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How to Make Low-Glycemic Chicken Dishes

When you think of losing weight and eating chicken, does your mind go immediately to images of a tough, dry, baked chicken breast? Sure, white-meat, boneless, skinless chicken is the leanest way to go for a meal, but that doesn’t mean your meal has to be dry and boring! Numerous ways of enjoying flavorful poultry and still getting the benefits of a low-calorie, low-glycemic meal are out there.

White Bean and Chicken Chili

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 25 minutes

Yield: 6 servings

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1 shallot, chopped

2 medium garlic cloves, minced

1 medium red bell pepper, chopped

Two 15-1/2 ounce cans northern white beans, undrained

One 4-ounce can diced green chiles

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon chili powder

1 teaspoon dried oregano

One 15-ounce can chicken broth

1/2-pound cooked boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 2 boneless breasts), cut into 1/2-inch pieces

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

2 tablespoons cilantro

  1. Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a soup pot. Add the shallot, garlic, and bell pepper, and sauté for 5 minutes.

  2. Stir in the white beans, chiles, cumin, chili powder, oregano, and chicken broth.

  3. Bring it all to a boil. After the chili is boiling, reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in the cut-up chicken and simmer for 10 more minutes, or until the chili is ready to serve.

  4. Stir in the lime juice and cilantro just before serving.

Per serving: Calories 204 (From Fat 50); Glycemic Load 8 (Low); Fat 6g (Saturated 1g); Cholesterol 34mg; Sodium 1057mg; Carbohydrate 26g (Dietary Fiber 8g); Protein 21g.

If the chili gets too thick for your taste, go ahead and add 1 cup of chicken broth, beer, or water to thin it a little.

Garlic Chicken Stir-Fry with Quinoa

Preparation time: 20 minutes

Cooking time: 25 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

2 cups chicken broth

1 cup uncooked quinoa

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

12 ounces boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces

1 yellow onion, thinly sliced

1 yellow or orange bell pepper, thinly sliced

4 cloves garlic, minced

1/3 cup chopped fresh basil

4 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese

Salt and ground black pepper to taste

  1. Bring the chicken broth to a boil in a saucepan. Add the quinoa and bring the broth back to boiling.

    Reduce the heat to low and then cover and simmer for 12 to 18 minutes. Check the quinoa to make sure it’s cooked. Remove the pan from the heat and let sit for 2 to 3 minutes.

  2. While the quinoa is cooking, heat the olive oil in a nonstick skillet. Add the chicken, onion, bell peppers, and garlic. Stir until the chicken is fully cooked (it should no longer be pink).

  3. Stir the basil and parmesan cheese into the chicken mixture, add salt and pepper to taste, and serve over the quinoa.

Per serving: Calories 348 (From Fat 103); Glycemic Load 12 (Medium); Fat 12g (Saturated 3g); Cholesterol 53mg; Sodium 790mg; Carbohydrate 35g (Dietary Fiber 4g); Protein 26g.

Quick Chicken Tacos

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 15 minutes

Yield: 4 servings (2 tacos per serving)

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces

1 to 2 tablespoons taco seasoning

1 tablespoon canola oil

8 whole-wheat flour or corn tortillas

1 orange or yellow bell pepper, chopped

2 tomatoes, chopped

One 4-ounce can sliced black olives

1 avocado, thinly sliced

1 cup shredded Cheddar Monterey Jack cheese

  1. Place the cut-up chicken pieces in a bowl. Add the taco seasoning (1 to 2 tablespoons, depending on your taste) to the chicken and mix until every chicken piece is coated.

  2. Heat the canola oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the seasoning-coated chicken pieces and cook thoroughly (about 5 minutes).

  3. Grab a tortilla and layer on the chicken pieces, bell pepper, tomatoes, olives, and avocado. Sprinkle with the cheese and roll.

  4. Repeat the layering and rolling for the other 7 tacos, and you’re ready to go!

Per serving: Calories 728 (From Fat 284); Glycemic Load 13 (Medium); Fat 32g (Saturated 10g); Cholesterol 98mg; Sodium 1107mg; Carbohydrate 67g (Dietary Fiber 9g); Protein 45g.

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