Friday, July 3, 2015

Easy Chicken Parmesan

Here is my twist on Chicken Parmesan. Let me clearly state again...I am not a dietician or a health expert by any means. I am simply showing you some of the meals we are incorporating into our healthier lifestyle. We are not on a zero carb diet. When planning meals, we really pay attention to what we are consuming and how much of it. When my Mother was learning to make better food choices to live with diabetes, my sister and I attended a couple of classes with a nutritionist who educated us on READING LABELS, eating balanced meals and controlling sugar intake. Did I mention READING LABELS? Unfortunately, I am a back slider because I got out of the habit of doing that. Now that my husband is ready to make a change to eating healthier, it was easy for me to jump back in and do the right thing. Several years ago, my Aunt's nutritionist told her about Dreamfield's pasta.
This is not an advertisement for them, I'm just sharing what we switched to years ago and it enables us to enjoy pasta salad, spaghetti and meatballs and more instead of cutting it out completely. When you grew up eating pasta and rice dishes like I did, it was a blessing to find this. For a long time, we couldn't buy it in our little home town and had to load up on it when we did find it. It tastes just as good as any other pasta you can buy. Having said that, it doesn't mean you can eat five servings worth of pasta....which I can easily do. A serving size is 2 oz. (1/2" circle) of dry pasta. There are 6.5 servings per box. Each serving has 41 g. carbs, 5 g. dietary fiber (3 g. soluble fiber and 2 g. insoluble fiber) and 7 g. protein. I have not found a way to eat pasta carb free, so we enjoy this from time to time and don't overdo it.

Gone is the thick breading on the chicken, but we didn't miss it one bit. Normally, I make my own vat of spaghetti sauce, but since we are cutting back on sugar intake, I've been searching for a low carb tomato sauce. So far, Wild Oats Organic Pasta Sauce seems to fill the bill. I add additional Italian herbs to bump up the taste, but it's been a hit with both of us. Each 1/2 cup has 6 g. carbs and 2 g. of fiber. Reading the labels may be time-consuming, but it's so worth it.
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/2 cup (more or less) Italian bread crumbs*
4 slices Provolone cheese
Parmesan cheese
Wild Oats pasta sauce
Cooked & drained Dreamfields spaghetti
Coconut Oil

*I will make my own bread crumbs in the future with a low-carb bread

In a plate, mix bread crumbs and additional seasoning (salt, pepper & Italian herbs)
Place a chicken breast between plastic wrap and beat with a mallet until thin. 
Heat enough coconut oil in a skillet on medium high while you lightly coat the chicken breasts.
Carefully place a chicken breast in the hot skillet. Do not turn until  you can see the lower part of the chicken start to turn white and the bottom is a nice golden brown.
Carefully turn the chicken and cook until cooked through. Repeat until all chicken is cooked.
Place a slice of Provolone cheese on top of the hot chicken and let it melt. Bake in the oven briefly to further melt if necessary. Make a bed of spaghetti and cover with up to 1/2 cup of spaghetti sauce. Sprinkle grated or shredded Parmesan cheese on top of spaghetti. Place chicken breast on top and add a little more sauce (optional). We did manage to eat this WITHOUT a loaf of garlic bread. :-)

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