A recipe for protein: Grilled chicken with homemade pesto

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Photo via Food Network (online)

If you’re in training for either powerlifting or bodybuilding, or you’re just training for yourself, you’re not going to get all of the benefits you can just from hitting the gym. Diet plays a large role in building muscle and cutting fat. There are a variety of great food options when you are on a diet that builds muscle, but sometimes meals can end up being very plain and quite boring (think plain rice and fish). We have a great recipe that can provide you with a great low fat, high protein meal that you can end your day with in the form of grilled chicken with pesto, rice and that all important veg.

What do you need?:

  • Chicken breast
  • White rice
  • Broccoli
  • Kale
  • Red and yellow peppers
  • 1 OXO cube (chicken or vegetable flavoured)

First add your OXO cube to the pan of water; rinse your desired amount of white rice and place it in the pan. Bring the water to a boil and put a lid on the pan; cook for 10 – 15 minutes while making regular checks. While the rice is cooking, grill the chicken for 5 minutes on each side in a little oil until cooked. Alongside the chicken, cut a red and / or yellow pepper into chunks and grill for 3 to 4 minutes making sure that they don’t burn. Boil the broccoli and kale in a pan for 5 minutes until cooked.

For the pesto (recipe via Food Network):

  • 2 cups of baby spinach leaves
  • 1/4 cup of toasted pine nuts
  • 2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
  • 1/3 cup plus 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • Salt and black pepper

To make the pesto, combine the spinach, pine nuts, lemon juice, and lemon peel into a blender/processor and lightly pulse. Gradually add 1/3 cup of the oil and the salt, and blend until the mixture is creamy. The great thing about this pesto is that you can freeze it and use small portions whenever you like to flavour more dishes. To serve, spread a small amount of the pesto across your chicken breast and enjoy!

Not keen on rice? For an alternative for this recipe try sweet potato mash. To make this mash you must first boil the sweet potato until soft; this normally takes up to 20 minutes so check on it regularly. Make sure to boil sweet potatoes in their skins as they are much easier to peal once soft. Once peeled, simply mash the potatoes until soft and creamy – feel free to add a little butter to make it easier to mash.

For more nutrition tips and advice on how to build your muscles, remember that you can always ask a member of our fitness team up the gym at Andover Leisure Centre and The Rapids. We are also offering personalised fitness programmes for the New Year, to enquire, visit our website at www.valleyleisure.com/getmotivated15.

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