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Meijer Healthy Living: Herbed slow cook chicken and potatoes

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What's for dinner?

If that question stresses you out, reach for the tools that can simplify evening meals. 

On hectic weeknights your crockpot or slow cooker can be your best friend! 

Herbed Slow Cook Chicken with Potatoes

Time to prepare:  Less than 15 minutes

Serves 4

Ingredients:

1 Whole chicken (about 3 ½ pounds)

1/2 sweet white onion, sliced

10-12 baby carrots, halved

2-3 stalks celery, cut into 3" chunks

1/2 lemon

1 Tbsp. Gourmet Garden Garlic Paste

2 tsp. McCormick Herbes de Provence Herb blend

Salt and Pepper to Taste

4 medium red skin (or other) potatoes, washed and cut in quarters

Directions:

1.      Remove giblets and rinse chicken.

2.      Place half of the onion, and all of the carrots and celery on the bottom of the slow cooker.

3.      Season cavity of chicken with salt and pepper.  Place into slow cooker, folding wings under body.  Squeeze juice of lemon over chicken and place remainder of lemon and remaining sliced onion in cavity of chicken.

4.      Rub outside of chicken with garlic paste, season with Herbes de Provence and salt and pepper to taste.  Place cut potatoes around chicken in slow cooker.

5.      Cover and cook on low about 6 hours, until internal temperature reaches 170?F.

6.      Allow to stand 10 minutes before carving.  Serve with green leafy salad. 

Beef pot roast

Ingredients

  • PAM® Original No-Stick Cooking Spray
  • 1 teaspoon Pure Wesson® Vegetable Oil
  • 1-3/4 pounds boneless beef chuck roast
  • 2 cups baby carrots
  • 6 small red-skinned potatoes, cut in quarters
  • 2 cans (8 oz each) Hunt's® Tomato Sauce-No Salt Added
  • 1 jar (12 oz each) beef gravy
  • 1 envelope (1 oz each) dry onion soup mix

Directions

  • Spray inside of 4-quart slow cooker with cooking spray. Heat oil in 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Brown roast in oil, about 5 minutes, turning once. Layer carrots, then potatoes in bottom of slow cooker. Pour tomato sauce and gravy over potatoes; sprinkle with soup mix. Place roast on top.
  • Cover; cook on LOW 9 to 10 hours or until roast is tender.
  • Remove roast to cutting board. With slotted spoon, remove vegetables and place in serving bowl. Cut roast. Serve meat and vegetables with sauce.
  • Are Family Dinners a Burden on Moms?

                The planning, shopping, preparing and then the clean up!  Is the thought of home-cooked for your family overwhelming?  It's a given that families are busy and time, and finances, are tight.  However, most parents that I speak with still want to provide home-cooked meals for their families most nights of the week.  We're not talking Julia Child type meals, but healthier easy to assemble meals;   those types of dinners that don't require a lot of prep work or cooking time to get on the table.  So, here are my suggestions to create realistic home cooked meals:

    1. Free yourself from chef-like unrealistic expectations:  Every meal does not have to consist of farm raised chicken, heirloom potatoes and organic vegetables!  A fast meal, with HEALTHY convenience foods is a nutritious alternative that you can feel good about serving to your family.  Open a can of chicken, toss with a few cups of cooked whole grain pasta, add a bag of frozen mixed vegetables, and mix it a can or two of un-drained Italian seasoned diced tomatoes.  Heat though and season with salt and pepper to taste.  Serve it with a bag salad and / or fresh fruit (a handful of grapes) for dessert.  For more easy to assemble meals, visit www.meijerhealthyliving.comand download our "Easy Meals, Healthy Families" guidebook.

    2.      Pick up and go!   A lesson learned from my mother, who always grocery shopped on Thursday nights.  She would come home from the store with bags of groceries to put away and a ready meal from the supermarket.  So go ahead, pick up a rotisserie chicken, a side of mashed potatoes and some broccoli crunch salad from the Meijer deli.  Bring it home when there is no time to cook and call it dinner! 

    3.      Slow Cook Tuesdays:  For some reason, Tuesday's are productive days for me.  I get lost in my work, and before I know it I am behind schedule with my family responsibilities.  So, Tuesday's have become my slow-cooker day.  I take a few minutes to put a meal in my slow-cooker in the morning (or the night before), plug it in before I leave for work, and dinner is ready when I get home.  Bonus!  The kids help with clean up, reducing the burden of the family meal.  Take advantage of your small appliances for less stressful family meals.  

    4.      Simple Supermarket Recipes Take advantage of programs and services that make life easy.  The new Meijer "Ready! For You" program offers convenient food solution stations with ingredients easily available to you to make quick and affordable meals for you and your family.  Find more information and recipes at www.meijer.com/readyforyou

    5.      Mix It Up:  Trade favorite "no time to cook" recipes with friends and share your success stories.  Use social media, such as Facebook or Pinterest, to simplify sharing.