In the last few years, most major supermarkets and the
larger warehouse stores have begun to carry whole rotisserie chickens in
their deli areas. These cooked birds offer home chefs many wonderful opportunities
for super-quick and healthy meals. Try the different flavors available
to find your favorite. Just remember to discard the skin and eat mostly
white meat. Think of this ultra-convenient precooked poultry any time a
recipe calls for cooked chicken breast and cut your cooking time down to
Here are a few super-quick ideas for a variety of healthful
dinners using rotisserie chicken:
Meal 1: Traditional chicken dinner
Simply serve chicken (without skin) with potatoes (instant
mashed, or baked/sweet potatoes if there's time) and a frozen vegetable,
such as green beans. To make your plate as healthful as you can, avoid
using butter on potatoes (a butter spray works well); fill ½ your
plate with veggies and stick to white meat chicken. Even add a bit of gravy
if you pick a low-fat brand.
Meal 2: Blue Cheese/Chicken Salad
Start with a bowl of your favorite bagged salad greens,
top with chicken breast, crumbled blue cheese, zliced strawberries, sliced
mushrooms and a simple olive oil and balsamic vinegar dressing. Serve with
whole wheat rolls.
Meal 3: Barbecue Chicken Sandwiches
Combine shredded chicken breast and your favorite barbecue
sauce. Heat through. Serve on whole wheat buns. Serve with homemade lowfat
cole slaw and vegetarian baked beans.
Meal 4: Chicken Caesar Salad
This stand-by can now be found on many restaurant menus.
Toss chicken breast with romaine, chopped tomatoes, shredded parmesan cheese,
fat-free croutons and fat-free Caesar dressing.
Meal 5: Honey Mustard/Avocado
Start with a whole wheat baguette and slice horizontally.
To one half, add chicken breast, lowfat honey mustard, sliced avocado and
reduced-fat swiss cheese. Melt cheese under broiler; add top of baguette
and serve warm. Serve with tossed salad.
There you have it! Five quick and healthy meals using
a fully cooked chicken you can pick up any night of the week. Remember,
the key to healthy, quick cooking is to identify convenience foods that
can be used for very quick, healthful dinner preparations. Rotisserie chickens
are one of these great modern conveniences. See what else you can come
up with using this easy, nutritious main ingredient!
Erin Rogers, a work-at-home mom of two, is the founder
of Health-E-Meals.com, providing practical healthy living resources for
busy people and author of Healthy
Express Cookbook: 101 Fresh, Light & Quick Dinners. Visit her website
to sign up for the FREE newsletter, 'Dinners on the Double' - offering
a quick and healthy, no-recipe dinner idea each week. Other available services
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via email here.