OA Member Recipe: Yummy Good-4-U Spinach Parmigiano Chicken Rollatini


March 18, 2024

OA Member Recipe: Yummy Good-4-U Spinach Parmigiano Chicken Rollatini

My family is from Italy and came over to the US on a boat back in the late 1940’s. Although they are all exceedingly slim and healthy (most of them living to ripe, old ages), I was the exception in that I struggled mightily with my weight from nearly the moment I was born. While I was a very skinny newborn (my Mom simply refused to gain any more weight that was absolutely necessary given she was NOT interested in losing her slim figure), I would soon become an obese toddler because of my love of certain foods!

Somehow (likely due to all my running, playing, and working on our farm), I did come to grow into a tall but very slender Kindergartener. Sadly, by age 9, I had suffered a violent trauma that would change so much of how I viewed myself and the world around me. Consequently, my early fixation with certain “feel good” foods turned into serious compulsive eating and excessive weight gain.

My Mom was not one to allow me to remain “fat,” so I was quickly forced to endure one of my first of many diets, where restricting was the operative word! I don’t know about you, but “staying restricted,” or on a diet, was NOT to my liking. I could manage it for various lengthy (only later to be shortened) periods of time. But eventually, the damn would burst, and I’d go back to my old ways of eating everything I could get my hands on that offered a momentary escape from my negative feelings and harsh circumstances that were my eating triggers.

Naturally, this led to weight regain followed by more of my Mom’s insistence upon dieting and restricting my food. I gradually became a compulsive dieter and restrictor, but that was inevitably followed by more binge eating, and obsessive hiding of my favorite foods.

Regrettably, I was NEVER able to remain at any low weight for very long. All the dieting and restricting simply failed (once my sorely worn-out willpower broke, as it always will) and there was nothing I could do to stop the regain or hide the excess weight that packed on my previously slender, but ever-developing child growing into an adult body.

I struggled mightily with compulsive eating and food cravings that blossomed into full-on food addictions and out of control eating disorders. This continued well into adulthood.

Ever notice that “diet” begins with the word “die?” I certainly felt like I was dying – and, at times, thought it might be better if I did – given I was forever embarking on crazy, unhealthy (yet trendy) diets or excessive exercise plans that never really worked for more than the briefest of periods. Consequently, I yo-yo’d up and down in my weight and with my lifestyle choices. I ranged from being fanatically sports-minded and uber active, to sitting like a slug on the sofa stuffing my face with sugary, doughy, and heavily processed junk that was more Frankenfood than actual food  – and likely very little of it fit for a healthy body or mind!

Once I found, and worked, all Twelve Steps and came to enjoy the multitude of blessings that come with the psychic change, or spiritual awakening, I realized I needed to change the way I cooked and thought about food to support my newfound OA life. With the aid of a sponsor and my own personal Higher Power, I developed my own plan of eating. I then came to know what were my redlight, greenlight, and yellowlight foods. This meant I knew what to do about how I might alter many recipes to better suit my new plan of eating and OA way of life.

Below is one of my recipes that has been met with applause by the normies who have come to eat at my home. I hope you’ll enjoy this clean recipe as much as I do and that you’ll find various ways to better suit it to your own OA plan of eating!

May this aid you in embracing your gift of abstinence and enjoying a healthy life, one day at at time!


  • 6 (4-6 oz.) chicken breasts
  • 1 bunch fresh spinach or 1 bag of baby spinach
  • 8 oz. grated Reggiano Parmigiano cheese
  • 4 oz. grated Monterey jack cheese
  • ½ cup sundried tomatoes
  • 3 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 2 shallots (sliced) or sweet onion
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Himalayan Salt & black pepper to taste
  • Handful of sweet Italian basil leaves for garnish


  1. Pre-heat oven to 375°F. Finely chop sundried tomatoes, garlic, and shallots and mix with the Reggiano Parmigiano cheese and extra virgin olive oil, then set aside.
  2. Gently pound each chicken breast to ¼ inch thickness and sprinkle with Himalayan salt and black pepper.
  3. Place a layer of spinach leaves, then a layer of the cheese mixture, over 2/3rds of each breast.
  4. Take each filled chicken breast and roll it into a cylinder. Place these rolls on a lightly greased (spray with ghee or olive oil) baking sheet. Cook at 375°F for 1 hour and 10 minutes, or until thermometer registers 170°F to ensure that the chicken is cooked through.
  5. Garnish with fresh sweet Italian basil leaves and serve with either a fresh green salad or cooked vegetables of your choice for a complete meal appropriate for lunch or dinner. This makes a very nice meal for your family or any guests.