Tag Archives: chicken

Slow Cooker Mexican-Style Pulled Chicken

12 Jun

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In pursuit of a quick, minimal ingredient, yet still delicious slow cooker recipe?  You will find it in this recipe.  With a slow cooker and just 4 main ingredients plus a few spices that you likely have in your pantry already, you can throw together this tasty pulled chicken recipe.  I suggest you make it meal by partnering it with some hard taco shells, soft wheat tortillas, or grab some crisp Boston or Bibb lettuce to go easy on the carbs by making lettuce wraps.  Toppings like guac, greek yogurt in sour cream’s stead, lettuce, or chopped tomatoes are fabulous ones to consider.  A side of black beans, reduced fat refried beans, or a fresh salad with a cilantro dressing would be fantastic to round out a meal here.  Thanks to Running to the Kitchen for this great recipe!

Ingredients:

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  • 1 lb. chicken breasts
  • 1 16oz. jar of salsa
  • 1 15oz. can of black beans, rinsed & drained
  • ⅓ cup crumbled feta (or grated cheddar)
  • red pepper flakes to taste
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika (I only had regular and it was just fine!)
  • salt & pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Pour salsa into slow cooker then layer beans and chicken in that order.
  2. Cook on high for 3 hours.
  3. After 3 hours, remove chicken from slow cooker and shred with two forks. It should come apart easily.
  4. Return chicken to the slow cooker.
  5. Add the spices and cheese and mix to combine.
  6. Serve with garnish of cilantro and avocado and/or the toppings I have recommended above.
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Herb-Crusted Chicken with Fresh Strawberry Relish

27 May

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Happy Memorial Day! Did you miss me? I’m sorry I’ve been neglectful in providing you yummy recipes and insights into new fitness experiences. I’m going to play the excuses games for a moment. My latest graduate certificate course was a total time suck. I learned a lot and delivered a 55 page marketing plan, but I also had effectively no life outside of work, that course and the work associated with it, and training/fundraising for the Nike Half Marathon DC through Team In Training. Then came our week long cruise vacation and super busy times with a social media research project I’m leading for work. Good excuses? You be the judge. Either way, time to get back on track!

That time of year has happened where strawberries are red, sweet, and juicy not merely colorful and deceivingly well…horrible tasting. Here is a way to use your berries at dinner time while adding some color and sweetness to your chicken dish. If you are not a huge lime fan, I urge you to cut the amount of the lime zest. Also, this Eating Well recipe calls for the use of chicken thighs, but I prefer chicken breasts. I hope you’ll enjoy this summery meal!  It makes 4 servings and is low-calorie (173/serving), low-fat (9 g fat/ 2 saturated/serving), and low-carb (8 g/serving). What’s not to love?

Ingredients:

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  • 2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 TBSP extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 TBSP chopped fresh oregano
  • 2.5 TBSP chopped fresh chives, divided
  • 1/2 tsp salt plus a pinch, divided
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper plus a pinch, divided
  • 2 cups strawberries, hulled and chopped
  • 2 tsp freshly grated lime zest
  • 1 tsp sugar, or to taste
  • 1 tsp balsamic vinegar, or more to taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Combine chicken in a bowl with oil, oregano, 1 TBSP of the chives, 1/2 tsp salt, and 1/4 tsp of pepper.  Place in a small or medium roasting pan.
  3. Roast the chicken until an instant-read thermometer inserted into thickest part of chicken registers 165 degrees, 35-45 minutes, depending on the size of chicken breasts.
  4. In the meantime, combine strawberries, lime zest, sugar, vinegar, the remaining 1.5 TBSP of chives and remaining pinch of salt and pepper in a bow.  Let stand at room temp until the chicken has fully cooked.                           IMG_20130430_185843_072
  5. Prior to serving, give the strawberry relish a taste and adjust sugar, vinegar, and/or salt to your liking.  Serve the relish atop the chicken.

Chicken with Vegetable Ragout and Polenta

7 Jan

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I am always a fan of polenta as a side at restaurants and had been eye balling the pre-made polenta tube at Trader Joes for awhile.  I stumbled upon this Sandra Lee Food Network recipe on my hunt for including polenta in a home cooked meal.  It was unique and very satisfying.  The tube of pre-made polenta from Trader Joes yielded more polenta than the recipe called for so I added a little milk and blended the remainder of the tube with salt and pepper, added some reduced fat shredded cheddar, and heated it up for a side to a meal later that week.  Get creative and enjoy polenta on the side as an alternative to boring old rice or potatoes!  Mmm mmm mmm.

Ingredients:

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  • 3 cups frozen primavera vegetable medley (recommended: Birds Eye)
  • 6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, rinsed and patted dry
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Italian seasoning (recommended: McCormick)
  • 1 (14-ounce) jar pasta sauce
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon crushed garlic
  • 1/4 cup dry sherry (I didn’t have so I used red wine vinegar)
  • 1 (24-ounce) tube pre-made polenta, sliced 1/2-inch thick (recommended: Trader Joes brand)
  • Grated Parmesan, for garnish

Directions:

  1. Combine frozen vegetable medley in the bottom of an at lease 3-quart pyrex baking dish or a 5-quart slow cooker.  If you have chosen to cook in the oven, preheat to 400 degrees.
  2. Season both sides of the chicken breasts with salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning. Place chicken on top of vegetables.
  3. In a large bowl, stir together pasta sauce, tomato paste, garlic and sherry (or red wine vinegar). Pour 2/3 of the sauce over chicken and vegetables. Top the chicken with polenta slices and cover with remaining sauce. Cover and cook on the LOW setting for 4 to 5 hours or bake on 400 for around 45 minutes or until chicken is cooked throughout (this will differ depending on the thickness of your chicken breasts- ours were big boys.)
  4. Serve hot with Parmesan.

BBQ Chicken Chop Salad

17 Dec

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This recipe from Fitness Magazine will have you wondering why you’d bother eating the unhealthy version of this type of salad when you can make this one.  This is equally booming with flavor (337 calories/ 13 g fat (3 saturated) per serving= WINNING!)  It serves 4 so I usually cut in half and it is plenty for the two of us.  Although full disclosure, I don’t half the dressing because I like a little more of it!  I hope you’ll enjoy it as much.  I recommend Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ sauce as it my absolute favorite BBQ sauce from the grocery store (Andy Nelson’s BBQ sauce holds the all-time favorite BBQ sauce spot in my heart).  It really works with this salad.  Have a good week and stay tuned for some treats I made for a recent holiday cookie exchange.  They’re easy and your friends/fam will love ’em (and you for making them) this holiday season.

Ingredients:

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Salad

  • 4- 4 ounces boneless chicken-breast halves, visible fat
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  •  TBSP BBQ sauce
  • 10 cups finely shredded romaine lettuce
  • 2 cups seeded, diced, chopped tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 cups seeded, diced cucumber
  • 2 cups diced zucchini
  • 2 ounces (or 4 TBSP) light cheddar cheese, finely shredded
  • 1/2 cup chopped red onion ( I leave out because I’m not a fan of red onion!)
Vinaigrette

  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • TSBP Dijon mustard
  • TSBP honey
  • TSBP extra virgin olive oil
  • TBSP finely chopped fresh basil leaves
  • pinch salt
  • Black pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Rub each breast with the olive oil, salt and pepper. Grill 3 to 5 minutes per side, or until cooked through, or cut into cubes and saute in a pan (the latter is my preferred method. Let chicken cool.
  2.  Whisk together the vinegar, mustard and honey. Slowly whisk in the oil. Stir in the basil and season with salt and pepper.   IMG_20121211_191801_440
  3. Chop the chicken (if you grilled the breasts) and transfer it to a medium bowl.
  4. Mix in the barbecue sauce and stir to coat.
  5. In a large serving bowl, toss the lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber, zucchini, cheddar, red onions, and dressing. Top with the chicken and serve.   IMG_20121211_194151_273

It’s OK to Cut Corners: Easy Soup and Salad Night

28 Nov

Some nights don’t you just want a tasty dinner that involves a little novelty, but requires minimal efforts?  Last night was one of those nights.  Change it up, but let’s not go overboard on the prep.  We have had this French Onion Soup from Trader Joes for a while.  It was time to break that out and pair it with the sort of minimal effort salad I mentioned before.  Our uh oh moment was the fact that we don’t have anything even resembling soup bowl stoneware to cook the individual, frozen soup portions.  Hello addition to the Christmas wish list!  We had to improvise which resulted in cooking the soup portions like so ( I hope you get a good giggle here):

As you can see from the photo at the beginning of this post, it turned out fine ultimately!  As for the salad, I adapted a Pillsbury.com recipe for Rotisserie Chicken Salad with Cherries and Gorgonzola.  As the soup offered plenty of cheese indulgence, I forewent the gorgonzola as much as it pained me to do so.  (Just a side note: the soup is not too evil considering all of the cheese and croutons.  One individual portion comes in at 210 calories, 10 g fat (7 saturated = :-/), 31% daily intake of sodium (pretty standard for canned soups), and 13 g protein.) For some crunch and a different sort of fat (good fat!), I added slivered almonds.  The change-up with fresh instead of dried cherries I normally have on hand for salad in addition to the rotisserie chicken as opposed to George Forman-grilled chicken go-to cooking method around here resulted in exactly the novel yet easy dinner I had hoped for.  Key takeaway here is that you can whip up something easy and exciting and cut some corners with other parts of the meal and still end up with something very satisfying!

Ingredients:

  • 1 bag of Dole spinach, divided
  • 2-3 TBSP per serving of light champagne dressing (Trader Joes has AMAZING champagne dressing)
  • 1/8 cup slivered almonds per serving
  • apprx. 1/2 cup rotisserie chicken, chopped or sliced per serving
  • apprx. 1/2 cup cherries, pitted and halved per serving

Directions:

  1. Assemble and enjoy!

Southwestern Chicken Casserole

26 Oct

Love those casseroles that are as good at the leftovers period as the dish was when it was fresh out of the oven?  THIS is your casserole! Additionally, it is low in calories and in fat making it deliciously, guilt-free lunch or dinner option (8 total servings at 260 calories/serving and about 5 g fat)  Can of chicken soup or other can of’s are often found in casserole dishes.  The combo of can of chicken soup and the Rotel tomato and green chilies will blow your mind here though.  This dish does have a kick to it, but not a giant kick rather more of a flavor explosion in your mouth.  Unless you’re one of those pre-disposed to hating the taste of cilantro*, you’ll want to make this and then make it over and over and over again. 

*Fun Fact: Those people who dislike the taste of cilantro have taste buds that receive cilantro much like the taste of soap.  I most certainly do not have this pre-disposition.    Any of you out there that do, though? 

 

Ingredients: 

  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 TBSP olive oil
  • 1 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • 3 1/2 cups fresh broccoli flowerets
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup (99%) fat free
  • 1/2 cup shredded reduced fat cheddar cheese
  • 1 can Rotel (10 oz) tomato and green chilies
  • 4 cups cooked brown rice
  • nonstick spray

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Sprinkle salt, pepper and garlic powder evenly over bite-sized chicken. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat.
  2. Add cilantro and chicken and cook for around 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add broccoli to skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until broccoli is tender and juices run clear when chicken is pierced. Remove from heat.
  3.  In a small saucepan, combine cream of chicken soup and Rotel. Stirring occasionally, cook over medium low heat until warmed through. Remove from heat.      
  4. Spoon rice into a non-stick sprayed 2 1/2- 3 quart casserole dish.  Next, spoon chicken mixture over rice. Pour soup/Rotel mixture over chicken. Sprinkle with cheese.       
  5. Cover and bake 25 to 30 minutes or until cheese is bubbly.  

Problem: Bathing suit season in a few days! Solution: Spicy Teriyaki Chicken Salad

24 May

No need for stress or flavor-lacking meals when you can whip up this asian-inspired Spicy Teriyaki Chicken Salad!  Eat things like this and your bathing suits will warmly welcome you to wear it 🙂  This recipe reflects 1 serving. 

Ingredients:

For the Chicken:

    • 1- 5 oz. chicken breast, cut into bite-sized pieces ( I love Perdue’s Perfect Portions to keep it reasonable portion-wise.)
    • Kikkoman Low Sodium Teriyaki Sauce
    • Kame Sriracha Sauce
    • 1 TBSP Olive or Vegetable Oil

For the Salad:

    • 2-3 cups of salad mix. (I recommend Dole’s Greener Selection mix with its crisp mixture of romaine and iceberg lettuce.)
    • Apprx. 1/2 of a red pepper, chopped
    • Handful or so of sugar snap peas, raw
    • 1/2 cup canned mandarin oranges in pear juice, drained
    • 1-2 TBSP Almond Accents Honey Roasted Almonds (40 calories/ 1 TBSP.  I used a little more than 1 TBSP, but less than 2.)
    • 2 TBSP Ken’s Lite Asian Sesame Dressing

Directions:

1. Place bite-sized chicken pieces in a shallow dish and add 2 parts of your teriyaki sauce to 1 part of your Sriracha sauce.  It should cover the chicken and allow for an additional thin layer of marinade in the dish.  Throw it in the fridge for about a half hour.

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. Meanwhile, rinse your salad mix to refresh and drain.  Add red pepper, sugar snap peas, and mandarin oranges. 

3. In a medium-sized saucepan, heat your oil on a medium-high heat.  Add your marinated chicken and cook thoroughly, about 5 minutes.   

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. Add chicken to your assembled salad followed by your almonds and dressing. 

5. Toss and enjoy!