By: Leanne Ely
I love chicken breasts as they are a great starting point for a delicious and healthy meal. They’re a very lean source of protein and an excellent item to serve to your family on a regular basis.
And I promise you that there’s an endless number of ways you can cook chicken breasts so that you don’t end up boring everyone to death with a plain, unappetizing, dried out hunk of poultry!
The following is my list of ten different ways you can serve chicken breasts so that you keep things interesting in the kitchen!
1. Kabobs. I’m not sure why it’s so much fun to eat meat on a stick but it is! Kabobs are simple. Cut your chicken breasts in chunks and marinate them for a few hours in your favorite spices and yogurt or coconut milk. Thread them onto stainless steel skewers (or wooden skewers that have been soaked in water for at least 30 minutes) and grill! Some folks like to put veggies on their chicken kabobs, but I highly recommend doing your meat and veggies separately. Why? Because the veggies get burnt to heck waiting for your meat to cook, that’s why 🙂
2. Stir fry. A staple in my home! What could be easier than chasing some chicken strips and colorful veggies around the pan? There are a million ways to make a stir fry, so I recommend experimenting with sauces and veggie combinations until you nail one that your family loves.
3. Salad. I particularly like making salads with leftover chicken breast on top. Start with a big bowl of greens and top with your favorite veggies. If you’re feeding kids, try letting them top their own salads and spread everything out like a buffet. Try items like avocado slices, diced tomato, purple cabbage, almonds, chicken, bacon, cheese, boiled eggs, red pepper strips—make it colorful and exciting, and let the kids choose their favorite things. Mix up a simple vinaigrette and you have a wonderful meal.
4. Chicken fingers. I haven’t met a kid yet who didn’t get excited about chicken fingers. It’s dead easy to make chicken fingers at home. Even if you’re gluten free, you can enjoy chicken fingers with your little ones. Simply dredge your sliced chicken in coconut milk and then dip in a mixture of almond flour and coconut. Salt and pepper to taste. Spritz with some olive oil and bake. Serve with a little Dijon/honey mixture. Yum!
5. Wrap. Paleo, gluten free and low carb folks can all enjoy a tasty wrap! Simply choose your favorite “wrap” alternative, be it a piece of Boston lettuce or a cabbage leaf, and stuff it with your favorite fixings. You can do Fajitas this way by adding some avocado, salsa and other Mexican-style toppings, or just add some veggies and mayo of your choosing. Or maybe do club sandwich style and use bacon and tomato on there (you have the “L” of your sandwich covered with the lettuce wrap). Who’s getting hungry here?
6. Soup. Soup doesn’t have to be a long, drawn-out affair! You can put a delicious pot of soup on the table in a relatively quick period of time. Take stock of what’s in the refrigerator and use your imagination. Start with a homemade broth (cheaper and easier than the stuff in the carton) and add whatever you like, but always start with onions, carrots and celery for a good starting place.
7. Sauté. If you cook your chicken breasts on the stove in a mixture of butter and olive oil *just* until they’re cooked, you can dress them up in an endless number of ways. Top them with anything you like, from a simple honey mustard glaze to a balsamic reduction. Serve with a big salad, quinoa, mixed steamed veggies, etcetera, etcetera.
8. Healthy popcorn chicken. Much like the chicken fingers mentioned above, but made with cubed chicken rather than sliced! Who doesn’t like popcorn chicken?
9. Pasta. Add cubed chicken to your favorite pasta. Whether it’s classic pasta, a Paleo-friendly zucchini noodle, or a gluten-free pasta of some sort, you can’t go wrong by adding chicken. And bacon—there’s always bacon!
10. BBQ. Chicken breasts and grill marks just go together so well. If you plan on cooking chicken breasts on the BBQ be sure to marinate your meat in a mixture of olive oil, lemon juice or vinegar and spices. Marinating meat in some kind of acid, plus olive oil before grilling helps to reduce the amount of carcinogens absorbed by the meat through the BBQ process.
Chicken is a great cheap protein—take advantage of sales at the grocery store, stock up and then make some great freezer meals for later!