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No Carb Recipe: Pizza-Stuffed Chicken Breasts
Low Carb Diets
The only way I’ve been successful with sustained weight loss is through low carb diets. Of course, there are things I miss sometimes, but it’s a diet I can stick with because there are so many tasty foods that I can eat. Following a low carb diet has also helped reduce painful inflammation in my body, and believe it or not, my bad cholesterol and my triglycerides have both decreased in number. That’s a good thing. Another benefit I experienced is marked improvement in my blood glucose levels – without having to take diabetes medications. Really, I haven’t found a downside to low carb diets, other than occasionally missing certain foods. I’ve mostly combated that, though, because I’ve come up with so many low carb recipes on my own. If you vary your menus and eat a variety of different flavors, your diet will be much easier to follow because your taste buds won’t get bored.
Low Carb Foods
Some people don’t have a clue about carbohydrates, fats, and protein. If you’re one of those individuals, I’ll offer some information. If you’re already clear on the subject at hand, you might want to skip the rest of this section.
All meats, including fish and poultry, are high in protein and low in carbs. In fact, most contain no carbs at all. Fat content in meat varies. Some, like boneless, skinless chicken breasts, for example, are very low in fat. Others, like a well-marbled beef steak, are high in fat. Cheeses and eggs are also low carb or devoid of carbs.
Grains are high in carbs, but some are worse than others. In general, the more refined a grain product is, the more carbs it contains. Grains that are high in indigestible fiber have a lower net carb count. The same is true of fruits.
Vegetables are all over the place as far as carbohydrates are concerned. Low carb choices include green beans, broccoli, cabbage, mustard greens, collards, turnip greens, kale, asparagus, mushrooms, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, summer squash varieties, zucchini, celery, and peppers. Vegetables that contain higher carb amounts include peas, carrots, onions, acorn squash, butternut squash, and beets.
Zero Calorie Foods - No Carb Ingredients
This recipe for stuffed chicken breasts uses no carb ingredients. you might have noticed from the attached photograph at the top that the chicken breast is topped with tomato sauce. While fresh tomatoes are fairly low in carbs, tomato sauce isn’t. That’s because the tomatoes are cooked, so the sugars are concentrated as the water evaporates. Also, many commercial pizza and spaghetti sauces include added sugar, so you’ll probably want to avoid them if you’re seriously cutting carbs.
For me, the answer to replacing higher carb ingredients with low carb ingredients is often answered by using Walden Farms products. They have a wide range of foods that contain no calories, no carbohydrates, and no fats. I’ve tried a number of their products, and from my experience, some are better than others. For their basil and tomato pasta sauce, I think it’s okay right out of the jar, but it’s a lot better after I “doctor it up.” In the recipe below, I’ll show you how I add flavor to the sauce without adding any carbs.
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- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- olive oil OR cooking spray
- Lawry's garlic salt with parsley
- black pepper
- onion powder
- dried basil
- dried oregano
- 1/2 cup shredded or grated mozzarella cheese
- sliced pepperoni
- wooden toothpicks
- grated parmesan cheese
- 1 cup Walden Farms basil and tomato pasta sauce
- 2-3 teaspoons Splenda
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- Rinse chicken breasts and pat dry. Place a breast between two sheets of waxed paper and place on a heavy cutting board. Use a metal meat mallet to pound breast to an overall even thickness of about one-third inch. Repeat with remaining breasts.
- Place breasts on foil-lined baking pan that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Spray surface of poultry with cooking spray and sprinkle with garlic salt, black pepper, onion powder, basil, and oregano. In the center of each breast, add 2 tablespoons cheese and five or six slices of pepperoni.
- Roll breasts up and secure with wooden toothpicks. Seam should be on bottom. Dab rolled-up chicken with olive oil, or spray with cooking spray. Sprinkle rolls with parmesan cheese and more garlic salt.
- Bake for 35 minutes at 350 degrees.
- While chicken is baking, make the sauce. Combine tomato and basil pasta sauce and Splenda until Splenda is completely dissolved. Add minced olive oil and garlic. Add more flavor by stirring in onion powder, basil, and oregano. Heat in microwave or on stove until piping hot.
- Remove chicken breasts from oven and remove toothpicks. Over each roll, pour ¼ cup sauce. Serve with a green salad, Italian green beans, or grilled zucchini.