This dish demonstrates how cooks can make it easier to take a healthy serving.
Credit: Photo: Randy Mayor

The easiest way to start the healthy portioning of food is with its preparation. Dishes that are put together piecemeal, such as fish fillets, chicken breasts, and sandwiches, lend themselves to clear portioning. But because many foods have been supersized, the cook has to step in.

For example, the average chicken breast now weighs in at 8 to 10 ounces, while the recommended serving is just 4 ounces. Unless your prep work takes that into account, a portion of Chicken Parm will be twice the size of the recommended serving—and that's before you've coated the chicken in breadcrumbs. If you bulk up the sauce and cheese proportionally, you're looking at a 600-calorie portion on the plate before adding side dishes.

The fix: Split an 8-ounce chicken breast in half lengthwise. The thinner cuts cook quickly and flatten nicely. In our recipe, we use canola mayo instead of egg wash to lock in moisture and keep the crunchy panko-and-Parm mixture on the chicken. Wire racks help avoid the soggy bottoms that can result from oven-frying. Smoky, low-sodium, oven-roasted tomatoes stand in for jarred sauce, and fresh mozzarella adds a cheesy finish. We keep it under 400 calories, with room for whole grains and crunchy greens.


  • 625 calories per serving
  • 13.5 grams saturated fat
  • 1,418 milligrams sodium


  • 391 calories per serving
  • 5.4 grams saturated fat
  • 594 milligrams sodium