I went through a phase about 6 years ago where I had to have Chicken Parmesan nearly everyday. I did make a slightly healthified version but it was still loaded with breadcrumbs and lots of cheese. I actually have cut down to eating meat to once or twice a week, and by meat I mean only chicken or turkey (sometimes Salmon or shrimp). So every once in a while I make this delicious and even healthier version of Chicken Parmesan to cure the ‘need to have crunchy chicken’ cravings!
I was a (unhealthy) vegetarian in high school and a little through college and I ate a lot of cheese based dishes, pasta, and God knows what else. Then I met my husband when I was 21 (gasp!) and he was a meat-eating Englishman and the only vegetables he knew of consisted of overcooked cauliflower, mushrooms, and peas. That was England 15 years ago. Today, it has some of the best food I’ve ever had and they are getting on board with the healthy eating trend which is so exciting for me when we go! Anyway, (I digress) I started cooking with meat more often and began experimenting with making stuffed chicken, meatballs, and other things that were quick and that both of us would eat after long days of working in Central London. I read Nigel Slater books religiously and began trying to recreate all of his recipes that were chicken or turkey based. So that’s the long winded story of how meat came back into my diet. As I get older (boo hoo) I’ve been leaning once again, into more vegetarian fare and even experimenting with vegan dishes as you can see from many of my recipes. And my son will probably be a vegetarian since he is not really a meat fan and kind of just eats everything but the meat at the moment. Who knows, kids are weird. Oh that’s right you wanted a RECIPE. Sorry about that.
Serves 4-6 small chicken breasts
2 T Chia Seeds (I used Salba Chia)
1 T hemp seeds
1 cup plantain chips (pulverized in a food processor or just hammered in a plastic bag until fine)
2 T parmesan
1 capful Trader Joe’s 21 Spice Blend (or all purpose seasoning like Mrs. Dash)
2 T flaxseed
1/4 cup milk (I used almond but feel free to use whatever)
1 cup tomato sauce (use whatever your favorite brand is)
2 zucchini (spiralized or grated)
1 pound chicken breasts
1/2 cup grated mozzarella
1/2 box of pasta (use whatever brand you like, I used a high protein pasta made from garbanzo beans called Banza that can be found at Sprouts or Whole Foods, and I also like a lentil pasta from Tolerant Brand)
Preheat oven to 400F.
In a shallow dish or bowl combine the first 6 ingredients. Set aside.
Then combine the milk and egg and whisk together.
Cut each chicken breast in half and make a cut through that half but not all the way through to butterfly each piece. Take a piece of plastic wrap and place it on top of the chicken and pound with a meat hammer or heavy object until thin (about a 1/2 inch thick). Continue to do this with each piece of chicken until they are complete. I had 2 chicken breasts and ending up with 4 small chicken pieces slightly bigger than a chicken tender to give you an idea.
Take each piece of chicken and dip it first in the milk and egg mixture and then in the plantain, chia and flax mixture and place on a baking tray. Repeat this with each chicken breast.
Spray each breast with a little cooking spray on top and place in the oven for 12 minutes.
While the chicken is baking cook pasta according to package and cook zucchini. Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a pan and add the zucchini and saute until tender.
At the end of the 12 minutes remove chicken and divide the cup of tomato sauce onto each of the chicken breasts (about 2 T per breast) and add a sprinkle of the mozzarella onto each. Return to oven for another 8-10 minutes until cooked all the way through. Mine were actually done after 8 (total of 20) minutes but I have a convection oven so it tends to cook things quicker.
Toss the pasta with any leftover tomato sauce and top with the zucchini and chicken parm. Sprinkle with a little more parmesan if desired.