In the pinch of tough economic times a high protein diet can stretch the grocery budget beyond its limits. Yet for a weight loss surgery patient to successfully lose weight and maintain that weight loss they must consume good quality lean protein at every meal. Rotisserie chickens available ready-to-eat at most supermarkets provide a good source of animal protein that may be used in a variety of ways for high protein meals that do not break the bank.
Who can resist a golden rotisserie chicken warm for the taking after a long day’s work? At about $7 per chicken this is one of the best bargains in the supermarket because the work is done for you and the cost of heating your oven is spared. We all know that chicken is a great source of lean protein when the skin is removed. In fact, a University of Minnesota study found that no significant fat is transferred from the skin to the meat when chicken is cooked with the skin in place. Just remove and discard the skin prior to using the meat in a recipe or eating the chicken.
Nutritionally chicken is an excellent source of protein, minerals and nutrients. A single (3-ounce) serving of chicken (dark and light meat) provides 25g protein, 162 calories, 6.3g fat and 1.7g saturated fat. People controlling their weight with gastric bypass, gastric lap-band, and gastric sleeve weight loss surgeries are encouraged to eat at least 60 grams of protein a day.
I like to buy two chickens at a time, remove and discard the skin and then pick the bones clean of meat breaking it into small shreds or pieces. Naturally, I’m going to nibble at the chicken while I’m doing this but I do not feel guilty, just comforted! Here area a few of the things I do with the chicken to make it last in a variety of ways. Adjust your portions to serve the number of people at your table.
Marinara-Mozzarella Bake: In a small casserole layer chicken, low-sodium marinara sauce and top with shredded mozzarella cheese. Bake until sauce is warm and cheese is bubbly. Serve warm with microwave steamed baby carrots.
Chicken Vegetable Soup: Add 2 cups of chicken to 1 quart of low-sodium chicken stock and 1 cup of frozen mixed vegetables. Simmer gently until vegetables are tender. Serve warm topped with a sprinkle of cheese or chopped fresh herbs.
Fiesta Chicken and Eggs: Scramble 2 egg per person. Remove to an oven safe plate and top with 3-ounces shredded chicken, a spoonful of salsa and a sprinkle of sharp shredded cheese. Place under preheated broiler until cheese is melted. Serve with canned black beans (rinsed & drained) and warmed in the microwave, if desired.
Easy-Breezy Chicken Salad: Chill shredded chicken. Chop 1/4 small onion, 1 rib of celery and toss with 1/2 cup shredded chicken, 1 tablespoon light mayonnaise and season with salt and pepper to taste. Eat chicken salad at once or chill until serving. May be served with lettuce greens, if desired.