I am now in my last ‘official’ week of pregnancy. Yesterday marked week #39.
While I would love to say “We are ready”, I have the sneaky suspicion that you never really are. For the last few weeks that I haven’t worked at my job anymore, I’ve picked up the pace at home. I am constantly cooking or baking something.
Not only because I am always hungry but in an attempt to get ready.
Although I have never had a baby before, I have a feeling (that is confirmed by more experienced voices) that looking after a newborn is pretty much all-consuming in the first few weeks.
In hopes to keep things going on this blog I am trying to prepare and schedule new recipes ahead of time for those weeks. On top of that I am slowly but surely stocking our freezer with meals for that time as well.
So when it comes to dinner prep these days I always make a large batch with lots of extra servings. This is not really out of the ordinary for us. But while we usually would eat the leftovers boxed as lunches or even for dinner again throughout the week, now they are carefully wrapped and labeled and neatly stored in the freezer…. ughh I wish!
I don’t have much experience freezing cooked meal and we don’t have a lot of room in our freezer. So the first few meals were frozen without labels (not sure what I was thinking – ‘surprise dinner’ maybe?) and whenever we want to add or remove something from the freezer right now, it is like playing Jenga!
Another thing that’s currently going on in my kitchen (aside from blog baking and freezer cooking) is trying out new (blogger) recipes – a lot! I don’t know if I just have too much time on my hands these days or maybe more creative energy, but I am finally making things I have been drooling over on other blogs for a long time.
Like today’s stuffed chicken roll ups! Lindsay from Pinch of Yum posted them pretty much exactly 1 year ago and finally they were happening in my kitchen and mouth! As per usual I had to add my own spin on these somewhat involved but oh-so-worth-it chicken rolls.
- 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts (3-5 pieces, cut each in half lengthwise)
- 1 cup Italian bread crumbs
- 6 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese, divided
- 5 ounces fresh baby spinach, chopped
- 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
- olive oil
- ½ cup ricotta cheese
- ⅓ cup beaten egg whites
- 4-6 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced
- 1 cup tomato sauce
- fresh basil for topping
- fresh tomato, as many slices as chicken roll ups
- Cut the chicken breasts in half lengthwise. Depending on their size you will end up with 6-10 pieces. Pound each piece with a kitchen mallet to make even thinner. Combine bread crumbs with 2 tablespoons parmesan cheese and place in a shallow bowl.
- Heat a drizzle of olive oil in a pan and saute chopped spinach with garlic until just starting to wilt. Stir in ricotta, parmesan and 2 tablespoons of the egg whites. Place remaining egg whites in a shallow bowl.
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F and oil the bottom of a large baking dish. Start an assembly line. Place a spoonful of the spinach filling in the middle of a chicken piece and roll up. Dip the entire chicken roll up in egg whites, then roll in the bread crumbs and place seam-side down in the baking dish. Repeat with remaining chicken pieces and bake for 25 minutes.
- After 25 minutes, top each chicken roll up with tomato sauce and a slice of mozzarella cheese. Bake for 3-5 minutes until cheese just starts melting. Top with fresh tomato slices and fresh basil leaves and/or ribbons.
Recipe adapted from Pinch of Yum
I really hope you get to make these and sooner than 1 year from now