I’ve missed you! I have been busy eating garbage food since Thanksgiving (just being honest here) and so I had no new recipes to share with you. I decided to get my act together for the new year, so I started a THM Fuel Cycle. It’s just a more pure version of the THM eating plan, minus cheese and nuts, and with a set way to eat for two weeks. You can learn all about it in Chapter 28.
I always find myself struggling on the fuel pull days. Those of you familiar with the plan will know what I mean. Fuel pull means no significant source of carbs OR fat. You are really asking your body to burn up your own stores. Food choices get really limited and meals can become challenging.
Yesterday I was looking for something yummy and filling to eat, and I came up with this! I hope you enjoy it. I didn’t take a any extra photos, so I hope you can get the general idea. You can absolutely adapt this recipe to be an S meal, or even an E with a little more effort. I will post ideas after the main recipe. But when you can have a delicious FP, I say go for it! I am calling it “Balsamic Chicken & Kale Pita Pizza.”
- 1 Joseph’s Pita
- 1 Light Laughing Cow cheese wedge
- 3 oz boneless chicken breast, baked and cubed
- 2-3 large handfuls of raw kale, torn into small pieces
- 1 medium roma tomato, diced
- 1 clove fresh garlic, minced
- 2-3 Tbsp fat free balsamic dressing (I used Maple Grove Farms)
- salt, pepper, oregano to taste
Pre-heat the oven to 400°. Mix the chicken, kale, tomato, garlic, balsamic dressing and seasonings in a medium bowl until well combined. Set aside and let it marinate while the oven heats up. Spread the laughing cow cheese over the pita and place it on a baking sheet. Pile the yummy chicken and veggies on top. Bake for 12-15 minutes until the pita is crispy and everything has had a chance to get nice and toasty.
I called this a pizza, but in reality, you will probably need a fork to eat it. It was scrumptious and my hubby loved it…he ate TWO!
To make this an S, add real mozzarella or other cheese on top. You could probably also add olives for added flavor.
To make this an E, you could ditch the pita and use Gwen’s easy bread dough for the crust. I would pre-bake the crust and then proceed as planned.
I love layered dinners in my crockpot. They are easy, versatile, and satisfy my pickier eaters who prefer their food not to be mixed together like a stew. The variations are endless. The best meats for this are generally fattier – chicken thighs, cheap steaks/cuts of beef, etc. I happened to use chicken breast for this one because I am on a specific eating plan. For any other Trim Healthy Mamas (THM) out there, this meal is an E. It is also gluten-free.
If you’ve had issues with cooking chicken breast in your crock pot in the past, here are a few tips:
- Include plenty of liquid. I always add a marinade AND chicken broth.
- Cook on the lowest setting your crock pot has available.
- Cook for only 5-6 hours…any longer and you run the risk of really overcooking it.
Meet my cast of savory characters:
- 1 medium white onion
- 3 cloves of garlic (or more, if you prefer)
- 4 chicken breasts
- salt & pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup chicken broth (not pictured, I forgot it in the fridge)
- 2/3 cup fat-free balsamic dressing (Maple Grove Farm, gluten-free and contains no corn syrup!)
- 4-5 pieces (ea) celery AND carrots
- 4 medium sweet potatoes or yams (I used white sweet potatoes today. If you can only find larger ones, cut them down)
- 3-4 stalks of broccoli
Slice your onion and layer half of it in the bottom of your slow cooker. I saved the other half to make soup tomorrow. 🙂 Coarsely chop the three cloves of garlic and add them in. I cut my chicken breasts in half because they were huge. I added 5 pieces and reserved three for tomorrow’s soup. Layer in the chicken pieces and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Pour in your broth, then add the balsamic dressing.
Clean and trim your celery and peel your carrots. Layer these on top of the chicken to make a rack for your sweet potatoes. These will also go into my soup tomorrow, but they are yummy to eat with dinner as well. 🙂
Clean and stab your potatoes (HA!) and layer them on your DIY veggie rack. Turn your crock pot onto the LOWEST heat setting and cook for approximately six hours. My crock pot has the 4 (high), 6 (high), 8 (low), and 10 (low) hour options. I chose 10 hours LOW for this.
I didn’t forget the broccoli! While the meal is simmering away, cut the broccoli into florets and leave them. You now have two choices:
- Add them around & on-top of the potatoes 90 minutes before you plan to eat – they will steam in the crock pot.
- Steam them on the stove/in the microwave for 10 minutes before you plan to eat.
I dressed my sweet potato with 1 tsp of organic coconut oil, cinnamon, and Truvia. I always add a couple of spoons of liquid to my chicken before eating, but you could also add an additional splash of the balsamic dressing. This was tender and definitely not dry. Enjoy!