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Diabetes Forecast

The Healthy Living Magazine

The 3-in-1 Meal Plan

How to turn one dinner into three nights of super meals

Recipes by

Robyn Webb, MS, LN

Perfect Roast Chicken
Chicken Enchiladas
Italian Chicken Salad
Perfect Roast Salmon
Salmon Cakes
Salmon Stir-Fry

Making dinner is like most endeavors in life: It can feel like a chore if you're starting from scratch each day, but it's made much, much easier when you have a strategy in mind. Like our 3-in-1 plan. The basic idea is to make enough food on the first night that you can eat it for two more nights. But this isn't the same thing as leftovers: Rather than eat the same thing the next two nights, you create a completely different meal with the same base.

The following show you how to use the 3-in-1 plan with a whole roast chicken and a large piece of salmon; other foods that work well include pork tenderloin and lean roast beef, which can become the foundation for soups, salads, stir-fries, and sandwiches. Or try roasted vegetables, served one night over whole-grain pasta, the next in a hearty soup, and the third night topping a vegetarian pizza. If you're already following our Perfect Pantry system, you'll have most, if not all, of the ingredients you need for these dishes right in your own kitchen. Healthy eating? It's a snap!

3-in-1 Chicken

Day 1 | Perfect Roast Chicken

Our master recipe is fairly standard, with extra flavor from apple, thyme, and rosemary. You can roast some of your favorite veggies at the same time for a full meal.

Day 2 | Chicken Enchiladas

Shredded and combined with sauce and cheese, yesterday's chicken becomes tonight's Mexican feast.

Day 3 | Italian Chicken Salad

Good for lunch or dinner, this salad is livened up with artichokes and olives.


3-in-1 Salmon

Day 1 | Perfect Roast Salmon

This recipe is the essence of simplicity, with just a few ingredients: salmon, salt and pepper, and olive oil.

Day 2 | Salmon Cakes

Pair these with steamed broccoli. Buy more broccoli than you need and the rest can go into tomorrow night's stir-fry.

Day 3 | Salmon Stir-Fry

Feel free to switch out the veggies for whatever you have in the house. This stir-fry is delicious with steamed brown rice or Japanese noodles, such as udon or soba.


Recipes

3-in-1 Chicken

Day 1 | Perfect Roast Chicken
10 servings (or 4 servings, with enough left over for days 2 and 3)
Serving size: 3 oz. without skin
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour, 15 minutes to 1 hour, 30 minutes

1 (4 lb.) roasting chicken
1/2 small Granny Smith apple, unpeeled and chopped
1/2 small onion, peeled and coarsely chopped
1/2 head garlic, separated into cloves, skins left on
8 sprigs thyme, folded over
3 sprigs rosemary, folded over
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 Tbsp. olive oil (divided use)

1. Preheat the oven to 475°F. Rinse the chicken inside and out, and pat dry.
2. In a bowl, combine the apples, onion, garlic, thyme, rosemary, salt, pepper, and 1 Tbsp. olive oil.
3. Stuff the cavity of the chicken with the onion-herb mixture. (You may not need all of the stuffing.) Use twine to tie the chicken legs together and bind the wings to the body of the chicken.
4. Rub the outside of the chicken on both sides with the remaining olive oil, and sprinkle with additional salt and pepper.
5. Coat a roasting pan with cooking spray, and place the chicken, breast side down, in the pan. Roast uncovered for 45 minutes. If desired, use a roasting rack coated with cooking spray.
6. Turn the chicken on its back, and roast for 30 to 40 minutes more, or until the chicken juices run clear. The legs should move easily. The internal temperature should read 180°F, and the skin should be golden brown.
7. Remove the chicken from the oven. Let it rest on a platter, loosely covered, for 20 minutes to allow the juices to settle and to make carving easier. Remove the twine before carving. Discard the stuffing (used only for flavoring) and the skin before serving.
NOTE: Leftover cooked chicken can be stored in a covered container in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 days.

Nutrition Facts
Lean meat exchanges 3
Amount per Serving
Calories 120
Calories from Fat 45
Total Fat 5 g
Saturated Fat 1.5 g
Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 50 mg
Sodium 50 mg
Total Carbohydrate 0 g
Dietary Fiber 0 g
Sugars 0 g
Protein 17 g

Day 2 | Chicken Enchiladas
4 servings
Serving size: 1 enchilada
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes

1/2 lb. cooked Perfect Roast Chicken, skinned
1 cup canned fat-free refried beans
1 cup 75% reduced-fat shredded cheddar cheese (divided use)
1 can (4 oz.) hot or mild diced green chilies
2 Tbsp. minced fresh cilantro
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. hot or mild chili powder
1 can (10 oz.) red or green enchilada sauce (divided use)
4 (8 inch) flour tortillas (preferably whole wheat)

1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Coat a large square or rectangular baking pan with cooking spray.
2. Place the cooked chicken on a cutting board. With two forks, shred the chicken into pieces. Add the chicken to a bowl.
Mix in the refried beans, 3/4 cup of the cheese, the chilies, cilantro, cumin, chili powder, and 1/4 cup of the enchilada sauce.
3. Coat each tortilla lightly with cooking spray to help make rolling the tortilla
easier. Divide the filling among the tortillas and roll up.
4. Add the enchiladas to the prepared
baking pan, seam side down. Pour the remaining sauce over them, and sprinkle with the remaining cheese.
5. Bake uncovered for 20 minutes, or until the cheese melts and the casserole is bubbly.

Nutrition Facts
Starch exchanges 2
Lean-meat exchanges 4
Fat exchanges 1
Amount per Serving
Calories 375
Calories from Fat 100
Total Fat 11 g
Saturated Fat 3 g
Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 60 mg
Sodium 1,065 mg*
Total Carbohydrate 37 g
Dietary Fiber 8 g
Sugars 2 g
Protein 33 g
*This recipe does not meet ADA guidelines for sodium (maximum 600 mg). Use less enchilada sauce to cut down on the salt.

Day 3 | Italian Chicken Salad
4 servings
Serving size: 1 cup
Preparation time: 20 minutes

Salad
2 cups diced cooked Perfect Roast Chicken, skinned
2 medium carrots, peeled and diced (about 3/4 cup)
1 large celery stalk, diced (about 1/2 cup)
2 scallions, chopped (about 1/4 cup)
1 can (14.5 oz.) small artichoke hearts in water, drained and chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 cup halved cherry or grape tomatoes
2 Tbsp. coarsely chopped pitted black olives

Vinaigrette
2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 garlic clove, finely minced
1/4 tsp. sugar
1/4 cup olive oil
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

1. Combine all the salad ingredients in a large bowl.
2. In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, lemon juice, mustard, garlic, and sugar. In a thin stream, slowly whisk in the olive oil until the salad dressing is emulsified. Season with salt and pepper.
3. Toss the salad and vinaigrette, and refrigerate 1/2 hour before serving.

Nutrition Facts
Vegetable exchanges 2
Lean meat exchanges 3
Fat exchanges 3
Amount per Serving
Calories 320
Calories from Fat 180
Total Fat 20 g
Saturated Fat 3.5 g
Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 60 mg
Sodium 410 mg (without added salt)
Total Carbohydrate 12 g
Dietary Fiber 4 g
Sugars 4 g
Protein 23 g

3-in-1 Salmon

Day 1 | Perfect Roast Salmon
14 servings (or 4 servings, with enough left over for days 2 and 3)
Serving size: 3 oz. without skin
Preparation time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 20 to 25 minutes

3 lbs. fresh salmon, skin on
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 Tbsp. olive oil

1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the salmon, skin side down, on the baking sheet. Season the salmon with salt and pepper, and brush with olive oil.
2. Roast the salmon for 20 to 25 minutes, or until cooked through. It can still be a little pink inside.
3. Remove the skin, and cut into fillets.
NOTE: Leftovers can be stored, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.

Nutrition Facts
Lean meat exchanges 3
Fat exchanges 1
Amount per Serving
Calories 180
Calories from Fat 90
Total Fat 10 g
Saturated Fat 1.5 g
Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 70 mg
Sodium 50 mg (without added salt)
Total Carbohydrate 0 g
Dietary Fiber 0 g
Sugars 0 g
Protein 22 g

Day 2 | Salmon Cakes
5 servings
Serving size: 1 patty (3 x 1 inch, 3 oz.)
Preparation time: 25 minutes
Cooking time: 10 minutes

3/4 lb. cooked Perfect Roast Salmon
2 tsp. canola oil (divided use)
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
2 Tbsp. minced scallions
1 Tbsp. reduced-fat mayonnaise
1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

1. Flake the cooked salmon into a bowl.
2. Heat 1 tsp. of the canola oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and celery, and sauté for 3 to 4 minutes. Add the mixture to the salmon. Add in the bread crumbs, scallions, mayonnaise, mustard, salt, and pepper, and mix well. Using about 1/3 cup of the mixture per serving, form into patties. Add the cakes to a plate, and set aside in the refrigerator, uncovered, for 10 to 20 minutes.
3. Coat a skillet with cooking spray, and bring to medium-high heat. Add the remaining 1 tsp. of canola oil, and sauté the salmon cakes for 5 minutes per side, flipping gently, until well browned. The cakes should be crispy on the outside and tender and flaky on the inside.

Nutrition Facts
Carbohydrate exchanges 0.5
Lean meat exchanges 3
Fat exchanges 1
Amount per Serving
Calories 200
Calories from Fat 100
Total Fat 11 g
Saturated Fat 1.5 g
Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 55 mg
Sodium 150 mg (without added salt)
Total Carbohydrate 7 g
Dietary Fiber 1 g
Sugars 1 g
Protein 18 g

Day 3 | Salmon Stir-Fry
4 servings
Serving size: 3/4 cup
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 5 to 10 minutes

2 tsp. canola oil
2 tsp. peeled, grated fresh ginger
2 scallions, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 large red pepper, seeded and sliced into 1/2-inch strips
1 cup broccoli florets
3 Tbsp. reduced-sodium, low-fat chicken broth
1/2 lb. Perfect Roasted Salmon, cut into medium chunks
1 Tbsp. light soy sauce
1 Tbsp. hoisin sauce
2 tsp. toasted sesame seeds for garnish

1. In a large wok or skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the ginger, scallions, and garlic, and stir-fry for 30 seconds.
2. Add in the red pepper, and stir-fry for 2 minutes. Add in the broccoli, and stir-fry for 1 minute. Add in the chicken broth, cover, and steam for 1 to 2 minutes, until the broccoli turns bright green and is crisp. Add in the salmon, soy sauce, and hoisin sauce, and toss very gently. Garnish the stir-fry with toasted sesame seeds.

Nutrition Facts
Vegetable exchanges 1
Lean meat exchanges 2
Fat exchanges 1.5
Amount per Serving
Calories 180
Calories from Fat 90
Total Fat 10 g
Saturated Fat 1.5 g
Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 45 mg
Sodium 260 mg
Total Carbohydrate 7 g
Dietary Fiber 2 g
Sugars 4 g
Protein 17 g

 
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