Slow Cooker Kung Pao Chicken

INGREDIENTS

3 tablespoons cornstarch (or arrowroot powder)
¼ tsp black pepper
⅛ tsp salt
1 – 1¼ lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 2-3 pieces), cut into bite-sized chunks
3-4 tablespoons olive oil
⅔ cup roasted cashews (or roasted peanuts)
1 red bell pepper, chopped into bite-sized pieces
1 medium zucchini, chopped into halves

Sauce
½ cup low-sodium soy sauce
½ cup water
3 Tablespoons honey
2 Tablespoons hoisin sauce
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp grated fresh ginger
1 1/2 teaspoon dried red pepper chili flakes

Cornstarch slurry
2 Tablespoons cornstarch or arrowroot powder
2-3 Tablespoons water

INSTRUCTIONS

In a large zip-top bag, toss in chicken, cornstarch, salt and black pepper. Shake until well-coated.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook chicken about 2-3 minutes on each side, until lightly browned. Transfer chicken into slow cooker. **Skip this step if in a pinch and add chicken directly to the slow cooker.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, water, honey, hoisin sauce, garlic, ginger and red pepper chili flakes and pour over chicken.

Cover and cook on LOW for 2.5 – 4 hours or HIGH for 1.5 – 3 hours. depending on how hot your crock pot runs.

About 30 minutes before serving, whisk together the cornstarch and water in a small bowl. Stir into the slow cooker. Add the dried red chili peppers, red bell peppers, zucchini and cashews.

Cover and cook on HIGH for another 20-30 minutes or until the vegetables are tender and the sauce has thickened up. (Add more water to thin out sauce to your preferred consistency).

Sprinkle with sesame seeds, green onions and serve over rice, quinoa or zoodles, if desired.

Pesto Chicken Breasts

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 (16 oz total) boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • kosher salt and fresh pepper to taste
  • 4 teaspoons Basil Pesto
  • 1 medium tomatoes, sliced thin
  • 6 tbsp (1.5 oz) shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 2 teaspoons grated Parmesan cheese

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Slice chicken breast horizontally to create 4 thinner cutlets. Season lightly with salt and fresh pepper.
  2. Preheat the oven to 400° F. Line baking sheet with foil or parchment if desired for easy clean-up.
  3. Place the chicken on prepared baking sheet. Spread about 1 teaspoon of pesto over each piece of chicken.
  4. Bake for 15 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink in center. Remove from oven; top with tomatoes, mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. Bake for an additional 3 to 5 minutes or until cheese is melted.

Curried Avocado Chicken Salad

We are fully embracing the K.I.S.S. theory with this recipe.  Sometimes all we need is a little tweak on an old routine to light up our nutrition routine.  This recipe does just that…

Ingredients:

Chicken Prep:

  • 1 1/2 to 2 lbs chicken breast
  • 1 c Low Sodium Chicken Broth
  • 1 TBS minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp paprika

Chicken Salad:

  • 1/2 medium avocado, pitted and fleshed
  • 1-2 tsp curry powder
  • 1/4 tsp pink salt

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Cut away excess fat from chicken. Place chicken breasts in bottom of slow cooker with spices.
  2. Gently pour in broth, cover with lid and cook on high for about 2-3 hours, or until chicken is cooked through and no longer pink.
  3. Transfer chicken breasts to bowl or cutting board and allow to cool before shredding with forks.
  4. If desired, divide shredded chicken.
  5. Separate out 2 c of shredded chicken and add the avocado, curry powder, and salt.
  6. Enjoy chicken salads on bed of greens, in lettuce wraps, stuffed potatoes, and more!

Chocolate Avocado Truffles

Here is a little V-Day inspo for you…
Ingredients
  • 1 ripe avocado, mashed
  • ¾ cup dark chocolate, melted
  • ½ tsp. vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp. cinnamon
  • cocoa powder
Instructions
  1. Melt dark chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl.
  2. In a separate bowl, mash avocado. When chocolate is smooth, pour into mashed avocado and stir together. Add in vanilla and cinnamon.
  3. When combined and clump-free, place in refrigerator for about a half hour. When cooled and hardened, scoop into 10-12 balls and roll until smooth.
  4. Roll each ball in cocoa powder and serve. Place any remaining truffles in air tight container.

Serves: 10-12 truffles

Recipe of the Week: White Chicken Chili

yield: SERVES 4-6
prep time: 10 MINUTES
cook time: 20 MINUTES
total time: 30 MINUTES

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 jalapeno, minced
  • 2 (15-ounce) cans white beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (4-ounce) can diced green chiles
  • 2 (14.5 oz) cans chicken broth
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 cups shredded chicken
  • 1/3 cup chopped cilantro
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste
  • Optional toppings: avocado slices, shredded cheese, sour cream, cilantro

DIRECTIONS:

  1. In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Cook the onion until translucent, about 3-4 minutes. Add in the garlic and jalapeno and cook for 2 more minutes.
  2. Add the white beans, green chiles, chicken broth, lime juice, cumin, chili powder, oregano, chicken, cilantro, salt, and pepper. Stir and let simmer on low heat for 15 minutes.
  3. Ladle chili into bowls and serve with desired toppings.

ProTip:  An easy option to save precious prep time would be to grab a rotisserie chicken from your local grocery store in place of making your own chicken at home.