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Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Short on Time and Money? Try These Budget Meals

Rotisserie Chicken 
Who can resist the a golden rotisserie chicken warm for the taking after a long day's work. At about $7 per chicken this is one of the best bargains in the supermarket because the work is done for you and the cost of heating your oven is spared. We all know that chicken is a great source of lean protein when the skin is removed. In fact, a University of Minnesota study found that no significant fat is transferred from the skin to the meat when chicken is cooked. A single (3-ounce) serving of chicken (dark and light meat) provides 25g protein, 162 calories, 6.3g fat and 1.7g saturated fat.

You can get roughly 6 servings per chicken: $1.16/per serving

I like to buy two chickens at a time, remove and discard the skin and then pick the bones clean of meat breaking it into small shreds or pieces. Naturally, I'm going to nibble at the chicken while I'm doing this but I do not feel guilty, just comforted! Here area a few of the things I do with the chicken to make it last in a variety of ways. Adjust your portions to serve the number of people at your table.

-- In a small casserole layer chicken, low-sodium marinara sauce and top with shredded mozzarella cheese. Bake until sauce is warm and cheese is bubbly. Serve warm with microwave steamed baby carrots.

-- Add 2 cups of chicken to 1 quart of low-sodium chicken stock and 1 cup of frozen mixed vegetables. Simmer gently until vegetables are tender. Serve warm topped with a sprinkle of cheese or chopped fresh herbs.

-- Scramble 2 egg per person. Remove to an oven safe plate and top with 3-ounces shredded chicken, a spoonful of salsa and a sprinkle of sharp shredded cheese. Place under preheated broiler until cheese is melted. Serve with canned black beans (rinsed & drained) and warmed in the microwave, if desired.

-- Chill shredded chicken. Chop 1/4 small onion, 1 rib of celery and toss with 1/2 cup shredded chicken, 1 tablespoon light mayonnaise and season with salt and pepper to taste. Eat chicken salad at once or chill until serving. May be served with salad greens, if desired.

Low-Sodium Meat and Cheese

The deli counter is a great source of meat and cheese. You can buy only the amount you need and usually pay less per pound than the pre-packaged deli meats. Deli meat and cheese are great for on-the-go meals and make sense for snacking as well. Here are a few ideas that work for me:

-- Take one medium-thickness slice of meat, spread with light cream cheese of your choice, top with a slice of low-sodium cheese and roll-up into a straw. Enjoy at once or wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for later. Make several at a time assembly line fashion.

-- Mock grilled cheese sandwich. Coat a small non-stick skillet lightly with cooking spray. Add one slice of deli meat, top with a slice of cheese and finally another slice of meat. Cook over medium-high until meat is warm and cheese starts to melt. Turn over and continue cooking 2-3 minutes. Remove to plate and serve with a dill pickle spear and a slice of fresh fruit. Best to eat "sandwich" with a fork.

1 comment:

Isabel said...
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