Sun’s out, grill’s out! Try this zesty take on grilled chicken and zucchini from the American Heart Association. Find even more heart healthy recipes at www.heart.org!
8 large green onions (coarsely chopped)
2 medium fresh jalapeño peppers (seeds and ribs discarded, optional)
4 medium garlic cloves
4 sprigs fresh thyme
2 tablespoons honey
4 tablespoons fresh lime juice (divided use)
1 tablespoon ground allspice
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 to 2 tablespoons water, as needed, and 1 to 2 tablespoons water, as needed, divided use
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 4 ounces each), all visible fat discarded
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon salt
4 medium zucchini
1/2 cup plain or whole-wheat panko (Japanese-style bread crumbs)
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon canola or corn oil
1/2 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning (crumbled)
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 medium avocado (halved, pitted, coarsely chopped)
1/4 cup fat-free sour cream
Cooking Tip: You can make this recipe using the oven. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Place the chicken on a foil-lined baking sheet. Bake on the top rack for 35 to 45 minutes, or until the chicken registers 165°F on an instant-read thermometer. Broil for 2 minutes to brown, if desired. Meanwhile, pack the zucchini tightly in a baking dish. Bake on the bottom oven rack for 35 minutes, or until tender. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with the panko mixture. Bake for 5 minutes.
In a food processor or blender, process the green onions, jalapeños, and garlic for 30 seconds, or until finely chopped. Add the thyme, honey, 2 tablespoons lime juice, allspice, vinegar, cinnamon, and ginger. Process until smooth. Add 1 to 2 tablespoons of water if the marinade is too chunky and process until smooth.
Put the chicken in a large shallow dish. Add the marinade, turning to coat. Cover and refrigerate for 4 to 24 hours, turning occasionally.
When the chicken has marinated, lightly spray the grill with cooking spray. Preheat on medium high.
Drain the chicken, discarding the marinade and wiping most of it off the chicken. Sprinkle the pepper and salt over the chicken. Grill for 6 to 8 minutes on each side, or until it registers 165°F on an instant-read thermometer. Transfer the chicken to a plate. Cover with aluminum foil.
Cut each zucchini crosswise into 1/4-inch slices without cutting all the way through in a hasselback cut. (It’s okay if you cut all the way through and break the zucchini. Just proceed as directed.) Gently fan the zucchini to open.
Place a double layer of aluminum foil on the grill. Make a large “boat” of foil to snugly hold the zucchini so they don’t move around. Grill the zucchini without turning for 15 minutes, or until golden brown and almost tender.
In a small bowl, stir together the remaining zucchini ingredients. Sprinkle the panko mixture over the zucchini. Grill for 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from the grill.
Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, using an immersion, or handheld, blender, purée the avocado, sour cream, and the remaining 2 tablespoons lime juice until smooth. Add the remaining 1 to 2 tablespoons of water if the sauce is too thick. (You can also process the sauce in a food processor or blender until smooth.)
Serve the zucchini and sauce with the chicken.
The American Heart Association’s website is a great place for seniors and people of all ages to find delicious heart healthy recipes. Click here for more AHA recipes!