When life demands a no-cook meal, it doesn’t have to come from a takeout box. Or at the expense of good nutrition.
For example, the shredded meat of a store-bought rotisserie chicken can be used to create a number of quick, wholesome meals. The key to keeping it healthy is to always remove the skin, which contains large amounts of fat.
Buy rotisserie chickens from a store that sells a lot of them and marks them with the time they were prepared. This way you will be sure to get a chicken that hasn’t been sitting under warming lights for a long time, which can dry it out.
Here are some easy uses for the pulled meat of a rotisserie chicken:
– Use to top a salad of prewashed mixed greens, cherry tomatoes and bagged shredded carrots.
– Create quick burritos by mixing shredded chicken with salsa and wrapping it in flour tortillas along with some prewashed and chopped lettuce plus some canned refried beans.
– Make a curried chicken salad by mixing the meat with reduced-fat mayonnaise, curry powder, halved grapes and chopped walnuts.
One drawback to rotisserie chickens is that they often are high in sodium. If you are watching your salt intake you might consider using a home-roasted chicken that you have prepared ahead of time.
This simple recipe for spicy barbecue pulled chicken sandwiches takes only a few minutes in a microwave, making it perfect for students who are cooking with limited kitchen access.
Shredded rotisserie chicken is mixed with your favorite storebought barbecue sauce, some cider vinegar for extra zest and a few dashes of hot sauce. The mixture is heated, then served on toasted buns or wrapped in warmed tortillas.
When purchasing a bottled barbecue sauce read the label carefully and select a brand with no high-fructose corn syrup and less than 300 milligrams of sodium per serving.
As a side dish, try this easyto make creamy blue cheese coleslaw. It’s prepared using your favorite low-fat blue cheese bottled dressing combined with a pre-shredded coleslaw mix. You also can use shredded broccoli slaw mix.
Spicy Barbecue Pulled Chicken Sandwiches
Start to finish: 15 minutes
1 rotisserie chicken
3/4 cup barbecue sauce
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1/4 teaspoon hot sauce (more
or less to taste)
4 bulkie rolls, split
Remove and discard the skin from the chicken. Remove the meat from the bones and place it in a large microwavesafe bowl. Using your fingers or 2 forks, shred and pull apart the chicken meat.
Add the barbecue sauce, vinegar and hot sauce. Mix well, cover and heat on high for about 2 1/2 minutes. Stir the chicken, then cover and heat for another 2 1/2 minutes, or until hot (time will vary by microwave).
Place a quarter of the mixture on each bun.
Nutrition information per serving: 426 calories; 100 calories from fat; 11 g fat (3 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 115 mg cholesterol; 50 g carbohydrate; 29 g protein; 1 g fiber; 1,310 mg sodium.
Creamy Blue Cheese Coleslaw
Start to finish: 5 minutes
16-ounce bag coleslaw or
broccoli slaw blend
1/2 cup light blue cheese
Ground black pepper, to taste
In a large bowl, combine slaw mix, dressing and black pepper. Toss to coat.
Nutrition information per serving: 70 calories; 24 calories from fat; 3 g fat (1 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 0 mg cholesterol; 9 g carbohydrate; 4 g protein; 4 g fiber; 407 mg sodium.