Summer Menu: Barbecue Pulled Chicken Sandwiches + Lemon Squares

Sometimes the essence of summer food doesn’t even take you out to the grill, even if it tastes like it does. This menu screams hearty picnic food…deliciously juicy, succulent and fabulously messy barbecue pulled chicken sandwiches (a nice lower-calorie reinterpretation of classic pulled pork) paired with a simple side of corn on the cob is the perfect meal to eat with your hands…and the fact that the chicken is made in a slow cooker = perfection! This should be the essence of summer food: fix it and forget it! A few quick prep steps in the AM, a day in the slow cooker, and your dinner will be ready for you when you come back inside from your outdoor fun (plus, I love coming into the house to the smell of dinner…it’s almost like someone else cooked it for you!). Follow up your perfect summer meal with an absolutely deliciously-zesty dessert: these lemon squares are totally incredible, and come in at only 124 calories per square (I dare you to try to eat just one, though!).

Bon appetit!

Barbecue Pulled Chicken Sandwiches

From: Eating Well Magazine – July 2012 Issue

8 servings
Active Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 5 1/2 hours


  • 1 8-ounce can reduced-sodium tomato sauce
  • 1 4-ounce can chopped green chiles, drained
  • 3 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon sweet or smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 teaspoons dry mustard
  • 1 teaspoon ground chipotle chile
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed of fat
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced


  1. Stir tomato sauce, chiles, vinegar, honey, paprika, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, ground chipotle and salt in a 6-quart slow cooker until smooth. Add chicken, onion and garlic; stir to combine.
  2. Put the lid on and cook on low until the chicken can be pulled apart, about 5 hours.
  3. Transfer the chicken to a cutting board and shred with a fork. Return the chicken to the sauce, stir well and serve.


  • Make Ahead Tip: Cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 1 month.


Per serving: 364 calories; 13 g fat ( 3 g sat , 5 g mono ); 93 mg cholesterol; 32 g carbohydrates; 4 g added sugars; 30 g protein; 4 g fiber; 477 mg sodium; 547 mg potassium

Lemon Squares

From: Cooking Light Magazine, August 2012 Issue

Yield: Serves 16 (serving size: 1 square)
Total: 3 Hours


  • 3 2/5 ounces all-purpose flour (about 3/4 cup)
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 3 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted and coarsely chopped
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • Cooking spray
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 large egg white
  • 2 tablespoons powdered sugar


  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Place flour, 1/4 cup powdered sugar, pine nuts, and salt in a food processor; pulse 2 times to combine. Add butter and canola oil. Pulse 3 to 5 times or until mixture resembles coarse meal. Place mixture into the bottom of an 8-inch square glass or ceramic baking dish coated with cooking spray; press into bottom of pan. Bake at 350° for 20 minutes or until lightly browned. Reduce oven temperature to 325°.
  3. Combine granulated sugar and next 5 ingredients (through egg white) in a medium bowl, stirring with a whisk until smooth. Pour mixture over crust. Bake at 325° for 20 minutes or until set. Remove from oven, and cool completely in pan on a wire rack. Cover and chill for at least 2 hours. Sprinkle squares evenly with 2 tablespoons powdered sugar.


Per serving: Calories: 124, Fat: 5g, Saturated fat: 1.3g, Monounsaturated fat: 2g, Polyunsaturated fat: 1.2g, Protein: 2g, Carbohydrate: 18.5g, Fiber: 0.3g, Cholesterol: 30mg, Iron: 0.5mg, Sodium: 31mg, Calcium: 6mg


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