Monday, July 14, 2014

How to stretch Chicken

I will on the occasion buy a bag of the best boneless skinless
chicken I can afford. Rarely it is the organic kind but if I have
the budget for it that month, I will. Though that one bag of chicken
can last me 7-15 meals depending on how many breasts were in the bag.
(Yes, thighs are cheaper but my hubby just doesn't like dark meat)
I have learned to be very frugal with meat and still feel like
you are getting some meat in your food. The key is to bag up
each breast or only grab one frozen breast at a time when making your meals!
I know that doesn't sound like much meat but when you cut it up thinly,
you would be surprised with how far that meat will last.
Here are some of the meals I make with each only 1 chicken breast!
1. Taco Salad
Basic: Lettuce, crushed chips, shredded chicken breast, sour cream mixed with salsa, cheese then all mixed together in a large bowl, super easy and quick

2. Chicken/Spinach Lasagna (family favorite and perfect for company)
each 9x13 pan uses 1 breast so for company I will make 2 pans.
1 breast cooked then shredded, mixed with 2 cups cottage cheese, 1/2 cup parm. cheese, 2 eggs, and some herb d' provence (or italian). Pour 2T on bottom of pan with heavy cream (or half/half) then layer (lightly cooked) lasagna noodles, cott.cheese mixture, handful of spincach, mozz. sprinkled and then noodles and cheese mixture then pour approx. 1 cup cream (or half/half) over whole lasagna and bake in 350 oven for 20-25 min
or until bubbly and hot.

3. Chicken Soup (with noodles or rice) Use your favorite recipe

4. Thai Curry Chicken over rice or with rice noodles
This was just a chicken breast cooked with the brown rice then sliced, the curry is a basic cumin, cilantro,ginger, garlic, anaheim pepper, sugar, fish sauce and coconut milk (or use a mixed curry base and add some frozen peas and coconut milk) then add chicken and and serve over brown rice. Super yummy and it fed our family of 6 with enough leftovers for hubby's lunch tomorrow and rice for something else.

5. Thai Curry Chicken Soup
Basically the same as the above except you add a few cups of chicken broth
and more veggies along with the coconut milk and cook til veggies are tender.

6. Chicken Salad sandwiches, yes only 1 breast
Shred Chicken breast with mayo (yogurt or s. cream can help stretch), celery, grapes, apples, herbs, mix and put on bread with lettuce or whatever veggies you have.

7. Chicken Pizza-
A. chicken/spinach alfredo- basically same as above recipe but add roasted or sauteed garlic with olive oil to use as sauce

B. chicken bacon ranch- use ranch dressing for sauce and add crumbled bacon, and chicken
along with cheese

C. chicken thai pizza- use the Thai Sweet Chili sauce for sauce base, then add shredded carrots, peppers, diced onions,and chicken with cheese all pizzas I use homemade crust and bake until golden brown at 425 (about 12-15 min)

8. Alfredo with Chicken
Make a basic alfredo with half/half or heavy cream and saute your chicken with some garlic in oil before adding to warm cooked fettucine noodles. (you can make your own simply too and that is always yummy!)

9. Chicken Rice Bowls
Cook chicken plain or make it garlicky, cajun, spicy, sweet, whatever sounds good to you then slice up thin, make your brown rice, beans, lettuce, cheese, ranch or whatever you have that needs used up in the fridge

10. Chicken Nachos
Exactly as described, just add chicken, though often I don't use chicken

11. Chicken Tacos
I will mix my refried beans or pinto beans with the cooked chicken to stretch
even more, or just make sure I make all the tacos so I have a say on how much
meat goes in each.

I will be making these and adding pictures of them and recipes, but honestly they are very simple, and really don't need a lot of directions. Use your favorite recipes but just try to cut your meat consumption and you will find you don't need all that meat. :)

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