Saturday, April 25, 2009

Crockpot Thai Chicken: simple and not boring

Some people mention when they start WW or a healthy eating routine that they get sick of eating chicken all the time. Thankfully, this blog will NOT be about a million and a half chicken recipes. Even so, with a bit of creativity, chicken doesn't have to be boring...there are a ton of ways to make it and incorporate a variety of flavors and still have a low fat dish.

One thing I've learned through this journey of losing weight and now keeping the weight off, is to make sure to vary what I cook and eat. A little creativity goes a long way without a ton of effort. If we eat the same thing everyday of course we're going to get bored and eventually quit and go back to our old habits. And who could blame us?

One thing that helped me along this path is that I'm a bit of a dork about finding new things to try. I'm always looking for something new I can make that's tasty and fits my eating plan. Even if that's not you, if you are getting bored or see yourself slipping, you might just need a bit of a change to renew your efforts. It might help to consider a couple of different items you could pick up at the grocery store this week to try something different. Even buying a different kind of fruit for a snack can be a start.

BUT, this entry is a chicken recipe. And honestly, the only reason chicken is showing up so early in this blog is because I had a lime to use before it went bad. However, chicken can be a lifesaver especially when we're short on time. So can the crock pot. And this is a good option.

Plus the chicken, of course.
  • 2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts, frozen (about 4 breasts)
  • 1 cup hot salsa
  • 1/4 cup, heaping, reduced fat peanut butter
  • 1Tbsp reduced sodium soy sauce
  • Juice of 1/2 a fresh lime (or 2 Tbsp. lime juice)
  • 2-3 tsp. freshly grated ginger (I mince mine)
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped (optional)
  • Fresh cilantro

Spray the crock pot with cooking spray and add chicken. In a separate bowl, mix together salsa, peanut butter, soy sauce, lime juice, ginger and jalapeno. Pour over chicken. Mix up a bit so sauce is distributed throughout the crock pot. Cook on low 6-8 hours (mine is usually plenty done after 6 hours).

Garnish with fresh cilantro and serve over brown rice.

Makes 4-8 servings (see nutritional information).


We like our food a bit spicier, so if you don't prefer it that way, you can leave out the jalapeno and use a medium salsa. Even with the hot salsa, if you add more lime juice, it will even out and be less spicy.

I serve this with minute brown rice, cooked according to package directions. I cook it in chicken broth instead of water to give it more flavor. Season with some salt, pepper and chopped green onions after it's done cooking.

A great side dish is steamed green beans with some salt, pepper and a bit of jarred garlic.

Variation: Once cooked, let chicken cool a bit in the crock pot, take two forks and shred the chicken. As leftovers, it makes a great base for a wrap.

Results: Tasty! I've made this meal a number of times and it is awesome to throw in the crock pot in the morning for a weeknight meal. When we first made it, I thought the salsa and peanut butter looked nasty together, but it tastes great when don't be grossed out as you're stirring the ingredients! This dish has great flavor and is certainly a step away from boring old chicken. We really like this one and I make it frequently. Another nice thing about it is the ingredients are easy to keep on-hand, so it's a great choice when I haven't quite planned ahead.

Nutritional information:

At 4 servings (using 4 chicken breasts totaling about 2 lbs):

362.7 calories
9 grams of fat
2.1 grams of fiber

About 8 WW points. If using smaller chicken breasts, this could reduce the points value.

Alternative: Shred the chicken and then I estimate it makes about 8 servings (easier to divide!). At 8 servings, it's:

181.3 calories
4.5 grams of fat
1 gram dietary fiber

About 4 WW points.

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  1. Ooh - a tasty Thai dish for only 4WW points?! I love it!!

  2. Just popping on to tell you I'm making this today! I think I'll put it in the crockpot around 11. Thanks for sharing, I know we'll love it.