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Chicken is a staple in the American diet. It’s a versatile meat people eat by itself, in sandwiches, soups, tacos and many other iterations. Chicken is high in protein and doesn’t run up the calorie total either.
Some people try to be more conscious of their health when planning their meals, and one factor they consider is how the food affects their heart. Regulating your blood sugar and cholesterol levels is important for a healthy body. Try these five heart-healthy chicken recipes.
1. Chicken and Black Bean Enchiladas
Variations of enchiladas have been around for thousands of years, originating with the Aztecs in ancient Mexico. You can put your heart-healthy spin on it with chicken and black bean enchiladas. Black beans are one of the most nutrient-dense foods you can eat. They contain protein and fiber, and they can reduce the risk of heart disease and diabetes.
To make these enchiladas, cook chopped onion and garlic in a pan with olive oil. Add diced chicken breasts to the pan and cook the pieces thoroughly. Now, you can make your filling. Add the black beans, salsa and green chiles to the chicken until your sauce thickens. Scoop your desired amount of filling into each tortilla, topping with shredded cheese. Set the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and bake for 15 minutes.
2. Chicken Fried Rice With Edamame
Fried rice or stir fry is a prominent dinner worldwide. It’s easy to make and versatile so that you can make any adjustment for your taste buds. Add edamame to your dish to make a heart-healthy chicken recipe. Edamame is what the Japanese call soybeans, and it’s an excellent source of fiber and protein. One cup alone can help you cover your daily intake of several vitamins and minerals.
The basics of this recipe start with chicken, rice, edamame and olive oil. Feel free to add more vegetables or swap ingredients if needed. Take turns cooking the chicken and vegetables in a skillet. After that, add cooked rice on top of your chicken and vegetables. Top your dish with soy sauce, sesame oil and sriracha sauce to get the Oriental restaurant taste. This heart-healthy chicken recipe tastes fantastic and is excellent for meal prep, saving time and money during the week.
3. Sheet Pan Chicken and Sweet Potatoes
Sometimes there are nights when you don’t want to cook, but you still want the taste of a home-cooked meal. Sheet-pan meals fit this bill and have become trendy of late. This sheet-pan chicken and sweet potato recipe will feel like comfort food. Baked sweet potatoes taste delicious, and their potassium content can lower your blood pressure.
All you need to do is marinate the chicken with the seasoning mix. Cut your sweet potatoes into cubes and toss them with the seasonings. For best results, place the chicken thighs on your pan and surround them with the sweet potato cubes. The total baking time will be around 30 minutes.
4. Chicken and Spinach Wrap
Greens are an essential part of your daily diet. Whether spinach, kale, lettuce or mustard greens, eating these leafy greens can positively affect your heart health. For example, spinach has fiber and vitamin A and can help reduce your blood pressure levels and prevent cancer.
A tasty way to increase your greens intake is with a chicken and spinach wrap. Whether a wrap or sandwich, this concoction is highly customizable. Take a tortilla and start with a base of your favorite sauce, such as a dressing or spicy mustard. Spread it around and add cooked chicken and a handful of spinach. For even more heart-healthy foods, add avocado and tomato. These wraps are terrific if you’re in a hurry and have limited time to make a meal.
5. Chicken and Quinoa Bowl
Do you get Chipotle cravings, but you’d rather stay at home? This chipotle quinoa burrito bowl is another heart-healthy chicken recipe that’s great for meal prep. Adding whole-grain quinoa supports heart health with its high fiber content. It can reduce the risk of diabetes and heart disease.
This recipe takes about 30 minutes to make, and it’s delicious. Season chicken with the spices and grill or broil until cooked. Chop it up and add it to a bowl with cooked quinoa, black or kidney beans, avocado, salsa, lettuce and cheese. Squeeze lime on top for a bright citrus flavor.
Eating Healthy and Delicious Meals
Healthy food doesn’t have to mean bland, tasteless dishes. Making small changes and adding ingredients like beans, greens and whole grains can make your recipes nutritious and excellent for your body. Try these five heart-healthy chicken recipes.