So in other news, NYC’s bipolar weather decided it wanted to go from freezing winter temps to humid summer days within a matter of what feels like minutes. I guess I’m shit out of luck on that beach body then huh? Guess I’m gonna have to starve myself – I meant – choose healthier options.

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Everyone loves chicken parm right!? To make it healthier, I’m doing away with breading the chicken, and swapping the pasta for zoodles (suspiciously missing from the photo whoops). Although it’s still technically not “healthy” per se, it’s a hell of a lot better.

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Instead of the usual flour-egg-breadcrumbs gig I’m opting for a healthier, crunchy yet flavorful exterior. Chili Powder. Yup, don’t give it a second thought. Just do as I say. Your parm will not taste like chili, I assure you.

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Turn your pan on high, like super high, so you can really get these bad boys browned. PSA: Don’t use your fancy extra virgin olive oil for high heat cooking – you’ll probably burn down your kitchen and waste the flavor anyway. Canola or veg is fine.

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While you’re waiting for the chicken to brown, go ahead and make your zoodles. I was feeling especially lazy that day, as I chose to use my potato peeler rather than using my zoodle-maker because who wants extra dishes. Your choice.

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Once the chicken is browned on both sides, remove from pan. Keep the grease (hey- I only said it was healthy-ISH) and saute onions until slightly translucent.

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Now you may be wondering what to do with the remaining soft insides of your zucchini (if you used a real zoodler, there will be a bit less). Since I’m notorious for never throwing anything away (evidence: my entire apartment), I diced them into small chunks and threw them in with the onions.

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Add the garlic once everything is soft, then dump in the tomato sauce. Let it all become friends for a little while before throwing in the zoodles.

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TBH, everything is already cooked by now. So each introduction is merely to let them simmer together and have the flavors meld.

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Throw back in your browned chicken and wait for the best part…

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The cheese! I threw on some sliced deli Provolone, but use whatever cheese (or none, but like, why wouldn’t you?) and put the lid on to steam it gooey. Left: Before; Right: After.

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Best served right off the pan so the cheese is still melted.

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Perfectly cooked chicken, and no one would even know you used Chili Powder, I swear.

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Obligatory #CheesePull, because, it’s me. Am I beach bod ready now?

 

—INGREDIENTS—

About 2 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast
1 large onion
5 or so garlic cloves
28oz can of crushed/purees tomato sauce
3 medium zucchinis (about a pound)
Vegetable/Canola oil
About 2 tablespoons of Chili Powder (or enough to coat both sides of chicken)
1/4 pound of thinly sliced melting cheese (provolone/mozzarella/etc)
Seasonings to taste – garlic powder, salt, pepper

 

—DIRECTIONS—

  1. Lightly pound chicken pieces until they’re about even in height. Season both sides liberally with Chili Powder, Garlic Powder, cracked pepper, (and salt if using, but I never do).
  2. Once pan is on high and oil is hot, throw chicken in but don’t overlap or overcrowd. Depending on how thick pieces are, time will vary. But about 5 minutes per side, or until browned and cooked through.Remove cooked chicken and add onion in the remaining fat on medium low. Continue to stir onions, but you want them to be pretty translucent, almost 10 minutes total.
  3. While you’re waiting, make the zoodles. If you have a device that thinly slices or spiralizes the zucchini, use that. Otherwise a potato peeler will do just fine. You’ll notice that the center where the seeds are becomes too tender to slice, so stop there. Chop the cores into tiny cubes and set to the side.
  4. Once the onions are pretty cooked through, add the chopped zucchini. Continue to cook until both vegetables are soft and tender, 5 minutes or so. Add the garlic lastly and stir for a few more minutes.
  5. Add the 28 oz can of tomatoes and stir. Now is the time to taste if any more seasoning is needed.
  6. Once fine, toss the zoodles in, but be very gentle. They don’t need too much time in the hot liquid or they could begin to break. Just lightly mix in.
  7. Add the chicken pieces, then the sliced cheese on top. Put a lid on the pan for just a minute or until cheese is melted. And serve.

 

Posted by:Talei Rukstad

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