How To Make A Healthier Chicken Parmesan
I love italian food and I love a good Chicken Parmesan. After a couple of attempts I finally managed to make one that I enjoyed, but I was pretty disheartened by the amount of unhealthy and unnecessary calories I was putting into a meal. That got me thinking about how I could maintain the taste of the dish, but eliminate some of the bad stuff at the same time. After several attempts and failures I think I have come up with a winner. With only a few simple swap outs, I have found a recipe that I (and my wife) really think is delicious. Enjoy!
Ingredients (recipe for two people):
4 Egg whites (or equivalent amount of egg white product, about 1/2 cup)
1 Cup Skim Milk
3 Cups whole wheat bread crumbs
1/2 Cup Parmesan Cheese
1 Tablespoon Garlic Powder
1 Chicken Breast
2 servings whole wheat pasta
2 servings of your favorite pasta sauce
Preheat Oven to 400o F
- In a bowl, whisk together egg whites and milk.
- Cut chicken breast in half.
- Place chicken breast pieces in egg/milk mixture so chicken is covered. If you aren't able to cover the chicken flip chicken over occasionally so it is evenly coated.
- In a separate bowl, combine breadcrumbs, parmesan cheese, and garlic powder. Mix well. Place 1/2 of the mixture on a plate.
- Take the chicken, 1 piece at a time, out of the milk/egg mixture and lay it on the breadcrumbs.
- Using your fingers, press the chicken into the breadcrumbs, flipping it over multiple times. Use part of the unused breadcrumbs to press onto the top of the chicken. Make sure it is thoroughly coated.
- Dredge the piece of chicken back through the milk/egg mixture and repeat step 7. When finished place on a greased baking sheet. Repeat with other piece of chicken.
- Bake chicken at 400o F for 25-30 minutes, depending on the thickness of the chicken. The coating should be turning to a darker brown when it is finished.
- While chicken is baking, cook noodles in boiling water according to package directions and heat up your favorite pasta sauce.
- Place noodles on a plate, place the chicken on top of the noodles, and cover with sauce. Feel free to add some parmesan cheese on top.
The substitutions I made from the original recipe were as follows:
- Baking for frying. This step eliminated a lot of fat and calories.
- Whole wheat pasta and breadcrumbs for white pasta. This subtracted some calories and added in some fiber.
- Egg whites for whole eggs. This eliminated some fat, calories, and cholesterol.
- Skim milk for whole milk. This eliminated fat and calories.
Some other tips:
Sometimes I have pounded the chicken pieces into thinner 'slice-like' pieces to give it a little more authentic feel. This adds some extra time to the process and I found that I tend to over-pound the chicken into mush. Not good.
You can add fresh vegetables to your favorite sauce for some added flavor and nutrients. Try mushrooms, olives, or peppers.
If you use a thinner piece of chicken (or choose to pound it thinner) you may want to flip the chicken mid-way through cooking. You'll also want to lessen your bake time for thinner pieces.
Remembering your portion sizes can be a big help in keeping your calories down!
All in all this meal comes in at under 550 calories! I will be sure to add a picture next time I make it because I ate all of it before I could take a picture last time. I hope you enjoy this recipe, please leave a comment or two with some ideas and suggestions. Thanks!