Easy Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken

BBQ Chicken Sandwich

BBQ Chicken Sandwich

Easy Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken
 
Ingredients
  • 1-2 lb boneless skinless chicken breast or thighs (about ¼ - ⅓ lb per person; can also use bone-in chicken drumsticks, about 2 drumsticks per person)
  • 1 red or yellow onion, peeled and cut into wedges
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 2-6 oz cans tomato paste (use no sugar added)
  • ¼ cup Dijon mustard
  • ½ cup water
  • 2 TBSP apple cider vinegar
  • 1 TBSP aged balsamic vinegar
  • 2 TBSP Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 TBSP honey
  • Hot sauce to taste-use a few splashes for milder sauce, or up to several tablespoons for hotter sauce
  • Fresh ground black pepper
Instructions
  1. Put all ingredients except chicken into slow cooker and stir well until mixed.
  2. Mix in chicken pieces and cook for 6-7 hours on low for drumsticks or thighs and 7-8 hours on low for chicken breasts.
  3. If desired, pull chicken apart and serve as sandwiches on sprouted grain rolls.

 

Coconut Quinoa Salad

cocnut quinoa

cocnut quinoa

Coconut Quinoa Salad
 
Ingredients
  • 1½ cups dry quinoa, rinsed
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 large red pepper, stem and seeds removed, diced
  • 2 cups packed baby spinach, coarsely chopped
  • ½ of a medium red onion, diced
  • 1 cup frozen shelled edamame, thawed
  • ⅓ cup slivered almonds
  • ⅓ cup unfulfured unsweetened coconut flakes (available at specialty and health food stores)
  • ⅓ cup coarsely chopped fresh parsley
  • ¼ cup dried cranberries or dried cherries
  • ¼ cup aged balsamic vinegar
  • juice of 1 medium lemon
  • ¼ cup olive oil
Instructions
  1. Combine water and quinoa in medium pan and bring to a boil.
  2. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer until quinoa is cooked, about 15 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat, fluff with fork, and transfer to large bowl. Cover bowl and place in refrigerator until cooled, about one hour. If desired, stir frequently to facilitate cooling. Quinoa can be made ahead of time and kept covered in refrigerator up to 3 days.
  4. To quinoa, add all remaining ingredients except vinegar, lemon juice, and olive oil. Stir to combine.
  5. In a small bowl, combine vinegar and lemon juice. Whisk in olive oil gradually.
  6. Immediately before serving, pour dressing over quinoa and toss until coated.
Notes
Use apple cider vinegar for a more tart flavor

 

Whole Grain Capellini with Asparagus, Leeks and Grilled Chicken

Chicken capellini asparagus

Chicken capellini asparagus

Whole Grain Capellini with Asparagus, Leeks and Grilled Chicken
 
Ingredients
  • 4 TBSP olive oil
  • Grated zest of 1 fresh lemon
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 leeks, white part only, chopped
  • 1 lb fresh asparagus, bottoms broken off
  • 1 ½ TBSP chopped fresh chives
  • 3 TBSP dry white wine
  • 2 TBSP butter
  • 1 lb whole grain capellini or whole grain angel hair pasta
  • Freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 to 1 ½ lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts, seasoned to taste with sea salt and pepper, grilled, broiled, or pan sautéed and cut into thin strips (if unsure, see separate recipe for sautéing chicken).
Instructions
  1. In sauté pan over medium heat, combine oil, lemon zest, garlic and leeks.
  2. Cover and heat, stirring occasionally, until leeks are tender, about 4-6 minutes.
  3. Cut asparagus into 2 inch lengths. Add half of cut asparagus to leeks along with 1 TBSP chives, wine, and butter. Cook until asparagus is heated through, about 2-3 minutes.
  4. Put 1 inch of water in sauce pan fitted with steamer tray and place remaining asparagus on steamer tray. Cover and steam over high heat until tender but firm, 2-3 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, in a large pot, boil water and cook pasta according to package directions until al dente.
  6. Drain pasta, reserving ½ cup liquid, and return pasta to pot.
  7. Add sautéed asparagus-leek mixture and reserved liquid. Toss to combine.
  8. Top with remaining asparagus, grilled chicken strips, remaining chives, and freshly grated parmesan cheese to taste.

 

Slow Cooker Vegetable Lasagna

lasagna1

lasagna1

Slow Cooker Vegetable Lasagna
 
Ingredients
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 15 oz container part skim ricotta cheese
  • 1 5 oz package fresh baby spinach, coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 1 medium zucchini, shredded or thinly sliced
  • 1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 28 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • pinch of crushed red pepper
  • 1 package whole wheat lasagna noodles, uncooked (or can substitute brown rice lasagna noodles or zucchini strips for whole wheat noodles)
  • 1½ cups part skim mozzarella cheese, divided
  • ½ cup shredded fresh parmesan cheese
Instructions
  1. Combine egg, ricotta, spinach, mushrooms, and zucchini in large bowl and set aside.
  2. Combine crushed and diced tomatoes, garlic, and crushed red pepper in a medium bowl.
  3. Coat a 6 quart or larger slow cooker with olive oil. Spread 1-½ cups of the tomato mixture in the slow cooker. Arrange a single layer of uncooked noodles over the sauce, breaking into pieces to cover as much sauce as possible.
  4. Spread half of the ricotta-vegetable mixture over the noodles and firmly pat down.
  5. Spoon on 1-½ cups sauce and sprinkle with ¾ cup mozzarella.
  6. Repeat the layering one more time, starting with noodles.
  7. Top with the third layer of noodles. Evenly spread the remaining sauce over the noodles, covering all noodles.
  8. Set aside the ½ cup Parmesan in the refrigerator.
  9. Put the lid on the slow cooker and cook on high for 2 hours or on low for 4 hours.
  10. Turn off the slow cooker, sprinkle the shredded parmesan over the lasagna, cover, and let stand for 10 minutes until cheese is melted.

 

Whole Wheat Orzo Salad

Orzo Salad

Orzo Salad

Whole Wheat Orzo Salad
 
Ingredients
  • 6 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 2 cups whole wheat orzo
  • ¼ cup red wine vinegar
  • ¼ cup water
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 tsp honey
  • juice of ½ fresh lemon
  • 2 cups red or yellow teardrop tomatoes, halved
  • 8 oz feta cheese, cut into ½ inch cubes
  • 1 cup loosely packed fresh basil, chopped
  • 1-2 bunches scallions, finely diced
  • ½ cup pine nuts, toasted
Instructions
  1. Bring broth to a boil in a large pot.
  2. Stir in orzo, reduce heat to medium and simmer until tender but firm to bite, about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Drain orzo and transfer to large bowl, tossing frequently to cool.
  4. To make dressing, combine vinegar, water, lemon juice and honey in small bowl.
  5. Gradually whisk in olive oil to vinegar mixture. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Mix tomatoes, feta, basil and scallions with orzo.
  7. Add dressing and toss to coat. Top with toasted pine nuts just before serving.
Notes
To toast pine nuts:
Place a small skillet over medium heat. Add pine nuts and stir constantly until slightly browned. Do not overcook. It is not necessary to use oil in toasting pine nuts.

 

Black bean avocado salad with lime and cilantro

bean-salad-opt

bean-salad-opt

Black bean avocado salad with lime and cilantro
Recipe type: 1 Protein and/or 1 Starch
 
The beans in this recipe can "count" as protein or starch. Use any type of beans (black, pinto, kidney, garbanzo) or mix several types.
Ingredients
  • ¼ c balsamic vinegar
  • ⅛ - ¼ c water
  • juice of 1 small fresh lime
  • ¼ c olive oil
  • 1 can black beans, well drained
  • 1 can garbanzo beans, well drained
  • 1 can pinto beans, well drained
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • 1 yellow pepper, diced
  • ½ medium onion, very finely minced
  • 1 bag (10 oz) frozen white corn
  • 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
  • ½ bunch cilantro, washed and chopped
  • 1 cup fresh snap peas, washed, de-stringed, and halved
  • 2 ripe avocados, diced
  • Salt and pepper
Instructions
  1. Prepare dressing: In a small bowl, combine vinegar, water, and lime juice. Whisk in olive oil and set dressing aside.
  2. Mix remaining ingredients except avocados. Just before serving, toss with dressing and top with diced avocados.
  3. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

 

Basic Grilled Salmon

grilled salmon

grilled salmon

Grilled Salmon
 
Ingredients
  • 1 lb Salmon filet (or similar, "steak-like" fish)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Seasonings to taste (dried dill, sea salt, pepper, lemon juice)
Instructions
  1. Preheat a gas grill to medium heat.
  2. Rinse salmon filet under cool running water and place on board or platter.
  3. Lightly brush skin and flesh sides of salmon with olive oil.
  4. Season salmon as desired with dried dill, sea salt, pepper, and/or lemon juice.
  5. Place the salmon directly on the grill with the flesh side facing the grill, and cook for 2 minutes.
  6. Flip salmon filet over so skin side rests on grill and continue cooking until salmon is opaque and flakes easily, about 4-8 minutes.

 

Honey Lime Chicken Kebabs

chicken kebabs

chicken kebabs

Honey Lime Chicken Kebabs
 
Ingredients
  • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into 1inch cubes
  • 1 tsp finely grated lime peel
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 2 TBSP fresh lime juice
  • 1 TBSP honey
  • dash chili powder
  • cilantro sprigs (optional)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven broiler to high.
  2. Combine chicken pieces, lime peel, garlic and chili powder in a bowl and toss to coat.
  3. Thread the chicken pieces onto 8 skewers, being careful not to press the chicken pieces too closely together.
  4. Cover a broiler ban or baking dish with foil lightly wiped with olive oil; broil 4 minutes on each side until done. (If you prefer, chicken does not need to be skewered. Can spread chicken pieces directly on lightly oiled foil-lined baking dish and broil as above).
  5. While chicken is cooking, combine lime juice and honey in small bowl. Drizzle over cooked chicken kebabs. Garnish with a dash of chili powder and cilantro sprigs, if desired.

 

Easy Baked Breaded Chicken or “Chicken Nuggets”

oven baked chicken tenders

oven baked chicken tenders

Easy Baked Breaded Chicken or “Chicken Nuggets”
 
Ingredients
  • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken, or bone-in chicken with skin removed
  • 2 TBSP olive oil
  • ½ cup whole wheat flour
  • 1-2 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • other seasonings to taste (I’ve used “poultry seasoning” as well as oregano, garlic, chili powder, etc)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Pour olive oil in to a baking dish large enough to hold chicken pieces in a single layer.
  3. Mix flour, salt, pepper, paprika and seasonings into a gallon sized plastic bag. Add chicken pieces to bag and shake to coat.
  4. Place coated chicken pieces in pan and bake in oven until cooked through, turning over once halfway through baking time. For bone-in chicken, bake about 60 minutes total (30 minutes each side) and for boneless chicken bake about 30 minutes total (15 minutes each side).
Notes
To make healthy “chicken nuggets”, cut boneless chicken thighs or breasts into 1 inch “nugget” sized pieces and coat by shaking into whole wheat flour/seasoning bag as above. Bake in oven for 20 minutes total, turning over after 10 minutes.

You can experiment with different coatings too. For variety try crushed whole grain corn flakes or crispy brown rice cereal with seasonings.

 

Italian Chicken with Penne

chicken with penne and peppers

chicken with penne and peppers

Italian Chicken with Penne
 
Ingredients
  • 8 oz whole wheat penne pasta, uncooked
  • 1 TBSP cornstarch or arrowroot powder
  • 2 cups low sodium all natural chicken broth
  • 2 TBSP olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into cubes
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 1 green pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
  • 1 red pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
  • 1 16 oz can diced tomatoes (all natural)
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • ¼ cup white wine
  • ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Instructions
  1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook according to package directions until al dente. Drain water and reserve pasta.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the chicken broth and cornstarch, or alternately shake together chicken broth and cornstarch in a small jar with a tightly fitting lid. Set aside.
  3. Heat a medium skillet over medium high heat then add olive oil and heat.
  4. Add garlic and chicken to skillet. Heat chicken, stirring occasionally, until chicken is no longer pink, and juices run clear, about 10 minutes.
  5. Stir in the onion and cook for 2 minutes.
  6. Add the peppers and cook until crisp-tender, about 4-5 more minutes.
  7. Stir in the tomatoes and simmer for 10 minutes.
  8. Add the chicken broth mixture, wine, oregano and basil to the pan and stir until sauce is thickened. Stir in the cooked pasta and simmer over medium heat until thoroughly heated through, about 5 minutes. Garnish with Parmesan cheese and serve.