Chicken Taco (Crock Pot)


A couple weeks ago I popped into Subway for lunch and noticed they had a new sandwich on the menu – a Fritos Chicken Enchilada Melt. I ordered my typical black forest ham sandwich, but my mother ordered the Fritos Chicken Enchilada Melt. Upon sitting down to eat out lunch she gave me a small piece to try … and I my taste buds were thoroughly amazed. So amazed that I wanted to try to recreate the dish at home in a way that was “point friendly” for me.
I knew going into it that it wouldn’t be exact … but if I could come close, it’d be a success.  And I have to say, it was pretty darn successful! I used taco seasoning and ranch seasoning over fajita seasoning. The meat mixture was flavorful and was perfect in a sandwich while the next day it was perfect over salad.
The closest I could come to Subway’s flat bread was to use Flatout Foldit’s. My local grocery store only had Flatout’s everything flavor in stock, so that’s what I used.  I picked up a bag of Frito’s and added just a few to my sandwich.  Whereas in classic Subway fashion, I chose to use my own toppings: pepper jack cheese lettuce and tomato.
Serves 8. 4 Points Plus Values. 2/3 cup serving.
Ingredients:
  • 2 pounds raw boneless chicken breast, trimmed of fat
  • 1 medium uncooked onion, sliced
  • 1 medium (or 2 small) uncooked bell peppers, sliced
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp McCormick Montreal Steak seasoning
  • 1 packet taco seasoning
  • 1 packet ranch dressing seasoning
  • 1 cup Chi Chi’s Salsa, medium
Add onions and peppers to the bottom of a crock pot. Place the chicken breast over the vegetables. Sprinkle with steak seasoning, garlic powder, taco seasoning and ranch dressing seasoning. Top with salsa – cover and cook on high for 5-6 hours or low for 8-9 hours.
After about an hour of cooking stir together all ingredients and allow cooking down together.
When the dish is done, turn off the crock pot and remove the chicken from the pot. Place chicken on a plate and shred with two forks. Return shredded chicken to the crock pot and stir to combine with the vegetables and sauce.
Allow to cool for roughly 20 minutes to allow the sauce to thicken a tad before serving.

Taco Junk

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Ahh, Taco Junk! I never knew how amazing this dish was until I finally gave it a try. I’ve tried trashy taco soup in the past, but that was soup and not like “taco mix”. I stumbled upon this thanks to Pinterest. There was a picture pinned of canned food items lined up alongside taco and ranch seasoning, so I clicked on it because I was curious.  And I’m glad I did.
Not only is this dish exceptionally easy to whip together, but it’s cooked in the crock pot and the end result is utterly delicious. So delicious that I’ve been asked on multiple occasions (in a week’s time frame) as to when I was going to make it again.  It’s that good; that I’m pretty sure it’s going to be on this upcoming week’s dinner menu.
The original recipe has all canned ingredients being used with your choice of either ground beef or turkey, but I switched it up just a little bit as I do with all my cooking.  I added in onion and McCormick Montreal steak seasoning, opted for frozen fire roasted corn and decided to not use the salsa that was listed in a few recipes.  The end result was a nicely thickened taco mixture, which as it sat away from heat got thicker and even more delicious. Definitely a winner for all taco lovers alike!
Serves 13. 3 Points Plus. ½ cup serving size.
Ingredients:
  • 20 oz. 93% lean ground turkey
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 tsp McCormick Montreal steak seasoning (optional)
  • 14 oz can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 14 oz canned black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 14 oz diced tomatoes, no salt added
  • 1 ½ cups frozen fire roasted corn (I used Trader Joe’s brand)
  • 1 packet Taco seasoning, reduced sodium
  • 1 package Hidden Valley Ranch seasoning mix
In a non-stick skillet combine onion, ground turkey and Montreal steak seasoning and cook together until browned and no longer pink.
Transfer meat and onion mixture to a crock pot. Add in taco seasoning, ranch seasoning, drained and rinsed beans, canned diced tomatoes and frozen corn.  Roughly 2 hours in give everything a gentle stir to get everything nicely incorporated.
Cover and cook on high for 4 hours.  Stir to combine all ingredients.
Serve immediately or allow to cool for 20-30 minutes to thicken up slightly.

Slow Cooker Sweet & Tangy Chicken Dinner


I was looking for something different to make for dinner, but I wanted something I could throw together in the crock pot because I had a busy day on my hands. After not being too impressed with the ideas I came up with I decided to check out Emily Bites blog. I know a lot of folks enjoy her recipes and I’ve looked but haven’t truly tried many of her dishes.
Looking over the dishes I opted to try out the Slow Cooker Sweet & Tangy Chicken(see recipe here) because I had all the ingredients on hand.
Like typical crock pot meals it was super simple to throw together.  Then before I knew it, the main dinner dish was ready. As the directions state, I removed the chicken from the sauce, transferred the sauce to a pot and thickened the sauce up on the stove. My sauce thickened up, perhaps a little too much – but nonetheless it was a great addition to place over the cooked shredded chicken.
I served this over white rice and paired it with fresh steamed green beans and some canned carrots.  Definitely a delicious diner!
A ½ cup serving of chicken with sauce is 209 calories or 5 points plus values.
The entire meal as pictured is 10 points plus values.

Roast Beef with Potatoes and Carrots (Crock Pot meal)

I picked up a roast beef at the grocery store figuring we were in the need of a different meal. I noticed we haven’t been having beef very often so onto the meal agenda it went.  Typically when I have roasts (roast beef or pot roast) I cook it in my crock pot. I use the same recipe and it comes out absolutely perfect every time.
My crock pot recipe is very different from other recipes. I use 2 ingredients: Lipton onion soup mix and a can of diced tomatoes. No water, no additional seasons – nothing. Whether I’m making roast beef or pot roast it comes out absolutely perfect and flavorful every time.  You can brown your meat in a skillet before placing it in the crock pot, that’s based on preference … but I skip that step.
After the roast is done and removed – along with the vegetables, there is gravy in the bottom of the crock pot. This can be discarded, spooned over the dish when served, or even transferred to a pan on the stove and thickened up with a little cornstarch and water.
I figure out my points plus values based on what I eat. Typically I have 5 ounces of potato, a few carrots, 3-4 ounces of roast and a few onions. That comes out to 8 points plus values.  If you ate more, or less the PPV would differ.
Ingredients:
  • 2 lb roast (eye round)
  • 2 lb potatoes, peeled, wedged
  • 4 medium carrots, peeled, chunked
  • 1 large onion, wedged
  • 14 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 envelope Lipton Onion Soup Mix
Place roast into the bottom of the Crock Pot. Sprinkle with the Lipton onion soup mix.
Add in the onion, potatoes and carrots. Top mixture with the tomatoes.
Cover and cook on high for 6-7 hours.

 

Trashy Taco Soup


I first stumbled upon this recipe after reading over a post on Emily Noel’s blog.  My initial thought was what on earth is this trashy taco soup?  After reading over the general gist of the recipe (see original recipe here), I decided to throw the recipe into Recipe Builder to see how many points a serving would be. I tend to be a bigger fan of stews and since this was said to be on the thicker side I was all on board.  Going through the ingredients I had on hand, I decided I would switch the recipe up just a tad and I have to say, I LOVED the end result.  It was filling, delicious and the possibilities are undoubtedly endless because it can be switched up to cater to any craving one may be having.  Here’s how I switched up mine just a bit:

Serves 8. 1 cup serving. 6 points plus values.
Ingredients:
          1 pound 93% lean ground turkey (or if you prefer 93% ground beef)
          1 medium onion, diced
          1 tablespoon minced garlic
          14.5 oz canned diced tomatoes
          10 oz. Rotel diced tomatoes & green chiles – original
          15 oz. canned black beans, drained and rinsed
          15 oz. canned small red beans, drained and rinsed
          15 oz canned corn, no salt added
          15 oz. canned tomato sauce
          1 envelope McCormick Taco Seasoning
          1 envelope Hidden Valley Ranch  dip
          Trader Joe’s 21 Season Salute (or hamburger seasoning) – Optional
In a non-stick skillet over medium heat, cook together your ground meat, onion and garlic.  Season with 21 Season Salute or hamburger seasoning (if wanted).  Cook until onions are translucent and ground meat is cooked completely.
Transfer meat mixture to a Crock pot (or if you wish to cook it on the stove, transfer your meat to a soup pot).  Add in beans, Ro-tel tomatoes, diced tomatoes, black beans, red beans, corn, tomato sauce, ranch seasoning, and taco seasoning.  Mix together ingredients.

Set crock pot onto low, cover and cook for 6-8 hours.  45 minutes before serving I turned the crock pot off to allow the mixture to cool and thicken up just a tad.

The Skinny Fork’s – Crock Pot Chicken Tikka Massala

I saw an Instagram post about this Crock Pot Chicken Tikka Massala and I immediately wanted to make it.  I love Indian food, although I don’t get it very often because my boyfriend isn’t a big fan of the spice.  Typically I relay on getting my Indian dishes from a few companies that sell frozen pre-packaged meals but we all know that homemade is SO much better.
This particular recipe was quite easy to throw together and it was not spicy in the least bit. The one thing I will tweak next time I make it (which I will, I’ve repurchased a few of the ingredients I’d need to make it again) I will be adding salt.  After it cooked for 7 hours in the crock pot I found it was missing something … and that something was salt.  Now, I don’t really use salt in my food, but I’ve found in cooking you need a little bit of salt to bring all flavors together.
You get roughly a 1 cup serving for only 4 points plus values, which is totally worth it.  I paired the dish with ¾ cup basmati rice which was 4 points plus.  The only thing missing was a piece of naan … which I will have handy the next time I make this dish!

Skinnytaste’s Crock Pot Sesame Honey Chicken w/ White Rice & Stir Fried Vegetable Roll

This is a meal that took team work. By team work I mean my boyfriend prepped and started the chicken and when I got home from work I finished off the dish by steaming some rice (in the rice pot) and browning off some vegetable rolls in the oven.
I don’t enjoy getting caught into food ruts where I eat the same things all the time.  My body doesn’t like it and I truly notice a difference on the scale when I’m eating the same types of things.  When I notice a pattern forming, I tend to pre-plan meals, on paper, to get a better perspective as to what I’m going to be eating to switch it up and to stick to that plan.  One of the meals I decided to try was by Skinnytaste.  I have yet to make a Skinnytaste recipe that I did not like so I figured this one would not only be fool proof, but it’d also be delicious.
I left the printed recipe with my boyfriend, so he cleaned the chicken and measured out all the ingredients and got the crock pot starting while I was at work.  When I got home from work the chicken was ready to be shredded, so I started the rice pot, deposited some frozen vegetable rolls into the oven and dinner was going to happen in 30-minutes or less.
I have to say this was a delicious meal.  It had that “take out” vibe to it but it was completely healthy and filling. The shredded chicken was loaded with flavor, the Trader Joe’s Stir Fried Vegetable Roll (which happens to be vegan and I wasn’t aware of that until the past month) were also delicious.  I found they were packed with flavor and had a nice crunch to them.  You can see my review on these rolls here: http://shannonslifestyle.blogspot.com/2013/03/trader-joes-trader-mings-stir-fried.html. That crunch didn’t withstand a night in the refrigerator, but sitting down at dinner it was a homerun.
The whole plate was 12 points plus values. Definitely worth it and a LOT less points than if I was to order Chinese food in.
To see the Skinnytaste Crock Pot Sesame Honey Chicken recipe, click here: http://www.skinnytaste.com/2013/02/crock-pot-sesame-honey-chicken.html
QUESTION:
Have you tried the Crock Pot Sesame Honey Chicken recipe or the Trader Joe’s Stir Fried Vegetable Rolls?

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)

Dinner: Slow Cooker Italian Herb Chicken

I decided I wanted to make something in the Crock pot for dinner because it just simplifies things for me – especially since I travel for work.  It’s not a terribly long commute, but in traffic it can get entirely annoying and put a huge damper on my dinner plans.  So to deter that annoyance and being ahead of the game with pre-planning my meals I rely on my Crock pot.  A crock pot has truly been a time saver (life saver?) for me for many years.  If you’re not aware you’d be surprised the things you can make in your Crock pot – from breakfast items to dessert with everything in between.
I had picked up a McCormick seasoning pack in Italian Herb Chicken and it had been sitting in my pantry cabinet waiting to be used.  I was trying to figure out dinner and spotted the packet, realized I had everything needed to make it and onto the dinner menu it went.  Originally the packet called for mushrooms but my boyfriend isn’t a big mushroom fan so I substituted for onion and peppers.
To make this all I needed was 2 pounds of chicken, two cans diced tomato, one can tomato paste, the McCormick seasoning pack and the vegetables of my choice (peppers and onions).  I actually also added minced garlic to the crock pot because I put garlic in almost everything!
After setting my crock pot and “forgetting it” I found the end product was very much a chicken cacciatore.  It was delicious and I did serve this over white rice.
Weight Watcher Point Plus wise I measured out my chicken (3 ounces) and gave it 3 points plus for the chicken with some veggies.  My rice (1 cup) was an additional 5 points plus values.  8 Points plus was not bad for a delicious, homemade and simple dinner.
Apologies for not having the plated version photographed – I took a picture but my camera was evidentially hungry.
QUESTION:
Do you have a Crockpot you use to help simplify cooking?

Asian Pork Tenderloin

I wanted to make something different for dinner and after pre-planning most of the meals for the week I decided we’d have pork for dinner. I wanted to use the crock pot but outside of that general idea I didn’t have a specific recipe in mind.  I opted to go with a classic Asian style “marinade” to incorporate into the dish.  I grabbed some of the items I would typically use while making stir fry and then experimented with the rest with fingers (secretly) crossed behind my back that the end result was a tasty one.
Thankfully – it was a success!  It was so delicious and something I am going to undoubtedly continue to make when in the mood for pork loin.  Since cooking the pork in the crock pot it was tender and melt in your mouth delicious.  The vegetables were perfect and the sauce was a perfect addition to spoon over white rice.
Here’s how I made the dish:
Sauce:
1/3 cup Reduced Sodium Soy Sauce
¼ cup brown sugar
¼ cup water
¼ Hoisin sauce
Tablespoon Gulden’s spicy mustard
2 tablespoons ketchup
Tablespoon fresh minced ginger
2 tablespoons minced garlic
2 teaspoons cider vinegar
Sprinkle black pepper
Main ingredients:
2 extra-lean pork loins (~1 pound each – I used the Hormel Original pork loins)
One medium fresh onion, sliced
One large red pepper, sliced
Bag fresh baby carrots
Bag frozen Asian Veggie Medley (typically contains broccoli, carrots, pea pods)
2 cans sliced water chestnuts
Directions:
Add all ingredients for the sauce into a bowl and mix to combine.
Place pork loins in the bottom of your Crock pot (feel free to remove any visible fat the Hormel brand has a small amount of fat which I removed).  Pour sauce mixture over the meat.
Place baby carrots, sliced onion and red pepper into the crock pot.  Cover and cook on low for 5-6 hours (you can also cook on high it would probably be done in 4-6 hours).
30 minutes before serving add in the frozen vegetables and the water chestnuts.  Stir in, cover and let cook for an additional 30 minutes to bring the frozen vegetables up to temperature.
I calculated it to be 5 Points Plus Values for 4 ounces of pork loin and a helping of vegetables.  I paired it with a side of white rice (1 cup for 5 Points Plus values) making it a simple and easy 10 PPV meal!
QUESTION:
Do you like to use your Crock pot to cook meals?