Tag Archive | salsa

Crockpot mexican chicken stuffed pepper medley

Well, that recipe name is a mouthful…sheesh. Sorry about that. I really don’t know what to call it, but I promise you this was a delicious (and nutritious) meal . Since Brandon graciously bought me a crock-pot upon my arrival, I’ve been trying to use it once a week for two reasons: 1) because it’s so darn easy, and 2) so that he can’t say I don’t use it! Hahaha just kidding kind-of..not really.

Anyway, I’ve always enjoyed using a crock-pot for no-fuss dinners, but it’s particularly coming in  handy here in Australia due to the god-awful humidity we’re experiencing.  As much as I love cooking and baking, I can’t say I thoroughly enjoy it in 90 degree+ temperatures, so my crock-pot is coming to the rescue!

This week, chicken breasts were on sale (Amen), so I knew I wanted to make something that incorporated this source of protein. After searching Pintrest for inspiration, I stumbled across a “skinny chicken taco” recipe that I just couldn’t pass-up. After making a few tweaks of my own, and deciding that I’d incorporate it into "stuffed peppers” for dinner,  here’s what I assembled. 

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Keep in mind, you can make your own tweaks to this recipe; crock-pots are so versatile, that’s one of my favorite parts about them. If you don’t have kidney beans, use black beans. If you don’t have chicken, use beef, etc. Use what’s in your cupboard! This helps make it a budget-friendly and a waist-friendly meal.

Crockpot Mexican Chicken Stuffed Pepper Medley
Ingredients
-2 medium sweet potatoes, chopped
-1/2 onion, chopped
-1 16 oz. can kidney beans, drained and rinsed (or your bean of choice)
-1 10 oz can salt-reduced diced tomatoes
-1 jar salsa (I used mild, but spicy would work too!)
-1/2 jar tomato sauce ( you can use the whole jar, but this is all I had)
-1 10 oz. bag frozen corn
-1 packet reduced-salt taco seasoning
-3-4 chicken breasts
-about 1/2 cup reduced-salt chicken broth (use enough to cover the chicken)
-1 TBSP of chile powder (optional—this is if you want it spicy!)
-Peppers for stuffing (optional)-I bought 3 large green and 1 large red
-Brown rice (optional)
-Part-skim shredded cheddar cheese (optional)

Directions
1) Spray crock-pot with cooking spray, and turn it on (I forgot to turn mine on for 20 minutes, this is why I’m reminding you!) Chop sweet potato and onion.  Then add these, along with remaining ingredients through the taco seasoning, to the pot. Mix to combine.
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2) Clean your chicken breasts, then add them to the top of the pot (just mesh them in with everything else).  Then, add the chicken broth so that the chicken breasts are mostly covered with liquid.
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3) Cook on high for 5-6 hours, or low for 10 hours, stirring every hour or so, until chicken is cooked and fork-tender. Side-note: our crock-pot is new and ridiculously fast, so mine was done in 4.5 hours. Depending on your crock-pot, you may need 6+ hours, just judge the time based on the chicken.  Once tender, remove chicken and place in a bowl. Shred with two forks, then place back in crock-pot and stir-in. Turn off crockpot, and if you’re ready to eat now, dig in! This would be great as-is topped with low-fat cheese, and stuffed into a wrap, on a salad, or by itself. I wanted to stuff green and red peppers with the medley, so I’ll outline that next.
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4) Turn your oven to 400 degrees (about 204 degrees Celsius). Wash your peppers, then cut tops off and remove cores from inside. Assemble on a foil-lined cookie sheet.
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5) I had brown rice on hand that I needed to use up, so I added a small layer (about 2-3 tablespoons) of that to each pepper as a base. Then I filled each to the top with the crock-pot Mexican chicken medley, and topped each with part-skim shredded cheddar cheese (or your cheese of choice). Bake for 12-15 minutes, until cheese is browned and bubbly.

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6) Let them cool for a few minutes, and then enjoy! We ate ours with a side of steamed cauliflower and a garden salad. Healthy, nutritious, deeeelicious. The best part about this meal is the amount of leftovers you’ll have…perfect for lunch or dinner.  Hope you like it as much as we did!
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Crockpot Chicken Chili

If I’m being completely honest, I have to say that I only enjoy a select few things about fall: pumpkin flavored coffee, perfect running weather, and crockpot dinners are at the top of my list. Go figure, 2 of my top 3 involve food…priorities people!! Anyway, I’m a creature of routine when it comes to preparing meals for my work weeks, but all routines seem to fly out the window in the summertime. I figured now is the perfect time for me to get back on track, so this past weekend, I did just that by dusting off my crockpot.

To me, crockpots are a saving grace. You can basically throw a slew of ingredients in there, add broth, and all of a sudden you have a dinner ready to eat in 6 hours. Whenever I decide to use my crockpot, I typically choose a Sunday. That way, I have a meal that lasts me throughout the work week. I rarely have enough energy to cook an entire meal for myself after a 12-13 hour day at the office, so by preparing a meal on Sunday, I avoid this hurdle, and avoid the urge to order out each night—and extremely hard obstacle to overcome when you live in the city of Boston!

In addition to providing a simple meal solution, I find crockpot meals to be cost effective, too. Cans of chicken broth, beans, corn, and chopped veggies are for the most part inexpensive. It’s the protein that can be pricey. However, if you wait for a sale, you’ll be able to make yourself a simple, inexpensive, delicious dinner. The ingredients for this crockpot dinner cost less than $13 in total, and this meal lasted me 3 lunches and 2 dinners…that is a budget-friendly dinner in my mind!

Crockpot Chicken Chili

Ingredients:

1 can chicken broth
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can black beans, drained & rinsed ( I used white, I was out of black)
8 oz frozen corn
3 green onions, sliced (optional, I omitted these)
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon dried cilantro
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
3/4 teaspoon chili powder (more or less to taste)
Salt, to taste
2 large chicken breasts, or 4 thinner chicken breasts, thawed

Toppings:

Salsa
Chopped romaine
Shredded cheddar cheese

Directions:

1. Combine all ingredients from chicken broth to salt in crock pot. Salt chicken breasts, lay on top of mixture and cook on low for 7 hours.

corn n’ beans n’ broth

plus tomatoes

plus chicken

2. Remove chicken breasts and shred with two forks. Return shredded chicken to crock pot, stir to combine, taste and adjust seasonings.

pulllled chicken!

all together now

3. Taste the goodness straight from the pot…then serve over letttuce, cooked rice, or in tortillas. (I used whole-wheat tortillas).

 

tortilla time

This meal came together in less than 25 minutes. I placed all the ingredients in the crockpot at 1:00, and by 7:00, dinner was ready to serve. Plus, all I had to do was place my chicken chili on top of a whole-wheat tortilla, pile on the toppings, and dig in. SO GOOD. During the week, I brought the chili to work in a separate container and heated it up each day to top my salads. Make these this week…I promise, it will save you time in the kitchen and help you ease back into fall.. PROMISE!