This dish is great for any solo cookers out there. Being that I cook for one or two most of the time, I made a small amount of this recipe. If you are cooking for a family, I would double the recipe. This dish is fairly simple uses a lot of frozen ingredients (again, when you grocery shop for yourself, produce goes bad quickly). The extra veggies (broccoli and peppers) are optional but I like my food to be colorful :)
For any lifters/gym go-ers/fitness enthusiasts, this recipe is a good post-work out meal. It has a nice mix of high biological value** (or complete protein) protein from the chicken (for muscle repair and synthesis) and complex carbohydrates from the sweet potatoes. You'll also get a good dose of vitamins and minerals, some of which (vitamins A, D, E, and K- fat soluble vitamins- to be exact) you will absorb better thanks to the healthy fats (monounsaturated) from the olive oil.
Buffalo Chicken & Sweet Potato Casserole
2 chicken breasts, diced (yes I even used frozen chicken from TJ, just defrost first)
2 sweet potatoes, diced
1/4 yellow onion, diced
1 cup diced peppers
1 cup broccoli florets
3 T hot sauce
3 T olive oil
1 tsp paprika
1 T garlic powder
salt/pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Defrost frozen veggies in microwave, drain any water and set aside.
Combine chicken, sweet potatoes and onions in a large bowl.
In a small bowl, mix hot sauce, olive oil, garlic powder, paprika. Add salt and pepper to taste (be sure to taste before adding salt, most hot sauces already have a lot and you probably won't need much more).
Pour mixture over chicken, sweet potatoes and onions and stir well until everything is completely coated. Spread into a casserole dish and place into preheated oven.
Cook for 40 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes. With 10 minutes left (or after 30 minutes, if that helps you out) stir in defrosted veggies (these are already softer than they would be if they were fresh so they will cook fast). Cook for another 10 minutes.
Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly.
Devour. Thank me. You're welcome.
What is a high biological value protein?
Amino acids are the building blocks of protein. There are 22 amino acids and they are categorized as either essential or nonessential. Nonessential proteins can be made by the body. Essential proteins cannot be synthesized by the body and need to come from the diet. There are 9 essential amino acids: tryptophan, valine, threonine, isoleucine, leucine, phenylalanine, methionine, and histidine. When a food contains all 9 essential amino acids, it is said to be a complete or high biological value protein.
Repair tissue and build muscle
Help maintain electrolytes, fluid and acid-base balance
Provide some of the bodies energy
Make enzymes and antibodies
***Due to hormonal actions, high protein foods are more satiating (makes you feel fuller) than high carbohydrate foods (ever eat pancakes for breakfast and feel hungry an hour later?). Ghrelin is a hormone secreted by the stomach that increases appetite. Leptin is a satiety hormone secreted by fat cells that makes you feel full. High protein foods cause an increase in leptin and a decrease in ghrelin....appetite down, satiety up.
Bottom line: It's not all about calories. Eat your protein people.