Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Recipe Corner - Chicken Parmesan Zucchini Boats

Everyone tries to eat healthy.  To avoid fattening foods.  To ban delicious starches from their lives.  But too often we have the idea that eating healthy = eating tasteless food substances.  In my quest for healthy eating, I have often struggled with the battle against the starches (which is especially difficult given my O blood type).  Wheat, potato, corn, etc. are all incredibly harmful to my body, and they make it very difficult to lose weight.  So my quest for recipes that are practically starch free AND tasty began.  I'm a huge Pinterest fan, and I probably spend too much time on there.  BUT they have an incredible array of recipes that are easy to follow and easily adaptable (when necessary) to my dietary restrictions.  One such recipe is the Chicken Parmesan Zucchini Boats that I made for the first time this past Monday.

I adapted the recipe (found here) slightly (since I couldn't find ground chicken at my local Trader Joe's), but the dish came out incredibly tasty.  And you can even make it dairy-free by using dairy-free cheese!

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  

Cook your chicken in a skillet (either ground chicken or chicken tenders/breasts).  I used chicken tenders and then chopped them up once they were done cooking.  

Sprinkle in some salt, pepper, and garlic and cook for a few minutes before mixing in the pasta sauce.  You can use whatever sauce you prefer - experiment!  Try sauce with mushrooms or peppers.  If there's anything I've learned since trying to eat more in line with my blood type, it's to take chances and try new things when cooking.  That's the only way I've been able to basically eating meat and vegetables for dinner every night appetizing and exciting.

In the meantime, halve your zucchini and scrape out the innards (think back to your Halloween pumpkin carving days).  Place your newly crafted zucchini boats in a greased 9x13 pan.  

Once you've finished cooking the chicken mixture, spoon it into your zucchini boats and top with parmesan cheese and mozzarella (as much or as little as you desire.)  Cover the pan with tin foil, slide it into your oven, and cook for 35 minutes.

While waiting for your zucchini boats to finish baking, ponder the following question: which came first?  The chicken or the egg?

When the timer goes off, you will gladly set aside your philosophical musings to taste the delicious dinner you've made instead.  Wait for the boats to cool slightly before serving.  You can top them with more parmesan cheese or freshly diced basil.  Serve and enjoy!

If you try this recipe, share your stories in the comments!  And if you have more recipes like this, share them!  I'm planning to adapt this recipe in many ways, including a tasty steak and peppers mix as well as a fish with peppers and sauce.  If you're looking for more tasty recipes (especially gluten-free ones) and can't wait until my next post, check out my Pinterest boards on gluten-free recipes, meal planning, and meals I've tried (and actually liked).

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