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Chicken Mozzarella Low Carb Pasta

October 19, 2015
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Regardless of whether I am dieting, maintaining, or in a building phase… this girl LOVES to eat!  The more I get to eat, the happier my tummy is (and those around me)!  The best way to accomplish eating more without a ton of extra calories is VOLUME eating as I like to call it!  If given the choice between 1/4 serving OR up to 3X the amount of food, I will almost ALWAYS decide to eat MORE.

Pasta dishes are obviously extremely high in carbs and low in protein.  To give a much better nutritional profile and balance to the dish and capitalize on ‘volume’, one of the best additions or substitutions you can make is zucchini noodles (zoodles/spiralized noodles).

Up until about a year ago, I would usually substitute zucchini noodles for regular pasta entirely (basically to eat 2 pieces of garlic bread instead LOL!  Thank you flexible dieting!!!) or I would just add zucchini noodles to regular pasta which allowed me a bigger dish for similar macros (calories).  However, once I discovered this little gem, my pasta dishes changed forever…

Explore Asian Organic Black Bean Spaghetti

Black_Bean_Pasta_Spaghetti__21197.1401558101.1280.1280

 

Black Bean Pasta-Macros

I mean really.  Look at that nutritional label!  Low fat, low carb, high fiber, and high protein!  Its chewier than regular pasta and not as soggy as cooked zucchini noodles.  It doesn’t taste ANYTHING like beans whatsoever.  Just tastes like a truly al dente pasta!  I would be perfectly happy eating them as is in any pasta type dishes, but combining the black bean pasta with zucchini noodles offers the perfect balance of textures.  Sometimes I even add the three types of noodles together (black bean, zucchini, AND regular spaghetti).

So. Much. Food!!!!  YES YES YES!!!!

A few weeks ago, I was watching Food Network and saw the Pioneer Woman making this dish for ‘chicken mozzarella pasta’.  It looked like a great option for an easy weeknight dinner, but I knew I could make the nutritional balance MUCH better.   And again, for any and all pasta dishes, zucchini noodles and/or black bean pasta are my go to ingredients.  For this particular dish, I actually cooked my chicken a bit different than the original recipe as well.  When you are tracking your macros, it’s extremely important to be as precise as you can when you weigh your food.  Cooking the breasts whole just let me get an accurate ounce count for my protein.  If I were making this dish for anyone else though, cooking diced chicken would be the best option!  The recipe below shows this option!  For shooting and my own eating purposes… whole was the way to go!

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The day I made this, I had EVERY intention of eating this ENTIRE thing all by myself (using only one 4 oz chicken breast though).  However, when I sat down to eat I was SO full half way through.  I ended up eating the other half the following day for lunch.  As you make the dish, you don’t think its going to end up quite so big, but in this instance… my eyes were MUCh bigger than what my stomach can handle (and that says A LOT)!!!  I kept taking bites and I swear the amount f food was barely changing!  Seemed to just go on an on and on!  That’s my kind of dish!!!

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Love love love the black bean pasta.  It’s so hearty and filling!

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This was my first time using fresh mozzarella cheese in a pasta dish… it won’t be my last!  Oh my goodness!!!!  I adore the entire dish, but every bite I got with a chunk of cheese in it?  Gah.  Amazing!!!!  Why hadn’t I added it before???  Great nutritional profile and it’s delicious.  Once added to the dish, the cheese gets so soft.  It just melts in your mouth!

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And basil is a MUST on anything I eat that includes marinara sauce!!!!  The herb just gives it that bit of freshness and ‘pop’!  It’s a very distinct flavor, but still subtle enough that it doesn’t over power anything else.  Basil definitely goes hand in hand with ANY tomato based Italian dish!!!

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Another favorite recipe for my weeknight arsenal!  And because I know someone will ask what marinara sauce I use, I will go ahead and add the only one I ever use… my own!!!  Both recipes can be found below!!!

Chicken Mozzarella Low Carb Pasta

Serves 2
Prep time 5 minutes
Cook time 20 minutes
Total time 25 minutes
Meal type Lunch, Main Dish

Ingredients

  • 2oz Explore Asian Black Bean Pasta
  • 1 Large zucchini (spiralized into noodles)
  • 1 Small finely chopped onion
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic
  • 8oz chicken breasts (cut into 2)
  • 1 cup prepared marinara sauce
  • 4oz fresh part skim mozzarella cheese (cut into 1/2)
  • 2-4 Large basil leaves

Directions

Step 1
Cook black bean pasta according to package instructions, then drain and set aside. Using a spiralizer, make zucchini noodles. If you don't have a spiralizer you can use a vegetable peeler to create zucchini 'ribbons'. Set aside.
Step 2
Heat olive oil or non stick spray in a skillet under medium heat. Lightly season chicken breasts with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Add to skillet and cook until golden brown and cooked through.
Step 3
Add onion and garlic to skillet, sauté 2-3 minutes until softened. Stir in marinara sauce and heat until bubbling. Add black bean pasta and zucchini noodles to sauce and stir until heated through. Carefully stir in mozzarella chunks (you will want these to remain visible, not melted in). Sprinkle with parmesan cheese and basil leaves.

Note

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION (makes 2 servings): calories- 422, fat- 9 grams, carbs- 21 grams/fiber- 9 grams, protein- 54 grams

Basic Marinara

Ingredients

  • 1 medium slice carrot
  • 1 Small onion
  • 1 Large clove garlic
  • 1/4 cup white or red wine
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon rosemary
  • 1/2 teaspoon thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 14 1/2oz can diced tomatoes
  • 28oz can crushed tomatoes

Directions

Step 1
Heat a large sauce pan under medium heat and spray with non stick spray.
Step 2
Roughly chop carrot, onion, and garlic.
Step 3
Saute carrot and onion in pan for 3-5 minutes until slightly softened. Add garlic and stir for another 1-2 minutes.
Step 4
Stir in tomato paste to coat the carrot, onion, and garlic. Add all of the spices.
Step 5
Add the wine and cook for 1-2 minutes until liquid is dissolved.
Step 6
Add in diced and crushed tomatoes. Stir until combined, cover, and let simmer under low heat for 15-20 minutes.
Step 7
Adjust seasonings to taste.

 

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2 Comments

  • Reply
    Sheila B
    October 20, 2015 at 3:05 am

    Have you tried the Mung Bean noodles? They are great as well. I add pesto sauce and chicken similar to this recope….delish!

    • Reply
      corina
      October 20, 2015 at 5:11 pm

      I have them in my cupboard but still haven’t tried them! Soon I will though!!!

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