If you're new to eating clean (and even if you're not), you're probably on the hunt for new recipes that are easy to prepare and good to eat. I've discovered how to keep my meals interesting by planning 2 to 3 different recipes using the same protein. So it goes like this: every week I buy ground turkey, but instead of having turkey burgers for 7 days in a row, I'll use the turkey to make homemade turkey sausage, meatballs with marinara or spicy white bean chili. This makes my meal prep SUPER easy and keeps my palate satisfied all week long. I know many people struggle with keeping their meals clean AND interesting...but I'm here to tell you that clean eating DOES NOT have to be boring. If you're the person who has run out of ways to cook chicken breast (a clean-eating staple), here are 3 easy and yummy recipes that transform chicken breast into something magical:
STUFFED CHICKEN BREAST WITH ROASTED BROCCOLI AND POTATOES
This recipe is from one of my FAVORITE magazines, REAL SIMPLE:
- 1/2 bunch broccoli (about 1/2 pound), cut into florets
- 1 pound red new potatoes (about 10), halved (instead of white potatoes, cut a sweet potato into wedges and bake on 400 degrees for 15 minutes)
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- kosher salt and black pepper
- 1/2 cup finely chopped roasted red peppers
- 2 ounces Feta, crumbled (1/2 cup)
- 8 thin chicken cutlets (about 1 1/2 pounds)
- 1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley
- Heat oven to 400° F with the racks in the upper and lower thirds. On a rimmed baking sheet, toss the broccoli and potatoes with 2 tablespoons of the oil, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon black pepper. Roast on the bottom rack, tossing once, until golden brown and tender, 18 to 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix together the red peppers and Feta. Season the chicken with ¼ teaspoon each salt and black pepper. Dividing evenly, roll up the red pepper mixture in the cutlets (about 1 heaping tablespoon each) and fasten each closed with a toothpick.
- Heat the remaining tablespoon of oil in a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the chicken, seam-side up, until browned, 3 to 4 minutes. Turn the chicken, transfer the skillet to the top rack, and roast until cooked through, 14 to 16 minutes more. Remove the toothpicks. Serve the chicken with the vegetables, sprinkled with the parsley.
Alternative quick tip:
- instead of roasting the broccoli, steam in on the stove or in the microwave for a few minutes
CHICKEN TACOS WITH TOMATOES
Total Time: 35 minutes
Yield: 6 servings, 2 tacos each
- 1 pound ripe plum tomatoes cored (about 4-5)
- 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil divided
- 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts trimmed and cut into 1-inch chunks Salt & freshly ground pepper
- 1 large white onion finely chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
- 2 cloves cloves garlic very finely chopped
- 2 jalapeño peppers seeded and very finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
- 4 scallions chopped
- 12 whole wheat/whole grain tortillas warmed
- 2 limes cut into quarters
- Heat a large cast-iron skillet over high heat until very hot. Place tomatoes in the skillet and turn occasionally with tongs until charred on all sides, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a plate to cool slightly. Cut in half crosswise; squeeze to discard seeds. Chop the remaining pulp and skins; set aside.
- Add 1 teaspoon of the oil to the pan and heat over high heat until the oil is very hot. Add chicken and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the chicken is browned on all sides and no longer pink in the center, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
- Reduce the heat to medium and add the remaining 1 teaspoon oil. Add onions and cook, stirring, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and jalapeños and cook, stirring, for 1 minute more. Add lime juice and the reserved chicken and tomatoes. Bring to a simmer and stir in cilantro and scallions. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover to keep warm.
- Spoon the filling into warm tortillas, roll up and with lime wedges.
FIVE SPICE CHICKEN AND ORANGE SALAD
Makes about 4 servings
- 6 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil , divided
- 1 teaspoon five-spice powder
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt , divided
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper , plus more to taste
- 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts , trimmed of fat
- 3 oranges
- 12 cups mixed Asian or salad greens
- 1 red bell pepper , cut into thin strips
- 1/2 cup slivered red onion
- 3 tablespoons cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- Preheat oven to 450°F. Combine 1 teaspoon oil, five-spice powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in a small bowl. Rub the mixture into both sides of the chicken breasts.
- Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a large ovenproof nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken breasts; cook until browned on one side, 3 to 5 minutes. Turn them over and transfer the pan to the oven. Roast until the chicken is just cooked through (an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center should read 165°F), 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a cutting board; let rest for 5 minutes (it will finish cooking as it rests).
- Meanwhile, peel and segment two of the oranges, collecting segments and any juice in a large bowl. (Discard membranes, pith and skin.) Add the greens, bell pepper and onion to the bowl. Zest and juice the remaining orange. Place the zest and juice in a small bowl; whisk in vinegar, mustard, the remaining 4 teaspoons oil, remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. Pour the dressing over the salad; toss to combine. Slice the chicken and serve on the salad.