#MenuMonday – Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken

Zesty Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken

When it comes to health, I like to think of choices in terms of “better,” not “perfect.” While some things in life are black or white, a lot of health decisions are more complicated, and it helps to look at these choices on a spectrum.  The more we make “better” choices, the healthier we feel.  Many people have told me they want to eat healthier, but they don’t know how. Going from what they are currently eating (fast foods or takeout), to what they think they should eat (clean, organic, low carb or low fat, depending on the person), seems like a gargantuan task and they need help mitigating those stressful waters. I will admit, a good place to start is with this Crockpot BBQ Chicken recipe.

To answer the question of how to eat better, my advice is start slowly. Add one home cooked meal and go from there. If you don’t think that cooking at home can be as fast, if not faster, than fast food, please try these recipes.  Yes, they have fat and salt and sugar in them — they aren’t perfect. But they don’t have to be. They just have to be better than the alternative, and they are (not to mention a lot cheaper!).

I came across this chicken recipe last year when I was looking for a simple meal to share with families or to have ready at the end of the day when I was tired, the kids were hungry, and there was zero time to prepare dinner.  The first time I made it, I was a bit shocked at how easy, affordable, and tasty it was, even for my picky eaters. The best part is you can use what works for you (organic chicken, less processed, or lower sugar/salt/fat versions of the ingredients), if that’s what you have on hand or desire.

 

Zesty Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken

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(6 servings) – from allrecipes.com

Ingredients

  • 6 frozen, skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
  • 12oz bottle of BBQ sauce
  • 1/2 cup Italian salad dressing
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

Instructions

  1. Place the frozen chicken directly in the slow cooker.
  2. In a bowl, mix the remaining ingredients with a whisk. Pour over the chicken.
  3. Cover and cook six to eight hours on low.
  4. Shred the chicken with a fork and let sit in juices prior to serving.

 

To make this a “meal,” I generally serve it with the following coleslaw recipe:

Ingredients

  • “KFC” Coleslaw
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 cup cider vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon Creole seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • Salt to taste
  • Large bag shredded cabbage/coleslaw mix (if you have the smaller bag, halve the above ingredients)

Instructions

  1. Whisk the first six ingredients in a large bowl (large enough to accommodate the cabbage mix).
  2. Add the cabbage/coleslaw mix.
  3. Stir everything together to make sure the cabbage is covered.
  4. Refrigerate overnight or while the chicken is cooking.
  5. Stir before serving.

 

Truth be told, when I’m preparing this meal for others, I add homemade mac and cheese, and/or use rolls to serve the shredded chicken on.  I’ve also prepared this meal for my family with just the chicken, cole slaw, and some sliced apples because, sometimes, I’m just that tired. However you serve it up, I hope you enjoy this quick, easy, and tasty meal and it reminds you that you don’t have to be perfect while eating healthfully.

 

 

– TANYA RUNCI, MA, ADE