Saturday, 21 December 2013

A healthy chicken menu for an extra special Christmas by Michelle Snyder

Hey lovelies
Milk and cookies are Santa’s favorite treats but his bulging belly is only getting bigger with the sweet treats that he so favors. If anyone needs a diet this Christmas, it’s Santa Claus, but that doesn’t mean the holidays should be any less jolly. 

Healthy chicken recipes and nutritious ingredients like veggies, nuts, and fruits can help Santa stay fit and even happier with lower cholesterol. Think twice the next time you leave Santa a plate of tempting cookies high in sugar and fat. There are plenty of other delicious choices that will help keep him in optimum health to deliver all the gifts to all the children.
Who can resist a mouthwateringly good chicken recipe? Not Santa. 

Chicken is one of the leanest meats and when you roast it in the oven, you don’t add any calories or fat (except if you rub it with butter). You can make chicken even more nutritious and healthy with vegetables, fresh herbs, and spices like garlic, onions, thyme, sage, rosemary, bay, shallots, lemon, and orange. Accompany chicken with lentils, quinoa, couscous, beans, or chickpeas. Baby beets, pumpkin, wild mushrooms, roast potatoes, minted peas, green beans, spinach, and roasted peppers all go well with chicken. For an even healthier chicken recipe, use boneless chicken breasts; it’s faster to cook and also quite versatile. You can braise, poach, roast or grill chicken breasts or stuff it with ricotta cheese or feta cheese and bake it. You can also wrap it in prosciutto or bacon or glaze it with citrus sauce. For a spicy dish, season it with chilies or bold spices like cumin, coriander, paprika, fennel, turmeric, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, cardamom, peppercorns, cinnamon, and mace.
Examples of healthy treats you can make or leave for Santa for Christmas are homemade granola, fruit cake, peppermint fudge, low fat ginger cookies, fruit salad, low sugar cranberry apple bread, healthy oatmeal muffins, rosemary and thyme crackers, apple smoothie, roasted chickpea with Parmesan and garlic snack, glazed pecans, coconut delights, macaroons, mango and raspberry parfait, healthy peanut butter balls, stuffed apples, poached pears, hot chocolate, apple crisp, eggnog, and ginger fudge.
You can learn and prepare these healthy alternative cooking recipes for Santa and expect that he’ll leave you a big HO-HO-HO and lots of gifts under the Christmas tree for being good lads and lasses.
You can serve up this healthy recipe, Chicken Leek Soup, as starters to prepare Santa and his jolly tummy for your main course.
1 whole chicken (cut into pieces)
4 leeks (chopped)
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
1 teaspoon salt
½ cup long-grain rice
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
12 pitted, stewed prunes (cut in half)
1Place the chicken pieces in a pot and cover with boiling water. Add the leeks, salt, and parsley. Simmer for 2 ½ hours, or until the chicken is no longer pink in the middle. Remove the chicken pieces with a slotted spoon.

2Add the rice to the pot. Cook for 20 minutes, or until the rice is tender. In a small bowl, mix together the butter and flour. Add this mixture to the pot, blending well.
3Add the prunes and the chicken pieces, cut into bite-sized pieces. You don’t have to use all the meat, and can use the excess for another meal. Serve immediately.
For the main course, serve this amazing Quinoa Stuffed Chicken dish. If you’re not too familiar with quinoa, quinoa is similar to grain in appearance and flavor but is actually a seed. It is prepared similar to rice or barley and is high in fiber, protein, amino acids, and nutrition. It takes less time to cook than other whole grains and is ready in about ten to fifteen minutes. It tastes great on its own with a bit of olive oil, salt and lemon juice and is a popular food choice among vegetarians and vegans, often served as a salad or as an alternative to rice.
This dish is not only very delicious but is also very nutritious. Perhaps Santa will give you even more gifts once you served this to him.
4.5 lb. chicken
12 oz. package of Quinoa
8 T (1 stick) butter, plus 8 T (1 stick) more of butter
12 whole garlic cloves
1 egg
½ cup whole raw almonds
½ cup of chopped broccoli
½ cup of chopped spinach
½ cup of shredded carrots
4 t lemon pepper
½ teaspoon salt
Juice of 2 lemons
1. Prepare the quinoa according to package. Set aside.
2Melt 8 T of butter in a skillet. Add the garlic cloves and almonds and cook until the garlic is brown. Stir frequently.When garlic is brown, turn fire off.
3In a bowl, beat the egg. Add the Quinoa, 2 teaspoons of lemon pepper, salt, broccoli, spinach, carrots, and juice of 1 lemon and mix well. Add the Quinoa mixture to the skillet of garlic and almonds. Mix well, and let sit.
4Clean the chicken under cold water, removing the gizzards. Put the chicken into a roasting pan. Stuff the chicken with the Quinoa mixture. Drizzle the juice of one lemon over the chicken and sprinkle the remaining 2 teaspoons of lemon pepper over the chicken.
5Fill the roasting pan with equal amounts of orange juice and water but not above the opening where the stuffing is. Place chicken in a hot 350-degree oven uncovered, basting from time to time. Let the chicken cook for one hour. Pour the remaining 8 T of melted butter over the chicken and continue to cook approximately ½ hour, basting regularly. Remove from oven when completed (chicken should reach at least 165 degrees via cooking thermometer or the meat should be completely white throughout). Remove the Quinoa stuffing from within the chicken and put in a bowl. Serve the chicken and stuffing hot.
6If you prefer gravy, add a little flour to the juices left in the roasting pan and whisk vigorously, gradually adding more flour to achieve the thickness of gravy you prefer. Serve immediately with the chicken and quinoa stuffing.

And an easy dessert, you can serve him up with Festive Fruit Salad.
1 yellow apple, quartered
1 pear, quartered
1 orange, peeled and sectioned
1/2 grapefruit, peeled and sectioned
1 cup strawberries, stemmed
1/4 cup each red and green seedless grapes
1 tbsp. honey
1Cut the apple, pear, orange and grapefruit into bite-size pieces into a small bowl. Add honey and toss gently. Chill for at least 30 minutes.
2Spoon fruit into champagne glasses, filling them up halfway. Fill remainder of glasses with chilled champagne.
3Dip the edges of the glasses in colored sugar crystals and garnish them with slices of lemons or oranges for a festive touch.

Author’s bio

Michelle Snyder
In the search of her passion which is food. She writes stuff about the mysteries of food and how it affects a person’s way of thinking or living. Traveling around the world is a hobby that brings her closer to the one thing she's passionate about, which is  food.


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I enjoy reading them :)

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