5.16.19

Is there anything more gratifying than stumbling upon a perfectly clean version of your favorite comfort food? Eating well becomes so much easier when we don’t feel like we’re deprived of the foods we love. That’s the idea behind a new cookbook from nutritionist Danielle Walker.

Our copy of the gorgeous Eat What You Love has been dogeared since it first landed on our desks. This healthy chicken parm with spaghetti squash is a grain and gluten-free masterpiece of a meal that your hubby, your kids and your most pretentious healthy friend will enjoy…

I have always loved chicken parmesan. In fact, it was the first recipe I attempted back in my college days (for Ryan and a bunch of his roommates). It was a disaster, but the failure spurred me to learn more about cooking, so it has a special place in my memory. I still enjoy this dish even without the dairy cheese and grain-based noodles. To keep things simple, I use store-bought marinara sauce most of the time (look for one that is free from soybean oil, sugars, canola oil or citric acid, which is often derived from corn or white potatoes). To make this a one-pan meal, I skip panfrying the chicken and cook it along with the spaghetti squash on the same baking sheet.

CHICKEN PARMESAN WITH ROASTED SPAGHETTI SQUASH
Serves 2 to 6

Ingredients:

1 (3-pound) spaghetti squash
fine sea salt
extra-virgin olive oil, for brushing and drizzling
6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 2 pounds)
2 eggs (or substitute 1⁄4 cup extra-virgin olive oil)
11⁄2 cups blanched almond flour
1 cup Parmesan cheese (page 315)
2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried basil
1⁄2 tsp dried thyme
21⁄2 tsp garlic powder
11⁄2 cups marinara sauce
2 Tbsp melted ghee
chopped fresh basil, for garnish

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Lightly grease a rimmed baking sheet with extra-virgin olive oil. Slice the ends off the squash, then cut it crosswise into 2-inch rings. Run a knife around the interior of each ring to remove the seeds, or use a spoon to scrape them out.

Set a wire rack on the counter, line with a few paper towels, and set the squash rounds on top. Sprinkle both sides of the squash liberally with salt and let the rounds sit for 15 minutes to release some of their moisture. Wipe away the excess salt and moisture, brush both sides of the squash with oil, and arrange the rounds around the outer edges of the baking sheet, leaving an open space in the center.

Meanwhile, place each chicken breast between two pieces of parchment paper or plastic wrap. Using a kitchen mallet or heavy skillet, pound the chicken breasts until they’re about 1⁄2 inch thick.

In a shallow bowl, lightly beat the eggs. In a separate shallow bowl, combine the almond flour, 1⁄3 cup of the Parmesan, 1 teaspoon salt, the oregano, basil, thyme, and 1⁄2 teaspoon of the garlic powder. One at a time, dip the chicken breasts into the egg, allowing any excess to drip back into the bowl, then dip into the almond flour mixture, turning to coat each piece and shaking off any excess. Place the chicken pieces on the baking sheet and lightly drizzle with oil.

Bake the chicken and squash for 30 minutes, until the breading is golden brown. Pour about 1⁄4 cup of the marinara sauce over each chicken breast and top with 1⁄3 cup Parmesan. Return the pan to the oven and bake for about 10 minutes more, until a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of each breast reads 165°F and the sauce is heated through.

Use a fork to pull the spaghetti-like strands away from the insides of the spaghetti squash rounds. Place into a bowl and toss with the ghee, the remaining 2 teaspoons garlic powder, and 1⁄2 teaspoon salt.

Divide the “noodles” among plates and top each with a piece of chicken. Spoon any additional sauce from the baking sheet over the top and sprinkle with the remaining 1⁄3 cup Parmesan and the basil.

Grab another amazing recipe from Danielle Walker here.

CHICKEN PARMESAN WITH ROASTED SPAGHETTI SQUASH
Serves 2 to 6

Ingredients:

1 (3-pound) spaghetti squash
fine sea salt
extra-virgin olive oil, for brushing and drizzling
6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 2 pounds)
2 eggs (or substitute 1⁄4 cup extra-virgin olive oil)
11⁄2 cups blanched almond flour
1 cup Parmesan cheese (page 315)
2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried basil
1⁄2 tsp dried thyme
21⁄2 tsp garlic powder
11⁄2 cups marinara sauce
2 Tbsp melted ghee
chopped fresh basil, for garnish

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Lightly grease a rimmed baking sheet with extra-virgin olive oil. Slice the ends off the squash, then cut it crosswise into 2-inch rings. Run a knife around the interior of each ring to remove the seeds, or use a spoon to scrape them out.

Set a wire rack on the counter, line with a few paper towels, and set the squash rounds on top. Sprinkle both sides of the squash liberally with salt and let the rounds sit for 15 minutes to release some of their moisture. Wipe away the excess salt and moisture, brush both sides of the squash with oil, and arrange the rounds around the outer edges of the baking sheet, leaving an open space in the center.

Meanwhile, place each chicken breast between two pieces of parchment paper or plastic wrap. Using a kitchen mallet or heavy skillet, pound the chicken breasts until they’re about 1⁄2 inch thick.

In a shallow bowl, lightly beat the eggs. In a separate shallow bowl, combine the almond flour, 1⁄3 cup of the Parmesan, 1 teaspoon salt, the oregano, basil, thyme, and 1⁄2 teaspoon of the garlic powder. One at a time, dip the chicken breasts into the egg, allowing any excess to drip back into the bowl, then dip into the almond flour mixture, turning to coat each piece and shaking off any excess. Place the chicken pieces on the baking sheet and lightly drizzle with oil.

Bake the chicken and squash for 30 minutes, until the breading is golden brown. Pour about 1⁄4 cup of the marinara sauce over each chicken breast and top with 1⁄3 cup Parmesan. Return the pan to the oven and bake for about 10 minutes more, until a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of each breast reads 165°F and the sauce is heated through.

Use a fork to pull the spaghetti-like strands away from the insides of the spaghetti squash rounds. Place into a bowl and toss with the ghee, the remaining 2 teaspoons garlic powder, and 1⁄2 teaspoon salt.

Divide the “noodles” among plates and top each with a piece of chicken. Spoon any additional sauce from the baking sheet over the top and sprinkle with the remaining 1⁄3 cup Parmesan and the basil.

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