B.L.T. Stuffed Chicken
Sandwich lovers, I know living lower carb means the simple sandwich is less of a go-to. Post weight loss surgery, space in the stomach is limited, so filling that space with the right things is vital to staying well nourished and healthy. That means protein first is a good rule to live by.
I love fresh produce, especially in the summertime. The tomato sandwich was a simply a summer staple growing up in North Carolina!
On a special occasion, a B.L.T. with crispy bacon and luscious lettuce. Unfortunately, that southern delicacy doesn’t lend much protein to the plate. Plus bacon can add a wallop of fat and sodium, and if you’re adding mayonnaise, you’re looking at even more fat added.
To switch it up and make it more filling and nutritious, I thought grilled or pan seared chicken would make a nice vehicle over bread.
Being a produce lover, I added in fresh cucumber and spinach to mine for extra flavor and texture. To kick it up another notch, a tiny drizzle of balsamic reduction which packs a punch. If you were a mayo lover and crave that creamy texture on your”sandwich,” try whipping up a low fat greek yogurt tzatziki sauce instead. I also used turkey bacon, not pork, for a leaner option.
B.L.T. Stuffed Chicken
Chicken Breasts (best results if cooked before hand and chilled)
Lettuce or preferred greens
Begin by flattening your chicken breast with a mallet or pounder. You want your chicken to be flattened evenly both so it cooks through evenly and is shaped nicely when you later butterfly it. Using a zippered storage bag saves you on this step.
Cook your Chicken breast by grilling or pan searing, whichever you prefer. A simple salt and pepper seasoning is all you need. I tend to get a bit paranoid about chicken doneness, so I love to quickly temperature check. According to the United States Department of Agriculture Food Safety and Inspection Service, chicken is safe when 165ºF at the center.
Allow chicken to cool. *You may want to throw extra chicken on the grill the day before so you can grab it already prepared from the refrigerator when you are ready to build your B.L.T. later.
Slice your tomatoes to the desired thickness and tear or chop your lettuce leaves to fit your chicken breast.
Cook turkey bacon to preferred doneness. It can typically be microwaved, pan cooked, or oven baked. Whichever you prefer and time allows for, feel free to do.
Carefully butterfly your chilled chicken, leaving one long edge intact.
Layer your produce into the open pocket.
Add cooked turkey bacon.
Drizzle a tiny bit of balsamic reduction to add a punch of flavor or opt for a low fat greek yogurt tzatziki if you prefer a creamy addition.
Serve with cucumber slices for a cool, crunchy side.
You may even find you feel full with half a breast, and can get another meal out of this recipe. The giant chicken breast I grabbed at the store were way more than my typical 4 oz. portion. A B.L.T Stuffed Chicken would also be great to chop up into a protein filled bowl.