Cooking light is the new way of enjoying food that is good for you, as well as nutritional, without the added fat and calories. The body requires protein to regulate growth and the healthy development of muscles, organs and all other parts of the body. One of the best sources of protein comes from chicken, and finding healthy ways to cook chicken will ensure that the body is provided with much needed protein in a lean form.
Using healthy ways to cook chicken does not have to be boring as there are lots of ways to add flavor and interest to chicken recipes. Removing the skin and trimming all fat from the chicken before using it in a recipe, already reduces the amount of calories by a significant amount. Half a lean chicken breast contains only 182 calories and 4 grams of fat, of which only 1,1 g is saturated fat.
Below are some healthy ways to cook chicken using five main techniques:
Stir frying is a fast and easy, as well as healthy way to cook lean chicken.
1 Chicken Breast – cut into ½” wide strips
1 Tablespoon Canola Oil
½ Cup Carrots
1 Cup Broccoli florettes
3 Tablespoons low sodium Teriyake Sauce
1 Cup Cooked Brown Rice
Stir fry the chicken strips lightly in the canola oil for two minutes. Add the carrots and broccoli and continue to fry for a further two minutes. Add the Teriyaki sauce and serve over cooked brown rice.
Boiling chicken will dissolve any excess fat and eliminates the need for any additional oil or fat to cook the chicken. The cooked chicken can be added to stir fried dishes after the vegetables have been cooked in a small amount of water for a completely fat free meal.
Boil the chicken for a few minutes until it there is no pink left in the center. Add chicken stock or fragrant herbs to the cooking water to enhance the flavor. When done, the chicken can be used in healthy salads, added to hot or cold soup, or used in delicious sandwich fillings for a quick healthy meal.
Pre-heat a broiler or set the oven on broil. Coat chicken breasts lightly with canola oil and broil for 5 minutes. Turn over for another 5 minutes of cooking. Remove and baste with a marinade of your choice. A healthy way is to use apricot preserve with a dash of hot sauce added. Return to chicken to the broiler for another 2 minutes, or until done.
Grilling chicken on a gas or charcoal grill under direct heat is one of the healthy ways to cook chicken. Lightly coat the chicken with canola oil to prevent it sticking to the grill. Sprinkle spices or herbs on the chicken and grill on both sides until done.
Alternatively a lemon marinade can be used to marinade the chicken before grilling. Serve with a healthy salad.
For the marinade, mix 1/3 cup of lemon juice, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 teaspoon oregano, ½ teaspoon chopped garlic, and pepper to taste.
Remove any excess fat from the cavity of the bird. Rub inside and outside with olive oil and sprinkle with rosemary. Roast in the oven at 400 degrees for 45 minutes. At this stage you can add vegetables to the pan and continue cooking until the vegetables are done. Remove the chicken and vegetables and pour off any fat left in the pan, add a splash of white wine or wine vinegar to the pan juices and serve.
The variations of healthy ways to cook chicken are limited only by your imagination. So be adventurous with your techniques and serve healthy, light chicken dishes on any day of the week.