7 Easy Chicken Dinners
Make 1 Chicken Tonight, Get 6 Meals for the Week
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Today's guest blogger is Food Network star Melissa d'Arabian, who joins Recipe Rehab and Everyday Health for the Brown Bag Challenge!
I'm so happy to be part of the Brown Bag Challenge and excited to encourage my family, friends, and fans to #brownbagit every day for the next two weeks! To kick things off, I want to share a tried-and-true strategy I have for getting multiple quick, affordable, and delicious meals out of one food.
Chicken is a long-standing family-favorite protein for good reason: It’s lean, inexpensive, and incredibly versatile — and it can make your brown-bagging easy and quick. The strategy: Roast up a whole chicken or two and eat half for dinner and save half for lunches; grill up (or bake) a few boneless skinless chicken breasts; or, if you're really in a rush, pick up a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store. Then, keep your chicken stash in the fridge all week and you are moments away from healthy brown-bagged deliciousness!
Once you have your chicken ready to go, here are some yummy portable lunch ideas to inspire you. You can use whatever chicken you have — white, dark, cubed, sliced, pulled — as these ideas are flexible enough to make use of your fantastic chicken pantry (but for all of them, remember to include an ice pack if your lunch can’t be refrigerated).
- Bring the fixingsfor fajitas: Slice up sweet bell peppers and red onion (shock in ice water to soften the flavor, and your breath!) and serve with tortillas and sliced chicken breast sprinkled with chipotle (or regular) chili powder.
- Mix a tablespooneach of soy sauce, sriracha (hot sauce), peanut butter and boiling water with a dab of honey, toss with a cup of cooked whole grain pasta and top with sliced chicken breast and chopped green onion.
- Chop leftover veggiesand mix with leftover brown rice and an easy vinaigrette (1 teaspoon dijon mixed with 1 Tablespoon each red wine vinegar and olive oil), and top with sliced chicken.
- Check your fridgefor veggies and lunch meat, and chop them all up with some chicken into a tasty chopped salad.
- Mix shredded chickenwith equal parts lowfat mayo and cream cheese and add a few sprinkles of smoked paprika for a protein-packed lunch dip (send along crudite and crostini for dippers).
- Don’t forget my tried-and-truestrategy of warming up leftovers and placing them in a thermal container for a hot lunch (one of my favorites is my simple Slow-Cooker Tortilla Soup) or this super easy Chicken and White Bean Soup.
What's your favorite way to use cooked chicken in a recipe? Share it here — and don't forget to tell us what's in your brown bag all week! Share your recipes and pictures on Facebook with the #brownbagit hashtag, and you can win daily prizes. Happy Brown-Bagging!
Video: 6 One-Pan Chicken Dinners
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