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Comfy Chicken

The following article profiles a series of recipes that are simple to make and will leave you feeling like a comfy chicken!

By: Kelly Atyeo, B.A.Sc., M.H.Sc., P.H.Ec.

Eating something you enjoy can conjure up positive emotions or remind you of something happy from your past.  These are often considered “comfort foods”.

Interestingly, some research suggests that the types of foods chosen depend on gender.1  Women choose ice cream, chocolate and cookies as their top 3 comfort foods, and men: ice cream, soup and pizza/pasta.1 Not necessarily the healthiest options out there! 

Also, it’s been noted that men prefer a “meal type item” that makes them feel “spoiled” whereas women feel these types of meals remind them of all the work that went into preparing them.2  So – we must find comforting meals that are easy to make – with the added benefits of being healthy! 

The following article profiles a series of recipes that are simple to make and will leave you feeling like a comfy chicken! 

Slow Cooker Recipes

Doesn’t everything that you make in a slow cooker seem warm and comforting?  Maybe that’s because you can be comforted in knowing that the meals are quick and easy to make!

Slow Cooker Chipotle Chicken

A few bold flavoured ingredients give this recipe its kick.  It’s packed with protein and loaded with B-vitamins, iron and zinc.   These nutrients are especially important to help maintain your energy levels. 

Speedy Chicken Chili

Chili is one of those comfort foods that doesn’t need to be greasy.  Try substituting ground beef for ground chicken and blend together simple ingredients for a high fibre, protein filled bowl of chili.  Not only is this recipe comforting – but because of the protein and fibre you’ll stay full for longer after eating it! 

Casseroles

Do you have a casserole recipe that’s been passed on in your family?  There is something nostalgic about a warm casserole dish for the family for a weekend dinner.  It’s a meal that feels like home. 

Get inspired by these healthy and comforting chicken casseroles!

Mac-and-Chicken Burger Casserole

This recipe sounds indulgent – but is actually quite nutritious!  Lean chicken cuts back on the fat, while all the veggies boost up the antioxidants offering 100% of your Daily value for Vitamin C!

Cassoulet of Chicken with Mixed Beans

This is a French comfort dish that’s traditionally made with sausage, goose, lamb or pork.  However – by using lean chicken, you really cut back on the fat.  Also – because of the beans in this recipe, you’ll get a whopping 17 g of fibre per serving!

Healthy Shepherd’s Pie

Yes – Shepherd’s pie is a casserole!  If you want to cut back on the calories and fat, leave off the cheese…you’ll still get that comforting feeling!

Stews & Soups

Warm favourful broth on a day that seems dull and dreary can really make you feel rejuvenated.  That’s one of the reasons chicken soup is a great choice for the common cold; besides being nutritious…it’s comforting! 

Scottish Cottage Stew

The simple nutritious ingredients including Yukon gold potatoes, carrots and ground ghicken blend together to make this warm and comforting cottage stew.  It’s also loaded with Vitamin A (150% of your Daily Value!)  – which is important for immunity, skin health and vision. 3

Chicken & Orzo Stew

Instead of eating a whole bowl of pasta as your “comfort food” – make this Chicken and Orzo stew to get a balance of protein and carbohydrates.

Gypsy Chicken Stew

Awaken your taste buds!  The chickpeas and sweet potatoes boost up the fibre in this comforting dish, while using skinless chicken drumsticks keeps the fat in check.

As the weather gets cooler, we hope you’ll enjoy these homey, healthy comfy chicken recipes!

References:

  1. Khaleeli, Z. (2011). Mood and Gender Relate to the Selection & Intake of Comfort Foods. Retrieved August 11, 2015, from  http://foodpsychology.cornell.edu/outreach/comfort-food.html
  2. Singh, M. (2014). Eating Comfort Foods May Not Be So Comforting After All. Retrieved August 11, 2015, from http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2014/10/07/354142689/eating-comfort-foods-may-not-be-so-comforting-after-all
  3. EatRight Ontario. (2015). What you need to know about Vitamin A. Retrieved August 11, 2015, from https://www.eatrightontario.ca/en/Articles/Nutrients-(vitamins-and-minerals)/What-you-need-to-know-about-Vitamin-A.aspx#.VRr7vly5fHg

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