Dieting isn’t any fun. One of the hardest parts of losing weight and healing your heart is not getting in a rut with your diet. If it’s too hard to cook, doesn’t taste good, boring and uninspired you just won’t stick to the plan.
As a matter of fact, I don’t even tell my clients to think in the same way about eating that a traditional diet sets forth. Dieting at its core is about deprivation. You get temporary weight loss results by depriving yourself of certain foods. This ultimately fails because, who wants to live a life of deprivation? What I teach my clients to do is to approach this part of their lives with curiosity, rather than judgement. And to focus on what they Do Get To Eat, rather than what they don’t. That’s why I’m constantly on the look out for new ways to prepare heart healthy foods that are delicious and easy to make.
Grilled chicken breasts can get boring…not to mention dry and tasteless at times. So here’s 3 super easy and heart healthy ways to make chicken in your air fryer or multi-cooker. These recipes don’t use a lot of ingredients, and can be whipped up in no time at all. They are perfect for busy weekday dinners!
I started making this recipe back before the new fangled multi-cookers like the Ninja. Just throw chicken breasts in the crockpot and slow cook for 8 hours. It was good, but it’s better in a pressure cooker. It’s really simple to make, too.
- 2 lbs of chicken skinless boneless breasts
- salt & pepper to taste (or your favorite seasoning blend)
- 1 1/2 cups of salsa
Season your chicken breasts and sauté in your multi-cooker or skillet till browned. Then dump the chicken and salsa into your cooker, and cook on high pressure for 15 minutes. When it’s done, quick release the pressure and shred the chicken. If it’s a little too “soupy” for your liking, you can cook it for another 10 to 15 minutes on the Sauté setting to let some of the liquid to evaporate. Serve it over rice, sweet potatoes, or even make a burrito bowl or salad with this delicious chicken!
“Grilled” Chicken Thighs
We buy a lot of bulk organic chicken and other meat from our local Costco. I’m not a big fan of chicken breasts. I know they are leaner and healthier, but dark meat is where it’s at in the flavor department. When I buy chicken thighs, I opt for boneless and skinless. They cook up so fast, that there is literally no excuse for not having a heart healthy dinner on the table in less than 30 minutes.
- 2 lbs of boneless, skinless chicken thighs
- 2 Tbs olive oil
- Montreal Steak Seasoning
You want a delicious chicken dish? This is so simple and so good! All you have to do is put your chicken thighs in a bowl and pour over the olive oil. Make sure each thigh is well covered, and then season to your liking with the Montreal Steak Seasoning (or use your favorite seasoning blend). Put the thighs in the basket of your air fryer and air fry at 380 degrees for 8 minutes. Give them a flip, and then cook for another 8 minutes. They should be done, but if you want them even more crispy just flip again and cook for about 5-6 more minutes. You can even baste the thighs with some of your favorite low sugar bbq sauce.
Serve these beside a nice salad or even make them a sandwich or wrap! I always seem to have a ziplock baggie of these thighs in the fridge that can be made into a quick meal or snack on the go.
These drumsticks might take a little more work to get done, but your patience will be rewarded. I really recommend using the Old Bay seasoning on this one, but you can use your own favorite seasoning blend or just salt and pepper. You’re going to lightly pressure cook the drumstick to get them nice and juicy, then air fry them with bbq sauce to get that awesome backyard flavor.
- 2 lbs of chicken drumsticks
- Old Bay seasoning
- 1 cup of water or chicken broth
- Your favorite bbq sauce
Really simple! First season your drumsticks with Old Bay to your liking. I like a lot of seasoning, so I cake it on! Pour the water or broth…or even beer into the bottom of your multi-cooker. Now place the drumsticks into the air fryer basket and put it into the cooker, so they are out of the water/broth. Cook the drumsticks on high pressure for 12 minutes, and do a quick release on the pressure. I like to dump the water out of the cooker after this, but I don’t think it would really make a difference. Now you’re going to baste your chicken with bbq sauce and air fry for 10-12 minutes, flipping halfway. You should have a delicious and flavorful bbq chicken dinner.
Here’s some more tips for the chicken legs:
- Use bone in thighs, they are just as good.
- Put a drop or two of liquid smoke in the water/broth for added flavor
- Try adding some smoked paprika to the seasoning to add even more smokiness
Eating healthy doesn’t mean you have to deprive yourself of the things you like to eat. You just have to be smarter about how you prepare your food. I tell you, I bought one of these Ninja Foodi units years ago and didn’t know what to do with it. Once I found out how delicious and easy I could make heart healthy meals for my family, I started using it at least 4 days per week.
Let me know what you think about the recipes above!
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