I am making the assumption here that most of you who frequent my blog are trying to live a healthier and fitter life. For most of us, this means copious amounts of lean protein such as chicken and turkey (and beans and tofu for my vegetarians and vegans out there).
When I first embarked on my journey of living a healthier and fitter life, I really didn’t have a clue about how to prepare the meat that I cooked. Because I had lived in Asia my whole life, I made a lot of stir fry’s, but they would always disappoint in how bland and unflavorful the meat was.
Marinades & Spice Mixes for Protein
It was actually my boyfriend who encouraged me to experiment with a variety of spices and marinades to make my food taste better. There are lots of easy and little things you can do that can make a LOT of difference to the flavor of your food (and the happiness of your belly) without adding lots of unnecessary calories. I am excited to share some of my favorite marinades for protein with you 🙂
Photo by Bhaksar Dutta via Getty Images
- baking it whole (this keeps it juicy)! Depending on the size of the chicken breast, I like to bake it for 20-25 minutes at a temperature of 450 degrees fahrenheit, liberally sprinkled with Rachel Ray’s poultry seasoning, or salt, pepper, and rosemary
- dijon mustard tastes fantastic with chicken and also makes for a delicious marinade. I like using this marinade from the Food Network. Get a ziplock bag and place your chicken breast in it along with 1-2tbsp of any vinegar of your choice, 2-3 tsp of either thyme, oregano or rosemary, 1-2tbsp of dijon mustard and a pinch of salt and pepper
- I use the same methods above for turkey 🙂 Or I buy the roasted turkey slices at Safeway (an American supermarket) if I am lazy hehe)
- I love doing a marinade with soy sauce (or low sodium soy sauce if you are watching your sodium intake). I tend to put beef strips in a ziplock bag, and fill it with enough soy sauce to cover the beef with it. I then add the juice of half a lemon, a tablespoon or two of curry powder and 1tsp of salt and pepper. If you are not a fan of spicy food, just omit the curry powder and replace it with 2 cloves of crushed garlic. This makes a great beef stir fry.
- as with chicken, I love baking fish! My fave fish to bake are salmon and tilapia
- I usually sprinkle some high quality salt and pepper on the fish, and squeeze the juice of half a lemon on top of it. I use the remaining half of the lemon and cut it into slices and place it on top of the fish before putting it in the oven.
- adding some crushed garlic to the fish really helps enhance the fish as well. Give it a try!
- my favorite beans are garbanzo beans (aka chickpeas) hands down! I do also like lentils, black beans and red kidney beans a lot though. I like to prepare beans for roasting or stir frying by coating them in olive or coconut oil (about 2tbsp per 1/2 cup) and then sprinkling them with salt, pepper and some cumin.
- Again, adding some crushed garlic cloves to the beans will only enhance the flavor! And feel free to put more herbs and spices such as paprika.
Seasonings and marinades make a world of difference!
I hope these tips help create many flavorful and appetizing meals for you. They have certainly helped make healthy eating much easier and more enjoyable for me. Experiment and be creative; food is to be enjoyed after all!
Question: What is your favorite marinade or spice mix??