Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well-preserved body,
but rather to skid in broadside, totally worn out & proclaiming “Wow, What a Ride!”

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

meal ideas ~ chicken salad- yum

When we have chicken it is usually cooked whole on the barbecue rotisserie with various dry rubs or sauces- depending on our tastes for that day. And we always have the breast portion left over to use for a chicken sandwich. Last saturday's chicken breast will be a salad mix for this week. And there are so many ways to enjoy a refreshing chicken salad. Whether you like hearty chicken salad sandwiches or just a simple salad with chicken, there are a variety of diabetes-friendly recipes that pair the lean protein with light ingredients and lots of veggies.

Chicken Salad Panini Sandwiches
These delicious chicken salad melts are packed with rich flavor thanks to roasted red peppers, fennel, and provolone cheese. Make them for a surprisingly low-carb, guilt-free indulgence.
1/4 cup light mayonnaise
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups chopped cooked chicken breast
1/3 cup finely chopped fennel
8 slices very thinly sliced whole wheat bread
3/4 cup arugula or spinach leaves
3/4 cup bottled roasted red peppers, drained and cut into thin strips
4 slices reduced-fat provolone cheese (3 ounces total)
Olive oil nonstick cooking spray

 In a medium bowl combine mayonnaise, vinegar, and garlic. Add chicken and fennel and stir until well combined.

Spoon chicken mixture evenly atop 4 of the bread slices, spreading to an even layer atop the bread. Top with arugula, pepper strips, and cheese. Top with remaining bread slices.

Lightly coat an unheated panini griddle, covered indoor electric grill, or large nonstick skillet with nonstick cooking spray. Preheat over medium heat or heat according to manufacturer's directions.

 Place assembled sandwiches on griddle, grill, or skillet, adding in batches if necessary. If using griddle or grill, close lid and grill for 2 to 3 minutes or until bread is toasted. (If using skillet, place a heavy saucepan or skillet on top of sandwiches. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes or until bottoms are toasted. Carefully remove saucepan or top skillet (it may be hot). Turn sandwiches; top again with the saucepan or skillet. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes more or until bread is toasted.)  Cut sandwiches in half and serve warm.

Nutrition Facts Per Serving: 285 cal., 12 g total fat (442 g sat. fat), 62 mg chol., 480 mg sodium, 19 g carb. (3 g fiber, 3 g sugars), 25 g pro. Diabetic Exchanges Fat (d.e): 1; Lean Meat (d.e): 3; Starch (d.e): 1; Vegetables (d.e): 1

Champion Chicken Pockets
You need only seven ingredients to throw together this easy chicken salad pita recipe! Make the low-carb filling ahead of time, and spoon it into pita halves when you’re ready to serve.
1/4 cup plain low-fat yogurt
 1/4 cup bottled reduced-fat ranch salad dressing
 1 1/2 cups chopped cooked chicken
 1/2 cup chopped broccoli
 1/4 cup shredded carrot
 1/4 cup chopped pecans or walnuts (optional)
 2 6 - 7 - inches whole wheat pita bread rounds, halved crosswise

In a small bowl stir together yogurt and ranch salad dressing.

In a medium bowl combine chicken, broccoli, carrot, and, if desired, nuts. Pour yogurt mixture over chicken; toss to coat. Spoon chicken mixture into pita halves. Makes 4 sandwiches.

TO MAKE AHEAD: Prepare as directed. Wrap each sandwich tightly in plastic wrap. Chill for up to 24 hours.

Nutrition Facts Per Serving:  231 cal., 8 g total fat (1 g sat. fat), 53 mg chol., 392 mg sodium, 21 g carb. (3 g fiber), 20 g pro. Diabetic Exchanges Starch (d.e): 1; Vegetables (d.e): 0.5; Lean Meat (d.e): 2; Fat (d.e): 0.5

Chicken-Ginger Lettuce Wraps
Using coleslaw mix in the chicken mixture cuts down on prep time and—along with carrots and peanuts—adds wonderful crunch to this low-carb chicken salad recipe.

 2 cups finely chopped cooked chicken breast
 2 cups shredded cabbage with carrot (or coleslaw mix)
 1/2 cup finely chopped carrot (1 medium)
 1/4 cup chopped green onions
 2 tablespoons chopped unsalted dry-roasted peanuts
 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
 1/3 cup bottled light Asian salad dressing
 1/3 cup drained canned crushed pineapple
 12 leaves butterhead (Boston or Bibb) lettuce or green leaf lettuce

In a large bowl combine chicken, coleslaw mix, carrot, green onions, peanuts, and ginger. Add salad dressing and pineapple to chicken mixture; stir until well mixed.

Spoon about 1/4 cup of the chicken mixture onto each lettuce leaf. Fold in opposite sides of each lettuce leaf; roll up and secure with a cocktail pick.

Nutrition Facts Per Serving:  221 cal., 8 g total fat (2 g sat. fat), 60 mg chol., 274 mg sodium, 12 g carb. (2 g fiber, 9 g sugars), 24 g pro. Diabetic Exchanges Vegetables (d.e): 1; Fruit (d.e): 0.5; Lean Meat (d.e): 3; Fat (d.e): 0.5; Mark as Free Exchange (d.e): 0

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