Stuff a Sweet Potato

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Rotisserie chicken makes it easy to bypass the baking process and focus on the possibilities of this lean protein. Shred the chicken, toss it in marinade or sauce, and add it to a baked sweet potato for extra fiber and vitamin A.

Add to Bagged Salad

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This combo is a grab-and-go dream team. Add 1 cup of chicken (40 grams of protein!) to your favorite bagged salad, and toss in a handful of nuts instead of croutons for healthy fat and a little more protein.

Taco Time

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Shred rotisserie chicken between two forks and toss it in salsa. Add sautéed peppers and onions if you’d like. Put it in a whole-grain or almond flour tortilla for less carbs and more protein. Top with mashed avocado or guacamole for healthy fat and creaminess without the cream.

DIY Chicken Salad

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Most premade chicken salads have unhealthy (and unnecessary) amounts of mayonnaise and sugar. Rotisserie chicken makes it easy to make your own and control the contents. Sub high-protein Greek yogurt for mayo and add fresh produce like celery and grapes. Chop and add walnuts for extra omega-3s. Serve on a whole grain or high-fiber wrap, bread, or cracker. You can also stuff it in a rib of celery or wrap in lettuce.

Souped Up Soup or Chili

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Vegetable soup can be good for you, but it misses the mark on protein unless it has beans. Add shredded rotisserie chicken in at the end so it doesn’t overcook. You can do the same with chili. Use vegetarian chili instead of beef to keep fat content low and protein level high. Serve over quinoa, brown rice, or riced cauliflower.

Noodle Around

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Chop rotisserie chicken and toss it in premade pesto, then serve it over chickpea or whole grain pasta. Add cherry or sundried tomatoes, or make a salad on the side to get your veggies in.

Don’t Toss Takeout

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Repurpose it instead. Takeout is often high in carbs and low in protein and vegetables. Use rotisserie chicken to bulk up leftover noodle dishes, fried rice, or the other half of that burrito you didn’t finish.

Turn That Salad Into a Meal

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A salad entrée can hit all four parts of a balanced meal -- produce, protein, whole grains, and healthy fats -- in one big bowl. Rotisserie chicken checks off the lean protein category. Build around it with greens and other vegetables. Add quinoa and either avocado, nuts, cheese, or an oil-based dressing.

Make a Barbecue Chicken Wrap

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You don’t have to fire up the grill to have delicious barbecue. Toss rotisserie chicken in barbecue sauce and roll it up in a whole wheat wrap with raw spinach and diced red onion. Serve warm or cold with carrots and hummus on the side.

Mix and Match a Grain Bowl

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Start with a fiber-filled grain like quinoa, brown rice, or farro. Add a cup of rotisserie chicken and a cup of vegetables (raw or cooked from frozen). Top with 2 tablespoons of healthy fats like cheese, nuts, seeds, or avocado, and mix it all together with a sauce you love.

Chicken for Breakfast

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Which came first: the chicken or the egg? They’re both stars in a protein-packed chicken-and-egg omelet that works well any time of day. Make it yours with whatever vegetables are in the fridge. Try sautéed onions and bell peppers, or broccoli and mushrooms. Or add tomatoes and basil.  

Put It on Pizza

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What is pizza, if not an edible plate for your rotisserie chicken? Make a barbecue pizza with rotisserie chicken and red peppers, or add it to your favorite pie. If you prefer your pizza plain, mix the rotisserie chicken in a side salad to pump up that muscle-building protein.

Make a Snack Stack

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Work some protein into your midmorning or midafternoon snack with a stack that helps you feel fuller longer. Try one of these combos or make up your own: Chicken with hummus and cucumber, blue corn tortilla chips and salsa, or whole-wheat crackers with goat cheese.

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IMAGES PROVIDED BY:

  1. jenifoto / Getty Images
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  13. -lvinst- / Getty Images

 

SOURCES:

 

Danielle Feinberg, MS, RD, New York.

 

UC San Diego Health: “How to Build A Better Salad.”

 

Boston University, Sargent Choice Nutrition Center: “Healthy Recipe: Barbecue Pulled Chicken Sandwich.”

 

University Health Care System: “Omelet con Pollo.”

 

University of Rochester Medical Center: “Barbecue Chicken Pizza.”

 

Contact:

Danielle Feinberg, [email protected]