SHREDDED Chicken 4 WAYs on a DIME!

#1 –Baked Skin-on, Bone-in Chicken

This is the least expensive but still easy and quick! Use this when your paycheck is running low!

In a sided pan, add rinsed and dried chicken. (You can use split breasts or thighs. I like to find what is on sale!) Sprinkle with house seasoning – salt, pepper, garlic powder and a drizzle of olive oil. (Use Cumin for south of the border recipes!) Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes.

TIP: You can also bake frozen chicken uncovered and seasoned just the same!

Pros: Very cheap!! Simple ingredients, Chicken comes out REALLY moist.

Cons: A little more oils, but not bad – more preparation time with removing skin and deboning.

#2 –CrockPot skinless, boneless Chicken Breast/Thighs

I use this one a lot! It takes a bit of forethought but it’s super quick to set up and easy and is less money than a rotisserie, plus a LOT healthier.

In a small crockpot (double recipe for large crockpot!) add 2-3 uncooked fresh OR frozen chicken breasts. (I’ve tried browning the outsides first and it doesn’t do much difference and just adds extra fat from the oil!) Pour in fat free chicken broth until ALMOST covered add 1 bay leaf, and 1/4 cup sliced onion. (You can also add some garlic, carrot/celery if you have it on hand) Simmer on low for 7-8 hrs or high for 4 hrs. Drain, cool, and pull apart. It seriously just falls apart! Be sure to discard any extra fat or unwanted tendons.

Pros: Low fat, EASY to shred…you know what is in it!

Cons: time in crockpot

#3 – Pulled Rotisserie Chicken

The most obvious and what most people seem to resort to in a bind. This is the FASTEST way (Other than canned chicken, which is actually not bad if it is used smothered with other ingredients as in a buffalo/taco dip). Just pull chicken once it’s cooled a bit! Yields about 4-5 cups.

Pros: Quick, Freshly pulled chicken with lots of flavor

Cons: Preservatives/Artificial Flavors, High in salt and more fatty

#4 – Canned Chicken

Drain and Add!

Pros – Easiest by FAR!

Cons – Expensive, Low quality taste on its own – risk of preservatives and additives, and if anyone finds out they might get grossed out – especially if they have had a cat.

WHAT CAN YOU DO WITH SHREDDED CHICKEN???

A MILLION THINGS!!! (Will add recipes soon!)

Sopa de Arroz con Pollo (One of my FAVS!!)

Chicken and Zucchini Chilaquiles

Barbeque Chicken Pizza

Baba’s Matzo Ball Soup

Paula’s EASY Chicken Pot Pie

Dilled Chicken Salad

Curried Chicken Salad

Chicken Enchiladas – Verde/Red/Mole

Chicken Quesadillas/Barbeque

Homemade Chicken n Dumplings

Brunswick Stew

And the list goes on….

WHY so many shredded chicken recipes??? 

Because it is CHEAP, and a little goes a LONG WAY. 

When you are in a bind financially, eat only two different meats per week, the majority being pulled chicken. Make a big batch on your free day and you will have tons of recipes at your finger tips ALL week long. Just because you are on a budget doesn’t mean you have to eat like it!!! 

Enjoy!!! 

Have any other favorite ways for shredded chicken?  Let me know!

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Copy THAT! Monica’s Waterfront Cafe “Dilled Chicken Salad”

I went to Monica’s for a wardroom spouses (Submarine Officers wives) get together one afternoon and was told this chicken salad was the bomb….It was! It rarely happens when you put a first bite of something in your mouth and fireworks go off just like in that scene from Ratatouille. (If you have kids you know what I’m talking about!! lol ) In a lack of care about social graces I proceeded to find out what was in the chicken salad that made it so dang savory and delicious. I spit out in my hand what I thought to be a piece of celery. My fellow naval wife said, “green pepper?” I replied…no…PICKLE! I was amused for days how disgusting I probably looked to everyone, but I will never regret it! I feel like I cracked some secret recipe code! I’ve perfected this one and made it at least 4 times now. This is now my favorite chicken salad. Light, fresh, flavorful, and of course inexpensive to make. Enjoy this one and keep it a secret! Hardly anyone will be able to figure out that the secret ingredient is …pickles!!

Tip: A couple weeks later I added some shredded daikon root to this and it was SO good! Try it out!

Makes 4-5 servings 

Ingredients

2 Shredded Chicken Breasts – There are a million ways to do this custom fit to the amount of time/money you have. [READ HERE!]

2 TBS Fresh Dill

1 large celery stick, diced

2-3 pickles, diced (I prefer Klaussen)

2 TBS pickle brine from the jar

1/4 cup Real Mayonnaise (If you try greek yogurt post below and tell me if it works!) I’ve also used Trader Joe’s Light Mayo with success.

1/2 Fresh Squeezed Lemon

1 tsp honey/sugar/stevia…etc

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

Directions

The easiest way to make this is to use a food processor. You will get a nice evenly smooth chicken salad if you do this. You can also finely chop with a chefs knife…but it will take a while.

First, combine the mayonnaise, lemon, honey and dill and pulse until dill has become finely chopped evenly. Then, add the chicken, pickle, celery, salt and pepper and pulse until evenly chopped and as smooth as you want it! (Add daikon if you decide to try!)

Let chill, covered  in the fridge for a few hours for best flavor! Serve in Cabbage/Lettuce/Endive Cups! This can also be enjoyed as a wrap or sandwich with lettuce and tomato!

TIP: To get cabbage leaves to separate run under HOT water and then peel each layer.

Copy THAT: PF Changs Lettuce Wraps

This recipe is so much better than the ones I found online and is SPOT ON. I love it when that happens! Its like a sudden epiphany of… hey, I CAN cook!!!

A fellow Navy wife called me at 5pm and asked if I wanted to come over and watch Season 3 of Downton Abbey (heck yea, FREE BATES!!!) but I had to be there soon and was starving and all they had to eat was veggies and hummus. So I got online looked up some lettuce wraps recipes and started to cook! I was there by 6:15 with food in hand and she was pretty surprised…as was I! This recipe is so easy because you don’t have to finely chop ANYTHING because you just throw it in the food processor. Prepare to be amazed!!

Here’s the recipe!! Healthy, quick, and satisfying!

Ingredients

1TBS Vegetable oil

1/2 Bag of frozen grilled chicken strips (about 2 cups or 3/4 pd)

1 1/2 cups pre sliced cremini or shitaki mushrooms

Splash of chicken broth

2 cloves of garlic chopped

1/4 cup hoisin sauce

2 TBS soy sauce

2 tsps of minced ginger ( or a couple shakes of powdered ginger!)

1 TBS rice vinegar

2 tsp asian chili garlic sauce (find it next to the sriracha or just use that in a bind)

1 bunch of green onion chopped (white and light green parts only)

2 small cans of sliced water chestnuts (8oz total)

1 TBS brown sugar

Rice Crisps for topping (optional!)

Iceberg Lettuce

 

In a hot pan over medium high heat add oil. Next add chicken and mushrooms. Saute until tender adding a splash of chicken broth as needed to keep it from drying out. 5 min. Add the remaining ingredients and saute until sauce thickens slightly.

Now transfer half of mixture to a food processor and pulse into bits. Pour into your serving dish and pulse the last half.

Serve with iceberg lettuce or lettuce of your choice and enjoy!!

Hanalei Bay Lentil Tacos

Hanalei-Bay-for-PINTEREST

I named these tacos from the place that inspired this recipe many years ago on Alex and I’s destination wedding/honeymoon to Kauai.  There is a little hole in the wall (literally) burrito/taco joint called Red Hot Mama’s that is the last place to get a good bite before entering the Napali Coast in Hanalei, Kauai. (If you ever have a chance – go there!!!) I took home the memory of flavors from these tacos and made my own vegan version. (Typically, these are served with fresh flaky white fish. If you would like to try this I recommend Ono, Halibut or Tilapia) These tacos are high in fiber and saturated fat free. With flavors of lime, cilantro, cumin, you can’t go wrong! Serve these on corn tortillas and you have a purely fresh, delicious and healthy meal! (If your unsure about corn tortillas give them a chance! When they are heated on the stove they are amazing and much better for you than flour tortillas (GF!) This meal is extremely cheap, healthy and makes enough for 4-6 people. I’ve had many people ask for this recipe – so here it is!

** You can also use  the extra lentils for a breakfast scramble the next day! Just add 6 grape tomatoes, sliced in half, face DOWN, in a sprayed pan. Cook until you can press each with a fork. Turn the heat to medium-low, add lentils, egg whites and a dash of salt and pepper. Stir to combine and scramble. Top with a light sprinkle of cheese, cilantro – and of course my fav – radishes!

Here’s a quick video as well! Sorry about my hair – it looks terrible!! Oh well…

SERVES 4 with leftover lentils for BREAKFAST SCRAMBLE! 

(Corn Tortillas are Yellow Tier. Everything else is GREEN!)

Not Sure what I’m Talking about? => 90/10 Nutrition

Ingredients

Olive/Coconut Oil cooking spray and a splash of broth

2 cloves of garlic chopped

1 small red onion (or 1/2 large)

1 1/2 cups brown lentils

1 can rotel diced tomatoes and green chilis, slightly drained

1/2 TBS diced jalapenos (fresh or jarred)

3/4 cup cilantro, chopped  (reserve 1/4 cup for topping)

1 tsp cumin

2 dashes ground cinnimon

1/2 tsp salt

1-2 limes, sliced into wedges

sour cream and fresh salsa (optional)

1 package yellow or white corn tortillas

Directions

Rinse and cook lentils in 4 1/2 cups boiling water until soft and cooked through.

(About 15-20 minutes) Drain extra water if necessary and put aside.

Heat one large pan on medium. Heat another separate small pan on medium-high with nothing in it.  When hot, spray with oil add the garlic and onion. Saute until onions become tender being careful not to burn adding broth if needed.  Add the can of rotel, jalapenos, cilantro, lentils and spices and bring to a simmer on medium-high heat. Turn the heat down a bit and simmer gently for about 15 minutes or so until extra liquid is evaporated.

Meanwhile, make your tortillas. Just put a tortilla in, wait 1-2 minutes and flip. Give it one more minute on the other side. Tortillas should be a little toasty but still flexible. Continue until you have enough and be careful not to burn!!

When your lentils are done (you can cover and turn the heat to low if your not done with your tortillas) adjust spices as necessary and squeeze a couple lime wedges into the lentil mixture.

Serve on tortillas and add sliced avocado and a little sprinkle of cilantro on top. Serve with sour cream and a lime wedge on the side.

** When I had these tacos in Hawaii they double layered the tortillas because it keeps them from breaking.

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