For four weeks now I have been in the kitchen, not every day of course, but as much as my tiny kitchen will allow. I thought I would share, with you, a few things that I have cooked to help decrease my fat consumption.
I tend to through things together, so do what works for you. Add things or take things out.
First, I ALWAYS use boneless, skinless chicken breasts. White meat has the least amount of fat than any other part of the chicken and is so much better for you in the long run.
I usually use about 4lbs. I know it sounds like a lot, but for me and LaRae it is good because it will last us a little longer than just a day or to, and besides it cuts down on the electric bill:) Use what ever you feel most comfortable with.
When I cook my chicken, I do not use any sauces, soups (some people cook it in cream of mushroom[this adds more fat]), butter, margarine (SP) etc. All I use is about 3 table spoons of olive oil. I put my chicken in a 9"x13" pyrex backing dish. I then add water first. About a cup and a half. I then add salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder and cayenne pepper(not much unless you like spice) This all goes on the one side. I put it in the oven at 375 degrees for about 1 1/2 hours or until juices run clear. Okay so half way through, I repeat all the seasonings but only after I have flipped my chicken breasts. As the Chicken cooks it will release it's own juices, but if you see that the liquid in your pan is kind of low add more water.
Okay so once your chicken is cooked, let it stand for about 15 minutes just so that it will not burn your fingers when you go to cut, chop, dice, or 'blend' it. I have a Magic Bullet that I got for Christmas last year. I use this. Prior to having this I just cut it into small pieces. Do what suits you best.
Once you have your chicken cut up or however you want to do it, put it into a bowl. ******Oh very important. DO NOT THROW OUT THE DRIPPINGS!******* You want to keep a quarter cup of the drippings and set it aside. The rest of the drippings, put into a freezable container and pop it into the freezer. Okay.....with your chicken you want to add 3 table spoons of low fat mayo/miracle whip, which ever you prefer. I like my miracle whip personally. Add two table spoons of relish or cut up you own dill, or sweet pickles. Add either fresh chopped onions about a 1/4 cup, or about two table spoons of dried onion flakes. Add pepper, garlic powder and cayenne pepper to taste. Now the 3 table spoons of mayo is just not enough moisture for 4lbs of chicken, and so I also add about 3 table spoons of Walden Farms Ranch and Thousand Island dressings. Both of which are fat, calorie, carb, sugar, cholesterol and gluten free. If you still think that it is not moist enough, remember that 1/4 cup of 'drippings' that you set aside earlier??? Well add half of it. If you think it needs more add more until it is moist enough. The final touches for me, are chopping up celery and green peppers into very small pieces and adding them as well.
I have yet to try adding grapes, but someone suggested them to me. I may do that the next time around. If there are other veggies that you like or have seen in other chicken salad, than add those too.
Once you have your salad the way that you want it, than put it in a container and let it chill. I usually leave it overnight so that all of the added spices and such can spread through the whole chicken salad.
Finally, ENJOY! I like mine on bread with sprouts. It is low fat but still yummy.
Those drippings that you saved from the cooking process actually come in handy. When ever I make chicken salad I always save the drippings and freeze them. When I think I have enough, I make homemade Chicken Noodle soup and use these saved drippings as my soup stock instead of buying store bought broths that have other additives.
I am going to post an easy chicken soup recipe at some point.
I found a great substitute for the sweet tooth cravings. Quaker makes a great rice cake and Multi Grain Cake. I have currently tried Cinnamon Toast and Peanut Butter and Chocolate Chip. Both low fat, light and satisfying.