In my last post I talk about indulging a little bit in the foods that we want. Sometimes I HAVE to have fettuccine alfredo or my ranch dressing on my salad.
Okay, I always have ranch dressing, but it’s on the side. (I have friends that are very health conscious that are now going to scold me for admitting to the ranch – hehe.) What I’m getting at is the fact that there are some foods that I cannot substitute with fat-free ingredients. Ranch dressing being one of them.
I’d rather eat a salad with NO dressing than a salad with fat-free ranch. Bleck. It’s just NOT the same!
There are other foods that I have absolutely no problem substituting low-fat or healthier ingredients for the fattier ones. Honestly, I like to make most classic dishes healthier. Chicken Parmesan is one of them.
But please, PLEASE don’t EVER ask me to consume fat-free ranch… or fat-free cheese for that matter. Eeeeew. I swear that stuff isn’t even food. (Don’t worry about me too much. I do like part-skim and low-fat dairy so my arteries won’t completely clog…)
Often when I need inspiration for a healthy twist on a dish, I turn to Ellie Krieger of the Food Network. As a very popular nutritionist with her own cooking show, Ellie is the one to look up for lightened up meals without compromising the flavor. (She doesn’t use fat-free cheese. That’s my kind of girl!)
All of my friends at work know what a foodie I am. Every day, I’m asked questions about cooking or health facts. One of my friends (who is equally as obsessed with the Food Network as I am) brought in this recipe. 8:30 in the morning she sees me, runs to her purse, grabs the recipe, slams it on my clip board and says, “you have GOT to try this!”.
So I did. And she was right! And after eating it for myself I realized that her excitement for this dish was very much appropriate.
Hopefully this healthier version of Chicken Parmesan will be one that you add to your collection! Some people do not like to mess with a classic, but I think this one is tasty enough to meet your standards!
Healthy Chicken Parmesan
Source: Ellie Krieger
4 slices whole-wheat bread (1-ounce each) (I used honey-wheat sandwich thins because they are my current obsession!)
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
4 teaspoons paprika
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 egg whites
1/2 cup skim milk
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
4 (6 ounce) skinless boneless chicken breast halves, pounded to 1/2-inch thickness
Olive oil cooking spray
1 jar good-quality marinara sauce (about 3 1/2 cups)
3/4 cup (3 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
2 tablespoons (1/2-ounce) shredded Parmesan
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Place the bread in the bowl of a food processor and process until fine crumbs are formed, about 25 to 30 seconds. Put the crumbs on a baking sheet and bake for 12 minutes, until golden. (You will wind up with about 1 1/3 cups toasted crumbs.)
In a medium bowl, toss the crumbs with oregano, garlic powder, paprika, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. In another bowl, whisk the egg whites and milk together. In a third bowl stir together the flour, and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Dip each piece of chicken, 1 piece at a time, in flour, shaking off excess, then egg, then bread crumbs, shaking off excess.
Increase oven temperature to 400 degrees. Place breaded breasts in a glass baking dish and spray on each side with cooking spray, about 5 seconds total per side. Bake breasts until cooked through and crumbs are browned, about 15 minutes. Top with marinara sauce, mozzarella and parmesan and return to oven for an additional 10 minutes, until cheese is bubbling.
I served mine with whole wheat pasta.
(Serving size, 1 piece chicken with sauce and cheese)
Calories 410; Total Fat 11 g; (Sat Fat 4.5 g, Mono Fat 2.7 g, Poly Fat 1.2 g) ; Protein 50 g; Carb 31 g; Fiber 2 g; Cholesterol 110 mg; Sodium 1200 mg