Herbed Chicken & Veggie Parmesan Pasta: Diabetic Friendly and Gluten-Free
As soon as the cold weather rolls around, I start craving heavier comfort foods. So instead of ignoring my cravings, like I used to (which led to disastrous binges), I simply create healthy comfort foods! Who would’ve thunk it? Not me for oh idk about 20 years or so. But hey, better late than never. This meal can be whipped up in under 25 minutes and will definitely leave you with a full happy belly without the carb crash afterwards.
The pasta used in this recipe is chickpea pasta. When we consume a large amount of traditional pasta, the empty carbs cause that carb/sugar crash to happen afterwards. You know, the one where you just wanna take a long nap. Chickpea pasta doesn’t do that! Chickpea pasta provides a ton of protein (25g per serving!) as well as a hefty dose of fiber (13g). So even though chickpea pasta still has carbs, albeit 40% less than traditional pasta, it doesn’t tax your pancreas as much and elicit an insulin surge, which causes the crash. It’s absorbed much slower due to the high protein and fiber content and has a low glycemic index. In fact, my mother is diabetic and she has no problems eating chickpea pasta!
My favorite chickpea pasta is Banza. This will give you an idea just how good it really is… I switched to Banza over two years ago and my family has NO IDEA. Well, the hubs might be let in on my secret after he reads this article, but he won’t have much to say about it being as he’s been duped for two years now. Usually he’ll give me an eye roll or try to convince me (more himself) that he won’t like a new healthy addition to our meal plan. Veggies are particularly a hard sell for his stubborn ass. But with the chickpea pasta, he doesn’t have a leg to stand on since he’s been scarfing the shit down for two years with no complaints, hehe.
Chickpea pasta will continue to be the only pasta I make. It’s a healthier option and just a total no-brainer for me. Oh, and it’s gluten-free too and I have big time problems with gluten. My gut wants no parts of gluten and rebels every time I try to eat it.
In just a few years, Banza has become the number one best-selling pasta at Whole Foods. I’m not the only one who digs it. It has become much more mainstream these days. You now can find it at Walmart, Target, and most of the larger grocery chains. I encourage you to give it a try and see what all the hype is about!
I know, I know… You want the recipe already. Okay, no more talkie. Here it is…
Herbed Chicken & Veggie Parmesan Pasta
Makes 6 servings.
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 large boneless skinless chicken breasts (approx. 1 lb), cut in bite-sized pieces
1 (8 oz) box of Banza pasta OR preferred chickpea pasta
1/2 bag of frozen Brussels sprouts OR use fresh if preferred
3 carrots, sliced diagonally
1 tablespoon water
2 tablespoons *Pasta Herb Spice Blend, divided OR preferred seasonings, dried or fresh
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated OR shredded, plus additional for topping
*The Pasta Herb Spice Blend is a delicious blend of red bell pepper, onion, basil, parsley, oregano, rosemary, sage, garlic, black pepper, celery seed, marjoram, thyme, coriander, and chives.
Heat 1 TBS olive oil in skillet over med-high heat. Cook chicken pieces until no longer pink. Once cooked, add 1 TBS of the Pasta Herb Spice Blend. Mix well and continue to cook for 1-2 minutes. Transfer chicken to bowl or plate and cover with foil to keep warm.
Meanwhile, start a pot of water on stove for chickpea pasta. Cook pasta according to package directions (do NOT overcook!). Once done, drain, return back to pot, and add 1/2 tablespoon olive oil and 1/2 tablespoon Pasta Herb Spice Blend. Mix well.
Cook Brussels sprouts according to microwave directions MINUS 1-2 minutes. Slice Brussels sprouts in half and place cut side down in the skillet you used to cook chicken. Sprinkle with Himalayan salt. Cook over med-high heat until Brussels Sprouts begin to char a little (or a lot if you prefer). Put heat on low.
Place sliced carrots in a microwaveable bowl/dish, add a TBS of water, cover and cook for 3 minutes on high. Stir and check tenderness with fork. If not to your preferred tenderness, recover and cook an additional 1-3 minutes on high OR until done.
Add carrots to skillet with Brussels sprouts. Add 1/2 TBS olive oil and 1/2 TBS Pasta Herb Spice Blend. Mix well. Turn heat to medium and cook Brussels sprouts and carrots for an additional 1-2 minutes. Add to pasta pot and mix well.
6. Add 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese. Mix well. Serve immediately and top with additional Parmesan cheese.
Nutritional Information per serving: 343 Calories, 11g fat, 28.5g total carbs, 8g fiber, 20.5 net carbs, 6g sugar, 36g protein
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