Italian Food and healthy eating seem to be at odds, but they need not be. You just need to rethink the ingredients and the cooking process.
The easiest way to clean-up Italian food and the one that gives you the most bang for your buck is substituting vegetables for pasta. In this recipe, chicken parmesan is served with sautéed zucchini instead of pasta. Both zucchini and spaghetti squash are excellent subs for pasta. Not only do they have fewer calories, but they’re packed full of nutrients that will help fuel your body and keep you from feeling sluggish at the end of the day.
Breading the chicken in almond meal/ ground flaxseed and baking it in the oven further reduces calories and adds to the nutritional value. The almond meal adds a rich, nutty taste and helps keep the chicken moist as it bakes. Ground flaxseed is great to add to your meals whenever you can as flaxseeds are absolute nutritional powerhouses loaded with fiber, antioxidants, B vitamins, and healthy Omega-3 Fatty Acids.
Note: Ground Flaxseeds should be stored in the refrigerator once the bag is open.
Skinny Chicken Parmesan with Zucchini Ribbons
- 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, butterflied and cut in two so that you have 6 pieces
- 3 eggs
- 1/2 cup almond meal
- 1/2 cup ground flaxseed
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- sea salt
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
- salt and pepper
- 4 medium zucchini
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Heat olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic and red pepper flakes and saute 30 seconds. Add tomatoes, Italian seasoning, and salt and pepper to taste. Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes.
- Beat the eggs in a medium bowl. Combine almond meal, ground flaxseed, oregano, poultry seasoning, and salt and pepper in a glass pie plate or shallow dish. Dip chicken in eggs and then coat in almond meal mixture. Place on baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes.
- Place chicken in a glass baking dish and cover with tomato sauce. Sprinkle with cheese. Bake until hot and bubbly.
- While chicken is cooking: use a vegetable peeler to make zucchini ribbons. Heat coconut oil in a large nonstick skillet. Add zucchini and garlic and saute just until zucchini is softened, about 2 minutes.
Yield: 6 servings
Calories: about 390 per serving
Adapted from Oxygen Magazine
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