It has been a few weeks since I have posted anything, but I am starting this year off with some GREAT HEALTHY, quick & easy chicken recipes to help any foodie get themselves back on track and lose those 5 extra pounds that happened over the holiday.
I thought I would give you three very tasty low fat recipes, one Mexican, one Chinese, and my personal favorite, Italian….I have to say the salsa in the Mexican recipe is also great for a side to any meal…when purchasing your avocados, make sure they are ready to be eaten, the avocado should be soft to the squeeze, but more importantly, break off the stem at the top of the avocado, look inside, if it is green, you are good to go, if it is black, put it back. :o)
Cilantro-Lime Chicken with Avocado Salsa
2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
2 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
4 (6-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup chopped and seeded plum tomato (about 2)
2 tablespoons finely chopped onion
½ can black beans, rinsed and drained
2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
1/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 avocado, peeled and chopped
To prepare salsa, combine tomato and next 6 ingredients in a medium bowl. Add avocado, stir gently to combine. Refrigerate until needed.
Combine chicken, cilantro, lime juice and olive oil in a plastic bag. Toss and marinade 3-5 minutes. Remove chicken, discard marinade. Sprinkle chicken with salt. Heat a grill pan over medium high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add chicken to pan, presentation side first (that’s the shiny side) cook 3-5 minutes on each side or until done, internal temperature of 165º.
Thinly slice chicken on an angle. Serve chicken over bed of salsa, top with additional lemon slices and chopped cilantro if desired.
Do not be intimated with any recipe that calls for a “Wok”, if you do not have one, a large deep non-stick skillet will work just as well…make sure you are using fresh ginger for this recipe, a little trick to “peeling” your ginger is to use a spoon, the outer skin peels over very nicely.
Kung Pao Chicken
2 tablespoons dark sesame oil
1 cup chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 pound skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch pieces
3/4 cup water
3 tablespoons lower-sodium soy sauce
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon thinly sliced fresh ginger
1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons crushed red pepper
1 cup thinly sliced red bell pepper (about 1 large pepper)
1 cup snow peas or chopped fresh broccoli
2 tablespoons chopped unsalted, dry-roasted peanuts
Heat sesame oil in a large skillet, or a large stir fry pan, over medium-high heat. Add onion to pan, sauté 3 minutes or until softened. Add garlic, sauté 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Add chicken, sauté 3 minutes or until chicken begins to brown.
Combine ¾ cup water and the next 5 ingredients, whisk until sugar dissolves. Add water mixture to pan, bring to boil. Add bell peppers and snow peas. Cook for 2 minutes or until vegetables are tender and sauce thickens. Sprinkle with nuts.
I always save the best for last…this is a classic Italian entree and can also be made with veal. Next time you are looking for something “special” to fix your guests, or family, create this wonderful tasty dish, serve with a little orzo pasta on the side, a fresh green salad, and of course, a bottle of fine Chianti…
4 (6 ounce) skinless chicken breasts
2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
¼ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
1/3 cup Italian flavored breadcrumbs
1/3 cup Pankos, Japanese breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
½ cup chicken stock
¼ cup dry white wine
4 teaspoons capers, rinsed
1 tablespoon butter
Thinly pound out chicken breasts using a meat mallet or rolling pin. Brush chicken with juice, sprinkle with salt and pepper. In a cake pan combined breadcrumbs and pankos. Dredge chicken in breadcrumb mixture.
Heat a large non stick sauté pan coated with cooking spray over medium high heat. Add chicken to pan, presentation side first (shiny side) cook 3-5 minutes on each side, or until chicken is done, internal temperature of 165º.
Deglaze pan with wine, add chicken broth and cook 2-3 minutes.
Stir in capers and butter. Thinly slice chicken breasts and serve over orzo, top with sauce.