Com·fort Food (noun): Food that provides consolation or a feeling of well-being, typically any with a high sugar or other carbohydrate content and associated with childhood or home cooking.
Everyone loves comfort food. There is nothing like cheesy chicken parmesan with marinara and carby pasta! BUT I try to avoid the pasta part to be healthy. This is such a predicament because how can anyone have comfort food if they don’t eat pasta?
Luckily, I discovered The Spiralizer, which solved the no carb Comfort Food problem. I recently bought The Spiralizer from William Sonoma ($40). My mom and grandma said that everyone needs a Crockpot in their kitchen, (which is true) but I also think that EVERYONE needs The Spiralizer too. I swear these are the only two big kitchen appliances I will ask you to purchase!!! You will get your monies worth (and I swear I’m not a saleswoman). The Spiralizer takes the zucchini (or any vegetable) and makes long thin noodles that resemble and taste like pasta once cooked. This pasta substitute will make you feel like you are eating carbs when in reality you are just eating veggies. Check out this blog: Inspiralized. It gives great recipes and insight on The Spiralizer.
And so, you can see why I have chosen to add the zucchini pasta recipe to this chicken dish: COMFORT! It pairs wonderfully with the Chicken Parmesan. Of course, the chicken can be served alone, but with the zucchini pasta by its side, comfort and healthy are taken to a whole new level. Also, since I have eliminated the pasta and the breadcrumbs, I feel that it is okay to eat a dish with a bit more cheese!!
Sunday was a busy day, so I wasn’t able to make a Crockpot dish for the week like I normally do. So, on Monday night, I prepared this dish after work. Instead of cooking it overnight, I decided to put The Crockpot with the prepared chicken in the fridge. Tuesday morning, I took the slow cooker out the fridge and turned The Crockpot on for 7 hours. It cooked all day, and once the slow cooker was done, it automatically turned to the warm setting and stayed hot till I got home.
Note: The night before I also, Spiralized the zucchini and put it in Tupperware (that way I didn’t have to make a mess out of the kitchen two days in a row).
Feeling like I needed to share this dish with someone, I invited my dear friend and roommate from college, Hadley over for dinner. I had soooo much food and I needed a taste tester to make sure the recipe was worth sharing.
When I came home that evening, the whole room was filled with a delicious aroma of the cooked chicken. I caught up with Hadley, while I quickly seasoned the zucchini pasta and stuck it in the oven for 12 minutes! Once cooked, I put the chicken over the zucchini, and we licked our plates clean. It was cheesy, savory, and just delicious. I felt like I was back abroad in Firenze. Bon Appétit or should I say, Buon Appetito.
Serving 8+ people
Prep Time: 10mins
Cooking Time: Low for 6-7 hours or High for 3-4 hours
Ingredients for Chicken Parmesan:
4 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts
1 Cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
1 t. Italian Seasoning
1 t. Garlic Salt
1/2 t. Ground Black Pepper
1/2 t. Sea Salt
1/2 t. Onion Powder
1 T. Olive Oil
1 Egg, Beaten
8 oz. Mozzarella Cheese
1 jar (28 oz) Marinara Sauce (I used Cucina Antica Garlic Marinara)
Directions for Chicken Parmesan:
Drizzle the bottom of The Crockpot with 1 Tablespoon of Olive Oil.
In a small bowl, beat 1 Egg.
In a separate medium bowl, mix the grated Parmesan Cheese and the spices (Italian Seasoning, Garlic Salt, Ground Black Pepper, Sea Salt, and Onion Powder).
Dip the four Chicken Breasts in the Egg that has been beaten, and then cover each Chicken Breast with the Parmesan Cheese and spice mixture.
Be sure to coat both sides of the Chicken completely.
Place the Chicken Breasts in The Crockpot.
Take the Mozzarella ball and cut it into thin slices.
Place the slices of Mozzarella on top of the four chicken breasts creating a layer.
Cover the cheese-layered chicken with an entire jar of marinara sauce.
Throw Basil Leaves on top.
Put the lid on The Crockpot! Cook on low for 6-7 hours or high for 3-4 hours.
Serve over zucchini pasta (or regular pasta).
Note: you may add 1/2 Cup plain breadcrumbs to the Parmesan and spice mixture (I chose to leave them out to make the recipe gluten free and a little more healthy).
Serving 8+ people
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 10-15 minutes
Ingredients for Zucchini Pasta:
4 Zucchinis (approximately)
2 Cloves of Garlic, Minced
1 t. Ground Black Pepper
1 t. Sea Salt
1 t. Garlic Salt
2 T. Olive Oil
Directions for Zucchini Pasta:
Heat the oven to 375 degrees.
Spiralize the Zucchini into noodles, and put it on a cookie tray that is covered with foil.
Dab the Zucchini pasta with a paper towel to get the water out of the Zucchini.
Drizzle the Olive Oil over the Zucchini and mix in the minced Garlic.
Add the Ground Black Pepper, Sea Salt, and Garlic Salt.
Mix it all up and put in the oven for 10-15 minutes.
Make sure not to overcook, or the zucchini will get mushy!!