The usual fried or grilled chicken recipes can be boring sometimes, especially if you use the same ingredients over and over. No need to worry — here’s a new recipe you can try.
This hearty Mediterranean-inspired recipe from Mercola.com reader Stella pairs chicken with a wholesome, no-grain side dish: zucchini noodles. Try it for lunch or dinner — you won’t be disappointed!
Mediterranean Zucchini Noodles
- 4 to 6 zucchinis, spiralized
- 2 Tbsp. coconut oil, or more if preferred
- 8 to 12 Tbsp. basil pesto (approx. 2 TBSP for each zucchini)
- 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, sliced in half
- 1 cup raw sheep or goat feta cheese
- Sauté zucchini in coconut oil over medium heat until noodles are translucent or flexible. Transfer to a bowl.
- While pan is still hot, heat tomatoes for about 30 seconds, ideally flat side down. Add to bowl of zucchini.
- Toss contents of bowl with basil pesto, and toss in cheese.
Delight in the Flavors of the Mediterranean With This Fantastic Chicken-Zucchini Combo
Chicken is an excellent source of protein, since it contains all the eight essential amino acids that are crucial for building, maintaining, and repairing important body tissues, such as your muscles, skin, and internal organs. It also contains selenium, phosphorus, choline, and B vitamins.
Note that the recipe specifically calls for organic chicken, as that is the only type of chicken I would recommend eating. Most conventional chicken today comes from confined animal feeding operations (CAFOs), which are linked to antibiotic-resistant illnesses and foodborne infections like salmonella. Ideally, look for a farmer that sells true organic, pasture-raised chickens that are allowed to forage freely and eat their natural diet of worms, seeds, and insects.
Make sure to follow safe handling instructions for chicken. Avoid using the same cutting board for meat and vegetables (such as when cooking this recipe), and designate separate cutting boards for these two types of foods instead.
Cook the chicken thoroughly to kill off any potentially harmful bacteria (The problem with cooking chicken thoroughly is it becomes very dry, which is why Stella’s recommendation to soak the chicken in homemade broth or water after cooking is an excellent technique).
Zucchini noodles make a truly delicious companion to the chicken, not only for its flavor but also its impressive nutritional content. It’s high in fiber and potassium, rich in antioxidants (namely lutein, carotene, and zeaxanthin), yet low in calories. Remember to include the skin when making the noodles, since this is where you’ll find most of the nutrients.
Even the basil pesto sauce, which blends well with zucchini’s mild flavor, is also chockfull of nutrients. Basil is known as one of the healthiest herbs, and is loaded with vitamin K, A, and C, iron, manganese, calcium, potassium, and magnesium. This humble herb also has antibacterial properties and DNA-protecting flavonoids. Want to take your pesto sauce a notch? Try making kale pesto, which infuses the flavors of basil with the goodness of kale.
Tags: Baked, Fruits and Vegetables, High-Protein, Main Dishes, Poultry, Side Dishes