Thursday, October 31, 2013

Slow Cooker Chicken Tacos - Win

After the last slow cooker recipe I was hesitant to try again, but a co-worker of mine put me onto this recipe. She told me her little man ate this and claimed "THESE ARE THE BEST TACOS EVER" so I had to give it a try.

Huge advantage to this recipe? Super simple and you can eat the final results lots of ways. You can tweak the heat level to your liking as well. 

Slow Cooker Chicken Tacos

3-4 chicken breasts
8oz taco seasoning (I used my own mix - recipe here)
2 cups salsa

Spray slow cooker with non-stick spray, or use a liner to help with clean up. Place chicken breasts into slow cooker, cover chicken with taco seasoning. Pour salsa over chicken and spread it out so it covers everything. 
Cook on LOW for 8 hours. **NO PEAKING**
Once cooked, take two forks and shred the chicken. It will help absorb all the salsa left over and turn into a thicker mixture. 

Serve with rice, on tacos (hard or soft), tortilla chips, whatever you like!

This recipe was fantastic. Really easy to do. I halved the recipe (2 chicken breasts) and we had lots of chicken and even left overs for a couple lunches the next day (still tasty). The Munchkin ate it too! We had it on soft and hard taco shells with the usual fixings. A definite win and a new twist to taco night!


Slow Cooker Chicken Spaghetti - Fail (unless you love onion)

It's not often I have a recipe fail. I tend to pick my recipes carefully according to what my family will eat and what I know I can cook. I'll occasionally push my skills with good result. Even though slow cookers are easy, I'm new to these recipes and slow cooking is uncharted territory. I feel this recipe failed for two main reasons.
1) WAAAAY too much onion. I followed the recipe fairly exactly and I thought the onion would cook down more. It didn't. Every single bite had onion in it. Every.One. So unless you LOVE onion, reduce or cut it out.
2) I didn't like that this recipe required already cooked chicken and pasta. This would be a good leftover type meal - where you have leftovers from other nights and combine them for a new meal. Not much of a time saver when you have to cook chicken and pasta prior to using the slow cooker

Crock-pot Chicken Spaghetti

1 lb cooked chicken, diced
1 lb package of spaghetti, cooked and drained
1 medium onion, diced
2 cans cream of chicken soup
1 can Rotel (canned diced tomatoes)
16oz Velveeta, cubed
1/2 cup chicken broth
Salt and pepper to taste

MODIFICATIONS - when I made this recipe I made 3 modifications 

1) Macaroni instead of spaghetti
2) 8oz of Velveeta (I did't buy the right one) and 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
3) 1/2 cup water instead of broth (I didn't want to open a whole carton for just 1/2 cup)

Dump everything in the crockpot, give it a stir to combine it all, and cover.  Cook on low about 1 1/2 to 2 hours. 

If I ever made this recipe again I'd cut the onion completely and use a little green onion as a garnish at the finish for colour and flavour. The flavour was bland, but it might have just been overpowered by onion. I'd also probably add some mustard or spice into the mix to kick things up a bit. Maybe I'll try this again, but it won't be in the regular rotation since of the extra pre-cooking required. Even the Munchkin didn't like it and he'll eat anything that resembles Mac and Cheese. 

Primal Fudge - Win!

Looking to deal with your chocolate fix? How about healthy fudge? 15 minutes to chocolately heaven? HECK YES!
This recipe is quick, easy and super tasty! It's vegetarian too! Original recipe from here.
This recipe involves coconut oil which is my new favourite thing. I've been using it as a hair mask and on my skin (love it but a heavy scent), and now with cooking in place of oil or butter. It's a lovely alternative and doesn't always leave a coconut taste. If you have never used coconut oil before it is solid at room temperature but it melts even in your hands. I kept a small jar in my bathroom for hair masks and it was constantly liquid in the summer months from the increased temperature (no AC in my neck of the woods). You can use a microwave to melt your oil, but some people believe it ruins the health benefits so do so carefully. Again, you won't need much heat to melt your coconut oil. 

Primal Fudge

1/2 cup Coconut Oil
1/2 cup high quality cocoa powder
1/2 cup smooth almond butter
1/4 cup honey or maple syrup (I used honey)
1/2 tsp vanilla

Melt coconut oil. Blend ingredients (Original recipe says to use blender or food processor, but a spoon/whisk worked just fine for me). 

Pour mixture into lined muffin tins, filling about half full. Chill in fridge for 30 minutes or in the freezer for 10. When firm - remove from tin.

These are FANTASTIC. They store well in the fridge or freezer and are great for a quick chocolate fix. They get fairly melty once out of the fridge, so eat them quick!