Sunday, November 9, 2014

Quinoa Crusted Chicken Parmesan with Cheesy Zucchini Rice

Here is the story of my life... I try to lose some weight, I start working out, I eat healthy for a couple days. And then bam! I make something crazy fat like this delicious chicken parmesan with cheesy zucchini rice. All that work down the drain.

Does this happen to you too? I can't help it... I'm just too much of a foodie!

My excuse this week was that I breaded the chicken parmesan with quinoa. It's no secret that quinoa is one of the healthiest foods on the planet. So, I have to say, it was a pretty good excuse.

I've only made chicken parmesan the traditional way before, breaded with bread crumbs. But today, I tried something new so that I could incorporate more of this amazing food into our lives. I breaded the chicken with quinoa. The result was quite amazing - the combination of a crunchy, flavorful crust with marinara sauce and cheese on top of succulent chicken was like a match made in heaven. The quinoa and italian seasoning really added flavor that is just lacking with breadcrumbs. Once you've tried it with quinoa, there's no going back!

The cheesy zucchini rice is pure comfort food. It was an excellent side dish for this recipe but I'm sure I'll make it again when I'm just craving a delicious, quick meal (hopefully after a long workout).

Good luck in the kitchen!

Quinoa Crusted Chicken Parmesan
(adapted from Damn Delicious
Serves 2-4

3 large or 4 medium chicken breasts
1 cup dry quinoa
1 1/2 cup water or chicken broth 
1 1/2 tablespoon italian seasoning, divided
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 large eggs, beaten
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup marinara sauce
1/4 cup basil leaves, chiffonade
salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly oil a baking sheet or coat with nonstick spray. 

In a large saucepan of 1 1/2 cups water or broth, cook quinoa according to package instructions. If using water, season lightly with salt. Stir in half of the Italian seasoning. 

Pound the chicken out 1/4 - 1/2 inch thickness. Season chicken with salt and pepper, to taste. 

Set up your work station with flour, quinoa, and beaten eggs. Season every step with salt and pepper and the rest of the seasoning. Working in batches, dredge chicken in flour, dip into eggs, then dredge in the quinoa mixture, pressing to coat. 

Place chicken onto the prepared baking sheet. Place into oven and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown. 

Top with cheeses and marinara. Place into oven and bake until cheeses have melted, about 5 more minutes. 

Serve immediately, garnished with basil, if desired.

Cheesy Zucchini Rice

1 cup long-grain white rice
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 medium or 2 small zucchini, grated on a box grater or with a food processor (no need to peel beforehand)
1 cup shredded mexican blend cheese
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
Salt and pepper, to taste
1-2 tablespoons milk, if needed

In a medium saucepan, combine the rice and chicken broth. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce the heat, cover and let the rice simmer for 15-20 minutes until the rice is tender and most of the liquid has been absorbed.

Remove the rice from the heat and stir in the grated zucchini, cheese, and garlic powder. Add salt and pepper to taste (don't skip this step - I needed at least 1/4 teaspoon of salt to boost the flavor). Add a tablespoon or so of milk to adjust the texture if needed. Serve warm.

Mehwish said...

Looks amazing… Imma try this soon inshallah!

Unknown said...

The texture is awesome and the crusted chicken looks great.Pakistani Cooking Recipes are the best. I love all Pakistani Recipes and indian recipes and mostly the appetizers by zarnak sidhwa recipes

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