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LifestyleColumnistsMarge Perry

3 Simple lean protein recipes

Boneless chicken breasts are cooked in a skillet

Boneless chicken breasts are cooked in a skillet and served with a pan sauce of lemon, Dijon mustard and fresh thyme. Photo Credit: Marge Perry

CHICKEN WITH LEMON-DIJON SAUCE

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, pounded to an even thickness

1⁄2 teaspoon salt

1⁄4 teaspoon black pepper

2 tablespoons olive oil, divided

1⁄2 cup low-sodium chicken broth

1⁄3 cup white wine

3 tablespoons lemon juice

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves (plus sprigs for garnish if desired)

 

1. Season the chicken on both sides with the salt and pepper.

2. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium high. Add the chicken breasts and cook until golden on the undersides, about 2 to 3 minutes. Turn and cook until again golden, another 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a clean plate. (The chicken will not be fully cooked at this point).

3. Add the broth, wine, lemon juice and mustard to the pan, stirring to scrape up bits from the pan surface and dissolve the mustard. Cook until the liquid is creamy looking and thickened, about 4 minutes. Stir in the thyme and remaining 1 tablespoon of oil. Add the chicken, turn it over to coat in the sauce and cover the pan. Cook until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 160 degrees, about 1 minute. Makes 4 servings.

Nutritional analysis for each serving: 203 calories, 23 g protein, 2 g carbohydrates, 0 fiber, 9 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 385 mg sodium

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CREOLE SHRIMP

Creole seasoning is sold with bottled spices in most grocery stores.

 

1 tablespoon canola oil

1 medium red onion, thinly sliced (about 1 cup)

3 ribs celery, chopped

1 green bell pepper, cut in thin strips

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 (14.5-ounce) can crushed tomatoes

1 cup low-sodium chicken broth

3 tablespoons tomato paste

1 1⁄2 teaspoons Creole seasoning

1 teaspoon paprika

1 1⁄2 pounds peeled large shrimp

1⁄4 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons chopped parsley

 

1. Heat the oil in a Dutch oven or deep skillet over medium. Add the onion, celery, green pepper and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the crushed tomatoes, broth, tomato paste, Creole seasoning and paprika and bring to a boil. Immediately reduce to a simmer, cover and cook 15 minutes until thickened.

2. Stir in the shrimp and salt and cook until the shrimp are opaque and cooked through, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the parsley. Makes 4 servings.

Nutritional analysis for each serving: 233 calories, 27 g protein, 19 g carbohydrates, 5 g fiber, 6 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 898 mg sodium

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HOISIN PORK AND SUGAR SNAPS

1 pound pork tenderloin

1 tablespoon canola oil

1 tablespoon minced ginger

3 cloves garlic, minced

1⁄4 cup hoisin sauce

1⁄4 teaspoon Asian chili paste

12 ounces sugar snaps

1⁄2 cup chopped scallions

1⁄4 cup chopped peanuts

 

1. Cut the tenderloin in half lengthwise and across in thin strips.

2. Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium high. Add the pork and cook, stirring occasionally, until it is just no longer pink, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a bowl.

3. Add the ginger and garlic to the pan and cook, stirring, 15 seconds. Pour in the hoisin and chili paste and stir; add the sugar snaps and cook 1 minute. Stir in the scallions and pork, and cook 2 minutes until the pork is cooked through and hot. Sprinkle with the peanuts and serve. Makes 4 servings.

Nutritional analysis for each serving: 287 calories, 30 g protein, 17 g carbohydrates, 3 g fiber, 11 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 363 mg sodium

TIP: The lean proteins in these recipes are interchangeable; simply adjust your cooking times.

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