Crispy Potato Chicken and Sauteed Squash and Onions

We had a great meal last night: Squash and Onions with Cheddar Cheese and Crispy Potato Chicken. Sounds pretty Southern, doesn't it? My reputation as a "Southern" cook precedes me, but I'd just like to call this meal a tasty, low-calorie, fresh one. The squash was fresh from my dad's garden, and the chicken was freshly bought chicken thighs with a grated potato topping. It was easy, quick and tasted great: three HUGE themes of this food blog - overall, that is. (Some of my recipes have kicked my rear-end, but that's the fun part once in awhile!)

I've been doing one of those famous "lifestyle" plans lately (ahem) so I've been using recipes I've found on its message board. So far, everything I've made has been good. I've tried to stay away from anything bland, because WHO wants to eat bland food? The beauty of food is the taste, and I'm trying to teach myself that tasty doesn't have to equal fattening. Plus, fresh ingredients taste better, and I'm lucky enough to have a dad and other friends who supply me with vegetables throughout the summer. (I have a pile of zucchini in the kitchen that I have weekend plans for. Stay tuned...) The squash is uber-easy, and although I'd love to have doused it with butter, cream, panko and cheddar cheese ... I refrained. And this was just as good!

Brad and I really liked this chicken, too. Brad loves pretty much any kind of chicken, so we eat it a lot, and we both loved fried chicken, but we obviously can't eat that very often. A lot of the "fake" fried chicken just ... isn't like the real thing, but this crispy potato topping really hands out a crunch that can confuse your senses for at least a moment! The mustard helps the potato stick, and I also added some black pepper for a kick. The beauty of this recipe is you can switch it up to please your palate. We liked it kind with just your basic salt and pepper because it leans toward our favorite comfort food that way.

Very yummy.

Crispy Potato Chicken
(Low-calorie and low-fat)

1 medium potato
2 T dijon mustard
1/2 tsp. chopped garlic
1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts (I used thighs; they're my fave.)
1 tsp oil (I used olive oil.)
1/4 tsp. lemon juice (to prevent potato from turning gray)
1 tsp. pepper (or spice of your choice)

1. Preheat oven to 425*. Arrange chicken in baking dish that has been sprayed with non-stick coating.
2. Mix mustard and garlic. Spread over top of chicken.
3. Grate potato and mix well with oil and lemon juice. Spread over chicken, and sprinkle with spices.
4. Bake until chicken is done and the potatoes are golden and crunchy. (Baking time will vary on thickness of meat and how hot your oven is. I baked it almost an hour. It's done with the juices run clear.)

Sauteed Squash and Onions - Also low-fat and low-cal!

1. Chop up as much squash and white onions as you need to serve.
2. Sautee onion in about a tsp. of olive oil. When onion is translucent, but not brown, add the squash. I like it to get caramelized on the edges before I remove it. Put in casserole dish coated with nonstick spray.
3. Randomly drop chunks of cheddar cheese throughout mixture. (I use veggie cheddar cheese - it tastes like the real thing and melts nicely.) I then lightly spray the squash, onions and cheese with a bit of butter and sprinkle it with black pepper.
4. Run under high-heat broiler until cheese melts and squash is nice and hot. Serve immediately.