Delicious Paleo Chicken Crockpot Recipe

In a hurry to get to the gym last night, I tossed a bunch of random ingredients into the crockpot and prayed for a miracle. My husband had class (we’re both in grad school), and I wanted something filling, healthy, and effortless, but really didn’t have time to prep anything, so I gathered the following ingredients and crossed my fingers:

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs trimmed, boneless chicken breasts
  • 1 jar (16 oz) Newman’s Own Organic Garlic Salsa
  • 1 jar (16 oz) water (use the salsa jar!)
  • 1 bunch (approx 1 oz) of fresh basil
  • 8 tbsp chili powder
  • 6 tbsp dried onion flakes
  • 4 stalks of chives, chopped
  • 1 bag mixed chopped peppers (Publix and Trader Joe’s both have great mixed bags)
  • 1 bag (12 oz) frozen broccoli florets
  • 1 bag raw carrot slices

I literally tossed all of these ingredients into my crockpot (which I sprayed with Coconut Oil non-stick spray from Trader Joe’s first) and stirred well to cover, set the heat to HIGH, and then took off.

I was at the gym a little more than 2.5 hours, stopped at Target on the way home, and eventually returned to the house three hours later to find the house smelled like MEXICAN HEAVEN!

Seriously, it smelled SO good. I was so excited by how it smelled, I didn’t even take a picture. I stirred the contents (holy cow, it looked good) and the chicken completely fell apart. It looked like pulled chicken, only spicy and fragrant like a good set of fajitas.

With perfect timing, my husband arrived from school right as I steamed a spaghetti squash (in the microwave, it takes roughly 7 minutes to steam a halved squash with salt and pepper) and diced up a fresh, ripe avocado.

I served the pulled Mexican chicken over the spaghetti squash (right out of the squash-skin, since it makes an organic, biodegradable bowl!) and topped it off with the avocado and a little more salsa.

Since my husband doesn’t follow a paleo diet, he also added some low-fat sour cream (which some Paleo dieters agree dairy is fine in moderation) and his favorite hot sauce, and we both inhaled our dishes like the ravenous cavemen (and cavewomen!) we are.

The prep time on this dish was honestly less than 5-8 minutes, and you could easily swap out pork, steak, or fish instead of the chicken with equally delicious results. The crockpot is always my go-to on busy days, so if you don’t have one at home …what are you waiting for?!

On that note… I can’t wait for my leftovers today for lunch. Bon appetit, my friends!!

~ Tori

Quick and Easy Avocado Dip!

In an effort to keep my eating clean this week, I sliced up a bunch of fresh veggies to take as snacks while at work. Since munching on veggies alone can get a bit boring, I decided to whip up the following dip (totally made up on the fly) to make my meals a little more exciting.

Check this out:

  • Two whole avocados, peeled and cut into cubes.
  • One 5.3 oz container of fat free, plain Greek Yogurt.
  • Two stalks of fresh green onions, minced small.
  • One jalapeno, diced small.
  • Two tbsp of garlic powder.
  • One tbsp of chili powder.
  • One tbsp diced cilantro.
  • The juice of 1/2 a lime.

avocado

I literally blended this in a food processor for less than 30 seconds and, VOILA! A slightly lower fat version of our favorite guacamole! The Greek yogurt adds a protein punch and the chili powder and jalapeno give it a little spice!

yogurt

I might try to make a bigger batch of this next time (if you keep the pit inside the Tupperware, it can hold for over a week in the fridge!] and I might spice it up by blending in a little Ranch seasoning!

 

Insanely Delicious, Low Fat (and high protein!) Buffalo Chicken Dip

Ever since the Superbowl, I’ve been craving tailgate food with a passion. I’m not a football fan, but I’m a huge fan of the snacks that correlate with America’s favorite past time. Burgers, wings, dips – oh my!

A major favorite has always been the infamous Buffalo Chicken Dip. You know, that crockpot dish with a thick layer of oil and fatty goodness just waiting for you to dunk one (or hundreds) of tortilla chips in it?

Yeahhhh. I’m salivating at the thought.

Desperate to recreate the rich flavor and not consume 2,500 calories on a snack-size portion, I decided to concoct an experiment in the kitchen. Let’s just say it was a BIG success.

Ingredients You’ll Need:

  • Approximately 1 lb of chicken breasts. (I used about 1.25 pounds in my batch.)
  • 2 containers of fat free plain Greek yogurt. (I used Chobani, but any brand works.)
  • 2 cups of Frank’s Red Hot Wing Sauce, Buffalo Flavor. (They make a regular, a mild, and an extra spicy. I opted for the regular in mine and then added more heat post-cooking!)
  • 1 packet of Kraft Ranch seasoning (A huge calorie saver compared to using the dressing!)
  • 1 tub (8 oz) of fat free cream cheese.
  • 1 cup fat free shredded mozzarella cheese.
  • 1 cup of 2% reduced fat Sharp Cheddar (or fat free cheddar, if you REALLY want to cut the fat content down to nothing).

Super Simple Directions:

In your crockpot, add the chicken breasts and 1.5 cups of the hot sauce. It should be just enough to cover the surface of the meat but not drown it. If it’s a little short, add the full 2 cups.

Cook on HIGH for 2 hours. At this point, the chicken should be fork tender and should easily shred with a little stirring. If not, allow to cook another 1/2 hour or so.

Once you’ve shredded the chicken, stir in the remaining ingredients: cream cheese, Greek yogurt, Ranch packet, and cheese. Reduce heat to low and allow to cook another 15-30 minutes, or until all cheese has melted.

Stir well and serve with sliced veggies, baked tortilla chips, or just spoon it right out of the pot!

Based on MY recipe (I used 2% fat cheddar and 1.25 lbs chicken), the entire crockpot was about 1,600 calories and nearly 300 grams of protein. I divided the pot into 8 GENEROUS servings and froze four of them (in gladware) to enjoy the next time the craving strikes. I swear, you CANNOT taste the difference between this version and the full-fat version. If you’re a blue cheese fan, you can sprinkle in a 1/4 cup of blue cheese in lieu of 1/2 cup of the above-mentioned shredded cheese. I’m personally not a huge blue cheese fan (it’s an overpowering flavor), so I opted for sharp cheddar as the base to my flavor.

Test out the recipe and let me know what you think! If you make any cool substitutions (I debated adding sliced jalapenos), tell us about them.

As always – bon appetit, my friends!

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Loaded Mashed “Potatoes”

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I’m pretty sure I’ve posted this recipe before, but it’s too good not to share it again!

And it’s ridiculously easy to make.

Ingredients:
2 bags of frozen cauliflower
1 cup of Chobani nonfat Greek yogurt
2 cups organic chicken stock
3 tbsp dried onion flakes
4 tbsp garlic powder
1/2 cup fat free sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 cup chopped green onions

Easy Prep:
Boil (lid on) the cauliflower until fork tender in the chicken stock with the garlic powder and dried onions.

Once well done (about 10 minutes at a heavy boil), empty contents into blender or food processor. Most of the stock should have boiled off, but drain in the event it’s still very liquidy.

Add 1 cup of Chobani yogurt to blender and chopped green onion. Blend vigorously.

This should result in a “whipped,” fluffy texture.

Spoon into bowl and stir in cheddar cheese and then sprinkle with excess green onions.

The stock gives it the perfect level of salt, so make sure you taste it before you add any additional seasoning.

I don’t have an exact calorie count per serving, but the entire bowl is roughly 400 calories and results in a pretty massive bowl. I would guesstimate it’s about eight 2/3 cup servings, so it’s an incredibly low calorie side dish!

For those on a non-dairy Paleo diet, I suggest swapping the Chobani for So Delicious plain coconut yogurt (higher in calories and fat) and Daiya cheddar cheese alternative. This raises the calories to about 550 for the pot, but then it’s pure, non-dairy and caveman approved!

On that note… Bon appetit!

~Tori