
- Preheat oven to 350.
- In a large saute pan, pour in the olive oil and stir in the garlic.
- Add bread cubes, and toss to coat.
- Season with oregano, salt and pepper, toss and spread on a baking sheet.
- Bake for 15 minutes, or until crisp and dry. Set aside.
- For the Chicken:
- Heat olive oil in skillet on medium heat.
- Add in the chicken breasts and cook for about 3 min on each side or until brown.
- Stir in peas, mushroom gravy, and dressing, then bring to a boil.
- Spoon the croutons on top of and around the chicken in the skillet.
- Cover and simmer on medium-low heat for approximately 15 minutes.
- Serve warm.