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Is Chicken a Healthy Meat?
There has been an argument over chicken and its benefit in the human diet since the term vegetarian was coined. That was way back in the mid-1800s, when the group British Vegetarian Society decided their eating habits needed a name.
As with any food from a natural source, you have advantages and disadvantages to including it in your diet.
The first advantage people address when discussing the benefits of chicken is the protein content. Most meats are naturally high in protein as they come from living organisms that require many proteins in the body to function optimally.
Increased dietary protein (within safe quantities) has been linked to decreasing catabolism in the body. This is something people should try to achieve as they get older, to avoid their muscular system breaking down.
In addition to the anti-catabolic effect, an increased protein intake will help you feel satiated for longer. This decrease in appetite will lead to a decrease in snacking when you shouldn’t or binge-eating with foods you should avoid.
A hidden benefit of chicken is the healthy amount of selenium it contains. When you cook chicken recipes, it is best to mix it with vegetables containing vitamin E.
Why? Because you’re creating a powerful antioxidant combination. Selenium also helps maintain a healthy thyroid – this is very important in weight management.
Speaking of vitamins, you’ll also find vitamins B6, B12 and D packed into chicken. The kind of vitamin B that really stands out in chicken is B3, otherwise known as niacin.
Niacin is great for skin health, brain function, joint mobility and even improved cholesterol levels!
The most important thing to remember is that the quality of the meat is determined by the quality of the food the animal was fed. Very cheap chicken is often priced in accordance to poor quality environments and poor quality diets.
Chicken and Choices
Most websites will jump immediately into showing you recipes when you first visit their page. We want to take a different approach, on the off-chance that you are not an experienced chef!
Cooking chicken recipes doesn’t have to be daunting and there is no “right” way to do it. There is, however, a safe way to do it.
When you buy any fresh meat, the first thing you should check is the best before date. It may not guarantee anything but having a rough idea of how long you have to cook and eat it, will help you organize your meals for the week.
Plan to eat your chicken within two to three days of purchase, or freeze it immediately.
Store your chicken in your fridge at 4 degrees Celsius, or less. If you plan on freezing the meat, your freezer should be set to -18 degrees Celsius or lower.
Cooking Chicken Recipes Correctly!
If you only absorb one key point from this article, it should be never to eat undercooked chicken. Or raw chicken for that matter!
Chicken recipes that contain lots of sauce can sometimes mask the meat and make it difficult to know whether it is fully cooked. The best way to know if it is cooked thoroughly is to measure the temperature inside the chicken breast or thigh.
- For larger pieces like thighs and breasts, you should cook to an internal temperature of 180 degrees Fahrenheit
- For smaller pieces or chunks of chicken, you should cook to an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
Now that we’ve established some basic rules for safety, let’s get into the fun part!
People often get scared away from cooking whole chicken breasts as it’s easy to end up with a dried hunk of tasteless meat. But that doesn’t have to be you! At least, not anymore.
Neat Little Chicken Trick
The trick is to let a little oil and the juices from the chicken do the work for you.
Our Top 5 Chicken Recipes!
Our most popular chicken recipes can be seen below, and the best part? They’re all healthy!
Oven Baked Chicken Fajitas
This recipe is a personal favorite for a few of the team here at Low Fat Low Carb. When you limit the carbs in the diet, and the processed foods, you’re saying goodbye to the wraps!
That doesn’t mean you can’t treat yourself though! This chicken recipe features zesty ingredients like chili powder, lime juice, paprika and even coriander. Just check out the video or go ahead to the full recipe page for the nutritional information and step-by-step instructions.
Chicken with Brussels Sprouts and Pea Shoots
Most recipes that feature brussels sprouts require an oven or grill. Not this one! Packed with vitamin C, it’s a great and simple dish.
It’s super quick to prepare and you’ll be ready to feed yourself in less than half an hour.
Paleo Chicken Chow Mein
You probably never thought you’d see chow mein chicken recipes on the same site that talks about healthy eating. But your eyes are not deceiving you. This is the tastiest, clean chow mein recipe available!
Chicken, cauliflower, celery and bamboo shoots are what make up the foundation of this meal. The flavor, however, comes from the garlic, green onion, broth and cilantro.
Slow Cooker Mexican Shredded Chicken
Slow cookers and crock pots are often overlooked, especially in the generations coming up. The chicken will be soft and tender but the flavor will be wild, tangy and delicious!
If you want to make your own marinara sauce, check out our own special recipe.
Italian Chicken Skillet
Flavoring the chicken prior to mixing with the vegetables helps to increase the different tastes you’ll experience. Everyone loves flavorful chicken recipes because chicken is usually so bland by itself. Let’s enjoy the chicken we cook!
If you want a meal rich in fiber, vitamin A and vitamin C, this is the winner. Health is the goal – these chicken recipes are the key!