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

Chipotle Chicken Sweet Potato Skins

A perfect healthy addition to your Super Bowl Sunday Festivities!

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 medium sweet potatoes
  • 3/4 pound boneless skinless chicken breast about 2 small
  • 1/4 cups olive oil
  • 2 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 2 cloves garlic minced or grated
  • 3 whole chipotle peppers minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 cups spinach (half a 10oz bag)
  • 5 ounces sharp white cheddar cheese grated
  • chopped cilantro for garnish
  • greek yogurt for serving

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Wash your sweet potatoes and prick all over with a fork. Place in the oven and bake for 50-60 minutes or until fork tender. Place your chicken in a baking dish and rub with a tablespoon of olive oil, salt and pepper. Place in the oven with the potatoes and bake for 25 minutes. Allow to cool and shred the chicken with a fork or your hands. When the sweet potatoes are done cut in half and allow to cool for 5-10 minutes.
  2. In a medium size bowl combine the olive oil, lime juice, garlic, chipotle peppers, oregano, cumin, chili powder, salt and pepper. Set aside.
  3. Heat a small skillet over medium heat and wilt the spinach (this can also be done in the microwave). Toss the spinach and shredded chicken together, set aside and keep warm.
  4. Turn the oven up to 400 degrees. Scrape the sweet potato out of the peel, leaving a medium size layer of flesh inside with the peel so that it can stand up on its own (I reserved the remaining flesh, for another use) and place in a baking dish. Brush the skins with with a little of the chipotle sauce and bake for 5-10 muntes until nice and crisp. While the skins bake mix the spinach, chicken and chipotle sauce together. Remove skins from the oven and stuff with the chicken mixture, top with shredded cheese and bake for 10 minutes or until the cheese has melted and the skins are hot and crisp. Serve with fresh chopped cilantro and greek yogurt if desired.