My Life as a Dog

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Crock Pot Chicken Taco Chili

I've been wanting to try cooking more this year. I had considered making it one of my monthly goals but kind of forgot when it came time to writing them down. In any case I had seen this crock pot chicken taco chili recipe on Pinterest. It looked good. I might have been influenced by the photo. (I just barely looked at the original recipe posting on and I'm not sure I would have made it if I looked at that photo. lol) Last night I bought all the ingredients except for the chicken and spices which I already had. Everything else was around $7 total. I had kind of gotten excited about cooking until I got home and realized I was hungry then. This is my problem with cooking! So I might have had a peanut butter and jam sandwich. So grown up, I know! Later that evening I decided to prepare the chili so I could put it in the crock pot before I went to bed. Here's all the prep I had to do: cut an onion up and open several cans! :) I put everything in the crock pot on low and headed to bed. I was a little nervous given that I had never cooked in a crock pot and then that I was going to be in bed while it was cooking. I woke in the middle of night and could smell it cooking. I think I had a few dreams about it. Mostly of the dreams involved things going wrong. Needless to say my night wasn't that restful. But when I got up the next morning and went to check on it, I found that it was doing great! The chicken was so tender that it was just falling apart as I stirred the chili. I put in the fridge before heading to work and when I got home I didn't need to make  peanut butter and jam sandwich! It was so easy and quite tasty. I'm thinking that I will have to try another recipe soon.

Oh and I forgot to mention that this is a Weight Watcher's recipe. I don't really know what that means but I'm assuming that it must be healthy! Here's the recipe:

  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 16-oz can black beans
  • 1 16-oz can kidney beans
  • 1 8-oz can tomato sauce
  • 10 oz package frozen corn kernels
  • 2 14.5-oz cans diced tomatoes w/chilies
  • 1 packet taco seasoning
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 24 oz (3-4) boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • chili peppers, chopped (optional)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Combine beans, onion, chili peppers, corn, tomato sauce, cumin, chili powder and taco seasoning in a slow cooker. Place chicken on top and cover. Cook on low for 10 hours or on high for 6 hours. Half hour before serving, remove chicken and shred. Return chicken to slow cooker and stir in. Top with fresh cilantro. Also try it with low fat cheese and sour cream (extra points).

I didn't follow the recipe exactly. Instead of chili peppers I added a small can of chopped green chili peppers. (I wasn't sure what they meant.) I didn't add the cilantro either but just because I was at a grocery store where it was ridiculously expensive for what it is. Lastly, I cooked it on low for 10 hours which I think helped make the chicken so tender.

Saturday, February 01, 2014

Happy New Month! (Again)

So you were probably thinking that I set my monthly goals for January and that was going to be the last you would hear about goals from me until next January. If that was the case, you were wrong! ;)

First of all I want to report on my January goals. I chose 4 things not necessarily big items to tackle but things that I felt would improve my quality of life.

  1. Go to sleep with the TV off - This seemed to be the one that was the hardest habit to break. Overall I think I would say I accomplished this. There were several days this month that I was sick and was in and out of sleep. I did allow myself to just leave the TV on even if I was getting sleepy.
  2. No chocolate donuts - This one was the easiest. I won't say I didn't have cravings but it certainly was the one that took the least amount of effort to follow through. 
  3. Push ups 5 times a week - This one took a little more work. Even being sick I managed to follow through on this one. If I was getting home late and just wanted to go to bed then I knew that I would have to do them in the morning.
  4. Read more - I've accomplished this one too. It didn't take too much to do "more" when I had been doing "none." But I have actually finished off Mockingjay now. So I'm ready for the movie and a new book.
January is over but these are not things that I'm giving up on. They will continue and hopefully I have made some good habits with them so it will seem like less of an effort.

That brings up to February and what will be my new challenges...
  1. No checking in on Facebook when I go to the gym. Nick is going to be excited about this one, right?! I initially started doing it to motivate myself to get to the gym. It was my accountability. Well let's be honest. At this point its not going to get me to the gym more or less. If you want to know my gym progress you'll just have to ask. You know I'll still be tracking it just not on Facebook. Believe it or not this will be an adjustment.
  2. Reduce my soda intake. I've kind of already started this one but need to commit to it here. I won't be buying any containers of soda to put in my house. No 2 liter bottles, no 12 can packs, etc... And I will not be stopping at Holiday Oil for my morning 44oz Diet Dr Pepper to take to work. Does this mean I'm eliminating all soda? No. I'm just eliminating two sources for now. I'll still be free to get sodas with lunch and or dinner. Oh, and as of now, there is no soda in my house. And by doing this I will naturally increase my water intake.
  3. Look for opportunities to give sincere complements. This can be a family member, friend, or even a random stranger. This one is going to be fun. I like giving genuine complements so it should be hard. But setting this goal will help me to have a more positive outlook in general. Look for the good!
  4. Reach out to my friends more. I admit it, I've been complacent. I often wait for others to contact me and as a result have turned into a bit of a hermit again in some ways. I want to be more proactive in being/having friends. I'm not sure exactly how to measure this one but I'm sure I'll be able to tell if I've done this or not.
Happy February!