Going on a diet? But scared of giving up all the tasty food and having to rely on boring food? It need not be so. In fact, healthy food is not tasteless and bland if cooked with care and in the right manner. When it comes to non-vegetarian food, it is said the spicier and richer, the better. But is that always good for the system?Food should be cooked in a manner that it is suitable for everyday eating without leaving behind a feeling of guilt. Take for example- chicken. Here are some ways to eat chicken while on diet.
1.Chicken Soup: Clear chicken soup with accompaniments like whole wheat pita bread and salad; whole wheat bread and stir fried vegetables. Another option is to add boiled pasta and vegetables in the chicken soup.
2.Chicken Salad: This can be quite appetizing. Cook and shred chicken and mix with vegetables like diced cucumbers and capsicum, chopped onions, shredded carrot, boiled broccoli and boiled beans. For the seasoning add salt, pepper, mustard, herbs of your choice, vinegar and a dash of olive oil if you wish. To make it spicy add chopped green chilies. This can be had on its own or as a filling for sandwiches and wraps.
3.Chicken Kababs: In a mixer jar, add ginger, garlic, green chili, 8-10 roasted almonds and salt. Make a paste. If you have chicken keema, you can add the paste to it. If you have boneless breast pieces, then dice and add to the mixer jar with the paste. Run on medium speed till chicken is minced and mixed with the paste. This can be done in batches too. Add chopped coriander and onion and form into patties or sausage shapes. Add one tablespoon of oil to a thick bottom pan and cook on slow flame till cooked and brown on all sides.
4.Boiled Chicken: Boiled chicken may sound a bit bland but it need not be so. Why keep the spices out? Curry style boiled chicken is equally tasteful. In a pressure cooker add one chopped onion, one tablespoon of garlic-ginger paste, chili powder, coriander powder and whole garam masala. Drizzle a tablespoon of oil, add salt and close the lid. Cook for five-seven minutes after the first whistle and your chicken curry is ready.
5.Chicken Stew: Cooking with bone pieces is good for this type of recipe. In a heavy bottom pan place chicken pieces, add water to completely cover the chicken, add salt and place on the burner to cook. When the chicken is half cooked, add chopped vegetables like carrots, potatoes, French beans, cauliflower and onion. Allow to cook till chicken is completely done. Optional things to add to the stew include ginger, lemon grass or spices of one's choice.
6.Chicken Loaf: This is fairly simple. Just like the kebab, grind everything till well mixed. Add chopped onion and coriander and form a log. Place this log in a bread tin, cover with aluminum foil and bake in a pre-heated oven at 180 degree Celsius for 30 minutes. This loaf is a good accompaniment vegetable soups and whole wheat bread.
7.Baked Chicken: You can use boneless breast pieces or leg pieces with bones. Wings also do well. Marinate the pieces in salt, chilli powder, garam masala, coriander powder, turmeric powder, curd, salt, vinegar and a dash of mustard oil. Leave for at least two hours and bake in a pre-heated oven at 200 degree Celsius till brown on the outside and cooked on the inside.
8.One Pot Meal: This is a comfort food. Just as you prepare the stew prepare the chicken with or without the vegetables. Add rice to the soup and allow to cook for some more time or till the rice is cooked.
9.Grilled Chicken: If you have a grill at home, you are going to enjoy the smoky effect it gived to the chicken. Marinate the chicken as you would for baking but here instead of baking we can cook on a hot grill. It will take a little while to cook but the patience pays off.
10.Chicken Noodle Soup: Want to make a meal out of the bowl of soup. Just add some boiled noodles. Better still boil the noodles in the chicken soup and you will get a rich, healthy and filling bowl of meal.
The manner in which we cook food is our choice. Either we be careful and cook sensibly or we go the other way round. Here we saw 10 ways you can eat chicken if you are on a diet. There can be many more possibilities. Let the chef and nutritionist in you come to the fore and invent new dishes.