Rocco DiSpirito’s Chicken with Glazed Eggplant and Cauliflower Rice
Olive oil cooking spray
3 tablespoons grated cauliflower (grated on the large side of a box grater)
Kosher salt and red pepper flakes
1 (4-ounce) boneless skinless chicken thigh (or breast if you insist), scored crosswise ¼ inch deep
1½ cups eggplant, cut into 2-inch pieces
1 large clove garlic, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon chopped peeled fresh ginger
1 tablespoon gluten-free reduced-sodium tamari (such as San-J)
½ tablespoon balsamic vinegar
Skinless chicken has become sort of like cottage cheese, the ubiquitous base upon which many weight-loss diets are built. But it doesn’t register well on the ol’ excitement meter. I mean, how many times have you found yourself craving a naked, unseasoned piece of chicken? Not me—I’d throw up the white flag and order pizza if the road to lasting weight loss looked like an endless parade of plain chicken breasts. Take the advice of a guy who has gobbled up his fair share of chicken: Don’t abandon it altogether, but do what you can to break up the monotony. Especially during dieting, it’s important not to get lazy in your chicken prep, and it’s just as important to add some perk to your poultry. That’s why I prefer to use chicken thighs over breasts, like I do in this recipe. Thighs are meatier and more flavorful, but still low in calories.
Yield 1 main course Prep time approximately 15 minutes Processing time approximately 15 minutes Calorie Burn 157 Calories 190 Net-Calories 33
Spray a large nonstick pan with cooking spray and place it over medium-high heat. Add the grated cauliflower and cook, stirring, until it is softened and just tender, about 1 minute. Season with salt and red pepper flakes, spoon onto a plate, and set aside.
Wipe the pan dry then spray again with cooking spray and place it over medium-high heat. Season the chicken with salt and cook until browned and cooked through, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a plate and set aside. Add the eggplant to the pan and cook until browned and soft, about 5 minutes, then move the eggplant to the side of the pan, add the garlic, and cook until browned, about 30 seconds. Add the ginger and cook until aromatic, about 15 seconds more.
Add the tamari and vinegar to the pan along with a splash of water and return the chicken to the pan. Cook until the chicken is cooked through and the sauce sticks to everything, about 30 seconds. Place the chicken over the cauliflower rice and spoon the eggplant alongside. Serve with red pepper flakes.
• Serve with a wedge of fresh lime and ¼ cup of fresh cilantro leaves for a burst of freshness for an additional 4 calories.
• If you like a sweeter sauce, try adding ½ tablespoon raw agave nectar for an additional 30 calories.