Ready for another Shout-Out post? Here goes... This time I am highlighting Lisa, someone who's blog I have been following for quite a while now. She is a fellow food blogger, mom, fitness and health professional and is just a few steps away from becoming an RD, yay Lisa! I invite you to check out her blog http://smartfoodandfit.com/ and check out this guest post she gave me on cooking chicken- yum! Thanks Lisa :)
How to bake perfect chicken tenderloins to perfection (chicken breasts too)
Chicken is an all around versatile dish that I like to cook for my family. I like to make a little extra chicken for leftovers for lunch or dinner for the next day or two. Making a little extra chicken makes it a bit easier for me to put a meal together in minutes.
During the warmer months I like to grill my chicken and during the cooler months I like to bake them in the oven or cook them on the stove top in a non stick pan. Today, I’ll be showing you a step by step process on how I like to bake chicken tenderloins to perfection you can use this same method to cook boneless skinless chicken breast too.
Step One - Prepare the chicken.
Rinse chicken breast in running cold water, dry off with a paper towel. Trim visible fat, tendons, etc. Discard or save the scrapes in a freezer safe zip-lock bag when you are ready to make homemade broth.
Step Two - Tenderize.
There a variety of ways to tenderize chicken (or any other muscle meats, lamb, steak, fish, etc.). You can tenderize chicken by marinating it in something acidic like lemon juice or mechanically tenderizing it by pounding it, click HERE for more ideas on tenderizing. Since I am using chicken tenderloin which are smaller and thinner than chicken breasts, I’m going to skip this step and keep my chicken simple.
If you are baking thicker cuts of chicken breasts, make diagonal slits into the breast about ¼ inch deep. This will help the marinade penetrate into the chicken to make it nice and juicy.
Step Three – Marinating the chicken.
a. Marinate the Chicken for a particular flavor. As mentioned above in step two, I like to use an acidic ingredient with oil, spices and herbs. I'll put the chicken in a large ceramic bowl, add the marinade, cover with plastic wrap or in my case cover with glass lid. Let it marinade for at least 3o minutes to 6 hours and then it's good to bake.
Some of my favorite marinades:
• Rosemary Balsamic Dijon Marinade
• Tomato Basil Dressing
• Lemon Balsamic Vinaigrette
b. Olive Oil Marinade for Neutral flavor. I like to bake my chicken with a little olive oil, lemon juice, fresh minced garlic (garlic powder works too), black pepper, and salt. This neutral marinade works for me since I like to bake chicken to last me for the next few days to the end of the week to add to my salads or sandwiches.
Step Four - Bake. Bake in a 375° oven for about 20 to 25 minutes, flipping over half way through or until the internal temperature reaches 165° F. Cooking time depends on a number of factors, such as the thickness of chicken breast, the cut of the chicken breast (the smaller the cut, the faster it cooks. Investing in a good meat thermometer is a must to avoid food-borne illnesses.
Creating a tent with tin foil is a good idea to prevent the chicken from drying out. You can place a sheet of foil over the top of baking dish, bake halfway through and then remove the foil and bake for the last 10 minutes or so to get that golden brown color.
TIP: I like to bake my chicken in a glass pyrex baking dish. Feel free to bake chicken on a baking dish lined with tin foil for easy clean up (spray the foil with vegetable spray). In this photo, I baked the chicken half way through and decided to add one packet of TRUE lemon to give it an extra lemony flavor. Then I put them back into the oven to bake for another 8 minutes.
Thursday, September 29, 2011
Thursday, September 22, 2011
There is no better time than now to stock up on fall/winter fruits like apples and pears that are piling up in the produce department- eating them may lower your risk of stroke! Dutch researchers have just released a study that consuming white flesh fruits and veggies, namely apples and pears, even in small amounts could reduce stroke risk as much as nine percent! Check HERE for a quick summary of the research, and you can click HERE to see an abstract of the actual study published in the journal Stroke: Journal of the American Heart Association.
Feast of apples in my Apple Cinnamon Baked Oatmeal, Nutty Fruit and Cheese Bites or Baked Apple recipes and try your pears in my Grilled Pear and Toasted Walnut Salad tossed in Honey Dijon Herbs de Provence Vinaigrette!
Thursday, September 15, 2011
Nutty and neutral, this rice dish is very versatile- add a dash of salt for savory, a drizzle of honey for sweet. Just like my Coconut Cashew Rice recipe, it is a great accompaniment to a spicy dish.
2 cups cooked brown rice ( I used Trader Joe Frozen microwavable, ready in 3 minutes!)
1/3 cup unsweetened almond milk (I used Unsweetened Almond Breeze)
¼ cup slivered almonds
¼ cup dried cranberries
1 teaspoon whipped butter or light margarine
Cook rice according to package directions. Add 1 teaspoon light margarine or whipped butter to a medium sized pot, throw in the nuts and cranberries and toast on low heat for 5-8 minutes. Add the rice and stir in the almond milk to evenly coat. Heat for another few minutes and serve.
Makes 4 servings
Serving size: ½ cup Calories 180 Protein 4 g Carb 31 g Fiber 3 g Sugars 6 g Fat 5 g Saturated fat <1g Sodium 25 mg
Friday, September 9, 2011
Sub zucchini for potatoes in this home fries recipe and you will be pleasantly surprised how flavorful it is, with only a fraction of the carbs and calories!
4 zucchini, peeled and cut into small 1/4 inch cubes (about 3.5 cups)
1 red pepper cut into small 1/4 inch cubes (about 1 cup)
1 green pepper cut into small 1/4 inch cubes (about 1 cup)
½ cup diced white onion
2 teaspoons olive oil
½ teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon chili pepper
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
salt and pepper to taste
Add one teaspoon olive oil along with the peppers and onions into a large skillet, and sauté on medium high heat for 3-5 minutes. Then add another teaspoon of olive oil, the zucchini
and all the spices, plus salt and pepper to taste, and sauté for another 3-5 minutes or until the veggies are lightly browned and slightly tender.
Makes 3.5 cups, 7 servings
Serving size: ½ cup Calories 40 Protein 1 g Carb 5 g Fiber 2 g Sugars 3 g Fat 1.5 g saturated fat 0 g Sodium 5 mg (not including added salt)
Thursday, September 1, 2011
After seeing a pancake post from a fellow healthy food blogger, Lisa, I was inspired to create my own. The result? A delicious, low calorie pancake made from oat flour- great made with blueberries or even without. So light, fluffy and yummy they had my daughter screaming for more! I still need to try Lisa's too, you can check her recipe out HERE.
1 cup oat flour (if you are on a gluten free diet use a brand such as Bob’s Red Mill or you can make your own to by grinding gluten free oats in food processor)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1-2 Tablespoons brown sugar
¼ cup egg whites
1 cup nonfat milk (I used unsweetened almond milk)
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup blueberries (optional)
In a small bowl combine the baking powder, flour and brown sugar together. To a larger bowl add the egg whites, vanilla and milk and whisk together. Then slowly whisk in the flour mixture until a smooth, thin batter is formed. Let stand for a few minutes. Add ¼ cup (for 1 pancake) to a non stick skillet, or one coated with cooking spray and heat on high heat for 1-2 minutes each side. Repeat with ¼ cup mixture 5 more times for a total of six small pancakes.
Makes 6 pancakes
Serving size: 1 pancake Calories 90 Protein 3 g Carb 13 g Fiber 2 g Sugars 6 g Fat 1.5 g Saturated fat 0 g Sodium 140 mg
Without berries Serving size: 1 pancake Calories 80 Protein 3 g Carb 13 g Fiber 2 g Sugars 5 g Fat 1.5 g Saturated fat 0 g Sodium 140 mg