Normally I enjoy cooking, but during the summer months I would rather spend my time outdoors. In order to still have healthy meals without spending a lot of time in the kitchen, we grill a lot of chicken. What I like most about chicken (besides how it tastes!) is its versatility. We almost always cook extra to “makeover” into another meal or to take for lunches. Here are my favorite ways to make quick, healthy and easy meals out of leftover chicken (these are also great with rotisserie chicken if you need an even quicker meal solution).
- BBQ Chicken Sandwich on Whole Grain Rolls or Buns
- Mix 1/2 cup shredded chicken breast with 1/4 grated carrot (or the packaged matchstick carrots) and 2 tablespoons lower sugar barbecue sauce (I really like Famous Dave’s Natural Heat and the Stubb’s Barbecue Sauces). Heat in the microwave and serve on a whole grain bun. A green salad and fresh fruit pair well with this.
- Chicken Rice and Black Bean Salad
- Mix 1/2 cup shredded or diced chicken with 1/2 cup cold brown rice, 1/3 cup black beans, 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, and 1 sliced green onion. Toss with 2 tablespoons vinaigrette (to add a Southwest flavor add a little chopped cilantro and jalapeno). Add a little fruit and yogurt for dessert and you have a balanced meal in a short time.
- Chicken Taco Salad
- Toss chopped chicken with lettuce greens, kidney beans, tomatoes, onions, crushed tortilla chips (look for those made with whole corn), and a small amount of shredded cheddar. For the dressing, mix equal parts non-fat Greek yogurt and your favorite salsa.
- Fruit and Chicken Green Salad
- Mix a bagged lettuce blend with cubed chicken, fruit (berries, grapes or peaches are great) and almonds, toss with a raspberry or balsamic vinaigrette.
What is your favorite healthy way to “makeover” grilled chicken?