I rarely cook Italian food.

I’m not Italian, and while my dark hair may fool you, I assure you that my pasty, sickly-pale, so-white-it’s-pink skin gives it away.

The truth is, I don’t really like Italian cuisine. I really don’t like tomato sauce.

Italian’s, please cover your eyes: I use tomato sauce from a jar.


I see no sense in making it if I don’t like it, and Mr. How Sweet has eaten sauce from a jar since his bachelor days. He doesn’t know the difference. Maybe it’s the acidity that I don’t really enjoy? Or maybe, just maybe, it’s the fact that tomato sauce is made with vegetables.


Naturally, I love alfredo sauce. I love it so much I could bathe in it. Come on – we’re talking cheese, cheese and more cheese. But that’s neither here nor there.


Many days, Mr. How Sweet asks for a manly meal.

I usually need to prepare it, unless I want to watch him stand in front of the fridge for an hour and whine ‘...but…how do I make stuff??’


I tend to consider chicken parmesan a man’s meal.

It may stem from dating guys who used to order the Tour of Italy at the Olive Garden and still leave hungry. I think this happened with a few different date’s.

Clearly, I have always had an issue with hungry men and relationships.


Luckily, for Mr. How Sweet, I came up with this healthier version of the dish only for him.

Because even though he loves to eat himself silly, he really does eat healthy, delicious foods.

Yes, you may see 3 chicken breasts up there.

In this house, 3 chicken breasts do not necessarily yield 3 servings. Sometimes they yield 2 servings. Occasionally, 1 serving. It just depends on the mood that Mr. How Sweet is in.

In my experience, that mood is usually a hungry one.


See, I have never had the difficulty of cooking for two.  There may only be two of us in this house, but Mr. How Sweet eats for four. Or seven. And sometimes, even thirty-one.

I never have the problem of cooking too much; I always have the problem of not having nearly enough.


For instance, last night after dinner was made, Mr. How Sweet served himself while I fiddled around wasting brain cells on the computer. When I finally went to get my plate, the food was gone.

Sometimes, in his hungry fog, Mr. How Sweet forgets that I need to eat, too.

(I’m not really sure how he can forget, judging by the size of my thighs. But, alas, he forgets.)

(And don’t worry, I’ve already wondered how he could ever feed our future children.)


For this chicken parm, I coat the chicken in whole wheat breadcrumbs and italian seasonings. Then comes the cheese. Lots and lots of glorious cheese.

I could actually rename this three-cheese chicken parmesan. Not only is there parmesan cheese, but also shredded provolone and fresh mozzarella.


Mr. How Sweet didn’t really eat cheese until he met me. He usually avoided it. No cheese on sandwiches, no cheese on pasta – I know, he didn’t really live before me.

Then I came along, and he had a fridge full of cheese and pants that were too small.

It wasn’t my fault. I didn’t force him to eat the cheese.

I just showed him the beauty of it.


Lightened-Up Chicken Parm

Serves 3-4

3 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1 cup whole wheat flour

2 eggs, beaten

1 1/2 cup whole wheat bread crumbs

2 tablespoons italian seasoning

2 tablespoons parmesan cheese

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 cup tomato sauce

3 oz fresh mozzarella

1/2 cup low-fat provolone cheese, shredded

Preheat oven to 400.

Set up 3 bowls in an assembly line. In the first, add the flour. In the second, add the beaten eggs. In the third, add the bread crumbs, italian seasoning, and parmesan cheese. Pound chicken to tenderize.

Preheat skillet to medium heat. Add olive oil.

Dip one chicken breast in flour, egg, then bread crumb mixture. Lay in pan and fry until golden brown. Repeat with the other 2 chicken breasts.

In a 9 x 13 baking dish, add 1/2 cup of tomato sauce on the bottom. Lay chicken breasts on top. Add remaining tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese, and provolone.

Bake for 20 minutes. Tent with foil, and bake for another 25 minutes.

Serve with whole wheat pasta and whole grain garlic bread.



How spoiled is Mr. How Sweet?

He lives a good life.

Luckily, it evens out – I trade tasty meals for new shoes.