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4 Delicious Ways to Makeover Bland Chicken

Author: Shannon Clark Kaged Muscle

If you are serious about building a great looking physique, you know the importance of having quality protein in your diet plan. Nothing will transform your body quite like the right sources of protein, so it pays to devote time and energy to getting these in.

Chicken is possibly the most commonly used protein source when it comes to bodybuilding. It provides high-quality amino acids, is low in fat, and can be prepared in many ways. For these reasons, it’s often eaten both in the offseason as well as during dieting phases.

If you’re still eating the same boring steamed chicken you ate when you first started, it’s time to liven up a little bit—your taste buds will thank you. The following recipes will help you do just that.

Chicken and Pineapple Kabobs

This recipe combines carbs with lean protein, making it a perfect choice post workout. Feel free to include any vegetables you prefer. It’s a fast and easy recipe that tastes good enough you can even serve it for company.

Serves: 2

Ingredients:

½ cup brown rice, uncooked

6 oz. chicken, cut into bite sized pieces

½ cup fresh pineapple chunks

10 small mushrooms

1 red pepper, cut into bite sized pieces

½ small zucchini, sliced

2 tbsp. low-sodium soy sauce

1 packet Stevia

1 tbsp. sesame oil

¼ tsp. ground ginger

¼ tsp. garlic powder

Directions:

  1. Heat 1 cup of water to boil. Once boiling, add rice, cover, and simmer for 10 minutes. 
  1. Combine soy sauce, Stevia, sesame oil, ground ginger, and garlic powder. Place chicken in this mixture and let marinate for at least 10 minutes.
  1. Once done, skewer the chicken, alternating with vegetables and pineapple chunks. Brush the remaining marinade over the vegetables and fruit and grill for 6-8 minutes or until chicken is done. Serve over a bed of rice.

Nutritional facts (per serving):

348 calories, 24 g protein, 51 g carbs, 7 g fat 

Chicken Kale Salad with Mandarins 

When it comes to superfoods, kale often tops the list. This leafy green is one of the best vegetables you can eat and will ensure you stay strong, even if you’re on a reduced calorie intake for fat loss purposes. This salad blends a mix of lean proteins with healthy fats and just enough carbs to give you energy to get through that afternoon slump.

Serves: 2

Ingredients:

6 oz. chicken breast, cut into bite-sized pieces

1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

1 clove garlic, minced

5 cups kale, cut into pieces

½ cup avocado, cubed

½ cucumber, cut into slices

2 mandarin oranges, peeled and broken into segments

3 tbsp. lime juice

1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

1 tsp. honey

½ tsp. Dijon mustard

1/8 tsp. chili powder

Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:

  1. Mix the lime juice, 1 tbsp. olive oil, honey, Dijon mustard, chili powder, and salt and pepper to form dressing.
  1. Heat 1 tbsp. olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the chicken and garlic, sautéing for 4-5 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink inside. Add the kale and sauté for about 1 minute to let flavors blend and slightly soften kale. Transfer to a bowl.
  1. Add the remaining ingredients to the bowl and drizzle dressing on top. Toss and serve.

Nutritional facts (per serving):

433 calories, 24 g protein, 39 g carbs, 21 g fat 

Chicken and Cucumber Sandwich

You don’t have to avoid sandwiches altogether in order to eat right. You just need to choose healthy components. Ezekiel bread is a wise carbohydrate source and will provide you with steady energy levels for hours. This sandwich removes traditional processed, high sodium deli meat and replaces it with chicken breast instead. Couple that with the healthy fats and you have a delicious meal you’ll want for lunch every day. 

Serves:

Ingredients:

2 slices Ezekiel bread

3 oz. chicken breast, sliced in half creating two thin pieces

½ cucumber, sliced

2 slices tomato

¼ avocado, sliced

Salt and pepper to taste

Non-stick cooking spray

Directions:

  1. Heat a skillet sprayed with non-stick cooking spray over medium heat. Add chicken, salt and pepper to taste, and sauté for 3-4 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink.
  1. Layer one piece of chicken over the bread and top with cucumber, tomato, and avocado. Finish with the second piece of chicken and then top with the second slice of bread. Slice and serve.

Nutritional facts (per serving):

360 calories, 27 g protein, 41 g carbs, 10.5 g fat  

Cranberry Chicken and Quinoa Salad

If you want a high-energy salad to get you through your busy day while still keeping things healthy, this is a great option. The quinoa provides a complex source of carbohydrates while the cranberries add a touch of sweetness and simple carbs for immediate energy. The pumpkin seeds offer a dose of healthy fats while the broccoli provides antioxidants. It has everything that you’ll need for a quick meal on the go.

Serves:

Ingredients:

12 oz. chicken breasts, sliced
½ tbsp. olive oil
½ clove garlic, minced
3 stocks celery, diced
1 cup broccoli florets, finely diced
¼ cup low sodium chicken broth 
2 cups pre-cooked quinoa
2 tbsp. dried cranberries
¼ cup pumpkin seeds
1 small bunch parsley, chopped 

Directions:

Heat the olive oil in a medium skillet. Add garlic and chicken breasts, and cook until chicken is no longer pink inside 3-5 minutes. Add the celery and broccoli florets along with low sodium chicken broth, cover and turn heat to low for 5 minutes. Next, add quinoa, dried cranberries, pumpkin seeds, and parsley. Cook for 2-3 minutes and then serve.

Nutritional facts (per serving):

354 calories, 28 grams of carbs, 34 grams of protein, 10 grams of fat 

The next time you’re prepping your meals for the week, keep these four recipes in mind. There are many ways you can add variety to your food while still keeping it healthy. Step outside the realm of baked and grilled chicken with new flavors and ingredients, not just for the taste, but to help you stay on track with your nutrition plan.


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