Meal #1: Chicken salad sandwiches.
Talk about quick! All you need to do is drain and flake the chicken,
add just enough mayonnaise to coat, seasonings to taste (I like basil,
onion powder, garlic powder), and chopped celery, halved grapes or green
olives if desired. Serve on bread, toast, tortilla, a 'light' hamburger
bun, a bagel, or whatever you like! I like to serve vegetarian baked
beans and a salad for side dishes.
Meal#2: Quick burritos.
Simply place chicken, black or fat-free refried beans, lowfat cheese and
chopped cilantro (if you have some) in a reduced fat tortilla. Heat in
microwave. Top with salsa and light sour cream and enjoy. [If you're
cooking for a crowd, heat up ingredients separately and build burritos
all at once. Serve with fresh watermelon slices.
Meal #3: Chicken Pasta Salad.
Simply boil pasta shells (or other pasta) according to package directions.
Drain and run under cold water until cool. Toss with drained chicken
breast, light mayonnaise, chopped veggies (red bell pepper, onion, celery,
carrots) or grapes, and seasonings. Eat immediately or chill until ready
to eat. Serve with whole grain rolls.
Meal #4: Chicken and Green Chili Quesadillas.
Heat a nonstick skillet and spray with cooking spray. Add tortillas,
top with reduced fat cheese, chopped green chilies, drained chicken breast,
and another tortilla, spray with cooking spray. Cook, flipping once, until
both sides are lightly browned and cheese is melted. Optional: Add saut�ed
bell peppers, onion and/or mushroom to quesadillas with other ingredients.
Serve with light sour cream, guacamole and salsa. Optional side dish: Brown
rice with chopped cilantro and lime juice.
Meal #5: Greek Chicken Salad.
Start with a bowl of torn romaine lettuce. Add drained and flaked chicken
breast, chopped tomatoes and cucumbers, a small amount of chopped kalamata
olives and feta cheese and dried basil. Toss with a splash of olive oil
and red wine vinegar. Optional side dish: Spray pita wedges with cooking
spray and sprinkle with garlic powder, broil until crispy.
This is just the beginning of ideas for using this convenient meal-starter.
Canned chicken, and also rotisserie chicken, can be used in most recipes
calling for cooked chicken. Keep a few cans in your pantry and you can
whip up a healthy meal in minutes!
Erin Rogers is author of HEALTHY EXPRESS COOKBOOK: 101 FRESH, LIGHT & QUICK DINNERS. A downloadable recipe 20 recipe sampler from Erin called 20 FRESH, LIGHT & QUICK DINNERS is available at this link.
� Health-E-Meals.com, 2005