Trader Joe’s Pulled Chicken Breast


Over the course of the past year, I have been trying out different packaged pulled chicken meals. I like a slightly sweet yet smoky barbecue sauce with my pulled chicken.  I had high hopes for this Trader Joe’s Pulled Chicken Breast with Rib Meat in Smoky BBQ Sauce.
A serving size is 1/3 of the package – 151grams.  Its 140 calories for the serving and only 3 points plus values which I felt was impressive.  What really sold me was the “smoky BBQ sauce” so I decided to take a gamble and pick up a package.  I heated it through for lunch one afternoon, piled my serving onto a Trader Joe’s multigrain slim and paired it with a cut up microwave cooked potato for “fries.”
At first it wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t delicious.  It was smoky but also somewhat sweet. It was a simple meal – rather mediocre and not rave worthy.  I finished my serving, put the rest away and the next day I heated the remainder through to make a sandwich for my boyfriend and I.  Well, I bit into a piece of what I call grizzle.  You know that hard, “plastic” type cartilage that you can sometimes find in chicken?  Well … let me just say, I have texture issues and the moment I bit into that, I was done. I was no longer hungry, I was repulsed and my sandwich went into the garbage.
I’m starting to believe my quest to find A++ style pulled chicken, that’s not bad points plus wise, is not going to happen unless I just make it myself.
QUESTION:
Have you tried the Trader Joe’s pulled chicken?

Homemade Pulled Pork (Crock pot)

One kitchen device I have grown to love is undoubtedly my Crock pot!  It simplifies life, makes meals all on its own (well, with a little assistance from myself) and I can come home from work or running errands all day and dinner will be ready.  I’ve changed up this recipe using chicken and pork tenderloin – both of which are fabulous. I love BBQ meals and pulled pork (and pulled chicken) are two of my favorites.  Growing up my mother spoiled us making homemade pulled pork that she’d roast overnight and because of that it made me very picky going out to eat to get pulled pork.  This of course doesn’t trump my mothers, but its Weight Watchers Points Plus friendly, simple, filling AND it’s delicious.
Serves 10-15.  Serving size: 3 ounces.  4 Points Plus Values.
Ingredients:
  • 3 pounds lean pork loin (extra fat removed)
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 1 can tomato paste
  • 1 pack Crockery Gourmet Barbecue Seasoning Mix (if you cannot find this, McCormick sells a barbecue ribs packet)
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • Water (use the amount on the Barbecue Seasoning mix packet)
Trim the fat off your pork loins and set them into the bottom of the crock pot.
Cover pork loins with sliced onions and minced garlic.
In a bowl mix together the Crockery Gourmet Barbecue Seasoning Mix, tomato paste and water.  Stir until combined and pour the sauce over the top of the onions and pork loins.
Cover with a lid and cook for 6-8 hours on low or 4-5 on high.
Before serving, remove the pork loins from the crock pot and shred with two forks. Place shredded meat back into the barbecue sauce and stir to coat all meat.
This recipe goes great with homemade garlic bread and homemade coleslaw (see here: http://shannonslifestyle.blogspot.com/2013/05/coleslaw.html)

Trader Joe’s Chicken-Less Pulled Chicken in Barbecue Sauce


As an avid Trader Joe’s fan, I tend to pick up a few new things to try each time I go to the store – this time it was the Chicken-Less Pulled Chicken in Barbecue Sauce.  As a foodie, I don’t mind venturing into new foods that seem as though they’d be appealing.  I am not a vegetarian, but I do eat vegetarian dishes from time to time.  Typically Morning Star is my “go-to” and since I do enjoy their BBQ riblets, I had high hopes for this pulled chicken.
I originally purchased this because the nutritional facts were pretty stellar.  For 1/2 the package it was 3 points plus or the whole thing was 6 points plus.
Sadly, this was a complete and utter fail for me.  I heated it up in the microwave per the directions, figuring I’d eat it over some salad, maybe with a little pita bread on the side.  2 minutes went by and I decided to give the chicken a try before building my salad ….and I am glad I did.  After two bites I could NOT handle it. The barbecue sauce is very tasty but the texture of the “meat” really turned me off.  It was like a mushy, chewy, weird tasting meat substitute and I just couldn’t handle it.  I’m a texture person when it comes to food and it completely gave me the willies.  Unfortunately this ended up in the garbage since I’m the only one whose “adventurous” enough to eat vegetarian dishes.
QUESTION:
Have you tried any of the vegetarian dishes/prepared foods at Trader Joe’s?

BBQ Pulled Chicken Pizzas!

I made my boyfriend and I BBQ Pulled Chicken Pizzas for dinner the other day because I was feeling inspired and I really wanted something different to eat that was new and somewhat exciting.  I had picked the items up, unrelated to one another and decided to whip them together.  I was quite pleased with how it turned out because I have purchased the Jack Daniels Pulled Chicken in the past to pair with salads – but my boyfriend wasn’t too keen on it because it’s a sweeter BBQ sauce and not a tangy one.  If you’re wondering why there is a pizza with cheese on it and one without – my boyfriend isn’t necessarily a self proclaimed fan of cheese (as I am) so his pizza was made simply sans cheese.
To create these I used the original multi-grain flavored Flat Out bread, 5.3 ounces of Jack Daniels Pulled Chicken and on mine 1/3 cup shredded fat free mozzarella.  I baked them off in a 350 degree oven for 8-10 minutes (really until the cheese was melted and the chicken was heated through).  I enjoyed mine with a side salad … yummers!
Weight Watchers PointsPlus Value wise – this was 8 PointsPlus for the whole pizza (including cheese), 7 PointsPlus without it.
QUESTION:
Have you ever made a healthier pizza alternative at home?