Tuesday, 12 February 2013

{Becca's Healthy Hints} Crock Pot Chicken

Welcome to a new quicker segment of Not Deprived entitled, Becca's Healthy Hints! Don't worry, there are many more recipes to come, but I also wanted to share, in 2 minutes or less, some quick and easy ways to help alleviate some of the stress when planning family meals. Whether you work in or out of the home, it can get overwhelming always trying to have something delicious and healthy on the dinner table at night. You'll hear me say this many times...I like to have one recipe that will carry over to several different meals.

This Crock Pot Chicken is one of those things that makes my life easier and I hope it does the same for you. I must thank my mother-in-law, Audrey for the Crock pot featured in this video. :-) She appreciates how I work hard to fee her son and grandsons well and she knows how much I like to use the Crock pot to do this. I used my last one so often that I ran it into the ground...just stopped working one day and never recovered! So, she showed up at my door one day with a brand new one for me. Thank you, Momma!!

If you would like to delve a little more into why I make this particular choice for my family, read on after the video...

You may be thinking, "Why can't I just buy one of those rotisserie chickens at the grocery store and use it in the same way?" Well my answer to that is, you can, and I won't judge you if you do! I have been known to as well when I am short on time and seriously, this is the easiest thing to grab. But, here are a few reasons I choose to bake my own chicken:

1. Clean eating - A store-bought rotisserie chicken most likely is gluten-free (always check ingredients!) and isn't going to be filled with an enormous amount of bad-for-you ingredients. However, if I can make something at home that does not contain unneeded ingredients, well then that is my first choice. Here are the ingredients for a Costco rotisserie chicken: Chicken, water, seasonings (salt, sodium phosphate, modified food starch, potato dextrin, carrageenan, sugar, dextrose, spice extracts. They do also note that there are no preservatives, no MSG, that it is gluten-free and has no artificial flavorings or colors. I am pleased with the list of things it does not contain. However, these other ingredients are simply not needed! Maybe you don't care to know what they are, but I do. All of these ingredients would fall under the category of, "not necessarily bad for you, but the jury's still out on whether or not it's safe to ingest." Just because the FDA says it's safe...well, you know. I don't need to get on a soap box. Bottom line, you can make something just as tasty with just a few natural ingredients.
2. Cost -  I can get a plain whole chicken for less than $6 when they are on sale and I don't recommend buying any meat unless it's on sale. It can be very expensive to buy good lean meat and I don't like to settle for the "cheap" stuff because it's not saving me money if it's not nourishing my body well. Here in Canada, a ready-made rotisserie chicken is going to be between $8-$10 so you're saving right from the get-go if you buy the raw bird. If you are familiar with a farmer or farmer's market that provides organic chicken at a good price then jump on the opportunity to buy your meat that way. I happen to personally know a farmer and his wife who genuinely care about what they are providing for their consumers. When you have a moment, check out their website and read their story.
But like most people, I can't always get my meat from the local farm so I do keep an eye out in the store flyers for a good deal. This is one of those food items that you can stock up on because you can freeze for later use. If you haven't already, invest in a good deep freezer...next to the crock pot, it can be a budget-conscious person's best friend.
3. Convenience - Once you get in the habit of stocking up on your meat, you start naturally planning ahead...thinking about the next day and what you can grab out of that freezer and thaw for the next day or the day after that. That's all you have to do...thaw overnight, put it in the crock pot the next morning and you're on your way to a week's worth of meals just like that! I love planning ahead...gives me a warm fuzzy feeling. :-)
I've said before that I like to keep things simple. You can add whatever you want to season your chicken...it's your own creation! But since I like to use my chicken for wraps, sandwiches, crepes, Orange Chicken (recipe coming soon!), fried rice, fajitas and soups, I like to keep the spices simple so that I can adapt as I wish.

The 2 bottles of spices I always keep on hand are:
1. Montreal Steak Spice - Very few ingredients & all of them natural- Delicious on beef, delicious on chicken!
2. Bragg Organic Sprinkle - 24 natural herbs - Delicious on anything!
That's it! No need for more!


I hope you enjoy this Healthy Hint and that it helps you in your future meal planning. More hints to come in the near future! If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me! I have enjoyed answering all your questions and getting your feedback. Be sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel so you don't miss the latest videos and subscribe to this blog by submitting your email to the right of this post. Follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram and share with your friends!

Treat yourself well,