It goes without saying that one of the biggest problems Americans face regarding their health is the constant battle against consuming meals that are nutrient-lacking and full of calories, fat, and sodium. We live in a culture where it is the norm to be surrounded by tempting foods in vending machines at our schools and workplaces, donuts and other sweet treats brought in by coworkers, and let’s not forget the excruciating drive home from our jobs where we always find ourselves starving. We probably pass by hundreds of fast food chains with easily accessible drive-throughs, all of which make it seem too simple to justify a meal there by the cheapness of the food on the menu and our rumbling bellies. But, beware! A seemingly harmless Big Mac meal with fries and a soda can set you back over 1,100 calories and a shocking 50g of fat, not to mention the excessive amount of sodium that can leave you feeling bloated and contribute to high blood pressure. While it seems hard to pass up, just keep your foot on the gas pedal and don’t look back!
We get it, we really do. It’s hard in our day and age to eat healthy and sometimes the task of meal planning and making smart food choices seems almost impossible. Never fear, though, because one of our main jobs here at FitBodyHQ is to create workouts and recipes that are delicious, nutritious, and sustainable for you! Healthy eating doesn’t have to be a struggle and fueling your body with healthy fats, lean proteins, and wholesome carbs will leave you feeling energized and comfortable in your skin!
Sounds like a good deal, right? Well, if you agree, this super fast and easy Sweet Potato Chicken Bake is just the meal for you!
This dish is a regular rotation around my place and makes its way on to my dinner and lunch plate at least once a week. It’s bursting with the sweet and salty flavor combination of the caramelized onions and sweet potatoes with the seasoned chicken and couldn’t be more straightforward to put together. What’s even better? One serving has less than 260 calories, 27 grams of protein, and a drastically reduced salt content compared to restaurant meals. Forget McDonald’s or other fast food chains! Who needs them when you can have this chicken bake on your table in no time or effort at all and with only a few minutes of prep work.
Let’s take a quick peek into what this fabulous dinner has that a Big Mac meal falls far short on:
- Lean protein: choosing a lean meat, such as skinless chicken breast, keeps you feeling full longer and provides you with building blocks for your muscles and bones- all without tacking on extra saturated fat that can increase your risk of heart disease.
- Sweet potatoes: sweet potatoes are vitamin powerhouses and contain ample vitamin B6, vitamin C, and vitamin D, which are necessary for normal body functioning. Along with that, they are a good source of iron, potassium, and fiber.
- Olive oil: considered a healthy fat, olive oil is a great substitute for the saturated fat that makes up a good portion of fast food products and can help lower your risk of heart disease.
To me, baked chicken is the perfect combination of comfort food and your ideal healthy dinner and is absolutely perfect for family night or to enjoy by yourself! Leftovers are just as mouthwatering reheated the next day and give you something to look forward to during your lunch break.
It’s bursting with the sweet and salty flavor combination of the caramelized onions and sweet potatoes with the seasoned chicken and couldn’t be more straightforward to put together.
- 1 medium sweet potato, sliced
- 1/2 onion, thinly sliced
- 1 bell pepper, sliced
- 1 1/2 cup carrots, sliced
- 3 cloves garlic, diced
- garlic salt and pepper, to taste
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 lb skinless chicken breast
- fresh italian parsley, roughly chopped
- While prepping the vegetables, preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
- In a large baking dish, combine the sweet potato slices, onion, bell pepper, carrots, and garlic.
- Sprinkle with garlic salt and pepper and toss with olive oil.
- Season the chicken breast on both sides with garlic salt and pepper, then place on top of the vegetables.
- Bake for 30 minutes, then remove the chicken and place on a separate plate.
- Stir the vegetables and place back in the oven for 5-10 minutes or until fork-tender.
- Replace the chicken and sprinkle with the parsley.
Makes 4 servings with 255 calories/serving, 10g fat, 14g carbs, 2.9g fiber, and 27g protein.
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