Everyone knows that eating a healthy diet that is rich in proteins is exceptionally important. Moreover, it also increases the post-meal calorie burn by as much as 35% making such a diet a key weight loss weapon. While there are plenty of sources of protein out there that range from vegetables to meat, chicken is one of the most popular protein sources owing to its affordability, ease of preparation and lower fat content.
Here are 5 quick and healthy chicken recipes that can help in weight loss:
1. Spicy Baked Buffalo Wings
Nothing beats the classic chicken recipes in Sri Lanka and also worldwide. One such dish that has always remained a favourite is Buffalo Wings and this baked version is the healthier alternative as opposed to the fried Buffalo Wings.
● 2 lb chicken wings
● 1 tsp salt
● 1 tsp pepper
● 1 tsp chili powder
● 2 tbsp butter
● 2 tbsp hot sauce
● Juice of one lemon
● 1 cup yogurt
● 2 tbsp crumbled blue cheese
Preheat your oven to 450°F. Rub the chicken with salt, pepper and chili powder and place it on a baking sheet. Roast it until the meat has been cooked through and the skin is slightly blistered. This will take about 15 minutes.
In a nonstick pan, melt the butter and add the hot sauce and half of the lemon juice to it. Remove the chicken wings from the oven and place it on the hot pan, tossing it to make sure that the sauce coats the wings thoroughly.
In a bowl, mix the yogurt along with the blue cheese and the remaining lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper and serve this dipping as a side with the chicken wings.
2. Crispy Stuffed Chicken
Make this ultimate comfort chicken meal at home that is filled with pine nuts, vegetables and nutrition for a healthy twist!
● 2 tbsp olive oil
● 4 boneless and skinless chicken breasts, pounded to ½ inch in thickness
● 2 cups of spinach
● 2 oz sliced prosciutto
● ¼ cup roasted red peppers
● 2 tbsp pine nuts
● Salt and pepper to taste
● ½ cup mozzarella cheese
● 2 eggs, beaten
● 2 cups of bread crumbs
Heat the olive oil in a pan over medium heat. To this, add the strips of prosciutto and cook until lightly crisp. Then, add in the peppers, pine nuts and spinach, cooking until the spinach has wilted. Season with salt and pepper and set aside. Place the chicken breasts on a board and season with salt and pepper. Next, divide the spinach mixture and the cheese among the chicken breasts and place it on top of the breasts. Wrap the end of the chicken around the mixture and roll is tightly, like you would when making a burrito and secure the ends with toothpicks.
Dredge the chicken breasts into a bowl containing the lightly beaten eggs and then cover it with the bread crumbs, making sure it’s fully coated. Then, add a little more oil into the pan and heat it over medium heat. Add the chicken and cook it on all sides until the crust becomes a beautiful golden brown. This will take about 10 minutes.
3. Grilled Chicken Sandwich with Chimichurri Sauce
Packed with tons of flavour, this is one chicken sandwich that you will love! Plus, this dish has only 310 calories, making it a great breakfast option too.
● 4 boneless and skinless chicken thighs
● 2 cups of mixed baby greens
● ½ red onion, sliced
● 4 whole-wheat sesame buns
● ½ cup roasted red peppers
● ½ cup chimichurri
Season the chicken breast with salt and pepper and sear it for about 4 minutes on each side, until it is cooked through. Then, slice the whole-wheat bun into two, place the mixed green at the bottom, followed by the chicken thigh over it. Pile the peppers and onions over it. And for that final oomph, spoon the chimichurri sauce on top and place the other half of the bun.
4. Creamy Mushroom Chicken
Chicken with mushrooms is a match made in heaven and this dish, with its rich sauce and velvety texture, makes healthy eating absolutely delicious!
● 4 boneless chicken breasts
● 1 tbsp of olive oil
● 1 shallot, minced
● 3 cloves of garlic, minced
● Salt and pepper to taste
● 8 oz cremini mushrooms, sliced
● ¼ cup of dried mushrooms soaked in ½ cup of warm water for 15 minutes
● ¼ cup half-and-half
● ¼ cup Greek yogurt
Season the chicken with salt and pepper and allow it to sear in a hot pan heated with olive oil until a crust develops on the bottom side. Flip the chicken and allow it to cook for a few more minutes until it’s cooked on all sides. Remove the chicken and set aside. To the pan, add a little olive oil. To this, add the minced shallots, garlic and cremini mushrooms and saute for a few minutes. Season it with salt and pepper. Then, add the dried mushrooms along with the soaking liquid, chicken stock and half-and-half. Turn the heat to low and return the chicken to the pan. Allow it to cook for about 10 minutes or until the liquid has reduced by about half and the chicken has been cooked through. Finally, add the yogurt and stir to create a smooth and uniform sauce.
5. Chicken Fajitas
Does sizzling chicken strewn with fresh onions and peppers, loaded with vegetables and protein seems like your healthy meal? Then this quick chicken fajitas recipe is healthy enough for you to eat more than twice a week!
● 1 lb boneless chicken breasts
● ½ cup orange juice
● 2 tbsp chopped pepper
● Juice of one lime
● 1 tsp of ground cumin
● Salt and pepper as needed
● 1 tbsp canola oil
● 1 red bell pepper and 1 green bell pepper, sliced
● 2 onions, sliced
● 8 small tortillas, warmed
Combine the orange juice, lime juice, chipotle, cumin, salt and pepper into a sealable plastic bag. Add the chicken to this and marinate it for about one hour in the fridge. Grill the chicken for about 4 minutes on each side on a preheated grill until it has lightly charred. Allow it to rest for a few minutes before slicing it. At the same time, heat another pan and cook the onions and bell peppers until it has charred and caramelized. Season with salt and pepper. Serve with warm tortillas, salsa, guacamole and cheese for a healthy and wholesome meal!