Healthy Ways To Cook Chicken with Marinades

chicken breast - Healthy Ways To Cook Chicken with Marinades

Did you know the average American eats 55 pounds of chicken per year? That’s about 27 chickens each.

raw chicken breast- chicken breast - Healthy Ways To Cook Chicken with Marinades  According to Whole Foods Market, chicken is rated as a very good source of protein, providing 67.6% of the daily value for protein in 4 ounces. Protein can be important in reducing bone loss in older people.

One scientific study on the subject showed that men and women from 70 to 90 years old who had the highest protein intake lost significantly less bone over a four-year period than those who consumed less protein.

Animal protein, as well as overall protein intake, was shown to be associated with preserving bone mass in our bodies. Chicken is also an excellent source of niacin, the cancer-protective B-vitamin, and is also a very good source of the trace mineral, selenium. Selenium helps with the function of the thyroid hormone metabolism, antioxidant defense systems, and immune function.

Protein is also needed for our bodies to build and repair muscle.

Chicken, if prepared right can ensure a healthy meal that is good for heart health and weight management.

Marinating chicken is one of those ways to prepare it. Marinating can add flavor, and makes the meat more moist and tender without adding a lot of fat.

Chicken that is marinated for a longer period of time is tenderer as the juices of the marinade have become fully absorbed into the chicken. Always remember to throw away the left over marinade that has soaked the chicken to avoid salmonella poisoning.

Use skinless chicken breasts, as these are the lowest in fat and calories. The skin increases fat by about 20%. You can cook with the skin, but, removing it before eating is recommended.

Healthy Cooking Methods for Chicken

Grilling

grilling chicken - Healthy Ways To Cook Chicken with Marinades  Grilling is the best method of cooking chicken; this includes, a BBQ grill or indoors in the oven broiler. A squeeze of lemon, a sprinkling of black pepper and paprika will make your chicken a delicious meal you will enjoy.

Boiling

Most people think that boiling chicken will make it tasteless; on the contrary it will be tender and fall off the bone on your plate. The secret is in the amount of the water used to cook the chicken.

For that reason measure adequate amount of water that will cook the chicken and allow boiling until it is almost absorbed. Add chopped red onions and stir, do the same with tomatoes, bell peppers and some garlic. Sprinkle a bit of turmeric powder and a bit of salt and cover for a minute. Remove and plate with a serving of vegetables and a small portion of whole grain pasta.

Baking

Make time to marinade the chicken overnight so that you can enjoy the baked outcome.

  • Place rosemary, juice of half a lime, a tablespoonful of honey, a tablespoonful of olive oil and a dash of vinegar into a bowl and mix thoroughly
  • Add into your chicken in a Ziploc bag and refrigerate
  • Spray your baking pan with Pam cooking spray and arrange the chicken
  • Bake at minimum of 375F

Add some baby potatoes around the chicken so that they absorb the juices for a complete meal and serve with a salad of steamed vegetables.

Stir Frying

Only a minimum amount of oil is needed in a wok or a cast iron skillet on the pan to prevent the chicken from sticking.

It is necessary to slice it into small pieces so that it cooks through faster.

Diced carrots, bell peppers, garlic, cabbage, sprouts, zucchini, broccoli and many other nutritious vegetables can be added to the stir fry.

steaming chicken - Healthy Ways To Cook Chicken with Marinades  Sprinkle some powdered red pepper on the chicken if you like it hot.

Steaming

Steaming food allows it to retain all its nutrients; therefore steaming your chicken with your veggies will provide a nourishing meal.

When choosing chicken for steaming, make sure that it is young so that it is not tough and rubbery when done.

Great Marinade Ideas

  • Ground mustard, minced garlic, ½ lemon juice, pinch of salt, a sprinkle of black pepper, fresh coriander, a tablespoonful of olive oil and ¼ cup cider vinegar
  • Diced red onions, rosemary, cinnamon, turmeric, one teaspoonful of sunflower oil, 2 teaspoons of honey and juice of one small lime
  • Natural Greek yogurt, low sodium soy sauce, cayenne pepper and fresh thyme
  • Low sodium soy sauce, fresh garlic and onion powder

chicken-breast-meal -Healthy Ways To Cook Chicken with Marinades  Don’t hesitate to experiment with some ideas of your own. There are many great flavorful combinations that can yield a delicious and healthy chicken dish.

Also, there are many fine bottled marinades, or dry packaged seasonings that you add oil, juice, vinegar, or water that are available in stores. Just be sure to buy all natural and no preservatives add. These can be great time saving methods to cook chicken.

But we personally feel it’s a lot more fun to make your own.

 

 

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Garlic Lime Chicken Fajitas

Garlic Lime Chicken Fajitas

Fajita is a Tex-Mex pint sized term for little meat strips. The word fajita did not appear in print until 1971, according to the Oxford English Dictionary. The exact time in which the dish was named fajita is unclear.

Fajita is taken from the Spanish word “Faja” meaning “strip”, “band”, “sash”, or “belt”, and that would make sense, as fajitas are strips of meat.

Fajitas are really a Tex-Mex invention. The ingredients used are some popular ones used in Mexico. But the Mexican did not make the first Fajita.

We did have a blog guest speaker who spoke on this matter about Mexican verse Tex-Mex food on May 5th of this year (2014). The theme was Tastes of Mexico.  Read more what our guest speaker had to say on this matter. – HERE-

Now for our featured recipe: Garlic Lime Chicken Fajitas, and here is what you will need.

Spices for Garlic Lime Chicken Fajitas

1 teaspoon of dried oregano leaves

1 teaspoon of dried ground cumin

1 teaspoon of dried minced garlic

Place all of the spice in a small mixing bowl.

lime juice, olive oil and sea salt for Garlic Lime Chicken Fajitas

To the dry spices add 3 tablespoons of lime juice (fresh juice  from half a lime), 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and 1/2 teaspoon of Himalayan salt or sea salt. I personal use Himalayan salt as it has all of the trace minerals the body needs, it is unlike table salt which has had all other minerals remove. Also when using sea salt or the Himalayan salt you can use less, than you would if using the table salt.

Now that the wet ingredients have been added, mix in well with the dried spices. Set the bowl aside.

one pond of chicken breast for Gralic Lime Chicken Fajitas

 

You will need one pound of chicken breast. It may not seem like much, as one pound is two breasts, but once they have been cut into to strips, you have plenty of meat, for 4 to 6 servings.

using plastic bag to marinade chicken strips

I don’t like using plastic bags or any plastic container to store left overs, as plastic doesn’t breath, and the food spoils faster. I only use plastic freezer bags to freeze vegetables and meats. But I make an exception to marinade meat, as it is in the bag a short time.

Take the chciken strips and place them into the bag and pour in the spice mix, using a spatula to scrape the bowl and get every drop of mix. Seal the bag and put into the refridgerator for 30 minutes or more.sliced sweet peppers and yellow onion for Garlic Lime Chicken Fajitas

Before removing the meat from the refrigerator to cook, slice into strips 6 to 7 sweet peppers using red, orange and yellow colors. Also cut into thin slice one small yellow onion, and set aside.

cooking Garlic Lime chicken Fajitas

 

Heat a large ceramic coated frying pain on medium-high heat. Add the chicken and any marinade, and cook for 5 minutes while stir continuously. Next add the sweet peppers and onion, mis in and continue to stir while cooking for 2 to 3 minutes more or until the vegetables are tender-crisp and the chicken is cooked through (165 degrees internal temperature).

Garlic Lime chicken Fajitas -up close-

Warm some 100% whole wheat flour tortillas and spoon chicken mixture and roll up. Serve with assorted toppings, if desired.

Here we have a side of quinoa with black beans, onion, corn, and chili pepper mixed in. We prepared the quinoa according to packaged instructions, using one cup of quinoa, and one cup of chicken broth and 8 ounces of tomato sauce.

For dessert, check out our favorite coffee cake: Chocolate Mexican Coffee Cake, and to be honest with you, we don’t know if it is a Mexican recipe original, but it sure tastes good!!

 

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Baja Citrus Chicken Bowl

avocado oil

Baja Citrus Chicken Bowl

Here’s a great recipe that will prepare in under 30 minutes. Though you will need to marinate your chicken first for 30 minutes to one hour depending on your intensity for citrus flavors. But once the meat is marinated, as I mention the rest takes under 30 minutes to prepare.

I found a great marinade recipe at She Knows Food & Recipes: Baja Citrus Marinade. The recipe calls for a Mexican beer, but I left that out. The following includes the beer if you wish to prepare the marinade with it.

Baja Citrus Marinade

Place all of the ingredients into a blender and process the mixture until combined. Pour the marinade over the meat of your choice, cover and place in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours prior to cooking ( I marinated the meat  for 1 hour).

You could also opt to replace the orange juice and zest with lime or lemon. I also replaced the canola oil (which is a seed oil and is the cause of inflammation in the body) with avocado oil.
Smoked Turkey, Black Bean, Bell Pepper and Corn Salad

Smoked Turkey, Black Bean, Bell Pepper and Corn Salad

Also this is one of my recipes I call –Salads as a Main Meal– as it contains meat.

The recipe I use is one I have -Smoked Turkey Black Bean Bell Pepper and Corn Salad-. I had some chicken breast I used in place of the turkey and I didn’t use the Mint dressing that goes with the smoked turkey salad, as I thought it would clash with the citrus marinaded flavored meat.

I just mix a little balsamic vinegar and avocado oil, with Himalaya salt (contains all trace minerals found in the salt mines) and black pepper.

The following is what you will need to prepare -Baja Citrus Chicken Bowl-. By the way I say Bowl, because I prepared this recipe for the family dinner, but as I went off  to work, I put mine in a bowl.

Baja Citrus Chicken Bowl

2 pounds (about 3) chicken breast, chopped 1-inch squares

1 can (15.5 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained

1 1/2 cups fresh corn kernels

1 cup cherry orange tomatoes, halved

1 cup diced bell peppers (any colors)

1/2 cup finely chopped red onion

3 cups arugula greens

 

Marinate chopped chicken for 30 minutes to 1 hour. Then cook in heated 350 degree oven for 30 minutes or until chicken is 165 degrees internal meat temperature.

In the bottom  of a large salad bowl add add desired amounts of olive or avocado oil, balsamic vinegar, and salt and pepper to taste. Next add chicken, beans, corn, tomatoes, bell peppers, onion, and mix well with wet ingredients.

Place one to two hand fulls of arugula greens on a large salad plate and top with the meat mixture. Sever and enjoy!!

 

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Mexican Marinated Steak Fajitas

Marinated Steak Fajitas

This flavorful Mexican fajita recipe is sure to become a family favorite. The following recipe will cook up best in a cast iron skillet. The recommended size, is about a 12 inch skillet. Fajitas can be made with beef or chicken, your choice.

To get that wonderful sizzle at home, serve on pre-heated individual cast iron fajita skillets. 

Here is what you will need:

3 tablespoons olive oil, divided

2 pounds skirt steak

2 medium yellow onions, sliced lengthwise (not into rings)

2 green peppers, sliced lengthwise*

2 red peppers, sliced lengthwise*

8 – 10 flour tortillas

*opt for orange and yellow peppers

Marinade:

1 tablespoon fresh lime zest

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 cloves garlic

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon onion powder

¼ cup fresh cilantro

½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon pepper

Combine all marinade ingredients in blender and process until smooth. Pour marinade into shallow glass dish and add meat. Turn meat to make sure it is coated on both sides.

Marinate at room temperature for 1 hour or overnight in the refrigerator. Turn meat occasionally while marinating.

To cook:

Add 1½ tablespoons olive oil to cast iron skillet and heat over medium-high heat for a couple minutes. While pan is heating, remove meat from marinade and drain off excess moisture.

Place steak in hot skillet and cook for 2 or 3 minutes per side or until it reaches the desired level of doneness. Remove steak from skillet and let rest under an aluminum foil tent for 5 to 10 minutes.

While the steak is resting, add the remaining olive oil to the pan, and return heat to medium-high. Add sliced onion and peppers to the pan. Do not stir vegetables until they begin to brown, then stir and allow to brown on remaining sides. Do not overcook – the goal is to get a nice brown sear without burning.

To Serve:

For soft tortillas, place them in a tortilla warmer or wrap in aluminum foil and place in warm oven.

Slice steak into thin slices and serve with warm tortillas, the cooked vegetables and your choice of toppings.

We used red salsa, but you can also use green salsa. Some diced avocado, and lime wedges. Enjoy!!

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