By TERRI WINDOVER, Connect Columnist
Mmmm, who doesn’t love a good chicken parm? I’ll tell you who… My waistline, oh and my behind.
The original dish is simply loaded with excess calories and crazy amounts of fats due to the fried, breaded chicken and loads of cheese. Add in that pasta and it’s a new year, new you derailment in the making.
I’ve taken this tried-and-true, old favourite and lightened it up, while still maintaining a delicious flavour throughout.
I know, I know, you’re thinking bull…. But, I swear I’m telling the truth. I made this and it didn’t even make it to the leftover stage.
It was like a horde of locusts came through my kitchen. I still remember my husband Kevin’s sad face when he realized there was none left for his lunch the next day. So, feel free to double this recipe up and enjoy it for a second day.
I have started using spaghetti squash -quite a bit – in my recipes. It is very versatile, has great flavour and holds its texture nicely through the freezing and thawing process. Peppers? Not so much. They turn to complete mush after thawing.
Blech! Is blech even a word? I’m not really sure. But, when I say it I make that: “Oh my god! He left his hockey bag in my car on a hot July day” kind of face. (That’s the worst, by the way. THE WORST!)
With a few changes most recipes can turn from a calorie-loaded bullet into an energizing and delicious meal with no guilt attached.
PREP FOR SPAGHETTI SQUASH: When roasting spaghetti squash, microwave for five minutes. This will allow you to cut the squash in half lengthwise without sacrificing a finger to the Kitchen Gods. You then scoop out the seeds. Brush with olive oil or spray with Pam before placing the squash halves face down on a baking sheet and baking at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 45-60 minutes. This depends on the size of the squash. When a knife slides in easily, it’s done. Once the squash cools, use a fork to scrape out the long strands of squash.
Chicken Parmesan Defined
1 prepared and cooked spaghetti squash
1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast; Cut into one inch thick strips
1 tbsp. olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
2 cups of tomato basil pasta sauce
4 slices low-fat provolone cheese
1/2 cup finely grated parmesan cheese (Not that awful shaker kind)
- Prepare spaghetti squash, according to directions above. Leave oven on 350 after.
- Heat oil in fry pan on med-high heat. Cook chicken strips evenly on all sides, until cooked through. Salt and pepper chicken to taste, if desired.
- In casserole dish, arrange spaghetti squash on bottom of dish evenly. Arrange chicken slices, then sauce, then provolone. Sprinkle parmesan evenly on top.
- Bake uncovered at 350 for 20 minutes, until cheese melts.
For more free recipes, tips and tricks go to my website at www.terri-windover.com and check out my blog or sign up for my free newsletter.
– Connect Weekly –