Slow Cooker Sunday: Blackberry Jalapeno Pulled Chicken

I found this delicious recipe on my friend Emily’s blog and I knew I had to make it immediately. We have a lovely house guest this week and I thought this would be the perfect Sunday dinner. I was right. As you all know, I’m a huge fan of my slow cooker and I love making pulled chicken. It’s so easy. This recipe brings so many fun flavors together and it works in a wonderful way.

All you have to do is salt and pepper your boneless skinless chicken thighs and throw them in the slow cooker, topped with sliced onion, minced garlic, and thinly sliced jalapeno. Then mix together your sauce (blackberry jam, ketchup, molasses, balsamic vinegar, Dijon mustard, and salt) and pour over the chicken and veggies and mix it all up! Be sure that everything is fully coated. Cook on low for 6 hours and then shred your chicken and put back into the yummy sauce to coat all the pieces. To plate, pile chicken high on pretzel buns and top with a slice of pepper jack cheese and a sprinkle of jalapenos. The recipe also calls for a sprinkling of bacon, but I skipped that in an effort to make it slightly healthier. It would have been a great addition but I didn’t miss it. I also halved the recipe as it makes A LOT.

Slow Cooker Blackberry Jalapeno Pulled Chicken

The result is AMAZING. The sauce was sweet and slightly spicy. The pretzel buns soaked up all that yummy sauce and the pepper jack cheese was a fantastic addition. It added flavor and cheesy goodness. I served these with a small side of yellow rice and black beans. A simple salad would have also been a great side. Don’t think twice, just make these.

Thanks for sharing on your blog, Emily! 🙂

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Jalapeno Popper Chicken Chili

It has been unseasonably cool for the past couple days which has been wonderful. It has given us a break from the oppressive heat that had descended upon the NY Metro area. We slept with our windows wide open and in the middle of the night I had to pull on a sweatshirt! What a great feeling. I love summer, but I’m ready for crisp air and autumn leaves. A chilly day deserves a delicious chili recipe. I decided that Monday was the perfect day to try this Jalapeno Popper Chicken Chili that I saw on Skinnytaste.com. The recipe calls for the slow cooker, but I woke up around 5:15 am and just didn’t have the energy or the time to put anything in the slow cooker, so I decided to just make it like I would a regular chili recipe. Stove-top!

This recipe comes together pretty fast. First you brown the chicken and beef in a large dutch oven. Then you pretty much add all the ingredients into the pot followed by the spices and let it simmer for 20-30 minutes so flavors come together. Ladle into separate bowls and top with chopped chives, fresh avocado, and goat cheese. Yes, goat cheese.

Slow Cooker Jalapeno Popper Chicken Chili

I was very surprised by how much I loved this non-traditional chili recipe. It has goat cheese and sweet potatoes which are two ingredients I wouldn’t think to use. However, the end result is amazing. The creamy tangy goat cheese cools down the spice from the jalapenos and it all comes together wonderfully. This recipe doesn’t use beans, but I personally think you could cut back on the meat and add a can of black beans. But I guess it wouldn’t be paleo then…

This is the perfect chili to serve during football season or really anytime you’re craving chili. Enjoy!

Crock Pot Chicken and Rice

The other week I was racking my brain for a good crock pot/slow cooker recipe to use during the middle of the week. Nothing I was browsing was either easy enough (as in add ingredients to pot and leave for 8 hours) or tasty enough. So I decided to get creative and make my own concoction. Enter chicken and rice. I know it sounds boring but it really had so much flavor! It was perfect for a quick weeknight dinner after the gym. I pretty much just added whatever vegetables I had in the fridge but feel free to use whatever you want. I think that celery or even adding spinach at the end would have been delicious.

Ingredients:
1 package of chicken thighs
2 cups of chicken stock
2 red potatoes, quartered
1 large carrot, sliced diagonally
1 large onion, sliced
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1.5 – 2 teaspoons turmeric
salt & pepper
1 cup of jasmine rice
1 tablespoon of butter, sliced

Directions:
Salt & pepper both sides of the chicken thighs and then place in the bottom of the slower cooker. Top with the potatoes, carrot, and onion. Add you chicken stock and seasonings and stir. Disperse the butter slices throughout the pot. Set the slow cooker on low for 10 hours. Once you get home, shred the chicken and add back into the slow cooker to keep warm. Cook 1 cup of rice to package directions, we used jasmine rice. To serve, simply add a bit of rice to the bottom of a bowl and ladle the delicious chicken, vegetables, and broth over top.

Crock Pot Chicken and Rice

It’s basically chicken and rice stew and it is so comforting. It’s also pretty healthy for you. You can easily skip the butter, but I love the velvety texture and flavor it adds to the broth. Turmeric is also a great spice that has many health benefits. Turmeric is an anti-inflammatory and is used to treat arthritis, heartburn, stomach pain, diarrhea, intestinal gas, stomach bloating, liver problems, and gallbladder disorders. It is also used for headaches, bronchitis, colds, lung infections, and cancer.

Basically this chicken stew will cure you of whatever ails you. Actually, I can’t promise that, but I do know it will cure an empty belly.

Slow Cooker Chicken Verde Tacos

When you’re feeling down, make these tacos.

They require almost no prep so you have plenty of time to relax and contemplate humanity or maybe just breathe.

Ingredients:
1 package of chicken thighs
1 jar of salsa verde
1 red onion
1 tomato, seeded and diced
pepper jack cheese
corn tortillas
salt & pepper, to taste

Directions:
Salt & pepper both sides of the chicken and place in the bottom of a slow cooker. Slice half of the red onion and place on top of the chicken (dice the rest for topping your tacos later). Cover with the jar of salsa verde. Cook on low for 6 hours. Mine stayed on warm for several hours after and it was fine. Shred chicken and add back into the slow cooker to re-heat.

Crock Pot Tacos 1

Warm tortillas in the microwave for 15-20 seconds and then build your tacos. We topped our tacos with diced red onion, tomato and shredded pepper jack cheese.

Crock Pot Tacos

All that was missing was a margarita! Cheesy, warm and delicious. You could also add a jalapeno in the slow cooker to add some spice but we kept it on the mild side.

Enjoy your weekend! Smile and be kind!

Slow Cooker Breakfast Casserole

Look at this! Another breakfast post! Who knew…

For my 30th birthday trip we headed to Charlottesville, VA with some of my absolute favorite people. They made me feel so special and loved. I couldn’t ask for a better group of friends. The weekend was full of delicious dinners, wine tasting, beer flights and a cake that featured a Unicorn pooping sparkles!

Unicorn Cake

I knew we would be spending a lot of money this weekend so I wanted to make breakfast one day to try to cut back on the cost a little. I decided that a Slow Cooker Breakfast Casserole was the best option for breakfast for a group. I put everything together right when I got into town and then before we went to bed I whisked the eggs and added the cheese! All you have to do is hit start and you wake up to a delicious and easy breakfast.

Ingredients:
10 eggs, whisked
1/2 a cup of milk
1 package of spicy turkey breakfast sausage, casings removed
1 red pepper, diced
1-2 red potatoes, diced
1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese
salt & pepper

Directions:
Brown sausage in a large skillet with a little bit of olive oil. Drain any extra fat/oil. Add potatoes to the bottom of the slow cooker with sausage on top. In another layer add the red pepper and cheddar cheese. Toss to combine. In another bowl whisk the eggs, milk, salt & pepper together. Pour the egg mixture over all the ingredients in the slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours.

Slow Cooker Breakfast Casserole

This turned out great! It was perfect to grab something easy in the morning before we hit the road for wine tasting. If you ever find yourself in Charlottesville, VA I highly recommend trying Kings Family Vineyard. It was beautiful and I can only imagine how lovely it will be during the warmer months.

Kings Family Vineyard
My wonderful husband, Jason 🙂
Friends at Kings Family Vineyard
Love these ladies!

Cheers!

Thai Red Curry Beef

I love coconut, in all forms. I especially love a coconut curry. Which is why I knew I had to make Thai Red Curry Beef in the slow cooker. Curry has always scared me a little because I’m not used to cooking with these ingredients. However, this recipe could not be easier and the flavor is outstanding. Jason was supposed to come tonight after being in Iowa for the past week coaching wrestling; however, they are stuck in Chicago due to weather. So this turned out to be dinner for one! Looks like I know what I’m eating for lunch this week…

First brown your beef in a large non-stick skillet. I used a little bit of olive oil but the recipe doesn’t call for it. While the beef is searing, I chopped up an onion and four cloves of garlic. Place the beef in the bottom of your slow cooker and saute the onion and garlic in the same saute pan until soft, about 5 minutes. Cover the beef with the onion & garlic mixture. I also made sure to sprinkle the beef, onion and garlic with salt and pepper while in the saute pan.

Now it’s time for your sauce! Combine 3/4 a cup of beef stock, 1 tablespoon of brown sugar, 3 tablespoons of red curry paste, 2 tablespoons of fish sauce, 2 tablespoons of fresh lime juice, 1 can of lite coconut milk and 1 minced jalapeno. I removed the seeds and only used half of the pepper. Whisk it all together and pour over the beef in the slow cooker. The recipe suggests cooking on low for 6 hours. Mine went for about 8 which I think helped the meat get more tender. Those big chunks of stew meat really need to cook for a long time. 15 minutes before you’re ready to eat, cook your Jasmine rice and stir in your spinach. Serve the Red Curry Beef over the Jasmine rice.

Thai Red Curry Beef

This was so delicious! I did feel like I wanted more heat, so if I did this again I would add the whole jalapeno, sans seeds. This dinner totally pulled me out of my comfort zone and I know I will attempt more Thai inspired food. The flavors and so tasty.

Happy Eating!

Slow Cooker Sausage and Peppers

The second item from my Super Bowl menu that I never got to make was Slow Cooker Spicy Italian Chicken Sausage and Peppers. This worked out well for me because I ended up making it on Wednesday when I had a super busy day. I went in early to work and also decided to go to a Barre class that evening, so I didn’t get to eat dinner until around 8:45 pm. Luckily I prepped everything the night before so when I woke up around 5:45 am all I had to do was throw the ingredients into the slow cooker and press start.

Slow Cooker Sausage and Peppers

Ingredients:
1 package of spicy Italian chicken sausage
1 red pepper, sliced
1 green pepper, sliced
1 onion, sliced
1 24 oz. can of fire roasted tomatoes
1 tablespoon of dried garlic powder, oregano and salt
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme and basil
1/4 teaspoon of fresh ground black pepper
Fresh grated Parmesan cheese
Gluten free pasta, cooked to package directions

Directions:
Prep all ingredients the night before to make your life easy in the morning. Place the peppers and onion at the bottom of a the slow cooker and place the sausage on top. Cover with tomatoes and herbs. You could also probably use a jarred pasta sauce, but then I would skip all the extra herbs. Cook on low for 6-8 hours. Cook pasta to package directions right before you want to serve dinner. Serve sauce, sausage & peppers over pasta.

Slow Cooker Sausage and Peppers plated

Delicious! This was perfect for a busy weeknight. I hope you all enjoy your weekend. I am hoping to put together some tasty lunches and desserts because my blog certainly seems to be lacking those recipes…