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Creative Baked Chicken Melts

These chicken melts are easy to make, super kid friendly, healthy, and flexible. By flexible, we mean these roll-ups can be made with pretty much whatever you have on hand in the fridge at the time to make something delicious and nutritious!

Ingredients:
-2 chicken breasts (cut into thin cutlets)
-Olive Oil
-Whole Wheat Bread Crumbs
-Panko
-Grated Parmesan Cheese
-Fresh Ground Black Pepper
-“Stuffing” (See below)


Preparation:
1.    Thaw your chicken breasts and cut them into thin cutlets (approx. 3 cutlets per breast),
2.    Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees,
3.    Lay your cutlets out on a cutting board,
4.    Place 3 tablespoons of olive oil is a small dish with fresh ground black pepper,
5.    Mix your panko, whole wheat bread crumbs and parmesan cheese into a bowl,
6.    Coat each cutlet in the olive oil and pepper,
7.    Coat each cutlet in the bread crumb mixture,
8.    Place each cutlet on a pan sprayed with olive oil cooking spray,
9.    Lightly spray the cutlets with olive oil spray,
10.  Bake for 10 minutes (tops should be golden brown),
11.  Remove chicken from the oven,
12.  Lay you desired "stuffings" on top of each cutlet,
13.  Return to oven for 5 miniutes,
14.  Remove chicken from oven and add cheese to the top of each cutlet (if desired),
15.  Bake for 1-2 minutes additional minutes until cheese is melted,
16.  Serve with salad, fruit, soup, rice or pasta for a complete meal.

*STUFFING*: The stuffing is the fun part. You can really stuff the roll-ups with whatever your heart desires, but here are a few suggestions to get your creative juices flowing:

-Jalapeno Poppers: Top the chicken with cheese, jalapenos, and onions; serve with skinny baked mozzarella sticks. (Perfect for football Sunday!)
-Bruschetta: Top the chicken with garlic pesto,  a leaf of basil, cherry tomatoes (halved), and slices of fresh mozzarella cheese; serve with salad or rice.
-Broccoli Cheese: Fill the chicken with cheddar and pepper jack cheese and (cooked) broccoli; serve with soup or salad.
-Fajita: Fill the chicken with sautéed bell peppers, onions, and tomatoes with cheese if desired; serve with black beans.

These layered chicken melts are a hit with the kids, and low in calories (though they would never even know it)!  By baking instead of frying, using olive oil instead of egg and white flour, using reduced-fat or fat-free cheeses, fresh ingredients, and whole wheat bread crumbs, this is a meal you can feel proud to serve yourself and your family.

*Note*
These make great lunch left-overs for the office as well! Just toss them in the toaster oven for 10-15 minutes and viola!
 

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