Sunday, October 27, 2013

Get Rid of Boring Chicken!

How are you doing with the ab challenge? Are your abs burning yet? If not, give it a few more days! If you haven't started it's not too late! If you've started and then stopped, just start back up where you left off. You can do this! It's only 30 days! 
Today I want to write a little bit about chicken. For those of you who have lost weight in the past, or are losing weight right now, you know that chicken is a very healthy source of lean protein! Chicken will keep you feeling full and it's low in calories and saturated fat. When I first started my lifestyle change I ate a chicken breast every day for lunch and dinner. At about day 6 I never wanted to see another chicken breast again! Then I started experimenting with healthy chicken recipes. Here are 4 ways you can dress up a chicken breast without compromising nutritional value or taste. 

1. There are tons of recipes for healthy sauces you can put on a chicken breast to give it some flavor. Sometimes I use soy sauce and ginger or cilantro and lime. Here is our favorite chicken sauce recipe:

Avocado cream sauce
  • One avocado
  • One clove of garlic
  • Zest of one lime
  • Cilantro to taste 
  • One teaspoon of salt 
  • Two tablespoons of plain Greek yogurt. 

First I cook some chicken with cumin, cayenne, and red pepper flakes. Then I add all of the above ingredients in a food processor until blended. Top the cooked chicken with the avocado sauce. It's perfect because the cool avocado sauce really balances out the spicy chicken. This is a family favorite! 

2. There are a million different chicken marinades you can try so there is bound to be a few you will like! Just marinate the chicken overnight and cook in a pan or on your grill. Here are two recipes we use all the time! 

Grilled Lime Chicken Marinade 

  • 1/4 C. lime juice
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/8 tsp. pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. dill weed
  • 1/2 tsp. minced onion

Healthier Buffalo Chicken Marinade

  • 3/4 cup hot sauce 
  • 1/4 cup margarine, melted 
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Light ranch dressing (optional) 

Before you marinate the chicken, reserve 1/4 of the marinade. Marinate the chicken for 20 minutes and then pan fry with cooking spray. Top chicken with remaining marinade and dip in light ranch if desired. 

3. Another way I dress up chicken breasts is herbs and spices. There are so many different combinations you can use and they make such a huge difference! Here are some ideas of spices and herbs that go very well together:

  • Cayenne pepper, cumin and red pepper flakes. 
  • Oregano, basil, garlic powder and seasoning salt. 
  • Garlic, chives, lemon, and black pepper (yummy!). 
  • Rosemary, thyme, sage and garlic. 
  • Paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, and cayenne. 
  • Garlic, parsley, pepper, and lemon. 

4. Turn your cooked chicken breasts into a healthy new dish. If you cook chicken with garlic, onions, cumin, oregano, cilantro, black pepper, and lime you can add bell peppers and rice for a light chicken fajita. Here is another lighter chicken dish we make: 

Mexican Chicken
  • 1 lb of chicken cooked and shredded (feel free to use some of your new seasoning ideas!) 
  • 1 cup salsa
  • 1/2 pack of taco seasoning
  • 1 cup of plain Greek yogurt 
  • 1/2 can of drained black beans
  • 1 cup of reduced fat shredded cheese (optional)
  • 2 green onions, chopped. 
Just mix all of the ingredients in a large skillet on med/low for about 20 minutes and serve over rice. Sometimes it gets thick so I will just add a little bit of water. 

So there you have it! Four new ways you can dress up your chicken. There are tons of combinations out there so experiment until you find what you like! I never use fresh herbs because they just end up going bad. In the spice isle you can get dried herbs which seem to last a lifetime. In the salad isle you can also buy cilantro, garlic, and ginger in a tube. You get the taste of fresh herbs but it can last a month or so in your refrigerator. Do you have a healthy chicken recipe that you wouldn't mind sharing? E-mail me at or you can just leave it in the comments section! 

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