Sunday, March 27, 2011

Eating Chicken Breast Again!

I know what everybody hears about a "bodybuilder's" diet, protein, protein, protein, whey protein and lots of chicken breast. Sound like the potential for a boring menu after awhile. With a little creativity you can vary the menu quite a bit.
Some of my faves:

Chicken tacos
Cut boneless, skinless chicken breast into thin strips, season with your favorite taco seasoning and saute with olive oil until lightly browned. Add tomato sauce, hot sauce and BBQ sauce. Stir to coat all chicken evenly. Simmer on low heat adding water to thin sauce if necessary.
While chicken simmers, prepare toppings: shred lettuce or better yet, spinach, dice tomatoes, peppers, onions etc. as you desire. All veggies: nutrient dense and low calorie. Shred cheeses of your choice but use sparingly as too much cheese quickly adds to calories and fat content of your taco.  Try topping it off with a little Greek yogurt.
Create you masterpiece and enjoy! Tacos area an easy and healthy way to get the family involved in their own healthy meals and accommodate varying taste preferences. Put out all the toppings, hand everybody a shell and let them build their own!
Taco traps: Be careful of sabotaging the healthy taco meal. Consider using Greek yogurt instead of sour cream, or if you must use sour cream keep it to a small 'dolup.' Cheese should also be used sparsely and go with a  low-fat option where you can.

Chicken and Quinoa
Cook quinoa per package instructions. (Add a little chicken base to the boiling water before adding quinoa for a little extra flavor.)
Scoop a serving of cooked quinoa into a bowl. Toss in baked skinless chicken breast cut into strips or small pieces that has been seasoned to your palate. Grab a fork and enjoy.
This is a great meal to prepare ahead. Make a little extra you've got lunch options for the week, put a scoop of cooked quinoa in a bowl with a lid and add chicken or vegetables.
Quinoa is considered a "superfood," providing all 9 essential amino acids....great for building muscles! Also a great source of phytonutrients, antioxidants and fiber.

Hot Chicken Wing Pizza (my favorite!)
Bake skinless chicken breasts, slice into strips and coat strips in chicken wing sauce.
Choose a "crust." Try a whole wheat pita or wrap. Or make homemade whole wheat crust.
Prepare crust, top with tomato sauce and hot sauce mixed for some extra kick (remember the added metabolism boost from the capsacin!)
Next layer...shredded spinach, then shredded cheese (again consider low-fat and watch quantity as this can be a trap). Consider adding a small amount of feta or cottage cheese for a little texture.
Finally top generously with the baked chicken breast strips.
Bake at 400 degrees until cheese is melted and crust lightly browned. Let cool and enjoy!
Pizza traps: the biggest nutrition trap in pizza creating is the cheese. Consider low-fat/part-skim and keep pie coverage sparse as cheese quickly ups the calorie and fat content of the meal.

Headed off to bake me a pizza right now! Which meal are you going to try?

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