One of the things I hear from clients a ton when we're finding new and different options to satisfy their hunger on the regular (often I recommend meal prepping as a way to have food consistently on hand) and allow them to feel their very best is, "I just don't know what to DO with the food I make! What this often means is they let the food go to waste... or they're eating that food because they have it on hand, but it's not satisfying them, and that defeats the purpose of eating intuitively! Now- let me clarify, eating intuitively doesn't mean every meal will be 110% satisfying. Some meals will hit the mark, some won't. But overall, your meals should be satisfying, more often than not. What I like to recommend is preparing ingredients ahead, rather than full meals (unless you're cool with leftovers for a day or two) so you can use that ingredient in a variety of ways.
Enter: 5 ways with...
It's a new series I'm starting to encourage you to create meals from simple ingredients (read: real food) and make mixing up your food simple, so it can work FOR you to be MORE satisfying- to your taste buds and your belly.
Once a month I'll share with you one SIMPLE real food ingredient (and how to prepare it) and five DIFFERENT ways to use it, so you'll never get bored-- and by prepping that one ingredient ahead, you can simplify your busy life, have food on hand and create meals that satisfy. Sound good? I'm pretty stoked about it! (Side note: my five year old looked at me like I had six heads when I used the word 'stoked' last week at the zoo. I told her it meant, "really excited" and she rolled her eyes and told me no, it didn't. Am I really that old that I'm using ancient vernacular?)
Slang aside, shredded chicken is SUPER easy to make-- and it can be used in SO many different ways. It doesn't have to be boring!
Here's how to make it: 1 pound chicken (I usually like using chicken breast but you can use thighs or whole chicken) Water or broth, enough to cover the chicken Pinch of salt if using water Stove top: In a pot, heat water or broth. Add chicken pieces (ensure they are fully covered). Bring it to a boil and let it simmer for 5-10 minutes or until chicken turns pale white inside and out. DO NOT OVER COOK! Strain and using two forks shred the meat. Instant Pot: Place in instant pot and cook on high pressure 10 minutes. Let release naturally for 10 minutes. Cool and shred. Slow Cooker: Place in slow cooker and cook on low 4-6 hours. Cool and shred.
Shredded Chicken, 5 ways:
1. Chicken Salad Chicken salad is one of my FAVORITE ways to use shredded chicken for lunches, and it's SO easy to make. Here are four of my favorite varieties:
Who doesn't love a good power bowl? I know I do, because I LOVE to mix and match ingredients. Shredded chicken is the perfect protein addition. Here are three favorites for summer: Summer Power Bowls
We all love a good chicken soup, am I right? Use up that bone broth you've got in the freezer and throw together a quick chicken soup with shredded chicken.
Every casserole needs a good protein to round it all out-- having shredded chicken on hand makes casseroles mix-and-bake. I know, so mom of me-- but casseroles are a GREAT family-feeder. This quinoa fajita casserole is delicious and simple: Quinoa Fajita Casserole. Another favorite is my Spaghetti Squash Pesto Chicken Casserole, I'm featuring in The Supermama Society next month!
5. Enchiladas (or tacos!)
Any Mexican food lovers out there? I mean who doesn't love tacos?! Shredded chicken is a great addition to tacos, burritos, or my favorite-- enchiladas. Try out this easy gluten-free option: Easy Healthier Chicken Enchiladas
Are you feeling a little more inspired about shredded chicken? I hope so! Share with us in the Healthy Mama Facebook Community your favorite ways to use shredded chicken!