Spring Chicken Dinners: 6 Fun Twists to Healthy Chicken Recipes

You know that chicken is a healthy choice, but it can get so boring. Try these six simple ways to take it from snoozefest to clean-your-plate good. Please keep in mind the nutritional facts I’ve put at each recipe so you can still maintain your healthy diet.
Grilled-Chicken Salad With Goat Cheese and Plums

1. Grilled-Chicken Salad with Goat Cheese and Plums

  • cal.(kcal)321
  • Fat, total(g)17
  • sat. fat(g)5
  • carb.(g)11
  • fiber(g)2
  • pro.(g)28
  • sodium(mg)638

Serves: 4
Hands-on time: 35 minutes
Total time: 1 hour

INGREDIENTS

  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 1pound  boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 3/4teaspoon  salt
  • 2tablespoons  cider vinegar
  • 1tablespoon  minced shallot
  • 2teaspoons  honey mustard
  • 3tablespoons  extra-virgin olive oil
  • Black pepper
  • 15 ounce package mixed greens (about 8 cups)
  • 2cups  thinly sliced pitted plums
  • 2ounces  goat cheese, crumbled (about 1/2 cup)

DIRECTIONS

1. Preheat a grill or grill pan misted with cooking spray to medium high. Separate chicken tenders from breasts. Place chicken in a large resealable plastic bag; press air out of bag and seal. Pound chicken with the smooth side of a meat mallet or a rolling pin until about 1/2 inch thick. Remove chicken from bag and sprinkle both sides with 1/4 teaspoon salt.

2. Grill chicken until no longer pink in the center, 4 to 5 minutes a side on the grill or 5 to 7 minutes a side in a grill pan. Let rest 3 to 5 minutes before slicing into 1/2-inch-thick strips.

3. Meanwhile, whisk together vinegar, shallot, mustard and remaining salt in a small bowl. Whisk in oil and season with pepper. Arrange mixed greens, plums, goat cheese and chicken on a large platter. Drizzle dressing over salad.

2. Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Grilled-Chicken Salad With Goat Cheese and Plums

  • cal.(kcal)317
  • Fat, total(g)16
  • sat. fat(g)2
  • carb.(g)15
  • fiber(g)2
  • pro.(g)27
  • sodium(mg)442

Makes: 4 servings
Hands-on time: 45 minutes
Total time: 1 hour 40 minutes

INGREDIENTS

  • 1pound  boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 2tablespoons  canola oil
  • 2tablespoons  reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 2tablespoons  maple syrup
  • 2teaspoons  white vinegar
  • 1teaspoon  toasted sesame oil
  • 1teaspoon  peeled, grated ginger
  • 1/2cup  thinly sliced snow peas
  • 1/2cup  shredded carrots
  • 1/2cup  thinly sliced scallions
  • 1/2cup  thinly sliced radishes
  • 1/3cup  roughly chopped unsalted cashews
  • 2tablespoons  basil and/or cilantro leaves
  • 16Boston lettuce leaves

DIRECTIONS

1. Place chicken in a medium sauce-pan and cover completely with cold water. Bring to a simmer over high heat; reduce heat to medium low and cook, turning occasionally, until no longer pink in the center, 15 to 18 minutes. Remove chicken from poaching liquid, let cool and shred.

2. In a large bowl, whisk together canola oil, soy sauce, maple syrup, vinegar, sesame oil and ginger. Stir in chicken and refrigerate, covered, until cold, 40 minutes to 1 hour.

3. Stir snow peas, carrots, scallions, radishes, cashews and herbs into chicken mixture. Divide chicken salad among lettuce leaves.

3. Creamy Chicken Penne

Creamy Chicken Penne

  • cal.(kcal)472
  • Fat, total(g)12
  • sat. fat(g)3
  • carb.(g)54
  • fiber(g)4
  • pro.(g)34
  • sodium(mg)797

Serves: 4
Hands-on time: 40 minutes
Total time: 50 minutes

INGREDIENTS

  • 6ounces  whole-wheat penne
  • 4teaspoons  extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3/4pound  boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1sweet onion, diced
  • 1fennel bulb, cored and diced
  • 1tablespoon  minced garlic
  • 1/2teaspoon  salt
  • 1/4teaspoon  dried thyme leaves
  • 1/4cup  dry sherry
  • 3tablespoons  all-purpose flour
  • 1cup  reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1cup  low-fat milk
  • 4cups  baby spinach
  • 1/2cup  grated Parmesan
  • 1/4cup  chopped fresh chives
  • Black pepper

DIRECTIONS

1. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain thoroughly, return to pot and cover.

2. Meanwhile, heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken and cook, stirring once or twice, until browned, 4 to 6 minutes; set aside.

3. Add remaining oil and the onion, fennel, garlic, salt and thyme to skillet and reduce heat to medium. Cook, stirring often, until vegetables begin to soften, 5 to 7 minutes. Add sherry and cook, stirring often, until evaporated, 1 to 2 minutes. Sprinkle with flour and stir to coat. Add broth and milk, increase heat to medium high and bring to a simmer, stirring constantly. Cook, stirring often, until sauce is thickened, 2 to 3 minutes.

4. Add chicken and any accumulated juices back to skillet and cook, stirring often, until chicken is cooked through, about 3 minutes.

5. Add spinach and cook until wilted, 30 to 90 seconds. Remove from heat and stir in Parmesan and chives. Stir chicken and sauce into pasta; season with black pepper.

4. Curried Chicken Kebabs with Minty Couscous

Curried Chicken Kebabs With Minty Couscous

  • cal.(kcal)441
  • Fat, total(g)7
  • sat. fat(g)2
  • carb.(g)63
  • fiber(g)9
  • pro.(g)35
  • sodium(mg)639

Serves: 4
Hands-on time: 40 minutes
Total time: 3 hours

INGREDIENTS

  • 1garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2cup  plain low-fat yogurt
  • 3tablespoons  peeled minced ginger
  • 2tablespoons  honey
  • 2tablespoons  plus 1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
  • 2tablespoons  curry powder
  • 1teaspoon  kosher salt
  • 1pound  boneless, skinless chicken thighs, fat trimmed, cut into 1-inch chunks
  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 2cups  low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1cup  whole-wheat couscous
  • 1bunch scallions, thinly sliced
  • 3tablespoons  chopped mint
  • 1teaspoon  lime zest
  • Cilantro spring (optional)

DIRECTIONS

1. In a medium bowl, whisk together garlic, yogurt, ginger, honey, 2 tablespoons lime juice, curry powder and salt. Reserve 1/4 cup yogurt mixture for serving.

2. Place chicken in a large reseal- able plastic bag. To marinate, add yogurt mixture, press air out of bag and seal. Turn to coat chicken; refrigerate 2 hours to 1 day.

3. Preheat the broiler, with the rack about 4 inches from heat. Line the bottom of the broiler pan with foil and coat the upper tray with cooking spray. Thread chicken onto 4 skewers and place on prepared pan; discard remaining marinade. Broil kebabs, turning once, until browned and cooked through, 8 to 10 minutes.

4. Meanwhile, bring broth to a boil in a medium saucepan over high heat. Add couscous and scallions; reduce heat and bring to a simmer. Cover, remove from heat and let sit until liquid is absorbed, about 5 minutes. Add mint, lime zest and remaining lime juice and fluff with a fork.

5. Serve couscous with chicken and reserved yogurt mixture and garnish with cilantro if desired.

5. Spicy Chicken and Bok Choy Stir-Fry

Spicy Chicken and Bok Choy Stir-Fry

  • cal.(kcal)489
  • Fat, total(g)15
  • sat. fat(g)2
  • carb.(g)52
  • fiber(g)5
  • pro.(g)34
  • sodium(mg)821

Serves: 4

Hands-on time: 40 minutes

Total time: 40 minutes

INGREDIENTS

  • 1cup  long-grain brown rice
  • 1/4cup  white wine
  • 3tablespoons  no-salt-added tomato paste
  • 3tablespoons  reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 4teaspoons  brown sugar
  • 2teaspoons  cornstarch
  • 1teaspoon  toasted sesame oil
  • 1/2 – 3/4teaspoon  red pepper flakes
  • 1/4teaspoon  salt
  • 4teaspoons  canola oil
  • 1pound  boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1medium red onion, diced
  • 1tablespoon  chopped garlic
  • 1teaspoon  peeled, grated ginger
  • 1/2cup  low-sodium chicken broth
  • 8cups  chopped bok choy
  • 1/4cup  roughly chopped unsalted roasted peanuts

DIRECTIONS

1. Cook rice according to package directions. Meanwhile, whisk together wine, tomato paste, soy sauce, brown sugar, cornstarch, sesame oil, red pepper flakes and salt in a small bowl.

2. Heat a large skillet or wok over high heat. Add 2 teaspoons canola oil and swirl to coat. Add chicken in a single layer and cook, turning once or twice, until mostly browned, 4 to 6 minutes; set aside.

3. Add remaining canola oil, onion, garlic and ginger to skillet. Reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring often, until fragrant and onion begins to brown and soften, 2 to 4 minutes. Increase heat to high and add broth. Bring to a simmer, scraping up any browned bits. Add bok choy, cover and simmer, stirring once or twice, until bright green but still crisp, 2 to 3 minutes.

4. Add sauce, chicken and any accumulated juices to bok choy and continue cooking, stirring often, until chicken is cooked through and sauce is thickened, 3 to 5 minutes more. Sprinkle with peanuts.

6. Chicken Parm Burgers   

   Chicken Parm Burgers

  • Amount Per Serving
  • cal.(kcal)390
  • Fat, total(g)17
  • sat. fat(g)6
  • carb.(g)28
  • fiber(g)3
  • pro.(g)30
  • sodium(mg)692         

Makes: 4 servings
Hands-on time: 25 minutes
Total time: 25 minutes

INGREDIENTS

  • 1pound  ground chicken
  • 1cup  shredded zucchini
  • 1/3cup  panko bread crumbs
  • 1/4cup  grated Parmesan
  • 1teaspoon  Italian seasoning
  • 1/2teaspoon  garlic powder
  • 1/4teaspoon  salt
  • 1/4teaspoon  black pepper
  • 2teaspoons  extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/3cup  marinara sauce
  • 4slices reduced-sodium provolone (about 2 ounces)
  • 3/4cup  baby spinach
  • 4whole-grain hamburger buns, toasted

DIRECTIONS

1. With clean hands, combine chicken, zucchini, bread crumbs, Parmesan, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Form into 4 patties.

2. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add patties and cook until browned on one side, 4 to 6 minutes. Carefully flip. Pour equal amounts marinara over each patty, then top with 1 slice provolone apiece. Cover and continue cooking until patties are cooked through, 4 to 6 minutes more. Top with spinach and serve on buns.

 

In Health and Fitness,

the diamondguru

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