Parma Rosa Chicken

Parma Rosa Chicken

Some kids go through a mac 'n' cheese phase (it's something they can cook themselves), and some kids go through a cereal phase (doesn't require cooking at all). Me? Knorr Instant Parma Rosa Sauce was a childhood fave. It’s embarrassing but true.

To this day, I'm not sure what is even in those packs of instant pasta sauce. And frankly? I don't want to know. What I do know is that it's addicting. Back then I called it "pink sauce." 

Even though I ate many (many!) packets of pink sauce as a kid, it's not what I was thinking about when I started working on this recipe. Nope, I just thought I was making a creamy chicken parmesan. It wasn't until my first bite that my memory sprang into action: 

I know this flavor! This tastes like pink sauce! 

What was that called? Parma Rosa, a Google search told me.

Parma Rosa Chicken
Parma Rosa Chicken

And it does taste just like Parma Rosa -- a bigger, bolder, fresher, real parma rosa. A grown up pink sauce. And instead of a soft creamy pink color, it's a rich creamy orange-red, evidence of real tomatoes in there. 

You can eat this dish as-is (that's what I did, with a side salad), or you could serve it over pasta. It goes great with a glass of white wine, and the leftovers are just as good the next day. 

Between this recipe and this lasagna, I've been on quite the Italian kick lately! (Is pink sauce Italian? I don't think so, but it seems Italian). 

Parma Rosa Chicken

Parma Rosa Chicken

Published July 26, 2018 by
   Print This Recipe

Serves: 4   |    Active Time: 30 minutes


  • 4 small chicken breasts (or 2 large cut in half)
  • 1-2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1/2 yellow onion, finely diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 16 ounce can tomato sauce (Note: this is in the canned tomato aisle; it is puréed tomato -- not a pre-made pizza or pasta sauce, which will already have herbs, garlic, etc)
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh rosemary, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh basil, minced, plus more for garnish
  • 3/4 cup half-and-half
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan

  • Directions:

    1. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a 10-inch oven-safe skillet over medium-high heat. When the oil glistens, place the chicken in the skillet. Cook on each side for 5 minutes, until browned. Move to a plate and set aside.
    2. If pan is dry, add additional tablespoon of coconut oil. Add onions and garlic, and sauté until transparent. Reduce heat to low. Pour in tomato sauce and stir.
    3. Add thyme, rosemary, and basil to sauce, and then stir in the cream. Place chicken back in pan, immersing it in the sauce. Allow sauce to simmer lightly for 1-2 minutes, and then top each piece of chicken with parmesan. Place skillet in oven and turn to broil. Allow to cook for about 5 minutes — until cheese is bubbling. Remove from oven, top with additional basil for garnish, and serve hot.


    Roasted Trout with Lemon & Rosemary

    Pan Roasted Trout with Lemon & Rosemary

    My first (and maybe my last?) fishing pole was a Mickey Mouse fishing pole.

    With a conviction to teach his daughter where food came from, my dad took me fishing when I was young. I remember catching a fish just once, but remember at least several meals while camping that my dad had caught on a hook.

    In Colorado our fishing access is limited to creeks and reservoirs (there are a few lakes, but they are tiny, some would call them ponds). It seems it is always trout, though I really know nothing about fishing, so I could be wrong. But what I know is that many a meal was served to me as a kid, where a whole trout was seasoned and roasted. I struggled to learned how to separate the meat from the bones in one fell swoop, usually picking them out one by one. 

    I know that seeing the whole fish is off putting to some— I don’t blame you. But to me, it’s part of the experience. It says something about that dish; makes it feel “more,” like maybe your dad caught the fish himself.

    Pan Roasted Trout with Lemon & Rosemary
    Pan Roasted Trout with Lemon & Rosemary

    Fresh, trout can have a quite mild flavor. It’s meat is flakey and delicate, and pairs well with a spritz of lemon, a side of potatoes, and fresh herbs. 

    It feels like a hallmark of summer to me: a sign that the creeks are gushing and full of life, a part of camping season, and best enjoyed with other fresh summer finds, like rosemary. 

    Pan Roasted Trout with Lemon & Rosemary

    Roasted Trout with Lemon & Rosemary

    Published June 26, 2018 by
       |     Print This Recipe

    Yields: 2-4   |    Active Time: 45 minutes


  • 2 whole trout, dedressed 
  • 1 lemon, sliced
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 2 springs rosemary 
  • 2 tablespoons avocado oil
  • 3 cups diced red potatoes
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • Directions:

    1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Toss diced potatoes and minced garlic in olive oil. Spread out on a sheet pan, and sprinkle with half of the salt and pepper. Then, bake for 30 minutes, until potatoes are just starting to turn golden on the outside.
    2. Meanwhile, season each fish with the remaining salt & pepper. Then, place half of the lemon slices and 1 sprig of rosemary in the cavity of each fish. If desired, tie the fish closed with twine.
    3. After the potatoes have cooked for 30 minutes, push them to either side of the baking sheet to make room for the fish. Place each fish on the pan, and return pan to oven for 20 minutes, or until meat is opaque and easily flakes when pricked with a fork. Potatoes should also be tender all the way through when pricked with a fork. Serve hot.


    Paleo Italian Focaccia and Easy Figgy Olive Tapenade

    When you're in sixth grade and your summer calendar lists a different summer camp week after week (just like it did last year and the year before that and the year before that), you stop looking forward to camp. Summer vacation is about vacation, right? Summer camp felt like an obligation. It was school away from school with less cool teachers and more safety rules. There were only a few weeks of camp worth looking forward to. The week I went to Cooking Camp was one of those weeks. Alongside Gymnastics Camp, Archeology Camp, Cat Camp, and  Photography Camp, Cooking Camp actually qualified as more interesting than the other things I thought I should be doing. (I was in sixth grade... what did I think I was going to do anyways??) 

    When the first day of Cooking Camp rolled around, there was no complaining. I knew the rest of the week would include a lot of baking, a fair amount of cooking, and only some dish washing (which usually resulted in a water fight, so even that wasn't worth complaining about). Starting with Cinnamon rolls and making our way to Potstickers an eventually Puff Pastry and Cannoli, we would travel the world with our tastebuds and spatulas. 

    Some of the recipes became house favorites--after bringing home leftovers from camp, they went down in the books as regular home menu items. To this day, I could still pull up that potsticker recipe. None, however, was more loved than the recipe for Italian Focaccia Bread. 

    I went on to make the recipe so many times that when I entered high school, I knew it like the back of my hand. That bread recipe was the only bread recipe I needed or wanted. It was good for sandwiches or breadsticks, but best freshly pulled from the oven. 

    Albeit delicious, that recipe was not exactly a nutrient dense snack. That's what brings us here. The need to reinvent that recipe... with some nourishing ingredients and real food! The end result is fluffy and soft in the middle, and with a crispy salted topping. Focaccia is back. 

    Paleo Italian Focaccia and Easy Figgy Olive Tapenade

    Paleo, Gluten-Free, Grain-Free    |       |    Print Friendly and PDF

    This focaccia goes well with plenty of dips, or even just plain — but the foggy olive tapenade is highly recommended.Note: This recipe was updated on 4/15/2016 to be baked in a standard 9x9 pan

    Serves: 3   |    Total Time:


    • 2 eggs
    • 1/2 cup full-fat canned coconut milk
    • 1/4 cup coconut flour
    • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1/16 teaspoon salt
    • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
    • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
    • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
    • Handful mini cherry tomatoes
    • 1-2 tablespoons fresh rosemary
    • For Tapenade:
    • 1/2 cup water
    • 1/4 cup dried figs
    • 1 tablespoon Dijon Mustard
    • 1 garlic clove
    • 1 tablespoon parsley
    • 1 cup black California olives


    1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Liberally grease a 9x9 baking pan. Whisk the egg and the coconut milk together. Add the coconut flour, baking soda, salt, oregano, and garlic powder, and continue whisking until everything is combined. Spread the batter in an even layer in the prepared baking pan.
    2. Sprinkle rosemary over the batter and arrange the tomatoes evenly on the top of the bread. Drizzle with olive oil. Place on the center rack of the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes, until the bread is cooked through and golden. Optional: I wanted to toast the top of the bread a bit more, so after it was done cooking I turned the oven to a low broil for just a minute.
    3. Remove from oven, cool for at least 5 minutes.
    4. For Tapenade:
    5. Bring the water to a boil. Place the figs in a small bowl, and pour the hot water over the figs to soften them for 10-15 minutes.
    6. Once the figs are softened, drain out the water and place the figs in a blend. Add the remaining ingredients.
    7. Blend all of the ingredient together until well combined. Use a spatula between blends to scrape the sides of the blender and ensure everything mixes together.
    8. Serve with fresh Paleo focaccia bread or vegetables.