You don’t have to be Bobby Flay or Rachael Ray to be able to prepare your own delicious and nutritious food in the kitchen. Many people might avoid the kitchen because they don’t feel as though they have any cooking talent, but you can still prepare healthy food at home without making everything from scratch.
In fact, there are plenty of ways to take advantage of pre-made, store-bought foods. And you don’t have to settle for processed foods, which are typically high in sodium and added sugar. Rotisserie chicken from grocery stores is one of the most convenient, inexpensive and healthy pre-made food options available. Chicken, according to the American Heart Association, has less cholesterol and saturated fat than red meat, so swapping a burger for chicken at dinnertime can lower your risk of heart disease.
Here are five healthy recipes that can be made with a pre-cooked, store-bought rotisserie chicken:
Chicken Fried Rice
Chicken is an excellent source of protein, which helps foster muscle growth. Since older adults tend to lose muscle mass with age, it’s essential to include ample protein in your diet to help combat muscle loss. This protein-packed chicken fried rice recipe from The Recipe Critic is not only easy to make, but it is also a healthy alternative to takeout!
Avocado Chicken Salad
In addition to being a great source of protein, chicken is filled with vitamins and minerals that canhelp prevent everything from cataracts to skin disorders, and even aid in regulating your digestion. If you have leftovers after buying a pre-cooked rotisserie chicken, you can use them to make this delicious avocado chicken salad featured on the MyRecipes website. Bonus: avocado is considered a superfood, since it contains nearly 20 vitamins and minerals as well as healthy fat (monounsaturated fat).
Pasta With Roasted Chicken
Chicken is a great option for those who have to control their cholesterol intake. Since there is a greater amount of saturated fat and cholesterol in red meat, swapping out meatballs for pulled chicken can help make your meals more heart healthy. This whole-wheat pasta dish from Health magazine is an easy meal to prepare at home and includes veggies to further boost its nutritional value.
Chicken Burrito Bowl
Research has shown that eating more chicken and fish and less red meat, like steak and sausage, can help reduce the risk of developing colorectal cancer. Even a small reduction in red meat intake can make a difference. If you love taco night, then you’ll love these chicken burrito bowls from Cookies & Cups. They are every bit as tasty as a beef-filled burrito, but with more health benefits and less risk.
Chicken Pho Soup
Chicken soup has long been known as “Jewish penicillin,” and for good reason. Warm chicken soup can help provide relief from symptoms of the common cold, including a sore throat and runny nose. This Vietnamese take on traditional chicken soup from Pickled Plum will not only help you fight a cold, but it can also help warm you up on a chilly night and provide you with plenty of nutrients to keep you feeling healthy and strong.
What are your favorite chicken recipes to cook at home? Share them with us on Facebook or Twitter!
Hilary Young is a writer dedicated to helping older Americans live healthier, more fulfilling lives. She currently blogs for HuffPost50, Fifty Is The New Fifty and Medical Guardian. You can find her on Twitter as @hyoungcreative.