beka stays hungry : slow cooker pineapple chicken

Me and the slow cooker? We’re tight these days. Not as tight as me and Castie, but we’re all about hanging out on the weekends for Dinner Challenge meals.

This is another meal from the 24 Day Challenge Cookbook, and another winner! I only made a few minor alterations – here’s the recipe:

Slow Cooker Pineapple Chicken

mildly adapted from the 24 Day Challenge Cookbook

Serves: 4

Ingredients:

4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves, cut into bite size pieces

20 oz can of pineapple chunks

1/4 cup pineapple juice (from can)

1/4 cup Braggs Liquid Aminos

1/2 tsp red pepper flakes

1/4 red onion, finely sliced

1 cup cooked brown rice

1 cup spinach and arugula

2 Tbsp slivered almonds (lightly browned in oven)

Directions:

Place chicken, pineapple, pineapple juice, Braggs, red pepper flakes, and onion in the slow cooker. Heat on high for 4 hours or on low for 6-7 hours. Serve on top of 1/4 cup brown rice and 1/4 cup spinach and arugula mix and sprinkle 1/2 Tbsp toasted almonds on top.

Rating: A solid 4/5. If you are craving a light stir fry/Chinese option, this will definitely do it for you. And I love the subtle heat from the red pepper flakes!

beka stays hungry : applesauce chicken

Here for your dining pleasure is another non-boring 10 Day Cleanse recipe, this one straight from the 24 Day Challenge Cookbook.

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Clean Eating and I…we speak the same language. It’s like we were meant for each other.

Especially when that means meals like this one.

You have two preparation options: stovetop or slow cooker. I chose the path of least resistance and went with the slow cooker. When it comes to dinner, I love that path.

Here’s the low down:

Slow Cooker Applesauce Chicken:

from the 24 Day Challenge Cookbook

Ingredients:

  • 4 skinless boneless chicken breasts, trimmed of fat
  • 1 cup applesauce (No Sugar Added)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 small onion, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)

Directions:

Are you ready?

Put all of the ingredients in a slow cooker. Cook on high for 3-4 hours or on low for 6-7 hours.

DONE!

Seriously.

Rating: 4/5 – The combination of water and applesauce made the chicken so moist, and the garlic/onion/cinnamon gave it a great flavor – all with no oil or sugar! This one’s a keeper.

beka stays hungry : slow cooker cranberry pork

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Well that looks fairly lame.

But I promise…it tastes much more exciting than it looks (thanks to how I’ve expertly styled it here).

This recipe is from the (amazing) family I nanny for. The crockpot had been on all day and it smelled SO GOOD so they sent me home with a container full of it’s contents…and I think it might be the easiest and best thing to ever come out of a slow cooker. Here’s the lowdown:

Slow Cooker Cranberry Pork:

Ingredients:

  • Pork Tenderloin (weight/size dependent on desired serving size)
  • 1 bag of Whole Cranberries
  • 1 Tablespoon of Sweetener (sugar, agave, etc – apple juice worked well for me)
  • Apricot Jam for serving (optional)

Directions:

Place tenderloin, cranberries, and sweetener in a slow cooker. Turn heat to Low and cook for 6 hours. Serve topped with a small dollop apricot jam (this, oh my word, makes all the difference).

And the Rating:

Difficulty: If you can’t make this you probably shouldn’t be allowed in kitchens.

Preparation Time: Not Applicable. Literally.

Dumpster Dinner, Not Bad, Good, Really Good, or Unbelievably Amazing: Really good. And I feel like there could be lots of opportunity for customization too. Also, great family meal for the holidays – quick, easy, hearty!

Overall Rating: I’d say 3.5/5 but almost 4/5. This is only because I can’t envision myself making it for just me more than a few times a year, if that. I’m not the biggest carnivore. It also requires figuring out a few side dishes, and I’m all about one pot meals. But overall, I absolutely love having this recipe in my new arsenal.

beka stays hungry : red lentil stew

I almost forgot to post this!

Which is also an accurate reflection on how I felt about this dinner.

It was hearty. It was good. It came together quickly. But it won’t be one that I remember. Perhaps it’s because I left the jalapeno out or didn’t salt properly. Or it could be that I should just stop trying to make soup/stew with butternut squash because I’ve never been enthusiastic about the results. But one way or another, this just wasn’t a success for me. You win some, you lose some.

The recipe is from Jenna at Eat, Live, Run (which is a wonderful blog with lots of great recipes!). You can find the recipe for the stew here.

Here’s the breakdown:

Difficulty: Opening Cans + Cutting Squash = the hardest part of this equation. So easy!

Preparation Time: So quick!

Dumpster Dinner, Not Bad, Good, Really Good, or Unbelievably Amazing: Not Bad. This comforting stew filled me up all week long! I also decided to add goat cheese and arugula. Good decisions, both.

Overall Rating: 2.5/5. Just not my favorite, sad to say.