Monday, April 4, 2011

I love my crockpot BBQ Chicken!!!

I realize I have been slacking for the past 2 weeks with blogging and some of you have let me know :)  I am happy to know that you are looking forward to my posts and trying what I am making.  Busy life has seemed to get in the way the past 2 weeks.  Its getting nicer out which means less time in front of the computer but I will do my best to keep posting.  Today's post is BBQ chicken in the crockpot and couscous salad.  My friend Erin came into Indy this past week with her wonderful baby boy Cayden.  I wasn't sure what we were going to be doing for the day/night so I wanted to make something easy and delicious.  The crockpot is my go to easy dinner maker :)  One of my most favorite cookbooks is Fix it and forget it lightly.  It made up completely of healthy crockpot meals.  How fantastic is that!!!  One of my favorites from the book is a simple BBQ chicken.  I put it together in less than 5 minutes and I was done.  So easy!  The recipe was as follows:
  • 8 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 8 oz can low sodium tomato sauce - I didn't have this on hard so I used ketchup
  • 8 oz can of water
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp yellow mustard
  • 2 Tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1/4 cup cup cider vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • dash of garlic powder
  • dash of oregano
  • 3 Tbsp onion chopped - I had red onion on hand
  1. Place chicken in slow cooker sprayed with non-fat cooking spray.  Overlap chicken as little as possible.
  2. Combine remaining ingredients.  Poor over chicken
  3. Cover.  Cook on low 6-8 hours or high 3-4 hours.
  4. To thicken the sauce a bit, remove the lid during the last hour of cooking. 
I cooked my chicken on low and can tell you it was falling apart when I checked it around 5 hours.  We were not ready to eat yet so I set the crock pot on warm and let the sauce thicken.  This is not a great picture however this is the after product before I served it.

Erin, Cayden and I went for a wonderful little walk on the monon this afternoon and turned on the tv when we got back.  And of course I flip to the food network right away.  Giada De Laurentiis was on so we were on and off watching.  She started making a couscous salad that just looked devine.  I was happy to soon realize I had everything on hand to give this one a try.  This was the perfect accompaniment to the BBQ chicken.  The couscous literally takes 5 minutes to cook and all the fixings took maybe 10 minutes to chop.  It was so delicious and I could not stop raving about it.  In the recipe and on the show Giada "fried" the couscous but that didn't work out so well for me.  The second I tried to "fry" it the pasta started sticking to the pan.  I was not a fan.  Plus in order to get it to not stick it would have required some evoo and didn't want to go there since this was such a healthy meal.  The salad turned out great despite the no frying, oh and no Parmesan because I didn't have any.  I also used basil and herb feta instead of ricotta salata cheese.  I love the food network but sometimes find all the ingredients required ridiculous and expensive.  So I often substitute for what I have and like. 

The lemon vinaigrette that is mixed in with this is devine.  I have always been a fan of this mixture on a spinach salad but have never used it in this form.  This is my new favorite thing.  Eating healthy can be boring and finding tricks like this can make a world of difference.  I imagine this would be yummy with plain brown rice as well.  Over all this meal was a huge success and was equally great heated up again for lunch. 

The one criticism I have about these recipes is that they are both high in sodium.  Combined this is over half of the daily recommended dose.  Obviously the cheese and BBQ are to blame.  All in all a yummy meal and one I will definitely be making again.  Enjoy friends!!

BBQ Chicken Nutrition facts:  170 calories, 3g fat, 75mg cholesterol, 470g sodium, 7g carbs, 27g protein
Couscous Salad:  181 calories, 6.4g fat, 25.3mg cholesterol, 405 mg sodium, 23g carbs, 8g protein

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