Indian Chicken Skewers with Peanut Dipping Sauce

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One of my biggest struggles in the past was with nutrition. Moving is simple – you move, you burn calories. Eating however is filled with mysterious gray areas. Once you get beyond the obvious good choices like lean meats and veggies and bad choices like fries and twinkies, it’s all a pandora’s box.

After plenty of experimentation and getting my fitness nutrition certificate, some of it finally started making sense. Over the last year, I’ve pretty much made myself a science experiment to test out some of what I’ve learned and realized how much I love the nutrition side of life. Sheesh, mind boggling. 😉

This week I started a new nutrition class and I’m finding it pretty fascinating. Some of the topics we’re covering are how ingredients in meals may have health benefits beyond the nutritional aspect. Like that whole ancient Chinese medicine stuff. Obviously check with your own doctor before relying on herbs and spices to fix any conditions. I just like the idea that something can taste good and may be doing good things for my health at the same time.

I’ve always loved curries for the taste and the bright cheery colors. I even carry a little container of McCormick’s curry powder in my lunchbox to sprinkle on things that lack flavor. One of the main ingredients in curry powder is a golden yellow spice called turmeric. Turmeric is long suspected to have health benefits such as reducing inflammation, aiding digestion, and a lot of other conditions.

I decided to use it in a few dishes this week to add a bit of color to dinner and maybe even throw in a few hidden health gems too. Who knows? Maybe all that curry I eat is actually doing something.

Indian Chicken Skewers with Peanut Dipping Sauce Indian Chicken Skewers

  • 2 Tbsp low sodium soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp lime juice
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp minced ginger
  • 1 tsp sambal oelek OR Thai chili paste
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 16 oz boneless skinless chicken breast

Mix all of the ingredients but the chicken in a ziploc baggie until blended. Add the chicken breast and let the chicken marinate for about 30 minutes. I mixed mine and left to walk the dog. You can also mix it the night before and just let it sit in the fridge overnight. When the chicken is ready, preheat your grill or the broiler on your oven.

If using the broiler, line a cookie sheet with tin foil. It makes it so much easier to clean up. Remove the chicken from the marinade and throw the remaining marinade out. Once it’s touched raw meat, it’s done. Cut the chicken into bite sized cubes. Thread the pieces onto metal skewers or bamboo skewers soaked in water so they don’t burn. Place the skewers on the cookie sheet if using and broil or grill the skewers until browned on all sides.

I turned mine a couple times while cooking to make sure they evenly browned on the edges. It took about 8 – 9 minutes total. Remove from heat and carefully place the skewers on a plate and serve with the peanut dipping sauce below.

Makes approximately 4 servings at 157 calories each including dipping sauce – 26g protein, 4g carbs, and 3g fat.

Peanut Sauce

  • 1/2 cup diced tomato
  • 1 green onion, white and green parts finely chopped
  • 2 Tbsp chopped cilantro
  • 1 Tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 Tbsp lime juice
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp sambal oelek OR Thai chili paste
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 dropper vanilla stevia OR 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 Tbsp PB2 or other brand of powdered peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup low sodium chicken broth

Mix all ingredients in a small bowl and let it sit for about 15 minutes while you grill the chicken skewers. Use to dip the chicken pieces for added flavor, as a dressing on cucumbers or a salad, or directly from the spoon like I ended up doing.

Sambal oelek and Thai chili paste are pretty much interchangeable in recipes since they both add a nice spicy kick to international dishes. The flavor difference is very slight. You can also use sriracha sauce instead if you have that on hand. A little goes a long way so your bottle will last quite a while. If you want other recipes, you can use it in Thai Curry Fritters and in Szechuan Stir Fry too.

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