5 Healthy, Creative Takes On Chicken Recipes!

Are you suffering from #StruggleChicken? When poultry becomes bland, spice things up and add some flavor to your meal with these 5 recipes!

There's no doubt that chicken is a bodybuilding staple. Whether it's paired with rice, broccoli, or the ever-complex sweet potato, this prime piece of poultry is packed with the lean protein you need to grow. If you're looking to build muscle, lean out, or simply drop body fat, it's likely that a serving or two of poultry is a constant presence on your plate.

But, let's face it, while chicken is high in the ranks of popular, muscle-building foods, it can also be one of the most frustrating foods to cook. It often turns out dry, stale, and uninspiring. Before you know it, your diet will start showing signs of #strugglechicken.

When chicken's what's for dinner on a day-to-day basis, it can get old, fast. Variety is critical to sticking with it. Add a new layer of flavor and learn how to jazz up the everyday protein powerhouse with these five recipes. They'll prove that you don't have to be a Michelin-starred chef to turn your chicken from a don't into a do!

Note: Need a primer on cooking chicken breast before getting started? Check out this quick video on one of the ways that I've learned to cook chicken so that it is enjoyable and fresh for the entire week!

How To Cook Moist Chicken So It Doesn't Taste Like Death
Watch the video: 06:19


1

Texas Gold Rush Chicken Breast

This recipe melds sweet and savory into a flavor bomb that will brighten up your plate and palate. I dubbed this one "the gold rush" because of the yellow-orange glow, but it's also a muscle-building recipe worth its weight in gold. It's easy to make in large batches and can always be customized to meet your goals and any occasion.

Add this to the menu for your gameday or fight-night party, and you'll have an instant crowd favorite. Looking to cut back on sugar and carbs—just use less honey. The best part? The hint of cinnamon-infused sweetness will be enough to curb your post-workout cravings without thwarting your progress.

TEXAS GOLD RUSH CHICKEN BREAST

Ingredients

Chicken Breast 1.5 Lb


Gold Rush Sauce

Stone Ground Mustard 4 tbsp


Yellow Mustard 2 tbsp


Raw, Organic Honey 2 tbsp


Coconut Oil 1 tbsp


Apple Cider Vinegar 1.5 tsp


Cinnamon 1/2 tsp


Paprika (optional to add a hint of BBQ flavor) 1/2 tsp


Green Onions Garnish


Directions
  1. Set oven to 400 F.
  2. In a bowl, mix together the ingredients for the gold rush sauce.
  3. Rub half of the mixture on the chicken breasts.
  4. Set a nonstick skillet on medium-high heat and spray with coconut oil. Add chicken breasts to the pan and cook for about 3 minutes on each side.
  5. Pour the remaining sauce over the chicken breasts. If your skillet is all metal, place the chicken in it and allow it to bake in the oven for 10 minutes. If your skillet cannot be placed in the oven, transfer the chicken breasts to a baking sheet, and bake for 10 minutes.


Nutrition Facts
Serving Size: Recipe makes 5 servings
Amount per serving
Calories 218
Total Fat 6g
Total Carbs 9g (1g fiber)
Protein 32g


2

Spicy Chicken Fried Quinoa

If you're in the market for a comfort-food overhaul, you've found the right dish. Kiss the temptation of that sauce-covered, fried favorite goodbye with this healthy modification. With quinoa and chicken--hello, protein overload!--this comfort food recipe will leave you feeling full and satisfied. Throw in some edamame for added color and that extra boost of protein.

SPICY CHICKEN FRIED QUINOA

Ingredients

Ground Chicken Breast 1 Lb


Eggs 3


Low-Sodium Chicken Broth 2 cups


Raw Quiona 1 cup (yields a little over 2 cups cooked quinoa)


Carrots 1 cup Chopped


Choppped Red Onion 1/2 cup


Minced Garlic (or garlic paste) 1 tbsp


Coconut Oil Spray


Sauce

Bragg Liquid Aminos (or coconut aminos)2 tbsp


Sriracha 2 tbsp


Ginger Paste 1 tbsp


Low-Sodium Teriyaki Sauce 1 tbsp (optional but recommended)


Note If you cannot find ground chicken breast in your local grocery store, you can put chicken breast cutlets into a high-powered blender or food processor and pulse blend to create minced meat.

How To Make Healthy Chicken Fried Quinoa
Watch the video: 04:44


Directions
  1. Cook quinoa according to the instructions on the package, but use low-sodium chicken broth instead of water, or 1 cup chicken broth and 1 cup water. Set the quinoa aside and allow it to cool to room temperature.
  2. In a small bowl, mix together the ingredients for the sauce.
  3. Set a nonstick skillet on medium heat and spray with coconut oil. Add garlic, carrots, and red onions. Cook until the red onions become clear.
  4. Toss in ground chicken breast and completely cook the meat. Use a wooden spoon or spatula to chop up the chicken.
  5. Increase the heat to medium-high and add the cooked quinoa. Before adding, make sure the quinoa has cooled and is "dry" (or not carrying a lot of moisture). Stir.
  6. Pour in the sauce and stir quickly so that it does not burn.
  7. Add eggs to the skillet and stir and chop so that the egg spreads evenly throughout the mixture.
  8. Finally, reduce heat to medium and add frozen edamame beans. Stir until the beans are completely thawed.


Nutrition Facts
Serving Size: Recipe makes 5 servings
Amount per serving
Calories 338
Total Fat 10g
Total Carbs 29g (5g fiber)
Protein 33g


3

Crispy Omega-3 Protein Chicken Fingers

These faux-fried chicken fingers are bread crumb, egg, and oil-free, and they're 100-percent delicious. With a boost of omega-3s in the form of walnuts and added protein with a coating of low-carb, baked Quest chips, they pack a texture and flavor punch that will rival the once-tempting, grease-covered fast-food staple!

CRISPY OMEGA-3 PROTEIN CHICKEN FINGERS

Ingredients

Chicken Breast 1 Lb


Quest Protein Sea Salt Chips 2 bags


Walnuts 1/3 cup chopped


Dijon Mustard 3 tbsp


Organic Raw Honey 1.5 tbsp


Cayenne 1 tsp


Cumin 1/2 tsp


Directions
  1. Set oven to 400 F.
  2. Crush bags of Quest protein chips to create crumbs. Add the crumbs to a sealable bag.
  3. Add crushed walnuts to the sealable bag.
  4. In a bowl, mix mustard, honey, and cayenne.
  5. Slice the chicken breasts into tenders or fingers.
  6. Rub the mustard mixture over the tenders and ensure they're all covered. Careful not to drench the tenders in sauce because this will cause the crust to be soggy.
  7. Place the tenders in the sealable bag one by one. Gently shake the bag. Remove the tenders from the bag and place on a baking sheet or baking rack. The baking rack is preferred because it will leave all sides crispy.
  8. Bake in the oven for 12-15 minutes. Be careful not to let the crust burn. Remember, the chicken should cook a bit faster since the pieces are smaller.


Nutrition Facts
Serving Size: Recipe makes 4 servings
Amount per serving
Calories 267
Total Fat 8g
Total Carbs 10g
Protein 38g


4

Spicy "Cup o' Joe" Chicken

Best described as an explosion of robust flavors, this dish brings the #BOOM. The smoky, spicy, and sweet flavors all collide to hit your palate with a winning combination. During the winter months when it's too cold to grill, there's always a Cup o' Joe (COJ) to provide the grilled flavors we love.

The good thing about making your own chicken rub is that you can customize it to fit your needs and tastes. So, feel free to tweak the ingredients to your liking but just go easy on the coconut sugar!

SPICY ''CUP O' JOE'' CHICKEN

Ingredients
Chicken

Chicken Breast 1 Lb (4 msall chicken breasts)


Bragg Liquid Aminos (or coconut aminos)2 tbsp


Spicy "cup o' Joe" rub 1.5 tbsp


CO J Chicken Rub

Coffee Beans 1/4 cup


Smoked paprika 1.5 tbsp


Cumin 1 tsp


Coconut sugar 1.5 tbsp


Cayenne 1 tsp


Allspice 1 tsp


Directions
  1. Set oven to 400F.
  2. Place the ingredients for the Cup o' Joe chicken rub in a high-powered blender or food processor. Pulse blend until the coffee beans are semi-blended, yet still somewhat coarse.
  3. Combine Bragg Aminos and 1.5 tbsp chicken rub and massage it onto the chicken.
  4. Set a nonstick skillet on medium-high heat and spray with coconut oil. Add the chicken breasts to the pan and cook for about 3 minutes on each side.
  5. If the skillet is all metal, place it in the oven to bake for 10 minutes. If your skillet cannot be placed in the oven, transfer the chicken breasts to a baking sheet, and then bake for 10 minutes.


Nutrition Facts (Chicken)
Serving Size: Recipe makes 4 servings
Amount per serving
Calories 129
Total Fat 2g
Total Carbs 3g
Protein 26g
Nutrition Facts
(COJ Rub)
Serving Size: Recipe makes 11 servings
Amount per serving
Calories 6
Total Fat 0g
Total Carbs 2g
Protein 0g


5

Spicy Coconut Chicken Curry

Who doesn't love a good curry dish? If you're not already reaping the benefits, it's time to add the joys of curry—which include blood sugar control, heart health, and the anti-inflammatory benefits of turmeric—to your diet. When plain chicken just won't do, add this spin on a traditional Indian favorite to your list.

SPICY COCONUT CHICKEN CURRY

Ingredients

Chicken Breast 1 Lb


Thinly sliced red onions 1/2 cup


Lite coconut milk (canned) 3/4 cup


Low sodium chicken broth 1/2 cup


Garlic paste (or minced garlic) 1 tbsp


Fresh ginger 1 tbsp


Spices

curry powder 1 tbsp


turmeric 1/2 tbsp


smoked paprika 1/2 tbsp


cayenne 1/2 tbsp


Sea salt and pepper to taste



Directions
  1. Cut the chicken breasts into small pieces. Spray a nonstick skillet with coconut oil and set on medium-high heat. Cook the chicken breasts. Do not worry about seasoning—that part comes later.
  2. Spray another nonstick skillet with coconut oil and place on medium heat. Add the red onion, garlic, and ginger. Saute until the red onion is nearly translucent.
  3. Add chicken broth, coconut milk, and seasonings to the skillet. Stir with a spatula. Let the sauce simmer, and then cover. Reduce to low heat to allow the sauce to cook and thicken.
  4. Add cooked, chopped chicken breasts into the coconut curry mixture. Stir with a spatula and cook covered for about 5 minutes on low heat. Season with sea salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Remove the skillet from the heat and allow the sauce to thicken.


Nutrition Facts
Serving Size: Recipe makes 4 servings
Amount per serving
Calories 156
Total Fat 4.5g
Total Carbs 2g
Protein 26g