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With her clever wit and wisdom, certified nutritional consultant (CNC), Leanne Ely, is bringing people back to the dinner tables each evening. Leanne has a simple philosophy, “Make it and they will come.” She is author of the Saving Dinner series; Leanne also dishes out recipes and advice with her syndicated newspaper column, The Dinner Diva.

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Saving Dinner
by Leanne Ely, Certified Nutrition Counselor

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For even the most enthusiastic griller, grilling outside can get tedious and hot. Sure, you've kept the house cool by going outside to do your cooking, but baby it can be hot outside!

So what do you say we grill once, and get three meals out of it? This is what I do to get Rubber Chicken... Summer Rubber Chicken, that is.

How do you do that you say? Glad you asked, check it out...

Day One: Marinate as much chicken as you need to make three meals. Let's say you are a family of 5; you will use 12 chicken breasts total (which is how many are often in 2 bags of individually frozen chicken breast halves; the boneless ones). What I do is marinate 12 breasts in two zipper topped plastic bags (6 each) with Teriyaki sauce, Balsamic vinegar, a squeeze of lemon or lime, garlic powder, oregano and a liberal grinding of pepper. Or if I'm in a huge hurry, I'll split a bottle of Italian salad dressing between the two bags and call it a day.

Remember, the longer you marinate, the more time the flavors of your marinade have to infuse themselves in your chicken. In other words, I'd do this first thing in the morning so your chicken is wonderful that night.

On your outdoor grill, barbecue ALL of the chicken, reserving 6 cooked breasts for later. I will serve coleslaw, green salad and maybe a potato salad with the meal. The breakdown of the 12 breasts is 6 used the first night (your husband or teenager will volunteer to eat the extra one), 3 used the second night and the last night, 3 used again.

Day Two: Take 3 of the leftover chicken breasts and cube them for Chicken Taco Salad. Use a bag of pre-washed salad (I like the spring mix), shredded cheese, a can of drained and rinsed black beans, chopped green onions, chopped cilantro, chopped tomatoes and anything else you like. Toss altogether with a little Italian dressing and you've got a nice dinner. You can make quesadillas to go with this salad, if you like.

Day Three: Take the remaining chicken breasts and chop for Summer Chicken Salad Sandwiches. Add chopped hard-boiled egg, chopped red onion, pesto (you can buy it in a jar or make it if you have a bounty of basil), mayo (use low fat), salt and pepper to taste. Serve on hearty wheat rolls with sliced tomato and leaves of Romaine lettuce. Add a tossed salad and you're there!

There you have it: Summer Rubber Chicken. Chicken cooked ONCE and stretched into THREE tasty and easy meals! Notice we never turned on any appliance in the kitchen.

Your kitchen will stay cool and so will you!

Leanne Ely is a New York Times bestselling author and the Dinner Diva at SavingDinner.com. For more information, check out the website, www.savingdinner.com.

@ 12:58pm ET on July 31, 2008 Thanks for these tips!! I will definitely use them!!!! Patty
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