So as my PhD program commences, I’m realizing how dedicated I will need to be in order to continue to eat healthfully and consciously. I’m sure most professionals and most students are in in the same boat.
This past Christmas I got a slow cooker as a gift, which I have grown to love! I have come to regard this piece of culinary machinery as pure magic: you pop the ingredients before you leave home, turn the thing on, and BAM (channeling Emeril) you have a warm and tasty dinner waiting for you when you come home.
Some of the foods that you can concoct in your slow cooker may not be so healthy. Many recipes will call for canned soups. If you like these recipes look for soups that are low in sodium and fat free if available. Campbells calls their line “Healthy Request”. Also, some recipes may ask you to purchase bone in skin-on chicken pieces. The skin is great to cook with because it holds much of the moisture in your bird, however it is pretty much all fat. Use the skin-on chicken, but be sure to remove the skin after cooking to remove a lot of extra calories and fat. Also, if using other types of meat, look for the leanest cuts. Sirloin cuts in beef are usually the leanest, and look for tenderloin or loin (lean) pieces if working with pork.
If you too are craving an easy recipe to pop in your slow cooker, here’s a delicious recipe I found from EatWell.com (great source for healthy recipes). Use this dinner the next time you have a busy day, and you’ll be sure to stick to a healthy diet.
Barbecue Pulled Chicken
- 1 8-ounce can reduced-sodium tomato sauce
- 1 4-ounce can chopped green chiles, drained
- 3 tablespoons cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 tablespoon sweet or smoked paprika
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 2 teaspoons dry mustard
- 1 teaspoon ground chipotle chile
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed of fat
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- Stir tomato sauce, chiles, vinegar, honey, paprika, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, ground chipotle and salt in a 6-quart slow cooker until smooth. Add chicken, onion and garlic; stir to combine.
- Put the lid on and cook on low until the chicken can be pulled apart, about 5 hours.
- Transfer the chicken to a cutting board and shred with a fork. Return the chicken to the sauce, stir well and serve.
Per serving : 184 Calories; 8 g Fat; 2 g Sat; 3 g Mono; 68 mg Cholesterol; 8 g Carbohydrates; 20 g Protein; 1 g Fiber; 257 mg Sodium; 303 mg Potassium
***Serve chicken with whole wheat bun, or try the new deli thins that many brands have such as Arnolds.
Try it out! Let me know what you think. Keep checking back and I’ll update you on ways that I’m staying healthy and active even during the busiest of days (or weeks … or months). Eat Healthy, Run Happy 🙂