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Mediterranean chicken skewers drizzled with pesto aioli on a white plate.
July 21, 2023

Mediterranean Chicken Skewers

Mediterranean Chicken Skewers

These Mediterranean Chicken Skewers are a family favourite at Sunday dinner. They’re also a top requested item for backyard BBQs with friends. The chicken is moist and flavourful, the veggies have a slight crunch and the pesto aioli makes life worth living.

They’re also a great make ahead item if you like to meal prep, are having people over or are going to a summer potluck. Easy peasy, lemon squeezy.

Now if you’re looking for some delicious accompaniments or sides for the Mediterranean Chicken Skewers, I’ve gotcha covered.

Try these other skin-loving summer favourites out…

Mediterranean chicken skewers drizzled with pesto aioli on a white plate.

Skin-Nourishing Benefits of Chicken

Alright, let’s get real about this acne-fighting superstar – chicken!

We all know how colorful veggies, antioxidant-rich fruits, and wild salmon are getting all the love in the acne nutrition world. But hey, it’s time to give a big shout-out to the classic and ever-popular chicken! This fella is a real MVP that deserves its time in the spotlight, too.

So why should you make chicken a regular in your weekly recipe lineup? Here’s the lowdown:

1. Protein Powerhouse

Protein is like the superhero for your skin. It’s all about collagen, the magic stuff that keeps your skin elastic and firm. With a chicken-rich diet, you’re giving your skin the tools it needs to heal, repair, and kick acne inflammation to the curb.

2. Vitamin and Mineral Bonanza

Chicken is packed with essential vitamins and minerals that your skin totally digs. We’re talking B vitamins (B6, B12, niacin), zinc, selenium, and iron. These little wonders are like a dream team for healthy skin and keeping those pesky breakouts at bay. B vitamins help control oily skin, while zinc and selenium bring out their anti-inflammatory powers to calm irritated skin.

3. Omega-3 Goodness

Hold onto your hats for this one! If you go for pasture-raised chicken, you’ll score some serious omega-3 fatty acids. These babies are all about fighting inflammation, so they’ll tackle redness and swelling like pros. Say hello to happier skin!

4. Glorious Glutathione

Chicken also packs a punch with a powerful antioxidant called glutathione. It’s like a ninja warrior, taking down those nasty free radicals, pollutants, and toxins. And that means less stress for your skin, which is excellent news if you’re battling acne.

Mediterranean chicken skewers drizzled with pesto aioli on a white plate.

You Are What Your Food Eats

Now, let’s talk about the chicken showdown – pasture-raised vs. factory-farmed:

1. Nutrient Boost

Picture this: pasture-raised chickens having a blast outdoors, pecking at insects, and munching on all sorts of natural goodies. That’s why their meat is loaded with more nutrients compared to the factory-farmed counterparts, who sadly get stuck in overcrowded spaces with an unnatural diet.

2. Omega-3 Showdown

Factory-farmed chickens can’t compete when it comes to omega-3s. They’re fed a grain-based diet, which means their omega-3 levels are a bit lackluster. But those pasture-raised champs? They’re out there munching on grass and insects, making their omega-3 game strong and ready to tackle your skin issues.

3. Hormones and Antibiotics – No Thanks!

Factory-farmed chickens are pumped with hormones and antibiotics, and nobody wants that in their system. It impacts your gut’s microbiome and hormonal balance, and that’s not good news for acne sufferers. Say goodbye to all that mess and opt for organic or pasture-raised chicken instead.

4. Less Toxins, Please

Factory-farmed chickens often accumulate toxins from their not-so-great living conditions and diets. Yuck! But pasture-raised chickens have got your back, with way fewer toxins lurking in their meat. It’s a safer choice for your precious skin!

So, there you have it – chicken can be a great dietary skin saviour! But remember, it’s not just about what you eat; it’s about what your food eats too. If it works for your budget, go for the good stuff, like high-quality and pasture-raised chicken. Your body (and skin!) will thank you for it.

Mediterranean chicken skewers drizzled with pesto aioli on a white plate.

Making Grilling Healthier

I made the Mediterranean Chicken Skewers on our stove’s flat top grill. However, they can also be cooked on a BBQ. If you chose to BBQ, there are some tips you can use to lessen the Heterocyclic Amines (HCAs) created when grilling. Some studies suggest the HCAs created while grilling may cause certain cancers. There are some tips you can do to help reduce the risk of HCAs like:

  • Use a citrus or vinegar based marinade for at least 30 minutes beforehand. One study showed this reduced formation of HCAs on grilled steaks by 57% – 88%.
  • Marinades that contain honey, maple syrup or sugar can cause charring. Use for the last 2 minutes of cooking.
  • Avoid flame flare ups.
  • Chose lean meats (less flare ups).
  • Cook over a cedar, hickory or maple plank.
  • Don’t place directly over a flame.
  • Don’t overcook/burn meat.
  • Continuously turning meat can substantially reduce HCA formation (compared with leaving on the heat source without flipping it).
  • Don’t press the meat while it cooks. This releases drippings onto the flame and contributes to flare ups.
  • Clean the grill and replace charcoal after every use. Leftover drippings can keep cooking and become carcinogenic.
  • Cook your meat with herbs, spices, tea, etc. The phenolic compounds found in them can help reduce the HCAs due to their antioxidants properties.

Mediterranean chicken skewers drizzled with pesto aioli on a white plate.

Mediterranean Chicken Skewers

Flavourful mediterranean chicken skewers with vibrant veggies & drizzled with dairy-free pesto aioli. Makes for a perfect skin-loving recipe.
Servings: 14 skewers
Author: Katie Stewart

Equipment

  • 14 skewers (wooden or stainless steel)

Ingredients

For the marinade:

  • ½ cup avocado oil
  • ¼ cup coconut aminos (sub wheat-free tamari)
  • 4 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1 whole lemon (juiced)

For the skewers:

  • 3 large large chicken breasts (cut into 2” chunks)
  • 1 red onion (cut into chunks)
  • 2 zucchini (cut into 1” chunks)
  • 12 oz. grape or cherry tomatoes (340g container)

For the pesto aioli:

  • ½ cup mayo (see notes)
  • ½ cup pesto (see notes)
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp sea salt

Instructions

For the marinade:

  • In a large bowl (big enough to fit all the chicken), mix together all the ingredients for the marinade.
  • Add cubed chicken to the marinade and coat thoroughly. Cover and let marinate in the fridge for at least 30 minutes or up to 8 hours.

For the pesto aioli:

  • Combine all the ingredients in a small bowl.
  • Cover and keep refrigerated until ready to serve the skewers.

To assemble and cook:

  • While the chicken marinades, soak the wooden skewers in a shallow dish of water for at least 30 minutes. This prevents them from burning or catching on fire during cooking.
  • When you’re ready to assemble, rotate between threading chicken, red onion, zucchini and tomatoes onto the skewer. Add as many of each as you’d like until you’ve filled the skewer. Leave enough room on the ends to be able to pick up for eating later.
  • Set any remaining marinade to the side.
  • Sprinkle with your desired amount of unrefined sea salt (do this just before cooking to prevent drawing moisture out of the chicken).
  • Place assembled skewers on a preheated grill or flat top (medium heat).
  • Brush the skewers with remaining marinade and turn frequently while cooking.
  • Cook for 5 to 10 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through*.
  • Serve immediately alongside the pesto aioli.

Notes

  • Cooking: These can be cooked on a BBQ, flat top grill, pan, air fryer or in the oven. For this recipe I used our stove’s flat top grill.
  • Perfect Cooked Chicken: use a meat thermometer to check for an internal temperature of 165F to ensure the chicken is cooked.
  • Mayo: I’ve made this aioli recipe with Chosen Foods Classic Avocado Oil Mayo and Follow Your Heart’s Grapeseed Oil Vegenaise. Both options turn out great.
  • Pesto: I used my homemade Kale & Basil Pesto for this recipe. I’ve also used Sunflower Kitchen’s Basil Pesto. Both options are dairy and nut free.


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Before & Afters

Cupcake ipsum dolor sit. Amet icing candy sesame snaps toffee oat cake jelly I love macaroon.

I love sweet bonbon. Tiramisu I love apple pie. Lollipop macaroon pastry danish. Sweet roll jujubes gummies tootsie roll fruitcake I love liquorice. Wafer chocolate halvah. Liquorice apple pie lollipop sweet roll powder. Oat cake sesame snaps marshmallow cookie jujubes. Croissant pie I love croissant cookie.

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Cupcake ipsum dolor sit. Amet icing candy sesame snaps toffee oat cake jelly I love macaroon.

I love sweet bonbon. Tiramisu I love apple pie. Lollipop macaroon pastry danish. Sweet roll jujubes gummies tootsie roll fruitcake I love liquorice. Wafer chocolate halvah. Liquorice apple pie lollipop sweet roll powder. Oat cake sesame snaps marshmallow cookie jujubes. Croissant pie I love croissant cookie.

client love

next

"

Cupcake ipsum dolor sit. Amet icing candy sesame snaps toffee oat cake jelly I love macaroon.

I love sweet bonbon. Tiramisu I love apple pie. Lollipop macaroon pastry danish. Sweet roll jujubes gummies tootsie roll fruitcake I love liquorice. Wafer chocolate halvah. Liquorice apple pie lollipop sweet roll powder. Oat cake sesame snaps marshmallow cookie jujubes. Croissant pie I love croissant cookie.

client love

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