BBQ Chicken Nacho’s

Wondering what to do with that leftover Costco rotisserie chicken?  I bought one the other day and in 3 days, we barely made a dent in it.  They are so inexpensive, so it’s hard not to grab one when I’m at Costco, but it was such a busy weekend that we didn’t even have time to sit down and eat.  One of our family favorite uses for left over chicken is BBQ chicken nacho’s.  They are easy and delicious!

I’m one of those “crazy” people that likes to make my own nacho chips.  It’s a great way to use that already opened corn tortillas, and it only takes a few minutes.  Heat up a pan with an inch of canola or other vegetable oil.  Cut the corn tortillas into 4 or 6 inch pieces and fry on each side until lightly browned.  I usually sprinkle them with a little salt at the end and place them on a wire rack lined with paper towels.  You can also use your favorite gluten-free corn chips as well.  I’ve used blue corn chips and scoops and they work great too.

Next, shred the rotisserie chicken and cover with your favorite BBQ sauce.  I like to use a combination of several kinds to give it spice and sweet flavors.  My favorite combination is Kraft BBQ sauce and Bullseye brand.  Make sure you read the ingredient list for any hidden gluten (i.e. soy sauce, malt flavoring, etc.).  Heat BBQ coated chicken on a stove top in a cooking spray covered pan until warmed completely.

I’ve used different pans to assemble my nacho’s, but found that using one with sides works the best.  Coat pan with non-stick spray and begin layering chips, chicken and sharp cheddar cheese.  Top with a layer of cheese and heat in a broiler until the cheese is melted.  After it comes out of the oven, put a bit more BBQ sauce on and top with whatever Mexican fixings you like; onions, black beans, cilantro, corn, sour cream, salsa, guacamole, re-fried beans, jalapeno peppers, etc.

The list is endless of what you can serve on them.

Try it and let me know what you think!

BBQ Chicken Nacho Recipe

  • Shredded Chicken
  • Bag of Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese
  • Bag of Gluten-Free Tortilla Chips
  • Mexican Fixings (Guacamole, Sour Cream, Sweet Corn, Salsa, Chopped Onions, Chopped Cilantro)

I only sprinkled 1/2 with onions and cilantro so my kids wouldn’t scream!

Eating gluten-free doesn’t mean it’s healthy…

When most people think about a gluten-free diet, they immediately think it’s for weight loss.  I myself lost 8 pounds when I first eliminated wheat products from my diet.  But, after about a year, I started to notice that the 8 pounds returned…in “new” places (Grrrrr!).  It all started when I got really hungry and needed something quick.  Needless to say, I ate potato chips and prepackaged gluten-free product (hence the 8 pounds around my middle).  Matter of fact, most people on a gluten-free diet gain an average of 22 pounds.  Probably because gluten-free products contain an average of 1/3 more calories and fat than regular products and their portion size is much smaller.

Thankfully, for flavors sake, gluten-free manufacturers are on a “mission”  to produce products that replace or at least come close to those familiar tastes of what sufferers used to eat.  I’ve met so many small gluten-free business owners that started because they were diagnosed with celiac and wanted to make a product that tasted like what they missed.  More fats and sugars usually help consumers get past new textures and unfamiliar flavors.

Gluten-free grains are not required to be fortified like standard bread products in America.  This add’s to problems for gluten intolerance sufferers who are already vitamin deficient.  Gluten protein causes the tiny villi that line the intestines to lay flat in celiac patients.  The villi are there to aid in nutrition absorption, so without healthy villi, celiac sufferers starve nutritionally from the inside out.  No healthy villi, no vitamin absorption.  This is what causes the multitude of symptoms for sufferers.  For example, vitamin B is necessary for red blood cells (to prevent anemia), healthy skin, hair and muscles.  That’s just one common vitamin deficiency, sadly there are lots more.

What the answer?  SUBSTITUTION!  Newly diagnosed suffers usually consume the three most recognizable ingredients;  rice, potato and corn.  This works great until they get used to what is safe to eat.  But, by switching to alternative grains, the protein, fiber, iron and vitamins go up…naturally.

Here’s some alternative grains to choose from…

  • Amaranth – Protein, fiber, iron, magnesium, zinc, calcium, B vitamins
  • Buckwheat – Protein, fiber, B6, niacin, thiamin, iron, zinc
  • Millet – Protein, fiber
  • Oats – Fiber, B vitamins
  • Quinoa – High quality protein, fiber, calcium, magnesium, iron, B vitamins
  • Teff – Protein, calcium, iron, B vitamins
  • Wild rice – If enriched B vitamins
  • Wild rice – Protein, fiber, potassium, zinc

The key to staying healthy on a gluten-free diet is to incorporate a wide variety of grains, watch portion sizes of prepackaged gluten-free products and exercise.  Lord knows, I need to work on that 3rd one if I want to get these 8 pounds off!!!

If you aren’t sure where to begin, talk with a registered dietitian to help you on your way.