I know I don’t cook a lot of chicken, however I do consider it as an important part of a balanced diet. Chicken is an easy, healthy source of lean proteins and compliments a mostly plant-based diet (such as mine) very well in my opinion. Even though I cook chicken relatively rarely, usually just a couple of times a month, I am certainly not considering to quit eating chicken as I have done with red meat. I have chosen not to eat red meat (I really didn’t even like it as a child), partly due to ethical reasons and partly because it has shown pretty hard to process for my body.
Lighter meats such as chicken and turkey are not only more easy on your system but do also provide a great amout of complete protein without the saturated, “bad”, fat from the red meat. Research has shown that excess amounts of red meat (especially the processed variety) in your diet correlates with a higher risk for cardiovascular diseases and can even cause cancer. Thus, it is recommended to keep the consumption of red meat moderate and replace some of it with lighter meats such as chicken, or fish and plant proteins like beans, nuts, quinoa, tofu…
Because I don’t like denying people things, I’d want to highlight what is most important here: to listen to your body. If your body is able to process red meat, and you like the taste of it, I am definitely not telling you to quit it if you don’t want to. Just make sure to incorporate also other protein sources and prefer organic meat options (applies also with light meats). Organic meat, unlike the processed variety, is much cleaner and does not contain traces of toxins and antibiotics fed to the cattle. Needless to say, that organic meat is also a better choice considering the sustainability of our planet.
This was actually the first time I tried cooking chicken in the oven in my own kitchen. My mother often makes the best, juicy chicken in the oven when I visit home so today, inspired by her, I decided to give the method a try myself. As I’m not really into ready-made chicken stock or such, I mixed a yummy sauce out of tamari, ginger and honey to cook the chicken in. The result turned out just as I had planned and made a perfect, clean but filling lunch with the big fresh salad. No need for extra recipe testing before sharing this one!
Mango rainbow quinoa salad with ginger-tamari chicken
What you will need:
1 chicken breast fillet (organic, around 150-250g depending on your choice)
1tsp sesame oil
1tbsp tamari (or regular soy sauce)
1tsp ground ginger
1/2tsp (Manuka) honey
1/2dl black quinoa (measure uncooked)
1 medium carrot
a handful of purple cabbage
1 tiny zucchini
1/3 of a small cucumber
1/2 small mango
1/2dl edamame beans (frozen)
1 baby avocado or 1/2 of a larger one
a handful of ruby chard or baby spinach
lemon, sesame oil, tamari and fresh coriander to garnish
How to do it?
- Pre-heat your (convection) oven to 175c.
- Mix together water, tamari, ginger, honey and sesame oil, then pour on the bottom of a small oven dish.
- Place your chicken fillet in the dish (if it’s really big you can slice it into two). The liquid should cover the chicken almost completely.
- Cook for around 30 minutes depending on the thickness of your fillets, watching carefully.
- Once the chicken is cooked, get rid of the excess liquid and slice the fillet(s) into thin slices.
- Cook your quinoa according to package instructions.
- Cook your edamames in boiling water according to package instructions.
- Wash the leafy green and set aside.
- In the meanwhile, wash your vegetables and slice them into long, thin slices. I use a mandoline.
- Peel and cut the mango half into cubes. Slice the avocado.
- Let the quinoa cool down and then combine all the salad ingredients. Drizzle with lemon, a little tamari and sesame oil, garnish with fresh coriander.
- Serve with ginger-tamari chicken.