Since I’ve been losing weight, I’ve been experimenting with ways to create some of my favorite standard meals – most of which it turns out, were very, very fattening. My family has always been really big on Italian and Mexican foods, and those types of dishes are traditionally very, very high in both carbs and fat. With this healthy chicken Parmesan I tried to cut the fat – but also go really big on taste to make up for it.
Ingredients you’ll need:
1/3 Vidalia Onion
10 baby or one large carrot shredded
1/2 large green pepper
5 cloves garlic
3 tbsp Xylitol
1 Jar Spaghetti sauce (I used Ragu roasted peppers and onion)
3 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
4 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts
2 large tomatoes or 6 Roma tomatoes
1 lb organic wheat pasta (I used Thin Spaghetti)
1/4 cup fresh grated parmesan cheese
I’m part Italian, but not enough so that I have to make my own sauce for hours and hours. I do however, like to make a hybrid half-homemade and half-jar tomato based sauce. You could just use premium sauce from the jar – but that just wouldn’t be as good would it? I usually like to use up veggies in the fridge, and in this case I had a bowl of fresh tomatoes and a pepper from the garden that smelled especially good.
Start out by adding the olive oil to a large skillet/saucepan on the stove. Place your 4 chicken breasts in the pan and turn the heat on med-high. While this cooks, chop up your onion and pepper, and shred your carrot. By this time your chicken has cooked on one side 5-8 minutes, turn it over and add these veggies to your saucepan on top of the chicken. While that cooks, chop up your garlic cloves and set aside. Next Dice up your tomatoes. By the time you are done chopping the tomatoes it’s time to turn your chicken again. Add the chopped tomatoes and garlic to the pan, stir everything up around the chicken the best you can. You can turn the heat down just slightly above medium now.
While that simmers uncovered, next I run the hot water and then fill a 4 quart pot halfway with hot water and place on the stove on low. I want the water to be just a minute away from boiling when I need it (pasta cooks quick). Now I add some italian seasonings and some garlic powder, and even some salt and ground pepper to the chicken and sauce base. I’ll let this cook maybe 5 minutes more and then I add the entire jar of spaghetti sauce and the Xylitol and mix it up really good with the veggies in and around the chicken. You might have to pile the chicken up in either side of the pan twice to do this effectively. Then, cover your pan with a lid and simmer and medium low. The reason I use Xylitol sugar substitute is because it gives the sauce a slightly sweet taste and it balances out the garlic and enhances the natural sweetness of the carrots. Xylitol is good for you because it’s a natural sugar substitue (found in vegetables), and it has no cooking aftertaste, it tastes exactly like sugar – with none of the calories. It doesn’t affect blood sugar at all. You can get it at any health food store.
Now turn the water pan up to high and get it boiling, add the wheat pasta and boil for 6-8 minutes. About halfway through stir up your chicken and sauce mixture. Drain your pasta, and I usually drizzle with a bit of extra virgin olive oil to keep it from sticking, and also a bit of fresh ground pepper. Now you can turn off the chicken. Grab four plates, and distribute the pasta evenly. Place one chicken breast on each mound of pasta and sauceover the top and onto the noodles. Sprinkle your fresh ground parmesan cheese over each sauce covered chicken breast and serve!