Sometimes it’s hard to hear about all the things that are bad for our health. Many times people feel overwhelmed and the information is then ignored and unhealthy habits are continued.

I recently wrote about the dangers processed meat poses to your health. If you are one of the many people who rely on processed meat, especially deli meat, to provide a quick and easy meal for your kids, you may have thought deli meat is too hard to give up. What on earth would you use instead for a quick and easy meal for kids; especially for school?

I want to share with you our family’s idea for quick, healthier sandwich meat: simple, cooked chicken.

The Purchase

We buy a package of organic chicken thighs at Costco; I think there is almost four pounds of meat total in the package. You could also use chicken breasts, or an entire chicken (or a turkey, for that matter).

The Process

I cut it up into serving-size pieces (which are smaller than what you may think a serving of meat is) and place it all in a glass Pyrex 9×13 baking pan. (If it doesn’t fit, I put the rest of the meat in an additional 8×8 pan.) I sprinkle it with a variety of spices. We use organic spices; here are some of the usual ones I use (obviously you can use whatever you like):

I cook the meat at 375° F for 25 minutes. Here is what it looks like when it is done.

The Storage

When the chicken has cooled for a few minutes, I transfer it into a large container that I put in our freezer. Whenever we need some chicken, it’s easy to take out a few pieces and let them thaw or warm them up quickly in a small pan on the stove with some water. (We don’t use a microwave for anything and I don’t recommend you use one either.)

Bonus Idea for Frugal Folks

Once the chicken has been removed from the pan, I put the juice that remains in a glass Pyrex storage container. This is now chicken broth! I label it and then put it in the freezer. It comes in handy next time I need chicken broth for any meals or recipes. You might need to save up a few containers to have enough broth, though.

What Can You Use This Chicken For?

We use this chicken for a variety of meals:

  • Cut into chunks or strips and put on a tortilla, along with other fixings, for a nice wrap sandwich
  • Chop into small pieces, add olives and mayo, and use to make a chicken salad sandwich
  • Slice thin and put on sandwich with other fixings
  • Cut into chunks and put on top of your salad
  • Cut into strips and use your favorite salad dressing for dip
  • For any meal that we may not have purchased separate meat for (sometimes for a quick meal we make spaghetti and it’s nice to know we have pre-cooked chicken waiting for us to use)

I hope you will all ditch the deli meat and try simple, cooked chicken for your sandwiches. Let me know what you think!

Wendy –

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