Buffalo Chicken Sandwich

Last week was a bit crazy for me! I wanted to post about this earlier but never quite got around to it. I’ve recently acquired a love for buffalo chicken. Mostly thanks to Red Robin’s Buzz Clucks & Mac andbuffalochicken Cheese. That meal, however, is horrendously bad for you, even on the eating out scale. So it’s something I’ve had to ban myself from eating except on the rare treat myself occasion.

When I saw this recipe for buffalo chicken sandwiches, I thought it might be a nice way to scratch that craving in a healthier way. (Disclaimer: This recipe is horrendous in sodium, I hadn’t thought about that at the time)

It’s the easiest crock pot recipe I’ve done yet. Place the chicken breasts in the crockpot, dump a bottle of Frank’s Red Hot Buffalo Sauce on top. Cook on either low or high depending on how much time you have, shred the chicken, return it to the sauce and it’s done! (There’s an optional step for stirring in greek yogurt to the sauce at the end before adding the shredded chicken back in. This cools it down a bit. It was still deliciously spicy even with this step)

I ate mine as a sandwich. You could serve it plain, or in any number of ways. If I repeat this recipe, I think I may try it as a wrap or topped on a salad.

For a side, I had raw sugar snap peas. They were a nice crispy cool contrast to the sandwich! It sort of fills the same role as celery does.

One thing that would be delicious on top of this would be ranch or bleu cheese dressing. I didn’t go for any additional toppings, but I would definitely provide something like that if serving to a group.

Repeat recipe? Probably not. I was tired of it by the end of the week. Plus It’s so very high in sodium and it’s just not an impressive lunch. I’ll keep this in the recipe books in case I’m ever trying to think of something different for a BBQ, but for personal meals, I probably won’t make it again.

Find the recipe here: Buffalo Chicken Sandwiches

Slow Cooker Chicken Teriyaki

Someone thought I wouldn't notice him sneaking a bite.

Someone thought I wouldn’t notice him sneaking a bite.

One of the first recipes I did in my crock-pot a few years ago was chicken teriyaki. It’s a favorite meal for both of us and it was easy to take to work. So it was an obvious choice when I was meal planning.

Almost no prep work for this one. Toss the chicken in, mix the sauces in another bowl with minced garlic grated ginger, toss that on top and cook on low1. I started it in the morning and when I got home from work, the kitchen smell fantastic. I tossed some rice into the rice cooker and pulled out the chicken breasts for final prep. I was a little over zealous with shredding the chicken (it just fell apart). Next time I’ll probably try to leave bigger chunks.

The last step is to strain the sauce and thicken it in a saucepan with cornstarch. This is probably the most “difficult” step for me. I never feel like it’s consistency really changes. But Mike claims he can see the difference. I decided to just let him do the last step.

We probably got 3 meals (6 servings) out of this recipe. We had two meals this week and will have a frozen meal for the future. The green beans featured in this picture were also made by Mike. He sauteed some fresh ginger, garlic and green onion in olive oil, stir fried a frozen bag of green beans in that and finally added soy sauce cooking it down. He says his green beans were “okay”. I say delicious!

The verdict on the chicken? We both agree it’s just okay. I think for me the orange marmalade added too much of an citrus taste to the meal. That’s a legitimate choice but not what either of us look for in our teriyaki. It was good for a few meals but I think I’ll look for a different recipe the next time we crave teriyaki chicken.

ricepacks

Oh and a handy tip for left over rice after a meal. Mike and I have been dong this for years. Freeze it! Take saran wrap and put a single serving of rice in the middle forming a flat rectangle. Wrap the rice up and plop it in the freezer. The next time you need rice for a meal pull up the saran wrap just a little bit to allow it to vent. Cook for a few minutes on 50% power and then cook for a couple more minutes at normal power. The left over rice will be closer to the desired texture. Even if I’m planning on using rice the next day I’ll do this, rather than stick it in the fridge. That just dries it out. I didn’t think to snag a picture of ours but we do pretty much the same thing featured here.

Overall the meal was enjoyable. The chicken was easy. Maybe my problem was with the brand of orange marmalade I used but if I try this recipe again I’ll probably leave it out altogether.

This was also my first time leaving the crock-pot unintended. Even though I knew that it’s a normal thing people do it was still slightly terrifying for me. So perhaps the biggest success to me of this meal was arriving home to find my kitchen still in-tact!

We may do sandwiches or wraps with the leftovers…*ponders*

Find the recipe at Cooking Classy

I cooked it on low for 9 hours instead of the recommended 5. I was talking to my co-worker about my problem with a lot of these recipes is that it requests for a shorter time than my work day. She told me she often lets it cook on low until she gets home. So I took her advice! Maybe one I’ll have one of those fancy crock pots that has a delay timer or automatic switch to low. But for now, just letting it stay on worked! The chicken/sauce didn’t feel at all overcooked.

Slow Cooker Turkey Taco Chili

chiliThis week I decided to do a massive pot of turkey chili for my work lunches. It felt like something relatively simple that would be easy to take to work. It may not extraordinarily exciting but for the moment my goal for my lunches is simplicity and quantity. I want to be able to make a big batch of food that will last me the week. Chili seemed to fit the bill.

To be honest, I never used to be a fan of chili. I wasn’t a big bean person and I’m still not crazy about soups. But since my dad died, I find myself craving chili from time to time. It’s a way to feel closer to him.

So off I went to lady Google. I snagged the first turkey crock pot chili recipe that looked reasonable in terms of ingredients/ease. After starting the recipe it occurred to me that it’s actually a taco chili recipe (I guess that explains the call for taco seasoning). When I’m chowing down the chili doesn’t scream taco themed to me, but toss in some of the optional toppings and I can totally see it.

I didn’t follow this recipe 100%, mostly due to missing a few ingredients. For whatever reason my recipe/shopping app didn’t show the two types of red beans correctly, so I only ended up with one can of kidney beans. But it was for the best. My medium sized crock-pot was filled to the brim with what I had and the chili is hearty. I don’t feel like it is lacking beans at all. I will probably leave out the extra can of red kidney beans in the future. Until I get a bigger crock pot there is no additional room for food in that thing.

I was also apparently incorrect in my assumption that I had chili powder at home. Which I realize is slightly ironic given what I was cooking. I tossed in cayenne pepper for some spice. Between this and the taco seasoning, the missing chili pepper isn’t obvious.

Finally the only optional ingredient I’ve added is light sour cream. The other suggestions in the recipe (cheese, crushed tortilla chips, salsa, etc) sound so good but I cut them out to save on calories. I’ll totally have them on the table if I ever cooked this for a group.

I turned it into 7 meals so I have all 5 meals for this week and two frozen bags for an easy work lunch in the future.

Find the Recipe here from Gimmie Some Oven