Before I began my sugar-free journey, I ate a LOT of chicken parm. It’s such an easy dish that comes out great every time — it was one of the first dishes I made for my boyfriend Jon when we started dating. When he first met my mom, she asked him what his favorite meal that I cooked for him was: he said chicken parm. Well, he never told me that before, but after learning about their conversation, I made chicken parm for dinner about once a week! I used whole wheat, high fiber pasta, low sugar tomato sauce and wheat bread crumbs that were hydrogenated oil free… I could have been healthier during these weekly meals, but I wanted to keep my baby full and happy. When it was just me I tried my own “healthy” versions – subbing spaghetti squash for the pasta, eggplant for the chicken… but there was never really any substitute for the breading or the cheese. How can you fake cheese, right? ….RIGHT?!?!
It’s funny though, once you learn what healthy really is – avoiding grains, dairy, and processed foods, there tends to be a decent substitute for so many things. Since going truly healthy, everything but the cheese seemed relatively doable.
My super expensive shopping trip at Whole Foods last week yielded some AWESOME finds, and this week I put two more purchases to the test: Bella Terra pasta sauce (ZERO grams of sugar) and Mozzarella Almond Cheese. My Whole Foods only had the blocks of almond cheese, but if you find the shredded version, that would work best for this recipe.
It was… a dream come true. The coconut flour (almond flour works too) works awesome as a breading when you add seasonings, and when you slice the almond cheese thin enough (can’t be too thick since it won’t spread when it melts like real cheese, though it does melt!) …I have one of my all time favorite meals back in my life! FINALLY! A chicken parm recipe that’s low carb, dairy-free, sugar-free, gluten-free… Okay let’s cook, I’m drooling again.
Serve this with a veggie of choice – zucchini pasta or spaghetti squash are both great choices!
- 1 chicken breast butterflied
- 1/2 cup coconut flour
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 egg beaten
- 1/4 tsp black pepper divided
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder divided
- 1/2 tsp salt divided
- 1/2 tsp italian seasoning mix divided
- 1/4 cup Bella Terra Pasta sauce I like the roasted garlic!
- 1/4 cup Almond Mozzarella Cheese Thinly sliced or shredded
Turn on broiler in the oven and place a cast iron pan on the stove over medium heat. Add the olive oil to the pan and allow to heat up. Take your chicken and butterfly it (hold the breast flat on the cutting board and slice parallel to the cutting board, but not all of the way through, so that you can open the chicken like a book.)
In a bowl, add the egg, whisked, and coat both sides of the chicken in the egg. In a separate bowl, add the coconut flour, and coat both sides of the chicken in the flour. Add the chicken to the hot oil in the cast iron pan. While in the pan, add half of the pepper, garlic powder, salt, and italian seasoning mix to the chicken, giving it a light coat. After cooking the chicken on one side for 7-10 minutes (check to see the bottom is getting golden brown and crispy) flip to cook the other side. Coat with the remaining seasonings.
After letting the chicken cook on the other side for approximately five minutes, the bottom side, should now be getting crispy, too, add the Bella Terra pasta sauce to the top of the chicken, spreading it evenly.
Next, add the thinly sliced layers of the almond cheese to the top of the chicken, and place under the broiler for 2-3 minutes. Since the almond cheese does not expand like regular cheese, be sure it is thin and spread across the chicken. Serve on top of veggie of choice and serve, garnish with fresh basil or parsley.