We had a whirlwind trip to Chicago in July to celebrate the wedding of my little brother and his beautiful new bride! I only have one brother and my kids were in the wedding party so it was quite a big event for me. However, it was a mad dash to get to Chicago. My son was playing in his all-star baseball games right up until the night before we left town. That meant we didn’t get home until past 8:30 PM and then it was a race to pack all our stuff, including wedding wear!! So stressful. I don’t think I relaxed until we got on the airplane. Then it was a flurry of wedding activity while trying to squeeze in visits with family and friends before having to go back home. I was only home a a mere week and then we were off again to SoCal for baby girl to compete at the national dance competition.
We ate great Chicago food during our trip. My requisite italian beef, a trip to our favorite local ice cream parlor, a novelty visit to White Castle (since my son has only tasted the frozen kind!) and of course, Chicago style pizza. All accompanied with lots of good, home cooking by family! I wish I took more pictures but honestly it felt so good to unplug and just be present without being attached to a phone during the entire trip. Kind of how we used to do it back in the day! On this trip I had a talk with my son about nutrition and food. I gently mentioned that i noticed that he had put on some extra weight and talked about why it was important to be mindful of what we put in our mouths. He decided to enjoy the vacation without limitations and then work on his diet when he got home. He agreed that it would be a good idea that he make efforts to cut out some unhealthy snacking and drinking and make better choices about food. I remember being put on my first diet in 5th grade and how it’s caused me to have my own issues with food and dieting and I really want to be careful of how I approach this with my own soon-to-be 5th grader. We have a great rapport and because of that, I hope I can help him navigate better choices without having to resort to any severe methods of deprivation or traditional “dieting”. It’s day 3 and already he’s been awesome about turning down unnecessary treats. He’s been chugging water again (yay!) and because he’s cut out idle snacking, he’s eating better at dinner. I made this dish and normally the kids would eat it very sparingly but with daughter in a very physical outdoor camp all week and son’s new commitment to eating better, this dish was DEVOURED at night. Every last bit – no leftovers at all!!! It’s so satisfying for me to cook a meal in my kitchen and then enjoy it with my family, watching them nourish their bodies with the food. This is why I do what I do. Hope you all had a great summer!
One Pan Lemon Parmesan Chicken and Asparagus
recipe from Chelsea’s Messy Apron
Prep time 20 mins
Cook time 20 mins
Total time 40 mins
- 1 and 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts or tenders
- 1/3 cup flour
- 1 cup panko
- 1 cup parmesan cheese, separated
- 1 teaspoon dried parsley
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 3-4 lemons
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 stick (1/2 cup) melted butter, separated
- 1 tablespoon lemon pepper seasoning
- 1 pound asparagus
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 tablespoons honey
- Optional: fresh parsley, 1 lemon for topping
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a large sheet pan with parchment paper and set aside.
- Grab three bowls. Add the flour to one bowl.
- Combine panko, 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese, dried parsley, garlic powder, about 1/2 teaspoon each of salt (I use seasoned salt) and pepper. Stir.
- In the final bowl, add 1-2 teaspoons lemon zest, 4-5 tablespoons lemon juice (depending on lemon flavor intensity desired), minced garlic, and 5 tablespoons melted butter. Stir. Remove 4 tablespoons of this mixture and set aside.
- Slice chicken breasts to the size of tenders (about 1 and 1/4th inch strips) or use chicken tenders.
- Coat in flour, heavily dredge in garlic lemon mixture, and then coat in the Parmesan panko mixture.
- Place on prepared sheet pan. Use any remaining Parmesan panko mixture and sprinkle over tenders. Sprinkle lemon pepper seasoning over the tenders (I use Mrs. Dash lemon pepper)
- Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes and remove.
- Flip the tenders to the other side.
- Place the asparagus next to the tenders and drizzle the reserved lemon butter sauce. Sprinkle remaining 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese over the asparagus and toss with tongs.
- If desired place lemon slices over the chicken (optional)
- Return to the oven and bake for another 10-12 minutes or until the internal temperature of the chicken has reached 165 degrees F.
- Meanwhile, whisk remaining 3 tablespoons melted butter, 3 tablespoons lemon juice, 1-2 teaspoons lemon zest, 3 tablespoons olive oil, and 3 tablespoons honey in a small bowl. Add some pepper and parsley if desired.
- Remove from the oven and top with the honey lemon mixture and fresh parsley if desired and enjoy immediately.
- Do not top chicken breasts with the honey lemon mixture unless eating immediately and aren’t planning on having leftovers since it will make it soggy.