Like most women, we’re busy gals. First and foremost, we are moms and wives, which means we’ve got to stay on top of the kids, shuttle them here and there, keep the house running, and make sure there’s plenty of good food to eat at all times. In between all of that we have clients to see, articles to write, recipes to develop, and a website to run. Some days we’re so crazy busy that there’s little time to accomplish everything and something has to give (preferably laundry). But no matter what, we make sure that there’s a healthy, hearty, and homemade dinner on the table. On those crazy days, we turn to our trusty slow-cookers to make it all happen.
The slow-cooker (a.k.a. Crock Pot) is a beautiful thing. It’s a huge time saver – just put everything in it in the morning, set the timer, and it’s ready when you are. Once you’re done with dinner, there’s very little cleaning to do because everything cooks in one pot. Slow-cooking make it easy to make plenty of nutritious and delicious food, so you and your family can stay healthy and looking great all-year long. And best of all, you save plenty of money by not ordering in or taking the family out for dinner.
Unfortunately, most people’s experience with a slow-cooker is with heavy comfort foods – think pot roast and other meat-and-potatoes-type recipes. Thanks to the internet, there are plenty of websites you can visit to find some great slow-cooker recipes, and many of them have been lightened up. Check out www.foodnetwork.com, www.cookinglight.com, and www.eatingwell.com to get yourself started.
For a south-of-the-border recipe that will please everyone in your family, make this “Chicken Ole!” Once it’s done cooking, it can be served with brown rice or used as a filling for tortillas (corn or whole wheat). If you want to lighten it up a bit, then serve it over a bed of shredded lettuce for a new version of a taco salad.
- 8 chicken breast halves (skinless and boneless)
- 1 can (15 oz.) black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 can (15 oz.) corn, rinsed and drained OR 2 cups frozen corn kernels
- 2 cups prepared salsa
- 1/2 cup chicken broth
- 1 tbs. ground cumin
- 1 tbs. chili powder
- Place all ingredients in the slow-cooker and cover with the lid. Cook on LOW for 6-8 hours OR on HIGH for 4 hours.
- When the timer beeps, lift off the lid and shred the chicken in the pot using 2 forks. Stir everything together.
- Optional: stir 1/2 cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt and 1/2 cup shredded light Mexican cheese blend into the chicken mixture.