Healthy Marinades

Grill

I eat a lot of chicken breast as part of my healthy diet, but it can get boring for the family I cook for. As you know I am not a fan of fast or processed foods, so getting a variety of flavors has to come from creative cooking. I learned the magic of marinades when a group from work decided to have a dinner making party. You know……one of those places where you prepare your own meals to take home and freeze? First, I picked what sounded like the healthiest meals including chicken breast, shrimp and lean cuts of beef. We went through various stations with recipe cards where we had the meat in a zip lock bag and dropped in ingredients for a sauce. Then we sealed it and brought it home to either make it right away, or freeze it. With a fresh variety of ingredients, it’s so simple yet delicious. The best part is not using a questionable bottled marinade with artificial flavorings and preservatives.

Because it was so simple, I decided to just fill my kitchen with the typical ingredients for these sauces to make anytime. You can use them with any lean cut of meat and add a healthy side dish like wild rice or sweet potato. Here are some basic recipes you can use.

Barbeque
¾ cup ketchup
1 Tbls molasses
1 tsp honey
4 Tbls lemon juice
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
¼ cup brown sugar
½ tsp onion powder
1 tsp dry mustard
½ tsp pepper

Jamaican Jerk
2 Tbls olive oil
2 ½ tsp thyme
2 ½ tsp onion powder
½ tsp cinnamon
2 tsp allspice
½ tsp salt
2 tsp pepper
Dash of cayenne pepper or more if you like it hot

Mexican
2 Tbls Olive Oil
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 Tbls chili powder
½ tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
Dash of cayenne pepper or more if you like it hot
Optional: Salsa to top off either during or after baking

Italian
3 Tbls olive oil
1 Tbls red wine vinegar
2 cloves minced garlic
½ tsp onion powder
1 Tbls dried basil
1 tsp oregano
¼ tsp thyme

Eastern
3 Tbls olive oil
1 Tbls lemon juice
1 Tbls dried parsley
1 ½ tsp cumin
¼ tsp curry powder
1 clove minced garlic
½ tsp salt
½ tsp pepper

Asian
1 tsp sesame oil
2/3 sweet rice wine
4 Tbls soy sauce
2 Tbls honey
1 clove minced garlic
¼ tsp ground ginger