Chicken Parmigiana Makeover

There are not many people who don’t love a good Chicken in Pyjamas aka Chicken Parmigiana is there? The age-old parmi is an Italian recipe that has most definitely become an Australian pub favourite.

The thing is, the calories in that baby are right up there and can range anywhere between 400 – 800 calories depending on the recipe and who is preparing it. These numbers equate to between a third to half of my total daily calorie or energy intake and I actually like to eat several times a day, not just one meal.

Enter the makeover.

Making over such an iconic dish needs to be healthy but above all needs to taste good. I know this might be sacrilege for the die-hard fans but trust me, this is actually good.

Let’s start with chicken, which is an excellent protein source, an excellent source of vitamins such as niacin and contains important minerals including iron, zinc, phosphorus and magnesium. It is essential that the chicken used in this recipe is moist and juicy just like the regular Chicken Parmigiana. One of the secret ingredients here is cooked and pureed cauliflower combined with a little Parmesan cheese topped off with the classic tomato sauce and grated cheese.

Altering the traditional recipe just slightly means a huge reduction in the fat and calorie content. Believe me, this one tastes great, ticks the nutrition boxes and can be made in moments.

Chicken Parmigiana

Ingredients:
1 chicken breast, sliced through horizontally into two pieces
2 large cauliflower florets, steamed and pureed
1 cup of your favourite pasta sauce
¼ cup grated reduced fat cheddar cheese

Method:
Place chicken breast pieces on a lined oven tray. Cover with the pasta sauce, followed by the pureed cauliflower, and sprinkle with the grated cheese. Cook in a moderate oven for 35 minutes or until cooked through and golden on top.

Click here to watch me make this super easy chicken parmigiana in a quick video.

In my house, this is a crowd favourite. Delicious and healthy – Buon appetito!

Lemon and Coconut Slice – a delicious makeover

There are some recipes that just about everyone loves and I think that the good old Lemon and Coconut Slice is one of them. It is the perfect marriage of buttery biscuit base with a zesty lemon topping scattered with coconut. This delicious slice can often be seen making its entrance at afternoon teas, bakeries, high teas and grandparents abodes.

Of course, this moorish treat is not something one should eat every single day but imagine if there was a healthier alternative that tastes just as delicious but is low in sugar, full of healthy fats and has a secret anti-inflammatory ingredient. I’m not teasing because I have just the thing that ticks both the nutrition and taste boxes. Really.

Lemon and Coconut Slice

200g raw unsalted cashews
100g desiccated coconut
2 tablespoons honey
2 teaspoons turmeric
Juice and rind of one lemon

Place all ingredients into a food processor and whiz together until well combined. Press into a 15 x 20cm lined container and chill overnight. Cut into 12 pieces and serve.

If you would like to see me making this slice in action just click here now.

Turmeric might seem like a strange ingredient to add to a sweet recipe but because it doesn’t have an overpowering flavour, it works. Turmeric is a very distinctively coloured spice that has been around for thousands of years and is right up there in the ancient stakes. Although traditionally used in curries and savoury dishes, in recent times turmeric has found a new place in golden hued lattes, teas, tonics and smoothies in many cafes around the globe. The active ingredient in turmeric is curcumin and it’s this compound that has been linked to many health benefits including:

  • Natural anti-inflammatory properties which can assist with inflammatory related disease
  • Powerful antioxidant
  • Possible breakdown of the amyloid plaques in the brain that contribute to dementia and Alzheimers Disease
  • Some research shows that curcumin may help to prevent some cancers by reducing the size and number of tumours
  • Helps to fight colds and flu’s
  • Assists with digestion by increasing the production of bile
  • Possible decrease in blood sugar levels in diabetics

In it’s natural form, turmeric is a root from the ginger family (and does in fact look very similar to raw ginger) and the roots and bulbs are generally boiled and dried to make the powder. The root can also be grated like ginger and added to food or taken as a supplement in the form of capsules, drops or fluid extract.

The other great thing about this Lemon and Coconut slice is the healthy polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats and the bundle of resistant starch that comes with the cashews. It’s no surprise that as the name would suggest, resistant starch is resistant to digestion and nourishes our gut bacteria, which naturally helps us to maintain our intestinal health. But that topic is another story for another day.

For now, spend the grand total of five minutes that it takes to make this Lemon and Coconut Slice with the added benefits of turmeric and sit back and listen to the ooh’s and aah’s of everyone that samples it.