Healthy Italian


Hi everyone! I hope you all are doing well!

So the title isn’t a mistake. There is such a thing as healthy Italian food. Ever since I started my new low-calorie/low-carb diet, I’ve missed pasta a lot. I’m also really nervous to eat a lot of pasta because I’m afraid of portion control. While I think I’ve, for the most part, learned how to eat the right amount, and also not eat things like cream sauce and stuff, I’m afraid I’ll still eat too much. It’s a terrible, horrible feeling that I’m hoping one day passes, but still. It is a bit of a struggle and it’s more mental than anything, but I’ll get better about it. I’m sure of it.

In light of thinking healthy Italian, REB and I made tofu parmesan on Saturday night. I never was a big fan of chicken parmesan when I ate meat, but I wasn’t a fan of deep fried things. I’m still not big on eggplant parmesan either. However, I found this recipe on Eating Well for tofu parm and decided we should give it a shot! I’m glad we did!

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It was not only delicious, but it was under 300 calories per serving. Perfection. I wish there was more protein in it, but you can always add some extra sides to make that happen. We did change a few things for our tastes, but it worked great.

Recipe adapted from Eating Well

Tofu Parmesan

•1 14-oz. block firm tofu, cut lengthwise into four “steaks”
•1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
•1/4 teaspoon salt
•1/4 cup Panko breadcrumbs
•1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
•2 teaspoon olive oil
•1/2 pound (one 8oz.-carton) baby Bella mushrooms, sliced
•1/2 cup onion (half a large onion), chopped
•1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
•1/2 cup total low-sodium marinara sauce
•1/2 cup part-skim mozzarella cheese, grated (can also use vegan cheese if you prefer)
•5 basil leaves, chiffonade


On a plate, combine the Panko and Italian seasoning. Cut the tofu lengthwise into four “steaks” or pieces. Lightly season each side with garlic powder and salt (we didn’t use the full 1/4 teaspoon for each) and then dredge each side in the breadcrumb/Italian seasoning mix.

In a large deep skillet heat the olive oil and then add the onions and let them get translucent and slightly brown, about 5 minutes. Next add the mushrooms and let them sweat their liquid out and turn slightly brown, about 5-10 minutes.

Transfer the onions and mushrooms to a bowl. In the same skillet, which you may need to add another teaspoon of olive oil, add the tofu steaks and cook until it’s golden brown (about 3 minutes per side).

Turn the tofu, sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, spoon the mushroom/onion mixture on each steak, top with a tablespoon or so of marinara sauce, then the mozzarella cheese. Cover the skillet and let the tofu continue to cook until the cheese is melted, about 2-3 minutes.

The last bit is just sprinkling some basil on top of each and serving it up! I’m glad we decided to use Panko instead of breadcrumbs. It made the tofu a little crispier. Note to self: find more recipes to use Panko! Like I said, this recipe is under 300 calories per serving and all delicious! Enjoy!

Have you had struggles with weight?
What are things you miss eating and have you found alternatives?

2 thoughts on “Healthy Italian

  1. sarah @ sarah learns

    this looks delicious! i love eating tofu, but we don’t do it often because my husband doesn’t love it. this might have to be one of those meals where i make a chicken version for him & a tofu version for myself. :)

    1. Aparna B. Post author

      And I think that would still be way healthier than deep frying in oil! I’m sure it would also work with seitan or tempeh, but I haven’t worked with those enough :\


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