For a diet to be maintained, you can’t feel deprived. That is the beauty of the Whole 30 is that you don’t have to feel like you are starving yourself! I wanted my friends to feel like they were being decadent during their first week of this Whole 30, so that they would stay excited and stick with it. To do this, I wanted to make sure I had this week FILLED with comfort food. We had a batch of chili, “spaghetti and meatballs”, “french fries”, “chips and guac”, and… “Chicken Parm”! I mean, who DOESN’T love chicken parm. It is delicious. But how could it ever be made healthy?
I’ve already shared numerous times my love of pork panko. They are the perfect paleo bread crumb substitute – so I knew I could get the breaded cutlet replicated. Marinara sauce is also pretty easily converted to paleo- tomato, garlic, onions and basil are all you really need. No, the difficult part to replicate would be the cheese. My favorite way to get a Parmesan flavor is using nutritional yeast – so I decided to try making the breading out of a combination of the pork rinds and nutritional yeast. While the texture of the cheese wouldn’t be there, the flavor would be.
I have to admit – this was pretty unreal. The marinara with fresh basil was fantastic, and the chicken was amazing. You really don’t even notice the lack of the cheese texture because all of the flavor is there. We served this over some cauliflower rice, which was the perfect compliment. The cauliflower just absorbed all the good tastes, and really helped fill us up. This was a huge win – and was just as good as leftovers. I am very excited to start mixing this into our dinner rotations more often!
A no carb twist on an Italian Classic.
- 3lbs chicken breast
- 3 cups crushed pork rinds (or pork panko)
- ½ cup nutritional yeast
- 5 eggs (whisked together)
- 24 oz can Crushed Tomatoes (no preservatives, sodium or guck in it)
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1/2 cup fresh chopped basil
- 2 cloves garlic (minced)
- 1 yellow onion (chopped)
- ¼ tsp red pepper flakes
- salt & pepper to taste
- bacon fat, lard or EVOO for cooking
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Pound chicken breasts so that they are even and thin.
- Combine nutritional yeast and pork rinds in one bowl. Set up an assembly line to coat the chicken. Coat chicken first in egg mixture, then in the pork rind/ nutritional yeast mixture. Make sure to coat the chicken well.
- Lay the "breaded" chicken on an oven safe wire rack on top of a baking sheet. Bake for 25 minutes, or until the chicken is done.
- In saucepan on medium heat, sate onion in about 1.5 tablespoons of bacon fat until translucent (5 minutes).
- Add garlic and continue to sauté for 1 minute.
- Add in the tomatoes, herbs, salt and pepper.
Serve on top of cauliflower rice, and topped with marinara sauce.