Explore the unending potential of a boneless chicken breast

  • This recipe for buffalo chicken stuffed sweet potato has a perfect balance between sweet and savory.

    This recipe for buffalo chicken stuffed sweet potato has a perfect balance between sweet and savory. Courtesy of Biz Velatini

 
 
Updated 7/30/2020 1:25 PM

I think boneless, skinless chicken breasts get a bad rap sometimes. At first thought, people might think "dry and tasteless." But I am here to show you that chicken breasts are delicious and super economical -- watch your sale flier at your local grocery stores. They go on sale about every third week.

I am a widow, an empty-nester and cook for one. When I Google "meal prep for one," I get a lot of the same ideas -- pan-fried chicken breast with salt and pepper, brown rice and steamed broccoli. All put in identical containers to reheat throughout the week. Ew.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

I love variety, but I also love cooking on a budget, so I've prepared four different chicken dishes using one pound of boneless chicken breast, which was on sale for $1.99 a pound, so only fifty cents per serving of protein.

You're welcome.

First up and probably my surprising favorite of all four is a buffalo chicken stuffed sweet potato. It's got a perfect balance between sweet and savory, and I promise, if you have family members who don't like sweet potatoes, this is the recipe to try.

Next up is a quick and delicious dinner that screams comfort food but is healthy. It's my crispy chicken Parmesan with crispy zucchini. The best part about this recipe is that you can use the same coating for both the chicken and the zucchini -- be sure to dip your zucchini first! I air-fried my zucchini, but you can bake them at the same temperature.

Then there is a simple chicken and vegetable stir-fry. One of my weekly meal preps is to cook two cups of brown rice to have in the fridge later in the week. Brown rice typically takes about 40 minutes, so this make-ahead step saves a lot of time when you start getting hungry for dinner. Feel free to use your favorite veggies -- I usually use about a cup of fresh vegetables per person.

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And finally, a simple chicken, apple and cheddar quesadilla. Serve with a vegetable (I had corn on the cob from my farmers market) and fruit, and dinner is ready in less than 10 minutes.

I hope by trying out these recipes, you'll see that a chicken breast doesn't have to be boring at all, and even if cooking for yourself, you deserve to eat a variety of foods -- you are worth it! Until next time, I hope you get Bizzy in Your Kitchen!

My Bizzy Kitchen runs once a month in Food. Follow Biz Velatini on her blog at mybizzykitchen.com/, on Instagram at instagram.com/mybizzykitchen/?hl=en and Facebook at facebook.com/mybizzykitchen.

Buffalo Chicken Stuffed Sweet Potato

1 sweet potato (about 8 ounces each)
4 ounces chicken breast
1 tablespoon Frank's hot sauce
1 teaspoon grape seed oil
1 tablespoon crumbled blue cheese
1 tablespoon whipped cream cheese
1/2 ounce part-skim mozzarella cheese
1/2 teaspoon ranch dressing seasoning
Chopped cilantro for garnish
1 tablespoon Greek yogurt

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

I used my air fryer to bake my sweet potato at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. Let cool slightly. While the sweet potato bakes, simply cook the chicken in a skillet with the grape seed oil for 3-4 minutes, remove from heat and toss in the hot sauce. To build your potato: Slice potato open, fill with cooked chicken, top with the whipped cream cheese, mozzarella and blue cheese and broil for 4-5 minutes until browned and bubbly.

Garnish with Greek yogurt mixed with the Ranch dressing seasoning as sour cream, more hot sauce and chopped cilantro.

Simple Chicken and Vegetable Stir-fry

1 teaspoon grape seed oil
4 ounces chicken breast, cut into bite sized pieces
1 cup fresh veggies, cut into bite sized pieces
1 cup of cooked brown rice
1 egg
1 tablespoon stir fry sauce
1 teaspoon sriracha (if you like it spicy - add more!)

In a skillet or wok, heat the oil. Add the chicken, and cook 3-4 minutes, and remove from pan. Add in the vegetables and cook 3-4 minutes, or until fork tender. I sometimes add a tablespoon of water to this step. Add the chicken back in, the brown rice and cook for 1 minute. Make a hole in the center of the mixture, and crack an egg and scramble for 1 minute, then mix into the stir fry.

Chicken, Apple and Cheddar Quesadilla

1 large flour tortilla
4 ounces chicken breast, cooked and sliced
1/4 cup thinly sliced apple
1 ounce good cheddar cheese
1/8 cup fresh baby spinach
1 teaspoon grape seed oil

Heat non-stick skillet over medium low heat. Brush grape seed oil on one side of the tortilla and cut in half. Flip so that the oil is on the outside. Layer the cheese, chicken breast, apple and spinach and top with second half of tortilla. Cook on medium low for 2 minutes with a lid on (this helps melt the cheese), flip and cook 2 more minutes.

Crispy Chicken Parmesan with Crispy Zucchini

1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
1 zucchini, sliced
4-ounce chicken breast
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro (parsley works too)
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 egg, beaten
1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
1 teaspoon grape seed oil
1 tablespoon shredded Parmesan cheese

In a bowl mix the bread crumbs, salt, pepper, crushed red pepper. In a separate bowl, add the egg, milk and cilantro and beat until combined. Dip the zucchini first into the egg mixture, then into the panko and air fry for 10 minutes at 400 degrees, flipping halfway through. In a cast iron or nonstick skillet, add the oil and heat over medium heat. Dip the chicken in the egg mixture, add the Parmesan cheese to the panko, then in the panko/cheese mixture and cook for 3 minutes a side, or until the chicken reaches 165 degrees.

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