Two things in life I have always hated: crockpots and leftovers. I grew up scavenging the fridge after school for left over Chinese food post cross country practice so I’m not sure where the aversion started but as an adult–no way, no how. Throw it in the trash, I don’t want it. (horribly wasteful, I know) And crockpots, those are for lifeless, boring folks who can’t bother to be creative. Then my life became insanely crazy and it became painfully obvious why the general public embraces the crockpot. Coming home to a prepared meal is pretty amazing. Using leftovers from that same meal for lunch–the holy grail. Now let’s not get it twisted people–I will not be one of those people who throw chicken, a can of pineapple and BBQ sauce in the crockpot only to feed my family sugar laden mush. The crockpot is not an excuse for bad behavior. So, I have done a little digging and decided this week–I’ll be sharing you some of my latest and greatest crockpot successes. They include: lo mien (which was *amazing*), healthier beef stew, tomato basil soup and as of last night: chicken tacos with fresh pico. (the pico does not go in the crockpot, sorry but you can’t have it all)
I threw this in the crockpot yesterday morning (took two seconds, literally) and came home to a fiesta in my nostrils. My lovely husband packaged everything up for me so I could enjoy it again for lunch today. And let me tell you, it was even better the second round. I tried out these new grain free tortillas which were incredible. 195 calories for 3 tortillas (typical tortillas can have 130 for ONE, yikes) and made from coconut flour. I broiled them for a couple minutes until they had “grill” marks which was just the icing on the cake. You will have to cut up the pico de gallo when you get home but I swear, it is so quick and easy. I don’t serve this with a side dish because, who needs it??? My kids also ate this right up. They chose some shredded cheese, corn and hot sauce rather than the pico but that is the nice thing about this dish–it really can be anything you want.
FOR THE CHICKEN:
3-4 chicken breasts (I did 4 and that was enough for my family of 4 plus leftovers for lunch today)
1 box of Pomi tomatoes (the crushed version)
1 can of green chilis (you can find them in the Mexican area with the taco ingredients, etc.)
2 teaspoons of cumin
1-2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon of paprika
A hearty dash of salt and pepper
Simply place all ingredients in the crockpot, turn on low and let it do its thing till whenever you want to eat. The chicken will literally shred without any effort.
FOR THE PICO:
6 fresh tomatoes (I buy roma this time of year, they seem to be a little better)
Handful of chopped cilantro (this is really a taste thing)
1/4 diced red onions (finely diced)
1 jalapeno finely minced (1/2 if you have an aversion to spice)
Juice of 1 lime
Salt + pepper to taste
Simply chop, combine, enjoy.
Other items you may want for this recipe: tortilla shells, corn, sour cream, maybe some shredded cheese. I like to keep it simple, fresh and healthy. The more complicated you make it, the less useful the crockpot element feels. Enjoy!!
P.S. These are roughly 492 calories for 3 tortillas with the grain free shells, 1- 1/4 cup of shredded chicken, and 1/2 cup of pico