Meal Prep Monday: Crock Pot Salsa Chicken

Years ago when I was in college, my cooking skills were very simple. I could make eggs and that was about it! But I started trying to make simple meals for me and a roommate or two to improve.

One of the first dishes I made was from a recipe my mom passed onto me. It’s simple: a jar of salsa (level of spiciness is up to you), two tablespoons of spicy mustard and a tablespoon of brown sugar. Mix this together and then bake some chicken breasts in this sauce until tender and juicy.

To this day, I still use this recipe to make a batch of shredded chicken for the week. It’s a nice spicy and sweet mixture that is great over rice or on a salad. The only change I’ve made is to throw it in the crock pot and let it cook throughout the day.

For the crock pot I throw in 5 froze chicken breasts with the ingredients listed above.

I cooked this batch on HIGH for 4 hours and let it sit on WARM for an hour, but on a longer day you can go low for 6-8 hours. After it cooks I shred it up with a fork and then let it sit until we are ready to serve.

It cooks so well and is so juicy that shredding the chicken is ridiculously easy. It literally falls off my fork as I pull it apart.

I will make this small disclaimer, this is not a hit in my house but mostly because the guys found out what is in it. Neither of them like mustard OR salsa so when they discovered what the ingredients were they instantly disliked this chicken… Ugh! It’s so good, so spicy and sweet! I don’t know WHAT they are thinking!?!

If you are looking for a sweet and spicy way to make a batch of chicken for your weekly meal prep, check this super simple recipe out and enjoy!

Meal Prep Monday: Beef Stew

IMG_7078

Ahhh, my crock pot! One of my favorite tools in my kitchen. It gets a lot of use. I’ve made my own apple sauce, chicken noodle soup, stuff peppers, enchilada soup, and so many more recipes I can’t list them all. When I was working longer hours, the crock pot was essential. To have a hot meal made when I got home from work was a blessing.

This week I changed things up a bit. Instead of the usual chili and chicken breasts, I made a beef stew that went over pretty well. Below are the ingredients I used.

2-3 lbs cubed beef
2 low sodium beef bouillon cubes
2 cups water
chopped celery, carrots, green onions
1 chopped red onion
marinated rosemary red potatoes
1/2 cup of flour
seasonings

Now we like our stew to be thicker so I keep the fluids low and don’t add any beef broth. First, I get two cups of boiling better and set the bouillon cubes in it to dissolve. While they are working their magic I chop up the veggies and onion and dump into the crock pot.

When the bouillon cubes are good a dissolved, I pour the water mixture in with the veggies and let them sit.

IMG_7080

Now I make up the beef. In a large bag I throw in a 1/2 cup of flour with the seasonings of choice. This week I used the Everything Spices from Flavor God with some cracked black pepper. Then I toss the beef into the bag and mix it all together. I get that beef nice and coated. I heat a pan with oil and then brown the meat before placing it into the crock pot.
IMG_7081

Not everyone believes this is a necessary step but I’ve learned to love it. I feel my meat has more flavor and because we like our stew thicker, this step works as a thickener. Once all the meat is browned, I scrape out the leftover bits into the crock pot. Just can’t leave behind any flavor!

IMG_7085

Into the crock pot it goes! Flavors and all!

IMG_7086

Then I add in the potatoes and any last herbs like bay leaves or rosemary. I do find that the crock pot tends to blend the flavors so that it can come out bland. So I don’t use salt until it’s completed, then I add as needed.

IMG_7087

In the end, the meat is tender, the potatoes are perfect, and the broth is creamy. With a little extra salt for flavor or a sprinkle¬†of something spicy to add a kick, it’s a hearty meal with a good source of protein and veggies or diversity.

IMG_7091

Making so much gives us a few extra days of leftovers for lunches and busy nights. And it freezes well to be used in the future.

Peeled Wellness