Three Ways to Serve One Roasted Chicken

Busy people don’t always have a lot of time to cook but eating healthy is even more important when you live a stressful life. To help with this problem, create a few meals using one roasted chicken you buy at the store or deli. This is an economical way to eat well for one to two people depending on the appetities involved.

Here’s the way to get three meals from that one roasted chicken.

First find a supermarket or deli that sells roasted chickens. These are usually about the same cost as an uncooked chicken. Each place seems to do theirs a bit differently. Ive found only one market in my area that cooks the chickens well enough to not have to keep cooking them once you get them home. You’ll have to experiement to find your right source. If you can’t find a cooked chicken, you’ll have to roast one yourself. This is a simple proces but we’ll cover that in another post.

Take the cooked chicken home. Usually, I find the chicken still needs some “doctoring” to be ready to eat. Many stores don’t cook the chicken well and some of them are very fatty. So I always season and finish cooking the chicken at holme.

First, I skin the chicken. I’ve been skinning all of my poultry for decades so the first thing I do is remove the skin. When the chicken is already cooked that’s very simple to do. I do this to cut back on the fat and toxins which are held under the skin. If you enjoy the skin, leave it on and go from there.

After making the skin decision, you’re going to cut the chicken into pieces with the breast, wing, thigh and leg. Season with herbs and spices and put into a baking tray. Use what you have and what you enjoy as flavor. You can also use some marinade such as a barbeque sauce, curry sauce or other sauce or dressing. Using a sauce adds an additional dimension of providing a type of gravy to use if you want to add a starch such as rice. You can spoon the sauce over the rice or potatoes and pull the dish togehter.

Cover the chicken wtih foil to hold in the moisture and place the dish in the stove at about 350 Degrees. Cook for about 15 to 30 minutes depending on the doneness of the bird. If it was well cooked you only need a few minutes to get it warmed up well. If it was still rather raw, cook longer. You ight even need more than 30 minutes if ift was really raw.

Now you’re ready to create your meals.

1. The first meal can be the full pieces. Use one thigh and leg for one serving and one breast and wing for another for a meal for two people If it’s only you, that’s two meals for one. If you created a sauce, spoon this over rice or another starch. Add a green salad and you have a full meal.

2. The second meal will use one breast and the wing meat. Roughly chop the chicken or pull the meat from the bone to put into your salad for the day. Create your Humongous Vegetable Salad and top with the chopped chicken. Sprinkle some nuts and cheese on top if you want. Sprinkle with your favorite dressing. use oilive oil and balsamic vinegar or a splash of fresh lemon.

3. Your third meal will be a chicken salad. Take meat from the leg and a thigh and chop well. Add chopped celery, some green onions, parsley and other herbs to taste. I use cilantro. Don’t worry about being exact. The use of additional vegetables stretches the meal and keeps from being just solid protein so use what you enjoy. I’ve also added green or black olives, paparika, and other seasonsings depending on my mood that day. So use what you have and season to taste. Mix with all in a bowl with a low-fat mayonaise or non-fat plain yogurt. Serve as-is, make a sandwich or put into a salad.

There you have it. Three meals from one roasted chicken. Do you have left-overs still because you’re cooking for one? Here’s a few more ideas.

1. Try a chicken omelette. Scamble two eggs, add salt and pepper, fresh herbs. Add chopped chicken, chopped onions or scaillons (green onions)and cheese if you want. Feel free to include other fresh veggies if you are so inclinded. Serve this as a breakfast, lunch or dinner. Add a salad or toast.

2. Create a chicken vegetable chili. Open a can of your favorite beans. Rinse the water off which helps take out the sodium and drain the beans in a colander. Heat a bit of olive oil in a skillet. Add onions, chili powder, and other seasonings and spices depending on what you like. You can also add chopped celery and green peppers. Saute until the veggies are a bit soft but not too done. Add in the chicken in small pieces of chopped so it absorbs the flavors. Add the beans, mix everything in the skillet and heat until the beans are warmed. Adjust spices as needed. Serve while warm in a bowl, add to a corn tortilla as a taco, or use a flour tortilla as a burrito.

3. Just heat up the extra pieces and eat as is!

Keep working with your roasted chicken and you’ll start coming up wtih your own ideas about how to use one lowly roasted chicken to create loads of dishes.

Pickles and Stomach Aches

This afternoon I just got really hungry. I started to snack on a fruit and nut trail mix, knowing it had too many calories. Snacking has always been a problem; that was my worse way of gaining excess weight. It’s so easy to have a jar of peanuts or a few candy bars at your desk during the day.

It seems that those snacks would be used up with the energy it takes to do your work. But they go to the hips or stomach like anything else. Well, I was also very tired today from not having slept long enough last night. Only got about 6 hours of sleep and I was dragging. So I didn’t feel like making any food and was bored with eating plain, unadorned fruits and veggies.

Going healthy doesn’t mean starving yourself; it means paying attention to what you put in your mouth. So I decided to just eat. Somewhere in the food selection I made a really bad mistake because hours later I’m still having bad stomach aches.

I ate a Boca burger, a fake burger patty. I added mustard, pickle and ketchup then put it between two pieces of lettuce. Well, I know it wasn’t the lettuce, but I don’t know if it was the condiments or the Boca burger. Guess I should have just started wtih the burger, taken a check on the reaction, then tried one condiment at a time.

After a cleanse, its not easy to keep making the same food choice mistakes. I’m learnig a lot about my body and what makes it healthy. Until I learn some new recipes for raw and vegetarian foods, I need to be very careful about what I put in my mouth. I certainly pay the price when I don’t.

Food and Dental Health

Today I had my regular check up with my Dental Hygenist. She kept looking at me as if something was wrong. The problem was that something was very right. The week before, I went to the Dentist to get a new set of X-Rays. He found nothing wrong with anything in my mouth. You expect to have at least a build up of plague somewhere; but there was nothing.

The hygenist also was surprised. My gums were strong and tight. No plague to dig off and no cavities. She asked what was going on and I told her I had gotten off coffee, drinking smoothies and eating more raw fruits and vegetables.

She told me that dental research confirms that a change in nutrition can affect dental health significantly. This was the first cleaning that didn’t hurt. To me it verifies that food is a healer.

Relearning Tastes

Probably the hardest thing to do when changing how you eat is to learn to change tastes. Taste is a learned behavior. Think about it; some people can eat things that make you gag while you do the same. Consider raw oysters. With a heritage from New Orleans, oysters should be something I can understand. But I’ve never developed a taste for anything raw that used to be alive and walking. The distinction is made because raw veggies are totally one of my greatest joys. But raw slimy oysters are something I don’t think I’ll ever willingly eat. That goes along with other raw meats or fish. However, I certainly respect that some people adore these foods. That’s what diversity is all about. It also illustrates my point that tastes are learned behaviors.

Here are some of the tastes I have the most struggles with as I change my consumption patterns.

1. Coffee. What I miss is the rich, full taste of coffee. However, after the experience of the withdrawal the desire has definitely diminished. Will I ever enjoy it as much again? Probably not because of what I know it did to my body. Something with that powerful of a hold on my life has no place in it. Instead, I have a new box of Oolong tea on my kitchen counter that I’m going to try. I can tell there’s a fear of caffeine addiction. I was informed by the nutritionist at the health food store that one cup of caffeinated herb tea has about 30 mg. of caffeine compared to 150 mg. in one cup of coffee. That’s a lot to consume.

2. Chai Tea. I also miss chai tea. That’s because the brands I use have a lot of sugar and I don’t want to get back on so much is that white sugar. Unfortunately, artificial white sugar is found in almost all prepared foods in the US. That is a taste that a lot of people are developing and small children are bribed with a sweet taste. That’s a taste that needs to be unlearned. I’m sure I can find a way to enjoy a god tea without having to aldd any sugar. A splash of soymilk could do the trick.

3. Fried Fish. Living on the Central Coast makes fish and chips a normal meal. You get spoiled having fish straight off the fishing boats to eat along with freshly fried garlic fries. A new thing is sweet potato fries too. This fried meal is probably the most difficult thing to change at this time, but my health dictates that move. I have been working on some good recipes for oven baked fried foods that have the same crispy, crunchy tastes and flavor without any of the calories and fats. Even though I use olive oil for frying my food, that’s not the best thing for me either. I’m going to perfect the oven baked recipe and share it with you.

4. Fries. I have to go back to the fries. The classic French fry is one of my favorite comfort foods. Why I don’t really know whey I can easily eat a baked potato and be happy. I think I just enjoy fried foods. The reason is that I only trusted fried foods in restaurants for a long time. I felt that nothing could be “messed” with and that the food was well cooked. So I would eat fried foods when out. Plus, my comfort food is crunchy. Therefore, the other hard potato is of course the potato chip or other fried snack such as Cheetos. Baking fries is an option. Also, using Jicama, a root vegetable often found in Mexican foods. It’s sweet with a character like potato. I’m going to work on substituting this vegetable for the potato and fries.

5. Oatmeal cookies. I am a true Cookie Monster with no excuses. Give me a bag of cookies and it is impossible for me to eat just one. I can eat fewer potatoes than cookies and oatmeal raisons are my favorites. I like the crispy one of course. Crunch again; comfort food for me. Another difficult to resist cookie is the shortbread. Not all shortbread cookies are good. The really buttery ones that are flaky and light are the best. I love Pecan Sandies; can eat the whole bag unfortunately. .

6. Good Cake. I have to emphasize, the “good” with the cake. There’s nothing like a light, fluffy cake that makes you feel like you’re to really cheating on your calories. The other is a just sweet enough and very dense, perfect pound cake. My favorite cake is a great carrot cake. I used to be a carrot cake queen in college and kept cake baked and on my table in my college apartment. Anyone could come by and get a hunk of cake. Of course there was the great crème cheese icing too, all home made from scratch. There was nothing like it. I have to find that recipe. I’m grateful for places that sell one slice of cake instead of making you buy the whole thing. I found only one place in Los Angeles that has the perfect red velvet cake. I’ll also work on that recipe. The question is can you really create a real low-fat cake without losing the texture and taste? I’ll let you know.

I’m sure I’ll think of several more foods as soon as I sign off. That will have to be another post.

Day 7 – Coffee Detox and Cleanse

CI can hardly believe a week has passed since I decided to make a drastic change in my life. Finally, I’m reaching the goals I’ve always wanted to reach by just saying “Yes” to my desire to be healthier and to help other reach their desires to be healthier.

Today, Day 7, I finally, finally, have relief in this coffee detox experience. My body is “sore” as if I’ve been on a long climb that used every muscle. But for the internal pain, it’s essentially gone. I guess it was so bad that this relief is something that I am just thrilled to experience now.

I still realize that I’m a bit dehydrated. I always thought I was drinking a lot of water, but now I realize that the caffeine masked a lot of dehydration in the body. That certainly had a lot to do with the cramps. Also, I’m going to look for a high quality vitamin mineral supplement. Magnesium, calcium and zinc are three essential minerals that are depleted with high level caffeine intake.

As for the Raw Foods Cleanse, I’m happy to say that I really enjoyed going through that process too. I don’t think I’ll go completely raw in my life but I’m definitely adding more raw foods to my diet on a regular basis. I’ve learned that it’s possible to exist with uncooked foods and feel satisfied. I missed hot foods. I know that foods can be heated to around 140 degrees without destroying their enzymes and all. But I really enjoy really hot foods; probably from my Peace Corps years in Africa where hot foods were all I knew.

Either way, my intention is to stay more vegetarian in my diet. I don’t think this is best for everyone.

In fact, I have a client at this time that is studying to be a Personal Trainer and he is very interested in a high protein, meat based diet. Every body requires a different diet. That’s the point of working with a professionally trained nutrition and health counselor. I certainly would love to be your health counselor and will continue to let you in my adventure this year as I become healthier.