Chicken is one of my favorite meat-based protein sources, due to its relatively low amount of calories and fat compared to protein (1 chicken breast fillet is approximately 140 calories, 2 grams of fat, and 27 grams of protein). Not to mention it’s delectable!
However, something I struggle with is keeping the side dish healthy. I absolutely love mashed potatoes, pasta, and white rice ; and I often feel that the accompaniment reverses the nutritional value of the main course.
This is where “zoodles” come in: also known as zucchini noodles (This dish also has some squash noodles: or should I say soodles?). When I first came across the original recipe, I was intrigued by how delicious it looked, but unsure of how good the zoodles would taste. But with all the spices (especially the fresh garlic: yum!) involved, I had some faith.
And I have to say, the caloric content of zoodles is far more attractive than conventional pasta. I’m currently maintaining a calorie deficit, so I’ve been closely analyzing empty calories. And while I absolutely love spaghetti, fettuccine, penne, you name it, a serving of pasta is 200 calories, and doesn’t offer much nutritionally. An entire zucchini, on the other hand? Just 33 calories. Zucchini also offers potassium, and over half the recommended daily serving of vitamin C.
Of course, we all know that healthy doesn’t always mean tasty. But I have to say, I was blown away by how delicious it was! The zucchini and squash was so hearty and really soaked up the sweetness from the honey and coconut; and contrasted nicely with the spices. I found that the zoodles and soodles were actually far more flavorful than flour noodles: and this is coming from someone that, generally speaking, isn’t that into zucchini or squash, and very much into pasta. The thin slicing of the vegetables rendered them very tender and delicate.
Not only is this recipe ultra fresh and flavorful, since its chicken, vegetables, a plant based oil, and natural herbs, it’s Paleo and Whole 30 diet friendly, as well as gluten-free and low-carb! I myself am not following any of these diets, but I certainly believe eating fresh, whole foods with minimal processing/added sugars/other additives is key for peak physical health. And I will say, I felt much better after eating this compared to a dairy-rich pasta. This meal was much more filling, as well.
Oh… Plus this dish is super easy to make! By that, I mean it’s a one pot dish. Just saute the chicken, garlic, and red pepper, then add the cut zucchini, squash, and herbs. You can’t get much easier than throwing the ingredients into a pan! The only somewhat time intensive part is noodle-ifying the zucchini and squash.
Paleo, Whole 30 Honey Glazed Garlic Chicken and Zoodles (Serves 2)
- 2 tablespoons Roots and All coconut oil
- 2 chicken breasts
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 4 garlic cloves (If you don’t love garlic, I recommend just 2 cloves)
- 1 red bell pepper
- 2 tablespoons raw honey
- 3/4 teaspoon basil
- 3/4 teaspoon thyme
- 1 zucchini
- 1 summer squash
How to Make It:
- Spiralize the zucchini and squash. If you don’t have a spiralizer, slice them vertically into thin layers, and then slice them into thin strips, like so:
They’ll have a fettuccine-type look.
- Cut red bell pepper into thin strips.
- Mince garlic.
- Cut chicken into approximately 1.5 x 1 inch segments.
- Heat nonstick skillet to medium heat and add coconut oil, chicken, garlic, and red bell pepper.
- Once chicken is cooked, add honey, basil, thyme, zucchini, and squash and simmer for approximately 4 minutes.
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