I’m in love with my crockpot.
Before now, I never thought it was possible to harbor romantic/platonic feelings for a kitchen appliance. But after recently pulling my old crockpot out of the back of the cabinet and turning it on for the first time in years… my whole world’s been turned around.
If you don’t have a crockpot, and haven’t experienced the phenomenon that is slow cooking, here are the top three benefits to this practically ingenious appliance.
#1 Completely hands off.
In my house, dinner usually takes anywhere from 20 minutes to two hours to make and cook, depending on if we’re having spaghetti, a roasted chicken, etc. So, it can definitely be a little time consuming. Especially when you have a million and one other things to do and practically no time to do them. And cooking dinner usually brings that time down to -20 minutes, or so. But imagine this: sticking a few chicken breasts, some seasoning, and salsa in a pot and when you come home in the evening, dinner’s already ready to go! All you have to do is scoop some chicken on a wrap and you’re done! Not to mention, you have 30 extra minutes to spare.
#2 Smells absolutely divine.
If you’re ever having company over for dinner, whether it be your boss or your mother in law, you’re going to want to give a good impression. And your house being a bit messy can obviously detract from your goal appearance. Well, have you ever walked into a bakery or pastry shop? The first thing you notice isn’t the cashier’s messy hair, nor is it the flour-strewn countertops. All you can think of is how delicious that bread smells. That’s basically the same thing your company will be thinking when they step into your house and you have fajitas cooking in the crock pot.
#3 Practically no mess.
Seriously, all you have to do after using your crockpot is wash it out. There aren’t fifteen other bowls, spoons, pots, and pans to wash, or countertops to scrub. Just one pot. And most likely a ladle or large fork. And you’re done! I don’t know about you, but cleaning dishes is my least favorite thing to do… probably in the whole world (other than taking out the trash, yuck!). So this alone sells me on the product immediately!
Now that we have just how wonderful a crockpot can be established, let’s touch on this recipe, shall we? Basically, here’s my spiel: I love Mexican food. But if you’ve ever gone to a Mexican restaurant, bought tacos from a fast food joint, or even hit up Chipotle, you’ve most likely noticed the main ingredient in all Mexican food: salt. Now, while salt can definitely have some benefits (flavor enhancing, decreasing cooking time, etc.) it’s also the main culprit for a multitude of other disadvantages (high blood pressure, water retention, etc.). And usually, companies tend to add more salt than needed to foods in order to make them taste better.
According to the Institute of Medicine, an adult younger than 50 should consume 1,500 mg salt per day. Guess how much sodium is in a single chicken burrito from Taco bell? 960 mg. Add a small Dr. Pepper, and you’ve already consumed over 1000 mg just for that single meal. At Chipotle the situation isn’t much better. Actually, it’s worse! A chicken burrito bowl with chicken, black beans, white rice, lettuce, and cheese is 1635 mg of sodium. 135 mg of sodium more that you’re recommended! And that’s not even counting the chips! (And I know I always make sure to grab a bag of those babies…)
Long store short: why not save yourself time, dishes, money, and bloating and make healthy and delicious Chicken Fajitas? Customizable with your favorite salsa and not requiring you to run out and buy two pounds of expensive veggies and herbs.
Did I mention they taste like a fiesta in your mouth? 😉
Low Sodium Crockpot Chicken Fajitas
- 1 lb (16 oz) boneless skinless chicken breast
- 3 tbs lime juice
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp chili powder
- 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1 tsp dried cilantro leaves
- 1 c corn
- 1 c low sodium salsa of choice
- 1/2 chopped large yellow onion (optional)
- tortillas plus choice of toppings/garnishes (guacamole, cheese, etc.)
Place chicken breasts in the bottom of a lightly greased slow cooker or crockpot. In a small bowl, combine lime juice, garlic, cumin, chili powder, red pepper flakes, and cilantro. Add corn and salsa to the crock pot, stirring until chicken is fully coated. Pour in lime mixture and continue to stir until combined. Mix in onions, if desired. Cook on high for 1 hour then low for 3 hours, until chicken is tender enough to shred using two forks. Stir to combine with other ingredients. Continue to cook on low for 3 more hours, until ready to serve. Using a slotted spoon, spoon desired amount of chicken onto a tortilla (about 1/4 recipe per serving). Top with desired garnishes and enjoy!
Nutrition Information (from myfitnesspal.com)
(Yields 4 servings)
Nutritional information calculated not including onion or tortilla, toppings, etc. If including the yellow onion in the recipe, each serving will have 195 calories, 2 grams of fat, 14 carbs, and 30 grams of protein. The sodium content will vary, depending on that of your salsa and chicken. I made this with Trader Joe’s Fire Roasted Tomato Salsa and Green Mountain Gringo Hot Salsa, and each serving was calculated to contain 441 mg sodium.