Big, elaborate dinners are nice; however, they are not very realistic for the on-the-go parent or family. Below, I complied some 1-dish, crockpot meals that I found to be quite tasty! If you don't have the time to prep all the ingredients in one day, try prepping some the night before. Then, the day you are cooking, you will just have to throw everything together. Package leftover portions into dishes that you can freeze and take to work/school for a quick, healthy meal.
Balsamic Chicken and VegetablesIngredients:
• 1/4 cup bottled Italian salad dressing
• 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
• 1 tablespoon honey
• 1/8 - 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
• 2 tablespoons olive oil
• 1 pound chicken breast tenderloins
• 10 ounces fresh asparagus, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces, or one 10-ounce package frozen cut asparagus, thawed and well drained
• 1 cup purchased shredded carrot
• 1 small tomato, seeded and chopped
1. In a small bowl, stir together first 4 ingredients. 2. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add chicken. Cook for 5-6 minutes. Add half of the dressing mix to the skillet and transfer chicken to a serving plate. 3. In the same skillet, add asparagus and carrots. Cook for 3-4 minutes and add to serving plate. 4. Stir remaining dressing mixture, add to skillet. Cook for 1 minute. Drizzle over chicken. Sprinkle with tomato. **Baking Instructions: Mix all ingredients and pour over chicken breasts. Bake in oven at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes (until chicken is cooked through).
Greek ChickenIngredients: 1 pound carrots, cut into 1 1/4-inch pieces, or 3 cups baby carrots 1 pound (3-4 medium) yellow-fleshed potatoes, such as Yukon Gold, peeled and cut lengthwise into 1 1/4-inch-wide wedges 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed 1 14-ounce can reduced-sodium chicken broth 1/3 cup dry white wine 4 cloves garlic, minced 3/4 teaspoon salt 1 15-ounce can artichoke hearts, rinsed and quartered if large 1 large egg 2 large egg yolks 1/3 cup lemon juice 1/3 cup chopped fresh dill Freshly ground pepper to taste
Preparation1. Spread carrots and potatoes over the bottom and up the sides of a 4-quart or larger slow cooker. Arrange chicken on top of the vegetables. Bring broth, wine, garlic and salt to a simmer in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Pour over the chicken and vegetables. Cover and cook until the chicken is cooked through and vegetables are tender, 2 1/2 to 3 hours on high or 4 to 4 1/2 hours on low.2. Add artichokes to the slow cooker, cover and cook on high for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, whisk egg, egg yolks and lemon juice in a medium bowl.3. Transfer the chicken and vegetables to a serving bowl using a slotted spoon. Cover and keep warm. Ladle about 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid into the egg mixture. Whisk until smooth. Whisk the egg mixture into the remaining cooking liquid in the slow cooker. Cover and cook, whisking 2 or 3 times, until slightly thickened and sauce reaches 160°F on an instant-read thermometer, 15 to 20 minutes. Stir in dill and pepper. Pour the sauce over the chicken and vegetables and serve.
Apple-Spinach ChickenIngredients: 2 teaspoons vegetable oil4 (4-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves1/4 teaspoon salt1/4 teaspoon black pepper1 garlic clove, minced (about 1/2 teaspoon)1 tablespoon spicy brown mustard1/2 cup apple cider1 medium Granny Smith apple, cored and sliced6 cups fresh baby spinach or chopped Swiss chard Preparation:1. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper, and add to skillet. Cook 5-6 minutes on each side or until well browned. Remove to plate, and keep warm.2. Add next 4 ingredients (through apple slices) to pan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, simmer, stirring often, 5 minutes. Return chicken and juices to pan. Cook, stirring occasionally, until sauce thickens and the chicken is cooked through, about 3 minutes.3. Add spinach to pan, and toss until wilted, about 1 minute. Serve hot. Eggplant and Chickpea Stew Ingredients: 1 ounce dried porcini mushrooms 3 cups hot water 2 large eggplants (about 1 1/2 pounds each) 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided 2 large onions, thinly sliced 6 cloves garlic, minced 2 teaspoons dried oregano, crumbled 1 small (1-inch) cinnamon stick 1 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper 1 bay leaf 1 cup chickpeas 1 28-ounce can tomatoes, drained and coarsely chopped 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
2. Combine dried mushrooms and hot water in a bowl. Stir well and let stand for 30 minutes. Strain through a sieve lined with a paper towel and set the liquid aside. Finely chop the mushrooms.
3. Meanwhile, peel eggplants, if desired, and cut in half lengthwise. Brush the cut sides liberally with 2 tablespoons oil. Place on a rimmed baking sheet, cut-side down, and roast until tender, about 25 minutes. Let stand until cool enough to handle. Cut into 1-inch cubes and transfer to a 4-quart (or larger) slow cooker.
4. Meanwhile, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onions and cook, stirring frequently, until softened, 3 to 6 minutes. Add garlic, oregano, cinnamon stick, salt, pepper, bay leaf and the chopped mushrooms; cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the reserved mushroom-soaking liquid and chickpeas. Bring to a boil and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Transfer to the slow cooker and stir to combine with the eggplant.
5. Cover and cook until the chickpeas are very tender, about 4 hours on High or 7 to 8 hours on Low. Remove cinnamon stick and bay leaf. Stir in tomatoes and parsley.