Chicken tonight!

Are you ever uninspired when faced with chicken staring blandly at you from the fridge? Pretty tasteless, it may be, but that means it is the perfect food to dress up a little. From hot and spicy, to tangy lemon or herbs and garlic; it complements a whole host of flavours.

Once the fat-laden skin is removed, chicken is low in calories, with a paltry 150 calories in a small to medium-sized chicken fillet. This low-cal option is also an important source of protein and supplies a range of vitamins and micronutrients, including folate and the other B vitamins.

Grilled and baked chicken is full of flavour without any extra calories. Ban the butter, easy on the olive oil and use herbs, spices and other great flavours from your larder to perk up the poultry! Here are a few of my favourite easy meals:

• Marinade a chicken fillet for around half an hour with tandoori paste mixed into a little natural low fat yoghurt. Grill until cooked right through and serve with boiled rice and a tossed salad

• Toss chicken pieces in flour seasoned with oregano, black pepper, a pinch of cayenne pepper and garlic salt. Bake in the oven with just a drizzle of oil and serve with reduced-fat oven chips and a spoonful of tomato chutney or salsa

• Add chicken pieces to a stir-fry with plenty of crunchy vegetables and noodles. Use any of the tasty, low fat sauces now available for a bit of extra flavour, such as plum or lemon, sweet and sour or teriyaki sauce

• Cook up a sliced chicken fillet with pieces of onion, strips of pepper and garlic. Add a spoonful of tomato puree, chilli powder to taste, a pinch of sugar and the juice of a lime. Serve with flour tortillas and top with salad and natural low fat yoghurt

• Marinade chicken fillets in olive oil and the juice of a lemon, along with a bay leaf, crushed garlic and some chilli for a couple of hours. Top the cooked chicken with plenty of chopped fresh coriander and serve with boiled new potatoes and salad

• Cover chicken pieces with honey and mustard before baking

• Add a grilled chicken fillet to crisp salad and toss with low fat ‘creamy’ dressing and just a shaving of Parmesan cheese

• Coat chicken with a spoonful of bottled barbeque sauce, grill and serve with baked potatoes and salad

• Add cooked chicken pieces to risotto or toss with pasta and pesto sauce for a meal in an instant

• Marinade chicken with freshly grated ginger, garlic and soy sauce. Serve with rice and steamed green vegetables such as bok choi

Anyone for chicken tonight?!

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