Yesterday my hubby cooked an extra chicken on the Weber which is always a treat for me as I then don’t have to think too long about what to cook for dinner. Having said that, I don’t normally have to think too long anyway as I am pretty good at meal planning and normally have at least two weeks worth of meals planned with all the ingredients (at least all the pantry type ingredients) on hand and ready to go. I don’t believe in attaching a specific meal to any particular day as I may not feel like eating “X, Y & Z” on that particular night, but at least by having a general plan, I can mix the days around and still have a meal on the table pretty quickly.
As I’ve mentioned before, I don’t like using store-bought jars or packets of sauce or mixes. I prefer to make my own, thereby knowing they’re fresh and exactly what’s gone into them, keeping as many of those nasty chemicals and preservatives out of our bodies.
Another pet hate of mine is waste. My meal plans allow me to group meals together that contain the same ingredient, so the sour cream, for example, gets used up before being forgotten about in the fridge and then having to be thrown out.
But back to my pre-prepared chicken :). The original salad contained ham, but as with most things, I like to put my own slant on them and use recipes as a guideline. Tonight the chicken, shredded and cold, was perfect to replace the ham, although this is a great opportunity to use up leftover ham after Christmas. A few chopped fresh veggies and dinner was ready in less than 15 minutes. A deliciously fresh light summer evening meal.
cold cooked ham or chicken, or nothing if you’re vegetarian
1 cucumber, finely chopped
1 stick celery, finely chopped
1 red pepper, finely chopped
1 green pepper, finely chopped
1 can sweet corn, drained
1 carrot, peeled and grated
4 – 6 gherkins, depending on their size, finely chopped
½ cup grated tasty cheese, or parmesan/pecorino to give it a different taste
2 Tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley
2 Tbsp mayonnaise
1 Tbsp basil and cashew pesto (optional)
- Dice all veggies so that the pieces are all of a similar size. Place into a large serving bowl.
- Peel and grate the carrots and add to the bowl.
- Drain the corn (or use 1 cup of frozen sweet corn and microwave for a minute) and add to the other ingredients.
- Add the grated cheese and chopped parsley.
- Shred the cold cooked chicken or chop the ham and add to the salad.
- Combine the mayonnaise and pesto if using, and fold through the salad.
- Chill before serving.
- I like to serve with lightly salted crispy chips or crackers on the side.