3 Awesome Heart Healthy Chicken Recipes

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When it comes to keeping your heart healthy, it pays to watch your diet and avoid processed foods and trans-fats. But food must feed the soul too. That’s why we call good food a “hearty meal”. To feed the heart and the soul and keep them healthy and happy, why not pick that Universal favorite, chicken? It’s protein that’s filled with wholesome goodness, especially when you cook it with care. That’s why we’ve put together some outstanding Heart Healthy Chicken Recipes, just for you.

Chicken is one of the best low-fat protein choices. In fact, a Harvard School of Public Health study published in the prestigious Circulation journal showed that eating one serving of poultry as opposed to one serving of red meat can reduce risk of cardiovascular disease by 19%!

Besides being good for the heart, chicken is also rich in calcium and phosphorus (for improved bone health), as well as selenium (a rich antioxidant, that can help reduce inflammation everywhere in the body)

Chicken, when prepared with care, can make for a healthy and delicious meal (instead of the trans-fat-loaded bomb that we call Fried Chicken!) Here’s how you can turn the world’s favorite protein into a health champ.

Tips To Making Every Heart Healthy Chicken Recipe

  • Choose organic, grass-fed chicken.
  • You can eat chicken with skin on, as long as you cook it in the right oils and heart-healthy fats. Avoid deep frying chicken skin for crackling.
  • Saturated Fats are good for you. Pick coconut oil, olive oil, ghee, or grass fed butter to cook your chicken.
  • Best ways to cook your chicken are broiling, poaching, roasting and grilling.
  • If you are worried about your heart health, remove all trans-fats from your diet.
  • Cut out all processed chicken products like sausages, frankfurters and ham from your diet. If it comes pre-packaged, it contains additives and preservatives you want to avoid. Same holds true for all canned foods.
  • Avoid cooking with high sodium sauces for heart health.

Here are our favorite heart-healthy chicken recipes to share with your loved ones Valentine’s Day!

1. Mediterranean Chicken Skewers

Mediterranean Chicken Skewers Recipe

These Mediterranean Chicken Skewers are easy to assemble for a quick lunch or dinner, and can be cooked on an indoor grill or charcoal barbeque. This recipe makes for a wonderful appetizer too when served with a dip of your choice. For a more filling meal, serve these with a light green salad or on a bed of cooked herbed brown rice or quinoa.

What makes our Mediterranean Chicken Skewers a heart-friendly recipe?

  • Lightly grilled chicken is heart-healthy, as opposed to fried chicken
  • Olive oil is a good source of monounsaturated fats
  • Full of vitamins, minerals and dietary fiber and with the potential to help manage weight, aubergine is a great choice for those concerned about their heart health.
  • Zucchini is rich in manganese and Vitamin C that keep your heart strong by preventing the oxidation of cholesterol.

This recipe serves 4.

Ingredients:

  • 4 tbsp. Olive Oil
  • 3 tbsp. fresh Lemon Juice
  • 2 large cloves of Garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp. fresh chopped fresh Basil
  • 2 medium Zucchini
  • 1 long thin Aubergine
  • 300gm boneless chicken, cut into 2 inch cubes
  • 12 small Onions, or pickled Onions
  • 1 Red Pepper, cut into 2 inch chunks
  • 8 Wooden Skewers, pre-soaked in water for about 10 minutes
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste

Preparation Method:

  1. In a small bowl, mix the olive oil with lemon juice, garlic and basil. Season with salt & pepper.
  2. Slice the zucchini and aubergine lengthways into strips – about 5mm or 1/4th inch thick. Cut the strips crossways about 2/3rd of the way along their length. Discard the shorter lengths.
  3. Wrap half the chicken pieces in zucchini slices and the other half in aubergine slices.
  4. Prepare the skewers by alternating the chicken, onions and pepper chunks.
  5. Lay the skewers on a platter and drizzle with the flavored olive oil prepared in step 1. Leave to marinate for at least 30 minutes.
  6. Preheat the grill or prepare a barbecue. Grill the chicken skewers for about 10 minutes or until the chicken and the vegetables are tender, turning the skewers occasionally.
  7. Serve hot, with a home-made dip of your choice.

NUTRITION (per serving):

150 cals, 4 g fat, 60 mg cholesterol, 400 mg sodium, 8 g carbs, 25 g protein

2. Chicken Breasts With Tomato-Corn Salsa

Chicken Breasts With Tomato-Corn Salsa Recipe

Nothing says summer like fresh, sweet corn and juicy tomatoes! And while it’s still cold out, warm your hearts with this amazing Chicken Breasts With Tomato-Corn Salsa recipe that is easy to put together on a busy day, especially if you have pre-planned and done the prep-work in advance. Tomato and corn salsa is a wonderfully fresh, easy-to-make topping for lean grilled chicken. While this hot tomato salsa is good with any grilled meat, it is particularly delicious with grilled chicken breasts.

What makes this Chicken Breasts With Tomato-Corn Salsa a heart-friendly recipe?

  • Grilled chicken breasts are great for cardiovascular health as these are lower in fats when compared to red meat
  • Olive oil is associated with significant improvements in the biomarkers for coronary heart diseases (CAD)
  • Tomatoes are a very nutritional food source rich in anti-oxidants, vitamin A and C, folic acid and beta-carotene. They are also rich in a substance called lycopene, a bright red substance that reduces heart disease risk factors.
  • Corn is full of fiber, and an ear of corn has about the same number of calories as an apple and less than one-fourth the sugar. In other words, it is heart-friendly!

This recipe serves 4.

Ingredients:

For the Chicken:

  • 4 skinless, boneless Chicken Breasts cut into halves
  • 2 tbsp. fresh Lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp. Olive Oil
  • 2 tsp ground Cumin
  • 2 tsp dried Oregano
  • 1 tbsp. coarse black pepper
  • Salt, to taste

For the Salsa:

  • 1 fresh hot Green Chili Pepper
  • 400g Tomatoes, seeded and finally chopped
  • 250g Sweetcorn, freshly cooked or thawed frozen
  • 3 Spring Onions, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp. chopped fresh Parsley
  • 2 tbsp. chopped fresh Coriander leaves
  • 2 tbsp. fresh Lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp. Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 tsp Salt

Method:

  1. Pound the chicken breasts with a meat mallet between 2 sheets of clear film to evenly thin them out.
  2. Combine the lemon juice, olive oil, cumin, oregano and pepper in a shallow dish and mix well together. Add chicken to the dish and turn to coat. Cover and leave it to marinate for at least 2 hours, or chill overnight.
  3. To make the salsa, char the chili skin either over a gas flame or under the grill. Leave to cool for 5 minutes and then carefully discard the charred skin. If you want a mildly hot flavor, discard the seeds.
  4. Chop the chili very finely and place in a bowl. Add all the remaining salsa ingredients and mix well.
  5. Remove the chicken from the marinade and season lightly.
  6. Cook it on a ridged grill pan over medium heat until both sides are evenly browned, about 3 minutes on each side.
  7. Serve the hot grilled chicken breast with the chili salsa.

NUTRITION (per serving):

450 cals, 23 g fat, 80 mg cholesterol, 414 mg sodium, 23 g carbs, 27.9 gm dietary fiber, 43 g protein

3. Lemon Chicken with Guacamole Sauce

Lemon Chicken with Guacamole Sauce Recipe

Looking for a heart healthy chicken recipe that can be served as a romantic main course for Valentine’s Day date-night dinner? Try our Lemon Chicken with Guacamole Sauce! The avocado sauce is unexpectedly good with the grilled chicken and beats all other accompaniments you’ve ever tried before!

What makes the Lemon Chicken with Guacamole Sauce a heart-friendly chicken recipe?

  • Heart-healthy chicken breasts are a must-add to your grilling repertoire. By grilling this white meat rather than shallow or deep frying it, you keep the natural saturated fat in it intact.
  • Extra-virgin olive oil promotes cardiovascular health, being high in phenolic antioxidants
  • Avocados are an excellent source of heart-healthy monounsaturated fat that is easily burned for energy, while being low in fructose.
  • Tomatoes have two key nutrients that have a big impact on heart health: lycopene and potassium. Lycopene may lower LDL, or “bad” cholesterol, and keep blood from clotting, which lowers stroke risk. Potassium helps lower blood pressure by taking some of the sodium out of your body, and by relaxing the walls of your blood vessels.

This recipe serves 2.

Ingredients:

For the Chicken:

  • 2 skinless, boneless Chicken Breasts, halved
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 tbsp. extra-virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 cloves of Garlic, crushed
  • 2 large Tomatoes, cored and cut in half
  • Salt & Pepper, to taste
  • Chopped fresh coriander leaves, for garnishing

For the Guacamole Sauce:

  • 1 ripe Avocado
  • 2 tbsp. low-fat Sour Cream
  • 2 tbsp. fresh Lemon Juice
  • Pinch of salt
  • Pepper to taste

Method:

  1. Combine the lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper in a small bowl.
  2. Arrange chicken breasts in a shallow dish and pour over this marinade. Let it stand for 1 hour at room temperature, or cover and chill overnight.
  3. For the sauce, cut the avocado in half and remove the pit. Scrape the flesh into a food processor. Add the sour cream, lemon juice and salt and blend until smooth. Add a couple tablespoons of water to get the desired consistency. Transfer into a bowl and adjust seasoning if required. Set aside.
  4. Preheat the grill or heat a ridged frying pan. Remove chicken from the marinade and add to the pan. Cook on both sides until browned, turning often, until the chicken is cooked through. This can take between 8 to 10 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile arrange the tomato halves cut side up, on a baking sheet and season lightly. Grill until hot and bubbling, about 5 minutes.
  6. To serve, put chicken breast, tomato half and a dollop of the guacamole sauce on each plate. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve.

NUTRITION (per serving):

454 cals, 23 g fat, 90 mg cholesterol, 420 mg sodium, 23 g carbs, 7.9 gm dietary fiber, 43 g protein

We hope you will give these heart-healthy chicken recipes a try this Valentine’s Day. Stay Loved! Stay Healthy!

Maneera Saxena Behl

Maneera Saxena Behl

Health and Fitness Enthusiast
Maneera Saxena Behl is a health and fitness enthusiast who is also a firm believer in the power of dietary supplements. A health buff, she likes to help others improve their overall well-being by achieving the right balance between nutrition, exercise and mindfulness.

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This article is intended for informational purposes only. The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Sepalika.com strongly recommends that you consult a medical practitioner for implementing any of the above. Results may vary from person to person.

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