Friday, April 17, 2015

4C's Chili

Chicken, chili, clean(er), crock-pot.  4 C's I love catchy titles.

Some days you just want something filling and warm because you can't shake the cold. Those days I get a hunger for some chili.  I had some thawed chicken breasts in the fridge waiting for a use.  I figured I had to be able to find a chicken chili recipe.

I could probably make this recipe healthier if I soaked my beans instead of using canned beans...but time was of the essence.   My  husband has been trying to get me to can tomatoes myself, but I am just not ready for that yet either.

My husband loves to dump mountains of oyster crackers on top of his chili, or he likes it served on top of pasta.  I am trying to help my family make better eating choices; so, I added Triscuit crackers to the chili.  Triscuits are made of only three ingredients, and I can name them all.  If we want a more filling dish, we will eat the chili on top of quinoa now.  Baby steps toward a healthier lifestyle.

INGREDIENTS


  • 3-4 chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 T chili powder
  • 1 T cayenne pepper
  • 2 t ground cumin
  • pepper to taste
  • fire roasted diced tomatoes
  • tomato paste
  • chili beans
DIRECTIONS:
  1. Place chicken in slow cooker. Top with broth and all other ingredients.
  2. Cook on low for 6-7 hours.
  3. Garnish and serve.



Difficulty: Easy
Time: 15 minutes prep; 6 hours cooking time
Source: a facebook share
















Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Slow Cooker Italian Chicken

After finding that my son has some food allergy issues involving red dye, I have been trying to use more whole food ingredients in my cooking. Seeing the immediate behavior change in him has made me wary of chemicals.  This recipe has you making your own pasta sauce thus avoiding the sugar that many store-bought sauces have.  Local honey is used as my sweetener; in my opinion, it adds more flavor and helps us with our seasonal allergies.   As you are working with this recipe, you may want to add mushrooms or other vegetables on hand to your sauce.

I have made this a few times. At first, I used a small food processor to puree my ingredients.  I needed to refill my processor a few times; this added to my prep time.  After Christmas, I used my Vitamix.  It allowed me to get everything done in one batch.  My whole family enjoyed this meal, and the leftovers were great.

I often plan ahead so I pureed my sauce and threw some chicken breasts in a freezer bag to freeze. When I am ready for the meal, I pull it out the night before to thaw; the next morning into the crock pot.  Sometimes my mornings are just too hectic to find all the right ingredients to put in the slow cooker; prepping ahead in this manner has really helped keep me a bit more calm on our busy mornings.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 5 medium tomatoes
  • 1 onion
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1 T honey
  • 2 red peppers
  • 2 T minced garlic
  • 1/3 cup Italian seasoning 


DIRECTIONS:


  1. Place chicken in slow cooker.
  2. Use a high speed blender to puree the remaining ingredients.
  3. Pour sauce over chicken; cook on low for 6 hours.
  4. Shred chicken to allow it to absorb juices.
  5. Serve over whole grain pasta or quinoa.




Difficulty: Easy
Time: Prep-5 minutes (if using a high speed blender) Cook:6 hours
Source: adapted from an online group