Great Recipes

Sweet and Sour Crockpot Chicken

Sweet and Sour Crockpot Chicken

I love Asian food. It’s my favorite to eat and cook. I don’t love all the sugars that can be found in the sauces, especially when you’re getting takeout. There are HUNDREDS of recipes for sweet and sour chicken found all over the internet and many of them are also to be made in the crockpot. I found a ton and took some inspiration from many and made my own. I’m going to post the exact way that I did it but there are some things you can do to switch it up.

First, I used apple cider vinegar. You could easily use rice wine vinegar for more of an authentic homage but I use my rice wine vinegar for a cucumber side and I didn’t want to use all of mine.

Second, I use a monk fruit brown sugar. I like being able to have all the sweetness for none of the guilt. You could substitute the monk fruit brown sugar for equal parts of honey or even real brown sugar.

I use chicken breasts but you could use thighs. I cook this low and slow and in a nice sauce so I haven’t gotten mine to dry out at all but if you’re afraid your might do that, feel free to use thighs instead.

I serve mine over white rice. You could obviously choose brown rice instead or keep it carb free and throw it over lettuce wraps!

Serves 4

Ingredients

  1. Two pounds of boneless skinless chicken breasts
  2. Four tablespoons of corn starch (divided into two tablespoons each)
  3. Two bell peppers sliced. I use red and yellow for color.
  4. 1 20oz can of pineapple chunks in 100% juice (not syrup)
  5. One small onion
  6. Two cloves of garlic
  7. 2 teaspoon of fresh grated ginger
  8. 1/2 cup of apple cider vinegar
  9. 1/4 cup of sugar-free ketchup (you can use regular if you’d life but it’ll be sweeter and I don’t have regular at my house)
  10. 1/4 cup of brown sugar monk fruit sweetener. (I use Anthony’s but you can use whatever brand you like.)
  11. 2 tablespoons of low-sodium soy sauce
  12. Salt to taste

    Directions:

    Prep Chicken:
    1. Cut your chicken breasts into chunks and put them into a gallon zip lock bag.
    2. Pour two of your tablespoons of over the chicken and shake vigorously until all is coated.
    3. Start to pan sear your coated chicken. You may have to do this in batches depending on the size of your pan. I cooked until they started to brown at about 3-5 minutes. When they’re done searing, put all of the chicken on the bottom of your crock pot.
    Start Making the Sauce:
    4. Drain your pineapple chunks. Put the chunks to the side as you won’t need them until the last thirty minutes of cooking. Save ALL the juice.
    5.Mince the onion and 2 garlic cloves and put into a bowl.
    6. Grate the 2 teaspoons into the bowl with the garlic and onion.
    7. Pour all wet ingredients into the bowl (ketchup, apple cider vinegar, soy sauce, 1/2 cup of saved pineapple juice) into the bowl.
    8. Put your 1/4 cup of monk fruit brown sugar into the bowl and stir all the ingredients.
    Crockpot time
    9. With your chicken on the bottom of the crockpot already, pour the sauce over the chicken and cook low for seven hours.
    For the last hour of cooking:
    10. Pour in the remaining 2 tablespoons of cornstarch to thicken the sauce.
    11. Add the pineapple chunks and both bell peppers sliced.
    12. Serve over cooked white rice or other desired accompaniment.

My NINJA crock pot is a beast. I think it cooks a little faster than what most crock pots do. If you have this issue with yours, you can do what I do instead of cooking for 8 hours! If I am putting it in the crock pot when I’m leaving in the AM (6:30), I’ll set it for 3.5 hours. My NINJA goes into buffet mode when the actual cook time is done. I’ve found that by the time I am home (5 PM) that the buffet setting has done the rest of the cooking on buffet mode without over cooking. At that time, I’d add the leftover cornstarch, peppers, and pineapple and cook on low for a half hour.

This is a hit in our house! It serves four. There are only two of us so I usually get dinner for one night and leftovers for the next. I can see if we were both really hungry eating the entire thing at once though because we love it so much!

Let me know if you try this recipe out and if you add any of your own flare or changes to it!

Great Recipes

Iced London Fog Latte WW FRIENDLY!

Hey Ya’ll! How many of you like tea lattes? I definitely do but you can’t get them at many places around me other than Starbucks. As much as I was loving my London Fog Latte, I wasn’t loving the points and I wasn’t loving the price. A Venti was costing me $5.70 or so and that just wasn’t something I wanted to spend every single day. And then one day as I was watching them make my iced latte, I thought to myself, “Why the heck am I just not making these?” And so the next day I did and it tasted EXACTLY like what I was buying. It was less calories AND cost way less. Starbucks offers almond milk but it’s sweetened and I wasn’t sure how much they were actually using so I couldn’t count points accurately and I didn’t want it sweetened anyway! So here’s my Mock Starbucks Iced London Fog!

Iced London Fog Latte

Serves 1

Ingredients

  1.  Two tea bags of Earl Grey tea. You can use whatever brand you like. Amazon has many like the one I linked but you can definitely find them in your local grocer.
  2. 1/2 Cup of Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk
  3. Sugar Free Vanilla Coffee Syrup (I use Torani and it can be found at most grocers as well as Amazon here)
  4. Ice (I usually use at least 1/2 of a tray because I like mine super cold)
    Continue reading “Iced London Fog Latte WW FRIENDLY!”
Great Recipes

Ground Turkey and Butternut Squash Soup

This soup recipe is so versatile and forgiving which is why it is my favorite. You can sub veggies or add veggies such as beans or spinach (at the very end). It is super filling and is literally one of my favorite soups I’ve made!

Ground Turkey and Butternut Squash Soup

Serves 6-8

Ingredients

  1.  One 16 oz package of ground turkey meat (I use 98% fat free but you can sub what  type of meat mixture that you want)
  2. Two large carrots
  3. Three celery stalks
  4. One red onion
  5. Six cloves of garlic (we’re garlic lovers but you can minimize your cloves if your family is not)
  6. One butternut squash
  7. Two small potatoes (about 8-10 grams total)
  8. Four cups of vegetable stock
  9. One cup of chicken broth
  10. One 28 oz. can of tomatoes
  11. Two tablespoons of dried oregano
  12. Two bay leaves
  13. One and a half cups of radiatore pasta (or other small pasta such as shells) Continue reading “Ground Turkey and Butternut Squash Soup”
Great Recipes

Air-fried Bacon and Cheese Stuffed Chicken

I love my air fryer! It gives me all the crispness I want without any of the fatty oils and calories! I’m so happy to have found this kitchen god.

We eat chicken a ton. I feel like I needed something new in my life and this did it for me. This can easily be made for Weight Watchers based on your own preferences. Find the bacon that you love that it most point friendly! I am posting the recipe that I used for just one chicken breast. You can double the recipe if you are cooking for you and someone else! This recipe is easy enough to adjust for however many people you are serving.

Air-Fried Bacon and Cheese Stuffed Chicken

Serves 1 breast

Ingredients

  1. One chicken breast
  2. Olive oil spray or oil spray of choice
  3. Two pieces of cooked bacon (or Canadian bacon)
  4. One Laughing Cow spreadable cheese wedge (your choice on flavor)
  5. Everything but the Bagel Seasoning
  6. Two tablespoons of panko breadcrumbs
  7. One egg
    Continue reading “Air-fried Bacon and Cheese Stuffed Chicken”
Great Recipes

Copycat Lettuce Wraps

Does anyone else ever go through a bunch of recipes when they’re looking for something specific that they want to make? If I want something specific, I’ll look through available recipes and end up pulling a little bit of something from each recipe I find and make my own. Most of the time it works out fantastically, like this particular recipe I altered from a bunch of sources.

Here you have my recipe for a copycat recipe of P.F. Chang’s Chicken Lettuce Wraps. I LOVE these lettuce wraps. I HATE chain restaurants. There’s just something about them that I don’t like. I hate the thought of pre-packaged or half homemade food. I know many chains claim they make everything in house now and that may be true but I still would rather go to a family-owned or a even a restaurant with just a handful of locationss. I still find myself going to some chains depending on who I am dining with and sometimes just for the ease of it. PF Chang’s is one chain restaurant that I can tolereate, especially since I love their lettuce wraps (like the rest of America).

Here’s my altered recipe made from a hodgepodge of different recipes floating around. I hope you enjoy!

CopyCat Lettuce Wraps

Serves 2-3 as a main meal

Ingredients

  1. One pound of ground turkey (you can use ground chicken to be more like the regular recipe but I like turkey better)
  2. Olive oil spray or oil spray of choice
  3. One small white or yellow onion diced
  4. 8 oz of mushrooms chopped (you can use any mushroom you prefer. I’ve used baby bellas but shiitake would be awesome!)
  5. Four tablespoons of Hoison Sauce
  6. Two tablespoons of reduced sodium soy sauce
  7. One tablespoon of rice vinegar
  8. One tablespoon of chili garlic sauce
  9. One teaspoon of fresh ginger grated
  10. 3 cloves of garlic chopped
  11. One can (8 oz) of water chestnuts diced
  12. Iceberg lettuce for serving

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Great Recipes

Poor Man’s “Crab” and Spaghetti

Being from South Jersey, I love crabs. They’re amazing but they’re not easy to get in the colder months. Not only that, even in the summer they’re usually market price depending on how the crabbing season is going and even the smallest of crabs can be expensive. My father makes an amazing crab and spaghetti and sometimes you’re just wishing for it but your ingredients aren’t readily available. For a good crab gravy, you MUST use real, fresh, blue claw crab meat. This recipe is my substitution for the winter months. I also make it in the summer when I just have a hankering for crab gravy but don’t have the time to go get some freshies.

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Great Recipes

Poor Man’s French Onion Chicken

This is literally the most juicy and moist chicken I have ever made. Even without the extras, I will start to make my chicken like this a lot more in hopes that the juiciness transpires in all my chicken recipes. Feel free to change up the spices used below. I don’t usually measure my spices for this recipe and just sprinkle enough to make sure each piece of chicken is thoroughly coated. I also use two HUGE chicken breasts cut in half to make four servings. Feel free to change the chicken servings to your desire. The recipe is very easy to increase or decrease to your needs. The ingredients are also pretty standard and inexpensive. YUMMY!

Continue reading “Poor Man’s French Onion Chicken”

Great Recipes

Linguine Sausage Mushroom Spinach Alfredo

I am very behind on any reading right now.  I am finishing up with Grad school and I have a ton of final projects due this and next week.  I haven’t had any freetime to read anything at all!  Even my normal thirty minutes in the morning where I wait for students to arrive in homeroom has been taken up with work for grad school. I can’t wait to have my life back ASAP!

In the meantime, I saw a recipe very similar to this and adapted it to my likes! When I find the original, I’ll make sure to link it. That recipe utilzes kale and is vegetarian. In my household, it’s very rare to get away with a meatless dinner.

This tastes great and can be made on any pasta you prefer. I like angel hair but I used linguine. I can also just see putting this on top of a biscuit. It’s a bit thick like a gravy or can be with a little added flower.

I have to admit, this makes A LOT. I half it sometimes for just the two of us but I often make the the entire recipe because of the busy schedule and love leftovers. If you don’t like leftovers like I do, cut down a bit on the ingredients but not the ingredients that make the sauce like the milk and flower.

Linguine with Sausage, Mushroom, and Spinach Alfredo

Serves 5-6

Ingredients

  1. One pound of Italian sausage without the casing
  2. 16 oz of sliced mushrooms
  3. 4 tablespoons of butter
  4. Two cups of spinach (it’ll wilt to nothing)
  5. 4 Garlic cloves
  6. 2 Tablespoons of flour
  7. 2 Cups of milk
  8.  1 teaspoon of Italian seasoning
  9. One box of linguine or other favorite long noodle
  10. Salt and pepper to taste
  11. Parmesean cheese (optional)

Directions

  1. Over medum-high heat, add a tablespoon of butter to a pan with 3 of t the minced garlic cloves. Once melted, saute the mushrooms until golden brown which is about five minutes. Set aside.
  2. Put water on stove to boil.
  3. In the same pan, add the pound of Italian sausage. Sprinkle with salt and pepper if desired.  My sausage is usually seasoned enough from the butcher. Cook through for about 8 minutes stirring often. Set aside with the mushrooms.
  4. Pour pasta into boiling wate (and cook according to package).
  5. In the same pan used for the mushrooms and sausge, add remaining butter and 2 tablespoons of flour. Make a roux and stir often in order to prevent burning (about one minute)
  6. Add the milk in slowly while stirring. Keep stirring so there are no lumps. The sauce should thicken and be simmering. Lower the heat if needed.
  7. Add spinach to the sauce as well as the Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper.  Use red pepper flakes or any other spice according to your taste at this time.  Cook while stirring for about two minutes until the spinach has wilted down.
  8. Add mushrooms and sausage to sauce.
  9. Drain pasta.
  10. Plate pasta first and add a scoop of the gravy sauce to your liking (DO NOT MIX TOGETHER BECAUSE IF THERE ARE LEFTOVERS, IT WILL NOT SIT WELL IN THE FRIDGE FOR SECOND HELPINGS THE NEXT DAY. STORE SEPERATELY IF NEEDED)
  11. Sprinkle parmesean cheese on individual servings.

 

 

 

Great Recipes

Keilbasa Stew

I love to cook things that are fast. This keilbasa stew is just that! I honestly use canned ingredients so that it’s done within 10 minutes BUT you could definitely use fresh and I am sure it would come out even more amazing! I’ll post pictures of the canned brand ingredients I use to make this delicious stew. The ingredients below are pretty standard but I’ll also throw in green pepper or whatever else I have in the fridge that I’m getting rid of. Additions obviously enhance the flavor. I recently had a tiny bit of small shrimp to cook up from a previous recipe that I had made. I added them this time with some olive oil and garlic before adding everything else and it was delicious!

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