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Buckets, Bales, & Bushels

Connecting You with Your Food, Farmers, and Community
hola hoop chicken salad

No Cook Meals


In looking towards our next hands-on food program in May, enjoy a preview of the No Cook Meals class. If you want to join the in-person class, register at 217.877.6042 or online at http://web.extension.illinois.edu/dmp/ by May 18.

Going into summer, when the temperature outside goes higher and higher, cooking with your oven or stove can make the inside of your home heat up too. Take these tips into your kitchen to make a no cook meal.

1. Pick shelf-stable foods. This may include canned meats and seafood, canned reduced-sodium vegetables and fruits, and bottled 100% juices.

The key is to pick convenience or packaged foods with the best nutritional value. Read and compare food labels and pick options with less sodium, added sugar, saturated and/or trans fats, and calories. Buy brands with more fiber per serving.

2. Stock up the refrigerator. Just because you are not cooking, you can still use your refrigerator. Buy fresh fruits and veggies you can eat without cooking, like carrots, cucumbers, berries, lettuces, cherry tomatoes, and others.

3. Use the freezer. Mainly frozen fruits are the go-to that do not need cooking. (For smoothies!!) If you do not consider using a toaster cooking, keep frozen 100% whole-grain waffles and bagels in the freezer for longer storage.

4. Swap the presentation. Make the same recipe and think about ways you can it more exciting. With chicken salad, maybe try it on sandwich bread, mixed into leftover cooked plain pasta, or stuffed into hollowed-out tomatoes or cucumbers.

Hula-Hoop Chicken Salad (Serve 10)

1 ½ lbs chicken breast, cooked, diced*
1 can (8 oz) crushed pineapple, drained
2 stalks celery, diced
¼ cup walnuts, chopped
¾ cup low fat mayonnaise
8 oz light sour cream
2 Tablespoon brown sugar
1. Combine mayonnaise, sour cream, and brown sugar in a large serving bowl.
2. Add chicken, pineapple, celery, and walnuts. Stir to coat.
3. Refrigerate and serve with multi-grain roll or on lettuce leaf.

Nutrition analysis per serving: 210 calories, 12g fat, 260mg sodium, 11g carbohydrate, 16g protein

*Try with canned diced chicken

Source: Jenna Smith, Nutrition & Wellness Educator, UI Extension, 2012

Today's post was written by Caitlin Huth. Caitlin Huth, MS, RD, is a registered dietitian and Nutrition & Wellness Educator serving DeWitt, Macon, and Piatt Counties. She teaches nutrition- and food-based lessons around heart health, food safety, diabetes, and others. In all classes, she encourages trying new foods, gaining confidence in healthy eating, and getting back into our kitchens.



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