Most American refrigerators have chicken in them right now. Boneless, skinless chicken breast is a healthy and convenient choice for your family dinners. However, there is no need to sacrifice flavor when you are trying to eat a healthful meal plan. With a little creativity and plenty of spices, your chicken can become something you are proud to serve to your loved ones.
When I find myself coming down with a cold, my first instinct is to make chicken noodle soup. This crock pot variation is perfect for days when you want to come home to a flavorful, hot soup. You can change the recipe by adding in your favorite vegetables – chopped bell peppers make a flavorful and unexpected addition. Not only is it low fat, but it is delicious and easy.
Crock pot chicken noodle soup
3/4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (cubed)
2 medium stalk celery, sliced
2 medium carrots, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
1 can (14.5 oz) chicken broth
1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 bay leaf
1 package (10 ounces) frozen peas
1 cup egg noodles
Salt and pepper to taste
1. Spray large skillet with cooking spray and heat over medium.
2. Cook chicken in skillet for approximately 5 minutes, until browned.
3. Add chicken and remaining ingredients (except peas and noodles) in crock pot.
4. Cook on low heat setting for 7 hours or until chicken is cooked through.
5. Add peas and noodles; cook 10 minutes longer (until noodles are done)
6. Remove bay leaf and serve.
Many of my favorite foods may not be healthy, so I adapted the recipes to lower the fat. Chicken Parmesan is a wonderful way to serve chicken, although if the meat is deep fried or coated with a thick layer of cheese it no longer becomes a low fat option. This baked variety is a simple way to prepare your chicken. Thought it only has a small amount of oil and cheese, it is still full of flavor. It goes wonderfully over spaghetti or paired with a salad and garlic bread. By using seasoned Italian bread crumbs and your favorite spaghetti sauce, the dish only takes about ten minutes to prepare so you have more time to spend with your family.
Baked chicken Parmesan
4 boneless chicken breasts
1/2 cup skim milk
Italian seasoned bread crumbs
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 oz mozzarella cheese, or more
1 jar (16 oz) spaghetti sauce
Sprinkle of Parmesan cheese
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
1. Whisk egg and milk together.
2. Dip the chicken breasts in egg mixture and then bread crumbs.
3. Heat olive oil in heavy skillet over medium-high heat.
4. Brown the chicken both sides until golden (3 to 4 minutes on each side).
5. Set chicken in a baking dish and cover with spaghetti sauce.
6. Divide cheese evenly between the chicken breasts.
7. Bake for about 25 to 30 minutes (until cheese is bubbly).
The best part about basic recipes like these is that they are easy to adapt. Make them your own by adding your favorite seasonings, sauces, and sides. Cooking should be a joyful experience, so get your whole family involved!