Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Low Carb Chicken

For our first wok/crock challenge, we are going with a low carb chicken dish.  We are not low carb gals by nature, but Wok and I have, well, let’s just say we’ve put on a pound or two in the past few years.  That left us with two options: either go through life always on the verge of revealing a muffin top to an unsuspecting world, or cut out the potato chips, pasta, and no bake cookies for a few weeks and get the flab under control. 

It was a toss up, but we decided to go with the low carb diet.  Basically we will eliminate foods with a high glycemic index for about 10 days.  That includes anything made with flour (bread, crackers, pasta), sugar, potatoes, rice, and everything else that makes life worth living.  We can have unlimited fish, chicken, and other meats, veggies (except for corn or carrots), nuts, beans, and eggs.  We are not carb counters and will not be telling your any numbers for these recipes.

And now, back to Wok for our first challenge dish!

My wok!  I’ve had this wok for years and never made much use of it.  I decided now is the time to use it or lose it.

This weeks challenge was to create something low carb with chicken. 

The ingredients:
  • Olive Oil
  • Chicken Breast Tenders
  • A variety of vegetables I had on hand (onion, peppers, mushrooms, shredded broccoli mix)
  • Rick Bayless's Fiesta Classic Fajita Sauce (I figure he knows more about seasoning than I ever will)
Heat up your wok on a small burner for even heat distribution.  Chop up your onions and peppers.  I left my onions big because I like the flavor but I don’t actually like to eat onions. 

Put a tablespoon of olive oil in your wok and add the onions and peppers.  Heat until the onions become translucent, stirring with a wooden spatula or anything else that won’t scratch your wok.

Dump that out on a plate and throw your chicken in the wok.  I cut mine in fajita strips, but next time I will cut it smaller to make cooking easier.  Cook the chicken until done (about 5 minutes) and then add your sauce and your onions and peppers. 

After that has heated up for a minute or two, I threw in the mushrooms and broccoli mix and let it simmer for another couple of minutes. 

While I was waiting I nuked a couple of tortillas for my husband, because he can eat all the carbs he wants and not gain a pound.  I ate mine without tortillas and it was fabulous.  Next time I will add more mushrooms and also use whole slices, as they shriveled up quite a bit.

And now for Crock...

For this challenge I turned to Mr. Google. Typing in "low carb chicken crock pot recipes" somehow got me this recipe. I tweaked it a bit.

2-3 chicken breasts
1 can Ro-tel type tomatoes and chilis
2/3 can black beans, rinsed
1/2 can chili beans, not rinsed
1/2 cup homemade chicken broth
1/2 can black olives, sliced
1 small can chopped green chiles

I added:
sliced jalapenos

(because i'm doing the low carb thing, i saved the extra beans and olives to mix with other things for snacks and lunch. black beans with tuna and jalepenos is yummy)

Putting it together:
Layer chicken in bottom of crock pot. Add the rest of the ingredients in the order written. Do not stir. Cook on low 7-8 hours. (I cooked high for 1 hour and low for 5)

Verdict: YUM! This was soooo good. I ate it for 3 days straight, and looked forward to it each time. It was spicy and flavorful, and the chicken was tender and delicious. Did I mention that it was yummy? When I'm no longer low carbing it, I think this would be fantastic with these thingies.

There you go.  Two low carb chicken dishes.   Quick and easy or slow and easy, the choice is yours.  If you make either of these dishes, or both, leave us a comment and let us know what you thought.

Wok vs. Crock! It's On!

I’m no chef, or even a cook, but we all have to eat and we don’t want to eat the same things day after day.  Because of this, I challenged my sister to create interesting meals out of similar ingredients – I’ll use my wok and she’ll use her crock. 

Crock lives by the crockpot.  I think she has 7 of them.  She's always making something fabulous for her husband and 3 kids, church, parties, etc.  She decides what she wants to make, throws it all in the pot the night before and voila!  The next day she has a delicious meal with very little work.

Unfortunately, I (Wok) usually think about dinner about 10 minutes before I want to eat it.  The end result is usually that my husband and I get in the car and drive to a restaurant.  If we don't want to go out to eat, we can scavenge through the countless to go containers in our fridge. 

This would be ok if we were generally happy with what we get at a restaurant, but too often we just end up with less money and an unimpressed palate.   

Out of all this was born the challenge.  I dug out my long-neglected wok and each week Crock and I will agree on some ingredients or a general theme and we'll see what comes out of it.  We're including all the cooking instructions in case you want to try our meals and tell us which one you preferred.

Crock here... First of all, Wok makes me sound much more domestically organized than I am.  My love for crockpotting stems from the NEED to have food ready on time for small children.  When my kids were toddlers they ate dinner about 5:00.  I was not hungry at that time, so if I waited for hunger to inspire me, I'd have had some very pitiful children.  By cooking in the crockpot, I could have dinner ready for them at 5:00, and it would still be hot and edible when Husband arrived home after 6:00.

In addition, my church does a potluck lunch every Sunday, so I needed to stretch beyond my chili and pot roast repertoire.  I have discovered that I can cook almost anything in a crockpot, and it allows me to do the prep work when it suits me.  I can get it all together Saturday night, and leave my always hectic Sunday morning unencumbered by cooking.  This is also part of the reason I own multiple crockpots.  I can do a main dish, a side, and even a dessert.

So join us as we begin the Battle of the Cookware! (ok, that sounded much more interesting in my head), and see just what you can do with a wok, or a crock.