I have a new friend in the blogosphere... Check her out here! She is currently on OptiFast, but is soon to switch to food so she is looking for low to no fat recipes to try! So, in honor of my new amiga here is the Simply Low Fat Series. Each day, a different food category with low fat to no fat recipes. Today: Chicken.
Why do we cook with fat anyway? Fat adds moisture and richness when added to foods, not to mention the flavor it adds... No wonder we love it so much, and think it is a necessity to good food.
In fact, the opposite is true. The beauty of food, especially fruits and veggies, is that nature has already given them great flavor! Small amounts of fat are an essential part of a healthy diet. The problem is found when we begin to overload ourselves with fat. We add fat to the veggies (bacon grease and green beans sound familiar?), then we add fat to the protein (fried chicken anyone?), we add fat to the grain or carbohydrate part of the meal too (butter on your roll?). So you see how easy it is to eat too much fat without even noticing?
With this post, I hope to provide you with a few Chicken recipes that are simple. Chicken really doesn't need a lot of added ingredients to taste good. When cooking something with low to no fat, simplicity is important. Fewer ingredients lets us really taste and enjoy the ingredients we add. The natural flavors aren't masked by the greasy flavor of fat. Plus, fewer ingredients means less things to buy in the grocery store= spending less $$! Think about how much good you will be doing your body and your wallet by sticking to simple recipes!
For the low to no fat effect, we won't use any kind of oil, including Olive Oil (even though it is full of heart healthy fats). Cooking spray should be fat free, so be a label reader!
Low Fat= < 3 grams of fat per serving
Fat Free= < .5 gram of fat per serving
Simply Lemon Pepper Chicken Makes: 2 Chicken Breasts (3-4 oz each) Serving size: 1 chicken breast Servings: 2
Simply Ingredients2 lemons, divided 2 tsp. ground black pepper 2 skinless chicken breasts (3-4 oz each) Fat free cooking spray (so your chicken doesn't stick)
On the grill, stove top or oven (preheated to 400 degrees)1.Squeeze lemon juice of 1 lemon over thawed chicken breasts, sprinkle 1 tsp. ground pepper over the top of each chicken breast. (Add sea salt, lemon pepper seasoning, and garlic if you want more flavor!) 2. Grill or bake for about 8 minutes, flip and repeat step one for the other side of the chicken breasts. 3. Grill or bake for another 8 minutes on that side, or until chicken reaches inside temperature of 165 degrees. * Add more or less lemon juice and pepper to taste (I like a lot of lemon!) Per Serving: Calories: 105, Fat: 1 gram, Protein: 20 grams
Teriyaki Chicken Breast Makes 4, 4 oz. chicken breasts Serving size: one 4 oz. chicken breast Servings: 4
Simply Ingredients16 oz. boneless, skinless, chicken breast, thinly sliced into 4 chicken breasts 9 Tablespoons Teriyaki Sauce (low sodium preferred) 1.25 cups of water 1/4 cup crushed garlic Fat Free cooking spray
1. Marinate chicken breasts in Teriyaki sauce, water, and garlic for about 20 minutes. 2. Spray pan with fat free cooking spray, and cook chicken over medium heat, flipping after 10 minutes. 3. Cook for another 10 minutes or until inside temperature reaches 165 degrees. Per serving: Calories: 171, Fat: 1.5 grams, Protein: 27.7 grams This is really great as a lettuce wrap too! Take 1 leaf of romaine lettuce and wrap about 2-3 Tablespoons of the cooked teriyaki chicken inside. Repeat:) Perfect appetizer or even a meal.
Mayo-less Chicken Salad Makes: 1 serving
Simply Ingredients3 oz. cooked skinless, boneless chicken breast (separated/shredded) 1/4 Cup Fat Free Plain Yogurt 1 tsp. yellow mustard 2 Tablespoons Sweet Pickle Relish; more or less to taste (or Dill Pickle Relish) 1 splash lemon juice
1. Mix together all ingredients well. 2. Serve on a whole wheat pita, whole wheat crackers, whole wheat tortilla, whole wheat bread (you get it--whole wheat), on a bed of lettuce, or wrap it up in lettuce!