Thursday, January 14, 2010

Yummy Chicken Breast Lunches

Bring back life to the lunch baon! Putting together an interesting variety of ingredients is a sure-fire way of making each meal interesting and appealing. With these suggestions, you might not be able to wait for lunchtime before digging in!

By Chupsie Medina

For quick, easy-to-prepare meals that you will want to bring to the office or even for your child to enjoy during the school lunch break, think chicken breast.

A pack of chicken breast fillets will go a long, long way-with rice, pasta, or as a sandwich. Grill, boil, fry, or bake it. Mix with vegetables, fruits, even nuts. Prepare creamy or spicy. There are endless meal variations you can enjoy with chicken breast. Best of all, it shouldn’t take more than 30 minutes to prepare.

Between Bread

A chicken sandwich is one of the easiest meals that even kids will find hard to resist. And it can be packed with all the right nutrients. Boil the chicken with some celery (or a halved onion), salt, and pepper. When cooked, chop your chicken in cubes and blend with just enough mayonnaise to coat, add a touch of mustard for spice, and flavor with a pinch of salt and a dash of finely ground pepper.

Instead of the usual pickle relish, why not use chopped mangoes, apples, or even grapes to your chicken mix. You may even add coarsely cut walnuts or slivers of almonds. For a zesty taste, toss in half an onion, a stalk of celery, or even a small bell pepper-all finely chopped.

Line some greens on one face of the bread (best to choose multi-grain or whole wheat) before slathering on the chicken mixture. Be adventurous: instead of choosing iceberg lettuce, go for alfalfa shoots or arugula. If you want to add a slice of tomato, choose one that’s ripe but firm; you don’t want to be munching on something soggy five hours after it’s been prepared.

Toss It

Grilled chicken is a great addition to a salad. Pound your chicken fillets for equal thickness. Season each side with lemon (or calamansi) juice, salt and pepper, and toss on a hot grill plate to char for a maximum of five minutes per side.

You may want to slice it diagonally, chop it into cubes, or shred it to pieces. Toss them with romaine leaves that have been cut into bite size pieces. You can add croutons, chopped nuts, and slices of parmesan cheese or even marinated feta. A handful of choice fresh fruits will also give added tang. Try pomelo or orange segments, even cubed cantaloupe or avocado.

To put more life in your salad, mix balsamic vinegar and olive oil of equal proportions. Pack this simple dressing separately, and pour over your greens just before eating it.


If you can’t survive the day without rice for lunch, try chicken bistek, a pick up from the Filipino beefsteak dish. It’s best to marinate the chicken fillets in soy sauce, the juice of about six calamansi, and ground pepper overnight. Slice white onions in rings and fry in vegetable oil (or even butter) until they wilt in the pan. Set aside. In the same pan, fry the chicken until well done. Set aside in a separate container.

Add about 1/2 cup of water to what’s left of the marinade, and bring to a boil in the frying pan together with all the drippings from the fried onions and chicken. Reduce to about 1/4 cup for the bistek sauce.

Top the cooked chicken meat with the fried onion rings and pour the sauce. For veggies, pick from a variety of colorful choices: bean sprouts, julienned carrots, diced zucchini, or broccoli. You can steam or lightly saute in butter or olive oil, seasoned with salt and pepper. Remember, to get the best taste from your vegetables, use only the freshest.

With chicken breasts as the basic ingredient, the variations you could think of are almost limitless.


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