Thursday, June 14, 2012

A Recipe for a Healthy Heart


Spicy Chicken Breasts

I have been learning about cholesterol lately (OK, fine, it's a health thing.) and I've realized, quite alarmingly, that a lot of the food I love to eat are cholesterol bombs. A piece of fried chicken (a staple in our house) for example, has 116mg of cholesterol (http://allrecipes.com/recipe/crispy-fried-chicken/). 116mg of cholesterol used to sound meaningless to me, but once you learn that: 
"The American Heart Association suggests you restrict your daily cholesterol to no more than 300mg if you're healthy. If you have heart disease or risk factors for heart disease, like obesity, smoking and hereditary factors, limit you cholesterol intake to less than 200mg daily (Read more: http://www.livestrong.com/article/333329),"
fire alarms should start ringing in your head the minute you see fried chicken sitting on the dining table. Limiting my cholesterol intake to less than 200mg daily means that when I eat a piece of fried chicken, I am pretty much done with food for the day. This is not a good thing. Especially when for a couple of years now, I've lived, and eaten, by the credo, "fat is flavor."

After a dizzying research about good cholesterol, bad cholesterol, sodium, etc., while I am not completely swearing off the occasional buffalo wing, I figured I should inject some healthier meals in my diet. So. In an attempt to eat healthier, I have been on the lookout for recipes that taste good despite being low in cholesterol. The recipe for Spicy Chicken Breasts courtesy of allrecipes.com is one such recipe. Per serving of 1 chicken breast, it has only  68 mg of cholesterol, a total fat content of 2.4g, and only 173 calories. I have not really paid attention to the nutritional information found in every allrecipes.com recipe before, but I really appreciate them now.

Spicy Chicken Breasts

Ingredients
2 1/2 tablespoons paprika
2 tablespoons garlic powder
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon dried thyme
1 tablespoon ground cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon ground black pepper
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves

Directions
In a medium bowl, mix together the paprika, garlic powder, salt, onion powder, thyme, cayenne pepper, and ground black pepper. Set aside about 3 tablespoons of this seasoning mixture for the chicken; store the remainder in an airtight container for later use (for seasoning fish, meats, or vegetables).
Preheat grill for medium-high heat. Rub some of the reserved 3 tablespoons of seasoning onto both sides of the chicken breasts.
Lightly oil the grill grate. Place chicken on the grill, and cook for 6 to 8 minutes on each side, until juices run clear.

Makes 4 servings.

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