Monday, December 19, 2011

Winner, winner, chicken dinner

Boot camp is proving to be a challenge. And not just because my instructor decided that it would be super fun to combine plank jacks and burpees into one exercise. (Really, how do you think of things like that?)

L and me, pre-plank jack torture

The twice weekly class has been a challenge for my schedule. More specifically, meal planning. The class is from 6 to 6:45 p.m. - the time fame when I would normally arrive home from work and prepare (and eat) dinner. In another life, I would have just made something quick for Mark and myself when I got home at 7 p.m.but that hour is now devoted to baths, jammies and nursing.

By the way, in that other life, I would get to sleep past 5 a.m., eat with both hands and would never feel guilty about taking a shower.

Anyway ... if I had a bigger entertainment budget, less of a conscience and one of those mythical metabolisms where you can eat whatever you want, I'd probably pick up dinner from one of the many fast food restaurants that dot my route back home. Arby's, Long John Silvers, Big Boy, Taco Bell. Heck, I might even go out of my way and hit up KFC.

But why would I do that? Especially when I can make a healthful (and affordable!) chicken dinner in less time than it takes to go through the drive through.

Here's what you do in 5 easy steps.

1. Buy a whole chicken. It works best if you plan ahead and buy the chicken during your weekly grocery trip.

2. Put the chicken in the slow cooker. Don't forget to take the chicken out of the packaging and remove any of the innards.

3. Sprinkle chicken with seasonings of choice - seasoning salt, pepper, garlic powder. You even could go super fancy and use lemon pepper. You do not have to add anything else. Not even liquid.

4. Cover the slow cooker and turn on low. If you have a programmable one like me, set it for 8 hours.

5. Come home. Eat.

Seriously, it's that easy. Whip up some mashed potatoes (I made them in the morning so all I had to do was reheat them) and pop a steamer bag of broccoli in the microwave and you have a whole meal.

What is your favorite go-to meal in a pinch?


  1. What is a plank jack? It sounds intense, which is how I like it :)

  2. Ok, I know that this is probably a DUMB question, but I am just learning how to "cook." How do you cut the chicken? I made a whole chicken in the crock pot for my boyfriend last week, but when we cut it to eat it, it looked so gross inside. I think we cut it wrong. Help!

  3. Wow, that is a wonderful go-to meal that I must try!

    Mine is paninis with a veggie side or any breakfast for dinner!