Loving the BITE: Easy Tasty Raspberry Chicken to Keep Your Muscles in Recovery Mode
Need a quick, healthy dinner idea? Who doesn’t? Between work, training, family, the commute, and any other responsibilities, most cyclists have little time for cooking and often are tempted by eating out or buying boxed meals at the store.
But, this is not always the best answer. Convenience foods and most fast foods have a bad reputation for many good reasons…if your dinner comes out of a box or bag, it is likely be higher in sodium, lower in protein, and full of all sorts of ingredients you’d never add, and never want to add, at home. So why eat them? Usually, it all comes down to time (and lack thereof).
This week, we’ll prepare a chicken dish in no time at all. If you’ve trained earlier in the day, it will help your body continue to repair and rebuild muscle mass instead of burning it or allowing it to burn or neglect their repair. We’ll keep it “Light at Night” for anyone wanting to get leaner while getting stronger. It will take some thinking ahead, but only requires very little prep time. In fact, beyond this easy recipe, I’ll give you an almost-homemade delicious raspberry vinaigrette that will turn many dinners into something to talk about.
Recipe of the Week: Tasty Raspberry vinaigrette Chicken
- 16 oz. organic (if possible) chicken breasts or thighs
- 8 oz. Bragg’s Organic Braggberry Dressing (see below)*raspvinchicken
- 1/4 cup olive oil*
- 1/4 tsp sea salt*
- Salt, to taste
- Pepper, to taste
- Mix Bragg’s dressing, olive oil, and sea salt in large baggie or dish. Mix well. Add Chicken. Marinate for 3-24 hours. Can also place in freezer for future use.
- Preheat oven to 350 degree Fahrenheit or preheat grill.
- To bake: Place chicken mix in baking dish (can place foil in baking dish for easy clean up). Depending on chicken cut, cook for 35-45 minutes until cooked through. If cooking thighs, make sure they are split and flattened down as much as possible.
- To Grill: Place chicken on a hot grill and cook 5-8 minutes each side until cooked through.
- Serve over a salad or on the side of vegetable. Salt and Pepper to taste. I used a plate full of greens and broccoli, 1 Tbsp. toasted pecans, 2 Tbsp. goat cheese, and 2 small chicken thighs with an extra drizzle of dressing as prepared below in the bonus recipe.
- If you cannot find Bragg’s Organic Braggberry Dressing, replace the dressing, oil, and salt with a high-quality (preferably soybean-oil-free) raspberry vinaigrette.
I’ve been on the attack. Lately, I’m finding very few condiments and convenience foods that I can recommend. Sure, there are a few brands of frozen dishes and condiment sauces that are reasonable in terms of ingredients. But often, you’ll still lose out on the quality of ingredients, the amount of protein, or added ingredients that you simply don’t want.
Instead of continuing to steer you away from the grocery store aisles, however, I’m happy to recommend one brand of vinaigrette this week.
Just a few months ago, I was introduced to a few products by Bragg in the salad dressing aisle (I’ve long been a fan of their organic apple cider vinegar and liquid aminos). Take a look at your store, and you may find their dressings. They include Braggberry, Ginger & Sesame, a Vinaigrette, and Hawaiian. I have been fortunate enough to find both the Braggberry and Ginger & Sesame at great prices at my local store – you can also find them online (but I’ve not found prices I’m willing to pay). Bragg uses very high quality ingredients in their products, and preserve as many “raw” food attributes as possible with minimal processing.
As you know, I recommend avoiding soybean oil as much as possible, and for many of us, the biggest source is commercial salad dressings. Problem is, salad dressing can make great marinades, and of course, add flavor to all the vegetables I recommend every night. Without going into detail, it’s important to know that soybean oil is a very concentrated source of omega-6 fats. And, while these fats are essential in minimal amounts, they are pro-inflammatory in our bodies. In fact, when we consume significantly greater amounts of omega-6s than omega-3s, our bodies are shifted to a more inflammatory state. We get more than enough omega-6s in wonderful whole food forms (like nuts), so we certainly do not need to add more in commercial products. Soybean oil is nothing more than a cheap oil source for most food manufacturers, and it may be having a great and detrimental effect on our health (of note, whole soybeans are not nearly as concentrated a source and can be used in the diet in moderation…it’s the soybean oil to omit).
Inflammation is an issue for everyone, as it is correlated to many chronic disease states, obesity, and mental health issues. For the cyclist, it can become an even bigger problem as it can increase fatigue, slow recovery, and slow healing from injuries and stress on the muscles and body.
Bragg’s Braggberry contains: Purified, water, Bragg Organic Apple Cider Vinegar, organic Concord Grape juice concentrate, organic pomegranate juice concentrate, organic rice starch, organic blueberry juice concentrate, organic red raspberry puree, organic apple juice concentrate, organic lemon juice, organic acai berry puree, organic gogi berry juice, organic stevia extract.
Bonus Recipe: To make Braggberry into a full-fledged vinaigrette for salad dressings and marinating, I recommend pouring about 6 oz. (1/2 the bottle) into another jar or bottle for storing. Then, add 6 oz. olive oil and 1/2 tsp sea salt. Shake well.
Healthy dressing? Done. Healthy, quick dinner that you can freeze for future dinners, use for lunch leftovers, and pack in needed protein for ongoing muscle recovery. Done. This week, we’re all set. Nourished, recovering and riding strong again.
Fuel Your Ride. Nourish Your Body.