Foods Fit for Summer – Chicken

chicken kabobsWe’re headed into the dog days of summer—maybe you’ve been enjoying hot, sunny weather that supports fun times outdoors, plus many good foods from the garden and the grill.

We love summer for the chance to eat a variety of healthy foods that are fast and easy to cook. In our last newsletter, we focused on tomatoes. This edition, we feature chicken.

Perhaps one of the most popular and versatile proteins worldwide is chicken. Ranging from roasting, broiling, grilling, frying, poaching and sautéing, chicken meat can be cooked in a variety of ways and still turn out to be delicious. Fortunately, this yummy bird also contains many health benefits that are great for your body. Here are some facts and benefits about this beloved poultry.

When you’re trying to eat healthy and stay lean, it’s hard to think of a more popular and effective main dish for your diet than chicken. For your leanest choice, go with a skinless breast— if you’re watching calories and saturated fat, the white meat wins with less than half the fat of the same portion of dark meat like a drumstick.

Chicken breasts are a classic, muscle-building protein source, too. In fact, there are 35 grams of protein in a 4-ounce portion of cooked light meat chicken versus 30 grams of protein in the same portion of dark meat chicken. Protein not only helps build and repair muscle tissues, it strengthens hair and skin, and helps prevent bone loss. It can be an effective weight loss tool keeping your stomach feeling full for longer periods of time.

Other Health Benefits of Chicken

Tryptophan: An essential amino acid that increases serotonin levels in the brain, which regulates mood and appetite and leads to melatonin production, so it can help you sleep better, too!

Niacin: This vitamin B3 is critical to the health of your skin, digestive tract and nervous system. It also helps convert your food into energy, and has been shown to offset cardiovascular health risks and fight Alzheimer’s Disease.

Selenium: Selenium is a trace mineral that acts as an antioxidant, helping prevent cancer risks by repairing free radicals in the body. It also contributes to thyroid function, cognitive function and fertility.

Phosphorus: Phosphorus is so essential to your system, it is the second most plentiful mineral found in your body after calcium. It is a key part of the care and repair of your tissues and cells.

Because of its extreme versatility and the simplicity of cooking it in bulk and using it all season long, chicken is truly a food fit for summer. Consider grilling several breasts at a time for use with salads, wraps and dinners for the week. The slow cooker gives you shredded chicken you can use with BBQ, tacos, omelets and more. You can experiment with flavors, from Italian with red sauce to Indian curry to the Asian flavors in the recipe below … the possibilities are endless!

Asian Pineapple Chicken Skewers


  • 1/4 cup mirin
  • 1/3 cup Ponzu sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • Fresh red or green chili peppers, chopped (optional)
  • 1 cup of fresh pineapple, cut into 2” chunks
  • 1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into 1” cubes
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil, melted
  • 1 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • 1 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • Nonstick cooking spray or vegetable oil
  • 8 skewers for grilling kebabs


  1. Mix first 8 ingredients in a large bowl and let marinade 30 minutes – 2 hours. If skewers are wooden, let them soak in water during marinade.
  2. Preheat the grill to cook on medium high heat. Thread 4 skewers with chicken and 4 with pineapple.
  3. Grill for 12 – 15 minutes, turning skewers every few minutes to ensure even cooking and charring.
  4. Remove from grill and sprinkle with fresh herbs before serving.

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