chicken skewers with spicy peanut sauce

You know how I feel about peanut butter. (And, in case you don't, let me fill you in: it borders on obsession.) Peanuts are a food you can feel good about eating because of their super-charged monounsaturated fat, which is a nutrient noted for its cardiovascular benefits. I've also read that peanuts have an antioxidant in them that is good for skin recovery, so make this after a day in the sun.

This peanut sauce, which also brings super-healthy fresh garlic and ginger into your life, comes together quickly in a food processor and makes a great dip for veggies the next day. Serve it with a light and fresh side dish - I did sauteed spinach and steamed summer squash - and feel good about dinner tonight.

Chicken Skewers with Spicy Peanut Sauce
Makes four servings 

  • 1/2 cup chicken stock or broth
  • 1/2 cup light coconut milk (shake the can before pouring!)
  • 2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 shallot or onion, sliced thin
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Thai fish sauce (or 2 additional teaspoons low sodium soy sauce)
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon lime zest
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
  • 1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast pounded slightly and cut into 1-inch strips
  • 8 (8-inch) skewers, soaked for 20 minutes
  • 3/4 cup spicy peanut dipping sauce, recipe below
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh basil or cilantro leaves
  • 1/4 cup chopped toasted peanuts


  1. In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the chicken stock, coconut milk, soy sauce, shallot, garlic, fish sauce, brown sugar, lime zest, and ginger. Add the chicken strips and marinate for at least an hour. Remove the chicken from the marinade and discard the marinade.
  2. Skewer the chicken and preheat a grill to medium heat. Cook two to three minutes per side until meat is cooked through and has light grill marks. (You could also broil these until juicy and just done, flipping halfway through the cooking.)
  3. Serve chicken skewers with sauce, and garnish with basil or cilantro and chopped peanuts.

Spicy Peanut Sauce:
Sauce can be made a day ahead of time, and will keep three to four days in the refrigerator. It doubles as a yummy, healthy veggie dip for next-day snacking.

  • 1/2 cup natural creamy peanut butter (skip the overly processed or reduced-fat varieties - you'll miss out on this food's natural goodies!)
  • 1/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili flakes
  • 1 teaspoon red curry paste
  • 1 shallot, peeled and roughly chopped

Place all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth. Serve with grilled chicken skewers.


chicken with mushroom-wine sauce

This could be the easiest, tastiest weeknight meal ever. Use pre-sliced, pre-cleaned mushrooms and you'll find that the most difficult part is opening the bottle of wine. Whew, I'm exhausted just thinking about it. Pair it with steamed veggies or a salad and you've got a powerhouse lean, easy meal. Enjoy.

Chicken with Mushroom-Wine Sauce
  • 2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts, butterflied into 4 thin pieces
  • 2 teaspoons canola oil 
  • 1/4 cup chopped shallots  or onions
  • 8-ounces mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 minced garlic cloves 
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine (or extra chicken broth)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons all-purpose flour 
  • 3/4 cup fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme
  • Salt and pepper

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add canola oil to pan; swirl to coat. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper, to taste. Add chicken halves to pan; cook until lightly seared (as shown) and just done. Transfer chicken to a serving platter; tent with foil and keep warm.

Add shallots and mushrooms to pan; sauté for 4 minutes or until browned, stirring occasionally. Add garlic; sauté for one minute, stirring constantly. Stir in wine, scraping pan to loosen browned bits; bring to a boil. Cook until liquid almost evaporates.

Sprinkle mushroom mixture with remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and flour; cook 30 seconds, stirring frequently. Add broth to pan; bring to a boil. Cook two minutes or until slightly thick. Remove pan from heat; add butter and thyme, stirring until butter melts. Serve with chicken.

Not what you're looking for? Try these other chicken ideas:


pasta primavera with chicken sausage

Some of the best meals come from cleaning out my refrigerator. After a long day out on the boat with family, I wanted something quick and filling that would amp up our veggie intake. I loosley followed a recipe I found a while ago, but added a few twists to up the flavor, such as sauteing the veggies in the same pan the lean chicken sausage was cooked in. Use whatever veggies you have one hand and mix it up when you want something fresh. You won't be disappointed!

Pasta Primavera with Chicken Sausage
  • 8-12 oz. corkscrew or penne pasta, whole grain if possible
  • 1/2 lb. broccoli florets or snow peas (or a combination)
  • 3 fresh, lean chicken or turkey sausage links (bratwurst size)
  • Baby portobello mushrooms (about 10), sliced in half or thirds
  • 1/2 small yellow onion, sliced
  • 1/2 bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper
  • 1/2 c chopped basil
  • 1/2 c grated Parmesan cheese
  • 4 oz. herby goat cheese, crumbled
  • Salt and pepper
  1. Bring a large pot full of salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook until almost soft. During the last two minutes of cooking, add the broccoli and/or snow peas. Drain and set aside, reserving 1/4 c of cooking liquid.
  2. Meanwhile, in another large pot, grill the sausage links in a little olive oil until dark brown and cooked through. Remove from pan and cover in foil. To the pot, add the mushrooms and a little more olive oil. Saute about 4-5 minutes, scraping up any bits on the bottom of the pan. Add onions and peppers. Saute 4-5 minutes, until just soft. Add the garlic and saute another minute or two.
  3. While the onions and peppers cook, slice the sausages into rounds. Add sausage rounds, tomatoes, red pepper, noodles, broccoli and reserved water to the vegetables and stir gently together. Add goat cheese and most of the Parmesan and basil. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed. Top with remaining basil and Parmesan and serve.
Note: This recipe is super flexible and will take nearly any type of veggie replacement. Try adding asparagus, spinach, shredded carrot, squash or whatever else you have hanging out in the fridge. Tender veggies should be added to the pot with the tomatoes; firmer, tougher ones should be added with the onions.