I get a lot of questions from my clients on how to prep chicken. I am very particular about my chicken – I’m not about sacrificing taste just to be “healthy”. People often think that healthy is synonymous with bland tasteless food.
For example, my husband has a co-worker who’s always trying to lose weight, so he goes on kicks where he’ll bring an entire head of broccoli to work, to eat just plain and raw. I don’t know about you but I wouldn’t last long doing that (not that I’m against eating raw veggies).
The point is – in order to stick with a change it has to be realistically sustainable! You can’t realistically expect yourself to eat heads of raw broccoli day in and day out – sooner or later you’re going to revert back to your old ways – because let’s be honest that just sounds torturous! It’s all about how you prep it!
So here is how I prep my chicken. I like this recipe because the chicken is flavorful yet versatile – you can use it in tacos, salads, wraps, adding any extra seasonings or sauces it really can be used in any flavor dish!
These are the measurements I use for 6 chicken breasts (about 3 pounds).
Liquid Ingredients for the Marinade:
- 1/2 – 3/4 C Worcestershire Sauce (low-sodium)
— I couldn’t find it last time I went to the store so I got the regular one instead.
- 1/4 C Pure Lemon Juice
- 1/8 C Red Wine Vinegar
- Couple Splashes of Liquid Smoke (optional)
Dry Ingredients for the Marinade:
- 1 TBS Black Pepper
- 1 TBS Parsley
- 1 TBS Garlic Powder
- 1 TBS Ground Mustard
- 2 tsp Onion Powder
1. In a large mixing bowl, place an open large ziploc. Add and mix all your dry ingredients in the bag. Set aside.
2. Mix all your liquid ingredients in a small jar and set aside.
3. Trim your chicken breast (if necessary) and place each one into your open ziploc bag, lining your mixing bowl (I do this to avoid messes incase the bag leaks!)
4. Pour liquid ingredients into ziploc bag. Seal the bag and mix thoroughly (you may want to use an additional ziploc bag just to be sure to avoid leaks!)
5. Once you’ve mixed everything thourouly allow mixture to marinate for atleast 30 mins before grilling/baking.
To Bake Chicken:
- Preheat oven to 350 F
- In a small/medium sized pan, on medium heat, sear each side of the chicken for a few mins (this helps seal in the juices, similar to the effect you’d have if you grill the chicken).
- Place chicken in a glass dish – give your chicken a handful of distributed pokes with a fork to ensure even cooking. (only do this step when baking – do not do this if you are grilling your chicken as it will cause it to dry out – letting all the juices seep out!)
- Bake in oven for 30 – 35 mins. I usually check mine around 25-28 mins – to check simply cut into the chicken at the thickest part. The chicken is done once it is no longer pink!Just be cautious not to over cook your chicken – to me theres nothing worse than overcooked dry chicken! Let it sit and cook for a few mins. Personally I like to shred mine and store for the week for easy meal prep!
I make these mainly for my husband who likes to stash em in little ziplocs for easy grab-and-go lunches during the week! He eats em plain but with a little extra effort they can actually be made into a legit meal! I found my hand-held microplane spiral cutter at Bed Bath & Beyond, but I checked Amazon and there are many different kinds – I usually like to opt for ones with triple digit customer reviews & high star ratings 😉 But this does the job and makes the zucchini into “noodles” or zoodles to be more precise (come on that must be a hashtag by now). Try this recipe out for a healthy spin on an old favorite – I like to throw freshly chopped onions in with the sauce too!
1.5 pounds extra lean ground turkey breast
2 egg whites
1/2 cup toasted wheat germ
1/4 cup rolled oats
1 tablespoon whole flaxseeds
1 TBS mrs. Dash all-purpose seasoning salt free
1 to 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
2 tsp garlic powder (salt free)
2 tsp black pepper
Preheat oven to 400°F coat a 2 quart baking dish with cooking spray (I use canola oil spray)
Place all the ingredients in a large bowl and mix together well with a spatula or your hands shape the mixture into your 16 to 20 golf-ball sized meatballs and place them in baking dish.
Bake for 7 minutes. Turn the meatballs, then bake for 8 to 13 minutes longer or until no longer pink (I usually bake for 11 -12 mins longer).
3 meatballs: 211 kcal / 37.5 g protein / 9 g carb / 4.5 g fat
If you’re short on time and want a great low-sodium option pasta sauce I recommend Mario Batali’s Tomato Basil Pasta sauce. It only has 7 ingredients (I’m a fan that I can pronounce all of them) and no preservatives!
San Marsano Imported Italian Plum Tomatoes
Fresh Red Onions
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Inspired by a recipe from Gregg Avedon’s ‘Muscle Chow’
So last week I was experimenting with making a flourless pizza crust. I decided quinoa would make a better base for pizza “dough” (after my failed attempt at cauliflower pizza crust). I was so surprised with the results! It came out perfectly. I’m so glad I wrote down what I was throwing into my mix, and in what proportions. I hope you are just as please with the result. Bon appétit!
Pizza Crust Ingredients:
- 1 C Quinoa
- 1/2 C Black Beans
- 1/4 C Red Kidney Beans
- 1/4 C ground flaxseed
- 1 TBSP Minced Garlic
- 1 TBSP McCormick Italian Seasoning
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- A few sprays of EV olive oil
- Preheat oven to 400 F
- Mash the black beans and red kidney beans to form a paste (I used a fork for this)
- In a large bowl combine the bean paste with the quinoa. Mix well – I used a spatula to press/stir the bean paste so that it was evenly distributed with the quinoa
- Add the ground flaxseed, minced garlic, italian seasoning, and baking powder. Mix well.
- Lightly dust a pizza baking pan with flaxseed (Or whole wheat flour if you’re not gluten free) ** This is to prevent the dough from sticking to the pan while baking
- Spread/hand-press dough onto a pizza baking pan (spread the dough to about 1/4″ thickness)
- Lightly brush on a few spritz’s of EV olive oil (this is optional but will help the dough to crisp up, you don’t need much – mostly around the edges)
- Bake at 400 F for 20 – 25 mins
I used what I had on hand for the toppings but you can do whatever you want!
For this pizza I sautéd onion, mushrooms, green and red bell peppers. I sprinkled one half with gorgonzola (for me) and half with parmesan (for my guy).
Once you’ve added your toppings, bake again at 400 F for 8 – 10 mins.