I hope that you all survived the unusual heat wave we had this past week.

I personally almost died on multiple occasions attempting to be active outside, but in doing so I realized the importance of planning ahead. On Saturday morning, I decided to go on a six mile run in 90-degree weather.

I made a pit stop at Dejope where I had to beg the cashier “to make an exception” and sell me a vitamin water without my Wiscard. Apparently you need to have a physical Wiscard on your person.

Nevertheless, by Sunday morning, I ate food and brought my Wiscard to avoid any troubles at Dejope.

Planning ahead – who would’ve thought?

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This week I bring you a very easy meal prepping solution for your protein needs, as well as an extremely easy recipe to make with said protein. The recipe is so easy that I made it in the microwave. Shame on me, I know, but don’t knock it until you try it.

Meal Prepping: Pulled Chicken

One of the most common items you can find in a U.S. grocery store is rotisserie chicken. My experiences with this as a child were always very mediocre — now I feel as though I’m dining like a king at half the cost and with a quarter of the effort. Any grocer I frequent in the Madison area sells rotisserie chicken (Fresh, Capitol Centre, Pic ‘n Save, etc). For the past few weeks, I have bought a single rotisserie chicken on Sunday or Monday, stored the meat and used it plain or made a sauce to pair with it. This prep has saved me a lot of time and money.

There are many benefits to eating chicken like this. First, you don’t have to cook the meat. This eliminates the time required to cook meat over the course of the week — and you don’t need to do dishes. Second, you can use the meat in so many ways: sandwiches, salads, soups, stews, stir-fry, etc. The possibilities are essentially endless. Third, and most importantly, the cost is unbeatable: $6-8. A raw chicken costs more than an entire rotisserie chicken, and even more surprising is a package of two chicken breasts can cost about same. Below you will find a picture of the quantity of chicken I got from a single rotisserie chicken; I bought it at Pic ‘n Save for $6. The only prep you must do is pull the meat off the bones with your hands (try to use gloves) or two forks.

Jonathan Sogin/The Badger Herald

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Chicken Marinara

I came up with this recipe to handle some of the meat I got from the rotisserie chickens. I was actually very excited to try it and it turned out great. Best of all, I made it in the microwave.

Ingredients: (1 p, 10 min prep)

2/3 cup – pulled chicken (see above)

1 cup – marinara sauce

6 slices – fresh mozzarella cheese

Balsamic glaze (for garnish)

Directions:

In a small pyrex dish or microwave safe bowl, place three spoons of marinara sauce to make a base for subsequent layers. On top of your sauce, place two slices of cheese, then 1/3 cup pulled chicken.

Jonathan Sogin/The Badger Herald

Place another three to four spoons of marinara sauce over the chicken, followed by two more slices of cheese, the remaining chicken and then three more spoons of marinara sauce.

If you have remaining sauce or want more cheese between the layers, adjust the recipe as you please. Note, do not put cheese on top for the initial heating time.

Cover the bowl with a double layer of plastic wrap and microwave for four minutes, or until the cheese starts to melt in the layers. At this time, remove the plastic wrap and place the final two slices of cheese on top; microwave until the cheese has melted — about two minutes more.

Finish with the balsamic glaze, and there you have it. You will be extremely surprised by how good this recipe tastes despite the lack of effort and ingredients required to make it.

As always, hit me up with questions, comments or concerns.

Chef Sogs

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