Here is a healthy, simpler version of the classic, Chicken Parmesan. I used to have a similar recipe on my blog, “Turkey & Zucchini Parmesan,” but I found that the turkey cutlets are hard to find. Also, I used a frozen veggie mix that I can’t find anymore. So to make the recipe a little more versatile, I gave it some “tweeking.”
However, I needed to keep the dish fairly uncomplicated because Jack is crawling now. And not just the early kind of baby crawling, where they just slowly scoot themselves around. No, this little 8-month-old is on full destructo-mode. He can get around much faster than I anticipated. I guess he is his father’s son.
(Thomas was a track/cross country runner in both high school and college… I know, I’m in trouble).
The worst is that Jack gets into Ginny’s toys, which she doesn’t appreciate.
That’s a dramatic understatement.
I’ve got to play referee, pretty much constantly. I can’t blame Ginny…she’s new at this sharing thing. But she does need to learn, and I need to teach her. That really cuts into the dinner prep time.
Now, some of you know that chicken Parmesan is my husband’s absolute favorite dish to order at restaurants. He’s always comparing everyone’s version to Dimitri’s from the Main Stream (now called Wanda’s), a mom and pop restaurant from his hometown. Making this for Thomas is basically asking for trouble.
I can’t really compete with Dimitri on this particular dish. Thomas is all about the pasta with the chicken, but since there are already carbohydrates in the chicken and zucchini breading, I skipped the pasta with this recipe. Sometimes when you’re being healthy, you have a to make a choice: breading or pasta, not both. The thing to remember is that weight loss isn’t all or nothing. Have breaded chicken one day, and have grilled chicken with pasta the next. That way, you can have what you want, just in a smart, healthy fashion.
Please note that there is a lot of lean protein per serving. I have a hard time fitting lean protein into my day, so recipes like this work great for me. But if you need less protein, reduce your serving to 1 chicken tenderloin, rather than 2. That’ll reduce your protein by at least 16 grams (I say “at least” because that doesn’t include the egg used to bread each piece of chicken, or the cheese).
I’m happy to report that once again, Thomas liked my new take on this recipe…probably even more so than he did before, but I know it didn’t meet Dimitri’s caliber. I can read the chicken Parmesan analysis expressions by now. I’ve witnessed many chicken Parmesans he wouldn’t even finish. He’s very critical of breaded, cheesy chicken. But he finished mine, and went for seconds. 🙂
What I didn’t expect was Ginny’s reaction. I should have, seeing as how she basically has Thomas’ exact taste buds. Oh my goodness, she loved it! She ate all the chicken on her plate, which almost never happens. And she ate a lot of zucchini too. I think all the cheese may have had something to do with it.
Probably helped that the mushrooms were easily avoided…and consequently ended up on my plate. From Ginny and Thomas.
Ah well. More yummy mushrooms for me.
Yields: 4 servings of 3 breaded slices of zucchini and 2 chicken tenderloins each
Cook Time: 23 minutes
8 (3oz) chicken tenderloins
3 zucchini (about 1lb), sliced into 4 lengthwise slices each
½ cup flour
4 egg whites
2 cups Italian seasoned panko bread crumbs
nonstick cooking spray
1 medium onion, chopped
8oz mushrooms, quartered
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 (15oz) can tomato sauce
1 (14.5oz) can diced tomatoes, without salt added (do not drain)
sea salt and pepper to taste (optional)
⅓ cup reduced fat grated Parmesan cheese
½ cup 2% milk reduced fat mozzarella cheese, shredded
¼ cup chopped fresh basil
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Spray a large baking sheet with nonstick spray. Dip each slice of zucchini and chicken tenderloin in flour, then the egg whites, then the bread crumbs. Place zucchini and tenderloins on the baking sheet (it will be very full) and bake for 20 minutes, turning once, halfway through. In the meantime, spray a large saucepan with nonstick spray. Add the onion and mushrooms and sauté over medium heat for 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook for an additional 30 seconds. Reduce the heat to low and pour in the tomato sauce and diced tomatoes with the liquid, plus sea salt and pepper (if you’d like). Continue heating, stirring occasionally, until heated through. When the zucchini and chicken tray is finished baking, pull it out of the oven. Spread the tomato mixture over the zucchini and chicken tenderloins, topping them with the Parmesan and mozzarella cheese. Place tray under broiler until cheese melts, about 2 to 3 minutes. Sprinkle with chopped basil and serve.
Nutrition Disclaimer: I am not a certified nutritionist…these are just the calculations I’m pretty sure are close to correct. I use BodyMedia to generate my information.
Saturated Fat: 2.5g
Dietary Fiber: 5.8g
Dietary Exchange: 3 Starch, 6 Meat, 1½ Vegetable
Jenny Craig: High in protein, but the fat is nice and low. Count it as 1 entrée and 1 milk serving.
Weight Watchers: 10 Points (using calculatorcat.com).