Tuesday, June 24

Crockpot Chicken Bowls

Weekends should by definition be relaxed, shouldn't they? Monday - Friday are pretty busy. Granted my household's most relaxed days are Monday and Tuesday instead of Saturday, but that's just because of work schedules. But back to the relaxing weekend, whenever it happens to be.... there are certain foods that just are easier and more fun after running errands, rushing to/from kiddos practices, and/or having fun family time. 

Enter the crock pot.  It is one of life's greatest inventions. 

This HEALTHY crock pot recipe is a new favorite for weekend meals. I love cooking. I really do. It's one of my top 5 favorite things to do. But sometimes (especially being prego) I just need the crock pot to handle it because I know I am not going to have time otherwise.  Just because you are out and getting stuff done doesn't mean you have to resort to frozen pizza or take out which often is more expensive and higher in fat and calories than its homemade equivalent. 

Let me show how FLEXIBLE and EASY this recipe is...

  • You can cook it on low, or on high depending on your schedule. 
  • You can make a lot or a little, and freeze/reheat it later on the stove. 
  • You can use whatever meat you want. Bone in meat or boneless meat. I have only made this with chicken so far, but I think it would be great with steak or pork too. 
  • Or you don't have to follow the recipe at all. While I have a recipe written below, I recognize its almost more a formula or a set of guidelines instead of a strict list. The formula is simple. spices + meat + veggies + starch or more veggies that you can serve it in or over the top of (such as noodles, a green salad (for taco salad), cooked white or brown rice, or mashed cauliflower, mashed potatoes, soft taco shells, hard taco shells, or chips think nachos). 

Really. It's completely flexible - which is best for weekend meals if you are attempting to eat as a family, which we try to do at least 4x a week. Use whats in your fridge. Use whats in season. Use the veggies that your family likes the most. Get out the crock pot and feel good about providing a healthy and flavorful meal with minimal effort. Only thing that would make it easier was if it was easier to photograph for the blog - its not the prettiest thing in the crockpot. 

Crock Pot Chicken Bowls
serves 6-8
prep time: 2-3 minutes
cooking time: 9-10 hrs on low, 6 hrs on high
recipe adapted from Chef in Training & Skinny Taste

1 1/2 lbs of chicken or whatever meat you want to use 
1 can of tomatoes with mild green chilies, undrained
1 can of black beans, low sodium, drained
14 oz of chicken broth homemade or store bought (use beef or veggie depending on what kind meat goes best)
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder 
1 tsp cumin
2 tsp salt
2 tsp pepper
1 package or 2 Tbs of homemade mild taco seasoning
*if you like spicier foods add in 1-2 tsp of red pepper flakes and a spicier taco seasoning heat level 

additional/optional ingredients: shredded cheese, sliced avocado, grilled corn cut off the cob, chopped green onion/scallions, grilled veggies, chopped fresh cilantro, tortilla chips, rice, greek yogurt or sour cream, ect. 

**I used shredded medium cheddar cheese, cilantro, rice, and sour cream as the toppings for the dinner that night. 


1. Put everything in the crockpot except for the additional items
2. Cook as directed above 5 hrs on high or 9 hrs on low
3. During the last hr of cooking remove the meat, shred it, stir it back into the veggies. I had thought there was a lot of liquid in there at that point and if I was going to be using it for tacos for nachos I would've removed half of it. But after shredding the chicken it didn't seem to be too much. 
4. Serve it up how ever you want. We did it easy with rice = rice bowls. I have had great success with serving my family rice bowls with fish in the past and it seemed a less messy way for kids. 


p.s excited to try this out with new meats and seasonings next time...

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