How to set up a DIY Chicken Toast Bar

This post was written in a paid partnership with Manitoba Chicken Producers. As always, all opinions are my own and I only promote products and services that I use and love.

May Long Weekend is just around the corner.  You may be one of the lucky ones who scored a campsite for this unofficial start of summer or you may be heading to a family cottage to open up for the season.  You might also be staying home, enjoying the comfort of your own backyard like I am. Wherever you choose to celebrate the long weekend, this DIY Chicken Toast Bar featuring three toast recipes from Manitoba Chicken Producers is a great option for a lunch or a snack.

The basics

To set up this toast bar, all you need is shredded chicken, toasted baguette slices and a few fresh toppings.  Here are three toast recipes that you can make:

You may have seen these recipes featured on Great Tastes of Manitoba Season 31, Episode 6- Toast to MB Chicken. If not, you can watch it here to see how they’re made.

Setting up your Toast Bar

Here are some recommended ingredients for your toast bar:

  • Toasted baguette slices
  • Chicken (roasted, shredded, sliced or chicken fingers)
  • Two spreads
    • Hummus
    • Pesto
    • Olive tapenade
    • Baba ghanoush
  • One or two soft cheeses
    • Ricotta
    • Brie
    • Fresh mozzarella
    • Goat cheese
  • Two to three fresh toppings
    • Tomatoes (fresh or roasted)
    • Greens (arugula, cilantro, dill, sprouts)
    • Avocado
    • Roasted red peppers
  • Finishing touches
    • Fruit preserves or jam
    • Balsamic reduction
    • Capers
    • Pine nuts
    • Dried fruit (blueberries, apricots, cranberries)

Meal Prep Tips for your DIY Toast Bar

You can set up your toast bar to be as simple or elaborate as you want.  Most of the ingredients can be prepped ahead of time, to make this a quick and easy snack or lunch, perfect for a day of yard work, camping or sitting on the dock.

Here are some steps that you can take to prep your toast bar ahead of time:

  • Slice the baguette (toast it just before serving for maximum crispness)
  • Cook and shred or slice the chicken
  • Make hummus
  • Roast tomatoes
  • Other fresh toppings need minimal prep, like fresh arugula or herbs, tomatoes, avocado & capers

Store-Bought Shortcuts for your DIY Toast Bar

Store-bought ingredients

If you’re looking for maximum time-savings, here are some store-bought shortcuts that you can try:

  • Rotisserie chicken from the deli
  • Chicken fingers
  • Crostini rounds (find them in the cracker aisle)
  • Store-bought hummus (try a few flavors)
  • Guacamole
  • Oil packed sundried tomatoes
  • Olive tapenade
  • Capers
  • Flavored goat cheese spread

What to do with the leftovers?

What happens if you finish off the baguette and you have a bunch of toppings leftover?

This is why this is the perfect weekend meal.  The ingredients are so versatile that you can pack everything you need for the toast bar and have leftovers for lunch the next day.

Show us your toast bars! Tag @manitobachicken and @toobusylivin204 so we can see which ingredients you chose!

Pork and Vegetable Wontons

fried wontons plated with a soy dipping sauce garnished with cilantro and sesame seeds

Prepping the wontons

These pork wontons are a quick weeknight meal, once prepped. The assembly takes a little bit of time, so you might want to make these when you have time to prep. Mixing the ingredients for these wontons doesn’t take too long, but you might want to make an assembly line to fill and fold them to make it go faster.

Jump to Recipe
ingredients for pork wontons set out on the counter

Simple ingredients

The addition of red pepper adds a touch of sweetness and the water chestnuts add a nice crunch. You can substitute the ground ginger for fresh, and garlic powder for fresh garlic as well, so use whatever you have. I enjoy the flavor of the ground pork, but if that’s not for you, you can also make these with chicken or turkey.

unassembled wontons laid out in an assembly line

How to serve pork wontons

I love the crispy yet chewy texture of these wontons when they’re pan-fried and steamed. They make a great appetizer or lunch this way and can also be served alongside a rice or noodle dish for a full meal. You can also drop them into some hot broth with veggies for soup, another great option for lunch or dinner.

Dipping sauces for pork wontons

I combined a drop of sesame oil with soy sauce, a few red chili flakes, and sesame seeds to enjoy these. You can also use a combination of sweet chili sauce with soy sauce for a sweet and salty combo. The dressing from this Asian Grilled Chicken Salad would also make an excellent dipping sauce.

Meal prep strategies

There are a few meal prep strategies that you can apply to this recipe such as:

  • Prepping ahead of time
  • Making a double batch and freezing them

When I made these, I bought a 6 lb sleeve of ground pork and prepared it a few other ways so that I have some meal components ready for quick meals. I made some burgers, which you can season any way you like. This recipe for lemon basil chicken burgers has some great tips on how to make a great burger. I also cooked some unseasoned in a pan and froze it in 2-cup portions, so that I can use it in other meals, like tacos, lettuce wraps or burrito bowls.

Check out my Instagram page for a reel on how to make these pork wontons. Enjoy!

Pork and Vegetable Wontons

Delicate wontons that can be fried crispy or served in a soup.

Course Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine Chinese
Keyword pork, pork wonton, wonton
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Servings 30 wontons

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. lean ground pork
  • 1 can sliced water chestnuts
  • 1 red pepper
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 2 Tbsp soy sauce *extra sauce for dipping
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • sweet chili sauce for dipping
  • 1 egg, beaten with one tsp water
  • 1 pkg. wonton wrappers

Instructions

  1. Finely dice water chestnuts and red pepper.

  2. Mince garlic.

  3. Combine pork, water chestnuts, red pepper, garlic, ginger, soy sauce and sesame oil until there is no liquid in the bowl.

  4. Seperate wonton wrappers and lay out so that you can assemble all of the wontons at once.

  5. Drop 1/2 Tbsp of the wonton filling in the centre of each wrapper.

  6. Brush one corner of the wrapper with egg in an L shape.

  7. Fold the dry corner (the corner that doesn't have the egg on it) to form a triangle, and press to seal.

  8. Fold the bottom corners of the triangle on each other and use more egg to seal them if needed.

  9. At this point you can either cook them fresh, or freeze them.

  10. If freezing, spread out on a sheet pan so none of the wontons are touching. Freeze for 1-2 hours. Store in a silicone or plastic bag.

  11. To cook, heat 2 Tbsp canola oil in a frying pan. Add in wontons, making sure not to crowd the pan.

  12. Fry for 2 minutes until golden, then flip and fry for another two minutes.

  13. Add 1/4 cup water or broth to the hot pan and cover with a lid. Let steam for 5 minutes.

  14. Serve with soy sauce or sweet chili sauce for dipping.

How to Make a Holiday Snack Board

Featuring Recipes from Manitoba Chicken Producers

This post was written in a paid partnership with Manitoba Chicken Producers. As always, all opinions are my own and I only promote products and services that I use and love.

Snack boards aren’t just for large gatherings! We like to enjoy them for lunch or dinner regularly. Whether you’re wrapping gifts solo or having dinner with your family, pulling a snack board together for any occasion is doable with these tips.

For this board, I scrolled the Appetizer & Snacks section of Manitoba Chicken’s new website for some make-ahead appetizers. 

My favorite part about this website is the categories in the Recipes section.  You can search recipes by type, cut, preparation and cuisine.   Also, it`s educational.  You can find absolutely anything you want to know about Manitoba Chicken Producers, from farming to food safety in the following sections:

  • Nutrition
  • Cooking School
  • Blog
  • At the Farm
  • Our Industry
  • About Us

Store-bought VS Homemade

Using a combination of homemade and store-bought ingredients will help you impress without the stress. Choosing make-ahead appetizers saves you some prep time before you assemble your board.

The Appetizer & Snacks section of the website has an assortment of fresh, make-ahead and freezer friendly recipes to choose from. Think of your main homemade ingredients as the anchors for your board, then fill in with store-bought ingredients to complete the look.

This time, I chose the BBQ Chicken Bacon Bites (assemble ahead of time) and the Chicken Empanadas (make-ahead and freeze) to anchor the board.

How to add interest to your snack board

You can try to stick to a particular color scheme or create a theme for your board, but I honestly think the best part about making a snack board, is using whatever you want and have in the house.  I like to focus on using different textures to make the board visually appealing.

Here are a few specific ways to add interest to your board and how they were used in this board.

Use a couple items from each of these categories:

  • Protein (BBQ Chicken Bacon Bites, Chicken Empanadas)
  • Cheeses & Spreads (Fresh ricotta, sliced mozzarella, habanero black pepper cheese, honeycomb, tzatziki)
  • Fresh fruits & Vegetables (cucumbers, apples, pomegranate)
  • Breads, crackers, pretzels (Whole Wheat Crackers, rustic seed & fruit crackers, beet chips)
  • Something pickled (olives)
  • Filler (to fill in the small gaps around the board)
    • Fresh herbs (dill & parsley)
    • Dried fruit (dried cranberries)
    • Nuts
    • Candy or chocolate

Assembling your snack board

Assembling your board is the trickiest part. You may have to move some ingredients around once you place them to achieve the look that you want.  The important part is to have fun!

  • Place crisp ingredients like crackers and chips on the board just before serving, to prevent them from getting soggy.
  • Contain dips, spreads and pickled items in small bowls.
  • Choose appetizers that can be served warm or at room temperature to prevent heat transfer to the rest of the board components.

Making your snack board ahead of time

If you want to assemble most of your board ahead of time, there are a few ways that you can do this. The first way is to get all your components ready, so that you can assemble the board quickly.

  • Prepare dips and spread and fill bowls.
  • Prepare hot appetizers that need to be cooked
  • Chop and slice fruits, vegetables and cheeses

The second way is to place most of the fresh ingredients on the board and to store it in the fridge.  Just before serving, add the hot appetizers and dry components to the board.

Here are some other great appetizers from manitobachicken.ca that would work well on a snack board.

Prep ahead and assemble before serving

Make-ahead and freeze

Which one will you try first?  Head to manitobachicken.ca to check out their new website and find a new recipe to add to your next snack board.