Healthy Meal of the Week: Slow Cooked Chicken, Brown Rice & Corn Cob
Healthy Leftover Idea: Chicken Sandwiches
Here’s an easy-to-prepare meal using your wonderful slow cooker that may likely be sitting sadly in the corner of your kitchen waiting patiently to be called upon. When planned accordingly, this meal can be all ready to eat when you return home especially if the rice and corn variety you purchase is the microwave type variety. Not to worry if you don’t have those or want to spend the extra money on them since the rice and corn will only take about 20 minutes to prepare.
For the leftover meal, you’ll have a great handheld treat weighing in only around 250 calories each if prepared as described below.
– slow cooker (Crock Pot)
– pan with lid for rice (or rice cooker)
– large pot for corn
– 5 minutes
– 4-8 hours depending on temperature setting
– 1 prepackaged whole chicken
– 1/2 cup brown sugar
– 16 ounces chicken broth
– 2 tablespoons seasoned salt
– 3-4 whole corn on the cob
– 1 cup brown rice
– 1/4 cup honey
– 2 tablespoons olive oil
– optional: butter/margarine for corn & rice
– optional: 3 bay leaves for rice
For Chicken Sandwiches
– 100 calorie multi grain sandwich slenders
– shredded cheese
– chili paste/salsa
*Decide if you want to cook the chicken on either the low setting for 6-8 hours or high setting for 4-5 hours.
1. Open the chicken package and rinse well with cold water in your kitchen sink. Place the whole chicken inside your clean slow cooker.
2. Add 1/2 cup brown sugar and 2 tablespoons seasoned salt to 16 oz. chicken broth and stir/mix well. Add solution to the slow cooker and turn on to the desired setting. Remember to set a timer or the alarm on your phone for 6-8 hours on low or 4-5 hours if slow cooker is on high.
3. When there is approximately 1 hour left on the timer, add the 1/4 cup honey on top of the chicken. Recover and let finish cooking.
4. About now you can start cooking the rice and corn. For the corn, fill a large pot about 1/2 way with hot water and bring to a boil on the stove. While that’s happening peel the corn husks off each piece you plan to cook. Rinse the corn pieces under the sink to get rid of any straggling husk pieces. For this meal example, the corn pieces were snapped in half to make leftover travel portions easy to fit in the plastic containers, but this choice is entirely up to you. When water is boiling place pieces in the water and set a timer for 20 minutes.
5. If you want to prepare the brown rice the same way as this meal, add 3 tablespoons of olive oil to your rice pan and turn on to low/medium temperature. Add 1 cup of brown rice and stir frequently for 3 minutes. Add one cup of chicken broth along with 3 bay leaves. Stir and allow to cook/soak in for a couple of minutes. Add 1 cup of hot water, increase temperature until rice mixture comes to a boil stirring occasionally. Once boiling, reduce heat to a simmer, cover pan with lid and set timer for 18 minutes. That’s all there’s to it!
6. Once chicken is finished cooking, turn off slow cooker and using two forks, you should be able to easily tear off pieces from the whole chicken, at least enough for the servings you’ll need for now. You can get the rest later when you are putting leftovers into containers or making the leftover sandwiches as listed below. You can also try to carefully pull the entire chicken out, but it may be easier to wait until liquid is a bit cooler to do this. The choice is entirely up to you.
7. Serve an appropriate portion size with an optional bit of butter on the corn, and a spoonful of the slow cooker liquid on the rice/chicken and enjoy!
Healthy Leftover Idea: Chicken Sandwiches
The best thing about these leftover sandwiches is that if you use the right type of bread/wrap, there’s no reason why these sandwiches can’t be made to be easily under 300 calories each. Combine that with a piece of fruit and a nice large glass of water and you have a nutritious lunch that will be right around 400 calories total. Isn’t that far better than the 1,300+ calorie meal you’ll find at any fast food spot?
Hopefully your local supermarket has a nice selection of bread/wraps and look for these multigrain 100 calorie sandwich slenders or something else that’s similar in calorie count. Open up the pre-sliced bun and layer the bottom slice with 2 tablespoons of cooked brown rice. In order to spice up this sandwich a bit, some ground fresh chili paste was added, but literally any of your favorite can be used. Carefully dice up some chicken into fine pieces and add a couple of tablespoons on top of the rice/chili paste side. Finally add a bit of shredded cheese then the top piece of the bun and you have quickly yet effectively created a delicious travel sandwich that you will find quite enjoyable for lunch the following day. Just be sure to wrap it up securely in a piece of foil so all the fixings don’t fall out.