Slow Cooker Balsamic Chicken and Sausage

Balsamic_ChixFeeling kind of lazy to make dinner one day. So I went on fastpaleo.com and found this recipe for Slow Cooker Balsamic Chicken and Sausage. I adjusted it a little because there was just so much liquid in the end, it was like soup. Anyway, the dish was a hit for the whole family! This gluten-free and low-carb meal was so flavorful from the spices.

RECIPE

  • 4-6 chicken breasts, skinless & boneless
  • 6 fresh Italian sausages
  • 2 tsp. olive oil
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 4-6 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 1-1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1-1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 – 14.5 oz cans of diced or plum tomatoes
  • 1 – 15 oz can of tomato sauce
  • 1 cup water or stock
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  1. Lay the breasts raw in the bottom of the slow cooker and drizzle with a couple tablespoons of olive oil.
  2. Add the first round of seasonings directly onto the chicken (1 teaspoon of each: Italian seasoning, garlic powder and salt). Don’t mix, just leave it on top. During the slow cooking process, it seasons the chicken directly for perfect flavor.
  3. Lay the sausage on top of the seasoned chicken.
  4. Layer the thinly sliced onion and chopped garlic next. Then pour the diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, water/stock and balsamic vinegar into the pot.
  5. Top with a second round of seasonings, use the remaining portions. Again, don’t mix this up.
  6. Cover and set the slow cooker to high for five hours.

I served it with a side of brown rice pasta and steamed asparagus to keep it guilt-free. The next day, for left overs, I topped the chicken on a bed of greens to make a delicious salad. Yummy!

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Baked Garlic Parmesan Chicken

garlic_parm_chixMy kids LOVE Chicken Parmesan but I hate making it because it’s so time consuming and fatty when you have to fry it oil. Then I found this easy Baked Garlic Parmesan Chicken on Allrecipes.com. I made some alterations to make it low-carb and gluten-free, and let me tell you, it turned out delicious! Simple to make, great flavor, and still has that great crunch! This has become a family favorite in our weekly dinner rotation. The kids, of course, have it with pasta and spaghetti sauce, but I really enjoy it by itself with some steamed spinach or grilled zucchini.

RECIPE

  • 6 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
  • 2 Tbsp of olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 cup of almond meal
  • 1/3 cup of grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tsp of dried basil leaves
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 350˚ F. Grease a 9×13 inch baking dish.
  2. In a pie plate, mix the olive oil and garlic.
  3. In another pie plate, mix the almond meal, Parmesan cheese, basil, and pepper.
  4. Dip each chicken breast in the oil mixture, then in the almond meal mixture.
  5. Arrange the coated chicken breasts in the prepared baking dish, and top with any remaining bread crumb mixture.
  6. Bake 30 minutes in the preheated oven, or until chicken is no longer pink and juices run clear.

Prosciutto-Wrapped Pesto Chicken

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My friend Fran posted a picture of her dinner on her Facebook page one night. It looked so good! Everyone was “oohing and ahhing” about it and begged for the recipe. It was for Prosciutto-Wrapped Pesto Chicken. She found it on allrecipes.com. As soon as I read the ingredients and directions, I drove to the store and bought chicken, pesto and prosciutto, and prepped it in 10 minutes. What an amazingly simple dinner to make for the family that’s low-carb (only 2 grams of carbs!), gluten-free, and delicious, too. The kids loved it – especially when I said it was wrapped in “fancy bacon.” This will definitely be added to our dinner menu rotation. Thanks for sharing, Fran! 🙂

RECIPE

  • 4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves (or thighs if you prefer)
  • 1/2 cup store-bought basil pesto, divided
  • 4 thin slices prosciutto, or more if needed
  1. Preheat oven to 400˚ F. Grease a baking dish.
  2. Spread about 2 tablespoons of pesto per chicken breast over the top of each breast, and wrap each breast in prosciutto slices to cover the entire breast.
  3. Place the wrapped chicken breasts into the prepared baking dish.
  4. Bake until the chicken is no longer pink, the juices run clear, and the prosciutto is lightly crisped, about 25-35 minutes, depending on how “meaty” your chicken breasts are.
  5. Serve with guilt-free sides, such as brown rice, steamed spinach or Cauliflower Popcorn.

Ginger-Sesame Beef

ginger_beefI posted this photo of Ginger-Sesame Beef on my personal Facebook page and everyone wanted the recipe. I thought I had this on my Guilt-Free Goodies blog because it’s low-carb and gluten-free, but I guess I didn’t. So here it is…

RECIPE

  • two pound of sliced beef (or chicken or pork)
  • olive oil
  • 1/4 cup of soy sauce
  • salt, pepper
  • 1/2 an onion, diced
  • 1 ginger, peeled and sliced
  • 1 package of sliced mushrooms
  • 1 package of firm or extra firm tofu, cubed
  • 1 bag of bean sprouts
  • 1 stalk of green onions, cut in 2-inch strips
  • 1/4 cup of sesame oil
  1. Sauté onions and ginger in olive oil. Then add thinly sliced beef.
  2. Season with salt, pepper and soy sauce.
  3. When meat is cooked, add tofu and mushrooms. Simmer for about 5 min.
  4. Add bean sprouts and green onions. Then drizzle about 1/4 cup of sesame oil over everything and cook until sprouts are tender to your liking.

Eat as is for a low-carb meal, or top over brown rice or quinoa. I like eating this with a side of steamed broccoli, too. Yum, yum!

Stuffed Avocado

Last month, while on a road trip, my family and I stopped at a small town to get some lunch. I browsed through the menu and saw “Stuffed Avocado with Tuna Salad.” Mmm! That sounds good. No pictures, no description. I just figured it was an avocado stuffed with tuna salad. Well, to my surprise, it was a gigantic pile of salad greens (the cheap stuff) covered with mounds of grated cheese, a handful of bacon bits, a sliced hard boiled egg, 4 slices of tomatoes, 15 slices of red onions, and about 6 avocado slices. Then on top of THAT heap was a scoop of tuna salad. You couldn’t even see the plate! And as loaded as this salad was, it was NOT appetizing at all. I felt ripped off, believe it or not. So after our trip and we were back home, I made it my mission to come up with my OWN version of Stuffed Avocado. It basic and simple yet appealing and tasty. And you can even see the plate! 🙂

RECIPE

  • 1 avocado
  • 1 cup of diced chicken (packaged, canned or leftovers from a rotisserie chicken; or you can also use albacore tuna)
  • 2 tbsp. of mayonnaise
  • 2 tbsp. of diced celery
  • 1 tbsp. of diced onions
  • salt & pepper to taste
  1. Cut the avocado in half lengthwise. Remove the pit and peel (that is if you catch it at the right time where you can easily peel the skin off in one swoop.) Set aside.
  2. Mix all the rest of the ingredients above. (Feel free to add other spices like garlic powder, cumin or paprika, or mix in diced apples or grapes)
  3. Put a scoop of chicken salad in the center of each avocado half. Top with sliced almonds if you wish.
  4. Enjoy your delicious low-carb, gluten-free meal!

Cucumber and Tuna Tea Sandwiches

Sometimes I feel girly and want to make little finger sandwiches for lunch. That’s probably because I bought three giant English cucumbers and didn’t know how I could eat them all before they went bad. So I got creative and made these very simple Cucumber and Tuna Tea Sandwiches.

RECIPE

  • a can of albacore tuna (I prefer in oil. You can also use chicken.)
  • 1 tbsp. of mayonnaise
  • 1 tbsp. of diced celery
  • 1 tbsp. of diced onions
  • a squeeze of lemon juice
  • salt & pepper to taste

Mix all the ingredients above. Put a dollop of the tuna salad on a cucumber circle. And voila… it’s a low-carb, gluten-free lunch! Also perfect as a guilt-free appetizer or snack.

(Feel free to add other spices like turmeric or dill, or some dried cranberries, or even top with slivered almonds.)

KFC Double Down Sandwich

Yesterday my family and I watched the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in our town. After the parade, of course, we were all hungry. It was almost lunch time after all. I hit the nearest fast food joint which was a KFC. I heard about these low-carb Double Down Sandwiches and thought I’d give it a try. From the picture you can see there is no bun. This is pretty much all protein! It’s just two chicken patties surrounding two slices of cheese, bacon and some Colonel’s special sauce. Hardly any carbs in this baby!

I was starving so it started out really good. After a couple of bites, I realized that it was quite salty and very intense. This “sandwich” needed lettuce or some kind of veggie to cut the fat and richness. And it needed something aside from paper to hold it all together. I didn’t finish the entire sandwich because two chicken breast patties was a bit much. Overall, it’s not bad if this was your only choice for fast food.