Weeknight Dinners: A double feature! Crock Pot Extravaganza!

We all know how I feel about crock pots (i.e., LOVE them). And, since I have become a Zumba with Bill regular, I knew that my crock pot would be seeing a lot more of me than he used to. It was a very hectic week – more hectic than usual. In fact, I had Zumba Tuesday, a Cavs game Wednesday (in which 45 minutes of fouls were played and I remembered why I quit cheerleading high school basketball), and what was supposed to be Zumba on Thursday until I had to spend 3 hours at the doctor getting souped up cough meds for my awkward springtime cough that's developed, and therefore was 3 hours late to work and had to work late. Whoa. 

So, once again the crock pot came to the rescue and made us two DELISH meals for hardly any work at all. I made both of these on Tuesday night, cooked the first on Tuesday evening (heated it up on Wednesday before the game for a quick meal), and cooked the second while at work on Thursday with my timed crock pot. Seriously, you need two crock pots to survive my kind of week.

So let's start with the first (adapted from The Girl Who Ate Everything's recipe)

Creamy Chicken Ceasar Shredded Chicken Sammies (yum)

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What You'll Need:

  • 1 lb boneless chicken breasts, trimmed of fat
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 tbsp poultry seasoning
  • 1 bottle of Marzetti Simply Dressed Ceasar Dressing
  • 2 tbsp dried parsley
  • 1 1/2 cups parmesean cheese
  • Pretzel rolls 
  • Lettuce (sliced for the sandwiches)

First, place the chicken in your crockpot with 1/2 cup water. Sprinkle in garlic powder, pepper and poultry seasoning. Cook on low for 3 hours. Remove from your crock pot, and drain your crock pot. Shred the chicken, and place it back in the crock pot. Add the bottle of dressing, parmesean cheese and parsley. Cook on high for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Once you're all ready to eat, scoop onto a pretzel roll and top with lettuce. These are so tasty – Mr. G and I each ate TWO in one sitting (yes, I'm proud of that). Then we went to the Cavs game with our bro's D-Train and B-Rad, and watched the Cavs and Pistons get fouled for 45 minutes and shoot 85 free throws. I was not pleased… 

For the next night, we made this recipe that I found on SkinnyTaste.com, and adapted a bit, too. 

Take Out, Fake Out Sesame Honey Chicken and Rice

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What You'll Need:

  • 2 lbs boneless chicken breasts
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1/3 cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1 1/2 tsp sesame oil
  • 3 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp water, plus 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 3 tsp sriracha sauce
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds
  • 3 green onions, chopped 

First, put your chicken in the crock pot, and add in pepper and onion powder. In a small mixing bowl, combine soy sauce, honey, tomato paste, apple cider vinegar, garlic, 1 tbsp water, sesame oil and sriracha sauce. Pour over chicken, and refrigerate over night. In the morning, set your crock pot on LOW, and cook for 3 hours.  

If you have a timer like me, I had mine turn off at the 3 hour mark, and then it stays warm for 2 more hours. When you get home, remove the chicken from the crock pot (it should be cool to the touch), and keep the sauce in the crock pot. Shred the chicken (I do this with my hands – my clean hands thankyouverymuch). Meanwhile, dissolve your cornstarch in 1/4 cup water, add into the crock pot and stir. Cover and cook on high until the sauce is thick – about 30 minutes. Then, return your chicken to the crock pot and mix it all together.

We served ours over rice, with green onions, sesame seeds and more sriracha sauce for garnish. It was so spicy and tasty, and again reminded me why I will never buy Chinese take out again (this is probably untrue. I will probably order take out once our Chinese take out restaurant opens from "renovations"… which I find to be completely shady). I didn't end up making it to Zumba this night, but did get to work out on my bike, so all was well. 

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