Chicken is a great dinner option to please almost all members of a family. Chicken has great nutritional benefits: 1 chicken breast is only 165 calories, with 31 grams of protein, 3.6 grams of fat, and 85 milligrams of cholesterol. One chicken breast is half of your daily protein intake and 1/3 of the daily cholesterol you need. While keeping those numbers in mind, chicken can be a very healthy option to add into an entree to change things up. One thing to keep in mind when buying chicken is to always try and buy pasture raised chicken, not just "cage free" chicken or free-range chicken. The problem with cage free chicken is that, those chicken can live outside of a cage with in close proximity to their neighbors but there are no guidelines saying it has to be an outdoor environment. Those chickens may be "cage free" they may be stuck in a building their whole life and there are no regulations beyond them just being free from a cage. Now, free-range chicken according to regulations are supposed to have "access to the outdoors." Unfortunately, the lines of these rules get blurred, and while there are doors for the chickens to have access to the outdoors, that doesn't mean they will every step outside. Pasture raised chicken, According to the USDA Trade Descriptions, "birds are raised outdoors using movable enclosures located on grass and fed an organic diet (without hormones or non-organic additives) and/or raised without antibiotics (drugs that are intended to prevent or treat animal illnesses)". These chickens live a more natural life and are fed a variety of healthier foods. Benefits behind pasture raised chickens and their eggs: -50% more vitamin A -10 times more Omega 3 -the meat is more tender and flavorful -Better for the environment -More humane living conditions for the animal
You can purchase pasture raised chicken and eggs through local farmers, and Whole Foods has a wide selection of pasture raised meats. Being more cautious of where you're buying your meat is another step towards a happier and healthier life. Below is a vegetable stuffed chicken breast recipe that is hearty and delicious.
Veggie Stuffed Chicken Serves 2
Ingredients: 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts 1 ½ cup spinach 1 container of fresh mushrooms 4 whole artichokes (best buy is the ones packed in olive oil in a jar) 4 sun dried tomatoes chopped 3 TBS olive oil Sea salt, pepper, and any other seasonings may be used to your preference Directions: 1. Sauté the spinach, mushrooms, artichokes, and sun dried tomatoes in a pan with 1 TBS of olive oil. 2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. 3. While the vegetables are sautéing, butterfly your chicken breast in half and cover it with plastic wrap on a cutting board. Carefully pound out the chicken breast with a meat hammer, or a rolling pin. 4. Once the vegetables are cooked and tender, split the vegetables in half and lay an even portion out in the middle of both thinned out chicken breasts. 5. Once the filling is placed, roll the sides in to close the breast up. You may use tooth picks to hold the ends together or cooking string. 6. Sprinkle the seasonings of your choice over the chicken breast and add the remaining olive oil to a pan. Sauté in the pan for 4-5 minutes on each side. 7. After sautéing in the pan bake at 400 degrees for at least 15 minutes. Check to make sure your chicken has an internal temperature of 165 degrees before taking it out. 8. Enjoy on a salad , with a side of herbed quinoa, or a baked sweet potato! Recipe From: Colleen Stanko