Spinach & Feta Stuffed Chicken

delightful dinners easy lunches
healthy spinach and feta stuffed chicken

This has comfort written all over it!  Spinach and Feta Stuffed Chicken Breast recipe. This dish iis a powerhouse of functional benefits. Packed with lean protein, this healthy stuffed chicken breast is ideal for keeping blood glucose stable and helping you ti hit protein intake goals. .

Rich in iron from the fresh spinach and loaded with the goodness of feta, this low-carb chicken breast recipe is designed for those seeking a heart-healthy chicken meal that doesn't skimp on flavour. Whether you're looking for a high-protein chicken dinner or a nutrient-dense meal to uplift your routine, this recipe ticks all the boxes. Quick, easy, and undeniably delicious.

 

Ingredients:

  •  4 chicken breasts (about 150-200g each)
  •  200g fresh spinach
  •  150g feta cheese, crumbled
  •  2 cloves of garlic, minced
  •  1 tablespoon olive oil
  •  1 teaspoon dried oregano
  •  Salt and pepper to taste
  •  Toothpicks or cooking twine

 

Instructions:

  •  Preheat your oven to 190°C (Gas Mark 5).
  •  In a large pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the minced garlic and sauté for a minute until fragrant. Add the spinach and cook until it wilts, about 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat and let it cool.
  •  Once the spinach is cool enough to handle, squeeze out the excess moisture. In a bowl, mix the wilted spinach with crumbled feta cheese, oregano, and a pinch of salt and pepper.
  •  Place the chicken breasts on a cutting board. With a sharp knife, make a pocket in each chicken breast by cutting along the long side. Be careful not to cut all the way through.
  •  Stuff each chicken breast with the spinach and feta mixture. Use toothpicks or cooking twine to secure the opening.
  •  Season the outside of the chicken breasts with salt, pepper, and a sprinkle of oregano.
  •  Place the stuffed chicken breasts in a baking dish. Bake in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes, or until the chicken is thoroughly cooked and the juices run clear.
  •  Let the chicken rest for a few minutes after taking it out of the oven. Remove the toothpicks or twine, and serve.
  • Serve with agreen salad and roasted sweet potato wedges (optional).

 

Health Benefits:

  •  Lean Protein Source: Chicken breast provides high-quality lean protein, crucial for muscle repair and growth. Research indicates that diets high in lean protein can aid in weight management and muscle health (Pasiakos et al., 2015).
  •  Rich in Iron: Spinach is an excellent source of iron, essential for the formation of hemoglobin and oxygen transport in the blood. Adequate iron intake helps prevent anemia and supports overall energy levels (Pérez-López et al., 2017).
  •  Heart Health: The low unhealthy fat content in this recipe can benefit heart health. Studies suggest that regular consumption of lean proteins like chicken is associated with a lower risk of heart disease (Farvid et al., 2018).
  •  Bone Health: Feta cheese provides calcium, crucial for strong bones and teeth. Calcium intake is vital for maintaining bone density, especially with aging (Weaver et al., 2016).
  •  Low in Carbohydrates: Suitable for those following a low-carbohydrate or ketogenic diet, this dish's low carb content aligns with dietary preferences aimed at weight management or blood sugar control (Gibson et al., 2015).
  •  Rich in Vitamins and Minerals: Spinach provides vitamins A, C, K, and several B vitamins, as well as minerals like magnesium and potassium, supporting overall health (Roberts & Moreau, 2016).
  •  Supports Digestive Health: The fiber in spinach can aid digestion and promote gut health (Slavin, 2013).
  •  Weight Management: The combination of high protein and low carbohydrates can be filling, potentially aiding in weight management by reducing overall calorie intake (Weigle et al., 2005).
  •  Immune Support: Vitamin C in spinach helps support the immune system (Carr & Maggini, 2017).
  •  Antioxidant Benefits: Spinach contains antioxidants that combat free radicals in the body, potentially reducing the risk of chronic diseases (Pandey & Rizvi, 2009).

 

References:

 Pasiakos, S. M., et al. (2015). The effects of protein supplements on muscle mass, strength, and aerobic and anaerobic power in healthy adults: a systematic review. Sports Medicine, 45(1), 111-131.

 Pérez-López, F. R., et al. (2017). Effects of the Mediterranean diet on longevity and age-related morbid conditions. Maturitas, 103, 18-22.

 Farvid, M. S., et al. (2018). Dietary protein consumption and the risk of type 2 diabetes: A systematic review and meta-analysis of cohort studies. Nutrients, 10(9), 1291.

 Weaver, C. M., et al. (2016). The health benefits of calcium citrate malate: A review of the supporting science. Advances in Nutrition, 7(1), 1S-7S.

 Gibson, A. A., et al. (2015). Do ketogenic diets really suppress appetite? A systematic review and meta-analysis. Obesity Reviews, 16(1), 64-76.

 Roberts, J. L., & Moreau, R. (2016). Functional properties of spinach (Spinacia oleracea L.) phytochemicals and bioactives. Food & Function, 7(8), 3337-3353.

 Slavin, J. (2013). Fiber and prebiotics: Mechanisms and health benefits. Nutrients, 5(4), 1417-1435.

 Weigle, D. S., et al. (2005). A high-protein diet induces sustained reductions in appetite, ad libitum caloric intake, and body weight despite compensatory changes in diurnal plasma leptin and ghrelin concentrations. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 82(1), 41-48.

 Carr, A. C., & Maggini, S. (2017). Vitamin C and immune function. Nutrients, 9(11), 1211.

 Pandey, K. B., & Rizvi, S. I. (2009). Plant polyphenols as dietary antioxidants in human health and disease. Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity, 2(5), 270-278.

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