Guys. Food prep is one of my BIGgest secrets. No lie. I spend a few hours each week writing my grocery list, hitting up our usual places (Costco, Giant, Market) and slicing and dicing, followed by one serious food prep. Do I love spending three hours in the kitchen on a weekend? Not always. But if it means I don't have to spend hours throughout my workweek, when I'm sometimes tired, cranky and hangry (yes, I'm guilty of all of those), cooking or thinking about cooking or ordering in a less-healthy option, I'm game.
So, enter this weeks NEW food prep recipes. There are, of course, the classics. Hardboiled eggs, protein balls, chopped veggies with hummus, etc. But then there are the meals we get REALLY excited about, and I'm happy to share two with you today.
Basil Coconut Curry Chicken.
I originally saw this recipe on thefoodcharlatan.com but we're not big chicken thigh fans around here and why do something in two steps when you can do it in one, right? So, instead of cooking my chicken separately, I added it all to the slow cooker (hello timesaver!)
- 6 boneless skinless chicken breasts
- salt and pepper
- 2 (13.5 ounce) cans coconut milk (lite coconut milk is great too)
- 2 tablespoons dried basil leaves
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1 and 1/2 tablespoons yellow curry powder
- 1/2 or 3/4 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 large red onion, chopped
- 8 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 jalapenos, seeded and finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated or minced
- 1/3 to 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1. Toss everything - except for the cilantro- into the crockpot and cook on HIGH for 4 hours or LOW for 8 hours, or until chicken can be easily shredded.
2. Using two forks, shred the chicken and turn crockpot to warm. Allow mixture to marinate for up to 30 minutes.
3. Season with salt and pepper and add cilantro.
We chose to serve this with rice, but it could easily be served with any smart carb such as pita or naan bread, cauli-rice or over roasted veggies. De-lic-ious!
White Bean, Tomato and Chorizo Soup.
This makingthymeforhealth.com recipe was not originally made for the crockpot, but because I'm greedy for more time with my husband - who I see very little of during the week - I made a slow cooker variation and it turned out AWESOME. Also, I added a protein, because, muscles.
- 1 -1.5 lbs. of chorizo/chicken sausage
- 2 (15 ounce) cans white beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 (24 ounce) jar of marinara or crushed tomatoes
- 6 cups vegetable broth
- 1 bunch kale/swiss chard/spinach
- 1 yellow onion, finely chopped
- 3 carrots, chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
- 1/2 cup dry whole grain elbow noodles (we used GF)
1. Chop everything that needs chopped.
2. Add all ingredients to the slow cooker, except for the spinach and whole grain (or GF) noodles. Set to HIGH for 4 hours or LOW for 8 hours.
3. 30 minutes prior to being finished, add noodles and spinach. Stir to combine.
My noodles got really well-done, so it came out more like a porridge, but we are LOVING IT. The beans give it a creamy texture and it almost tastes like a healthy, veggie-packed mac n' cheese (without the dairy!)
You have to give one, or both, a try. I'll definitely be putting these on the to-make-again list.
Eat Well. Live Well. Be Well.