Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Veggie Enchilada Casserole

The other day while dining in the teachers' lounge, my colleagues asked me how in the world I ever had time to prepare my meals. I prompted them to take a look at this week's menu post (as well as others) for an inside look at how I get prep for the week. Trust me, this does take a little time. It can be very overwhelming and one might think, "OMG! I have to make all this stuff for one week in a day? Forget it!" The way I see it is that I have my work life and I have my home life. There has to be a balance between the two. I get my work things done at work. I get my home life ready while I am at home and have more time on the weekend so when I come home from my work life I can relax. That is how I am able to blog these recipes, keep my sanity without starving in a gluten-free world, and above all enjoy my life. It may require a little work on the weekend, but most items are grab-and-go (mainly breakfast and lunch) or require minimal preparation on a week night. Someday I might even create a video for how I accomplish this. Would you be interested?

Alright, now that I've discussed this, here is a make ahead recipe that really only took me 15 minutes to prep this weekend. Once it was prepped, I used one of my handy-dandy Pyrex dishes that came with a resealable lid and stored the dish in the fridge. Then all I had to do was pull that puppy out of the fridge, uncover the dish, pop in the oven, set the oven to 375 degrees, and let it all bake for 45 minutes. You could probably even make this dish in a disposable foil dish and store it in the freezer. Really there is nothing culinary genius about this dish. It required me to open some packages and cans. Not too tough and it was very tasty at that.

Here is what the entire dish looks like. While this lovely enchilada casserole looks like it would be totally unhealthy, it makes eight hearty veggie packed servings for only 7 Weight Watchers points. Not only is it a dish you can make ahead it is good for you and tastes amazing.

Veggie Enchilada Casserole
Makes 8 servings, 7 Weight Watchers Points per serving

Nonstick cooking spray
1 10 oz. bag frozen chopped butternut squash, thawed
1 10 oz. can diced tomatoes with chilies (such as Rotel)
1 4 oz. can diced green chilies
1 15 oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup frozen corn kernels, thawed
1 yellow or white onion, chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional if you do not prefer the heat)
1 28 oz. can enchilada sauce (I used Old El Paso as it is gluten-free)
18 corn tortillas
2 cups shredded 2% cheddar cheese, divided
1 bunch green onions, chopped (to garnish if you choose)
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped (to garnish if you choose)

Spray an 8-inch by 12-inch casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside. In a large bowl, mix together the butternut squash, diced tomatoes, green chilies, black beans, corn, onion, salt, cumin, chili powder, salt, and cayenne pepper until combine. Set aside. Ladle and evenly spread 1/2 cup enchilada sauce into the bottom of the casserole dish. Arrange 6 of the tortillas on top of the sauce. Pour and evenly spread 1/2 of the vegetable mixture over the tortillas. Sprinkle 1/2 cup of the cheese over the vegetable layer. Arrange 6 more tortillas over the top of the cheese layer. Repeat with 1/2 cup more enchilada sauce, the remaining half of the vegetable mixture, and 1/2 cup cheese. Top with the last 6 tortillas. Ladle and spread the remaining enchilada sauce. Top with the remaining 1 cup cheese. Cover and store in the fridge for up to 4 days. This can be made ahead and frozen as well, just be sure not to use a glass baking dish as I did and thaw before baking. When you are ready to bake, uncover the dish. Let stand at room temperature for 10 minutes. Place in the oven and set the oven to 375 degrees. Bake for 45 minutes or until the cheese begins to bubble in the middle and brown around the edges. Garnish with chopped green onions and cilantro if you desire.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Smoky Slow Cooked Pork

How was your Monday? I can't complain. I was a little grumpy this morning because I slept like a rotisserie chicken last night. You know what I mean? Let me explain. Sleeping like a rotisserie chicken is when you sort of fall asleep, but never a restful sleep. You start out sleeping on one of your sides. Then, turn to your back for a bit. Next, you roll to your other side for a bit. Then, to your belly until finally you roll back to the original side and continue the whole process again. See, you rotate like those chickens cooking at the deli of a grocery store. Thinking about it makes me laugh. When I thought about it last night I fell back to sleep with a vision of those juicy chickens rotating and rotating in my head. Fortunately I did not wake the Bear, but he said he didn't sleep well either. Good thing we had a nice dinner and I had leftovers to power me through the day.

I call this my Southern Style Cuban Sandwich. Then, I got to thinking and the pork is really so much more versatile than just a Cuban sandwich. A Cuban is usually pork or ham served with Swiss cheese, mustard, and pickles. To make mine a little more Southern, I used a gluten-free baguette, BBQ'ed pork, and pickled okra in place of the pickles. The meal was a great success! Justin, a.k.a. the Bear, discovered he likes pickled okra. Today, I will share my favorite go-to BBQ'ed pork recipe with you all since it was a little too cold to use our smoker this weekend. You would think this pork had sat on a smoker all day. It gives you all of the flavors without the hassle of worrying about the weather or tending to a smoker. The secret- smoked paprika. I think you too will use this as your next "go-to" pulled pork recipe. Feel free to even double it for a crowd. You will just need to adjust cooking times a little.

Smoky Slow Cooked Pork
3 points per 3 oz. of pork

Nonstick cooking spray
1/4 cup gluten-free BBQ sauce
1/4 cup water
1-2 lbs. pork tenderloin
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Spray the inside of your slow cooker with nonstick cooking spray. Mix together the BBQ sauce and water in the bottom of your slow cooker. In a small dish, mix together the brown sugar, paprika, cumin, chili powder, salt, and pepper until combine. Rub over all sides of the pork. Place pork in the BBQ sauce mixture. Cover your slow cooker and set on low. Cook for 4-6 hours. Uncover and shred the pork using two forks. Give it all a good stir to coat all of the pork in the sauce. Serve over sandwich buns, tortillas, or on its own with any of your favorite sides.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

10 Days Before Christmas Menu Post

 So, it is Saturday and I realize there are actually 11 days before Christmas if you are reading this today; but, this little gem of a menu post is set to start Sunday, December 15. Ten rapidly approaching days until Christmas. Are you feeling a little stressed when you think about it? Believe it or not (knock on wood) I am not really too incredibly stressed about it. Grant it, I do not have kids; however, I am a special education teacher. Any teacher somewhat dreads this time of year as their students get crazier and crazier in anticipation for Santa and a nice, long winter break.

I thought it would be nice to share some of the ways I have not been getting stressed out even though my dear school kiddos are totally bonkers. As seen in my nice little picture I have this adorable little Christmas coffee mug I love bringing out to enjoy the season. This mug makes me smile everyday. Taking that little bit of time in the morning to pour myself a nice cup of Joe helps caffinate myself for the day. Seeing the chubby smiling snowman just makes me a little more happy. Find something that starts your day off with a smile:) 

Rule number two- routine, routine, routine! While there are plenty of events going on that can cause for social chaos, I find that I thrive off routine. Keeping my routine as normal as possible helps mentally free up capacity to remain calm. The more calm I am the more peace I can bring to any environment.

Rule number three- take time for yourself. Lately, I've been taking time to exercise. I know the exercise probably has more to do with the stress management even if it is only 20 minutes spent on my mini stepper, but it is a little "me" time. Time where I can zone out and not have to think a whole lot. 

And finally, try to enjoy what this season is really about. Gratitude, the gift of giving, togetherness, joy, and love. I express my gratitude whether it is here on the blog, to my husband or friends, and to God. I've been giving and sharing what I have with others who don't have as much by giving whatever loose change is in my purse to those bell ringers or buying a toy for a child. While I do not regularly attend church, I am a spiritual person and find great love and joy in what Christmas is all about.

You can take the above for what it is worth or totally disregard it. I just thought it would be nice to share a little bit of what goes on in my little head. If you happen to see a slight smile come across my face even while my students are loud, crazy, and I'm sending them back to class cracked out on sugar because we decorated cookies the above rules are why. Yesterday they told me they had never had the opportunity to decorate cookies before. It was a little shake up to our normal routine, but a heck of a lot of fun and kept me on my feet for added exercise. Fulfilling most of what helps me to not get stressed out about the holidays.

Now how about a menu post? This week, per usual, is full of some great make ahead dishes. I say make ahead because it actually saves you time to make them ahead. My husband's office gathering was last night. He mentioned that a colleague's significant other had made one of my make ahead dishes, but stated that it took forever to make. He asked her if she actually prepared the dish ahead like the recipe name states or if she made it the day of. She made it the day of. The trick to all of my make ahead pasta dishes is to prepare them at least the day before so the pasta has time to soak up some of the sauce and soften. Baking the dish finishes the whole meal off. I will be sure to be more clear about this in the future. Make ahead and store! For example, this week's Sunday Sandwich, Southern Style Cuban Sandwiches, involves slow cooked pork tenderloin. I plan on cooking the pork in my Crock Pot while getting my other dishes ready for the week. Dishes include this week's Meatless Monday dish, Veggie Enchilada Casserole, and Make Ahead Meaty Ziti. Getting all of these things prepped ahead of time will allow you to simply pull the dish out of the fridge and bake in the oven. Giving you precious time throughout the week for yourself while dinner bakes. Since I'm full of suggestions today, few of the tools I use to make this happen are...
  • A slow cooker
  • 2 8-inch by 12-inch casserole dishes, I love my resealable Pyrex dishes so I can cover and store before baking, and cover again for leftovers the next day
  • Heavy duty aluminum foil. You will need this for the ziti to keep too much liquid from evaporating while it bakes.
  • Nonstick cooking spray

Here is this week's rundown:
  • Sunday 12/15 Southern Style Cuban Sandwiches with Sweet Potato Fries
  • Monday 12/16 Make Ahead Veggie Enchilada Casserole
  • Tuesday 12/17 Leftovers
  • Wednesday 12/18 Make Ahead Meaty Ziti with Salad
  • Thursday 12/19 Leftovers

Items you will need from the store or what you have on hand:

1 lb. pork tenderloin
1/2 lb. lean ground beef
1 bunch cilantro
1 bunch green onions
4 small sweet potatoes or 1 bag frozen sweet potato fries, I make my own to save calories
1 bulb garlic (if you do not have any from previous lists)
1 package corn tortillas
1 can black beans
1 can diced green chilies
1 can gluten-free enchilada sauce 
1 can diced tomatoes with chilies (such as Rotel)
1 can diced tomatoes with onion and garlic
1 can crushed tomatoes
1 jar pickled okra or 1 jar pickles (in case you don't like okra)
1 box gluten-free penne pasta
1 canister grated Parmesan cheese
1 box frozen chopped spinach
1 bag frozen chopped butternut squash
1 package sliced 2% Swiss cheese
1 bag shredded 2% cheddar cheese
1 bag shredded 2% mozzarella cheese
1 container light or fat-free sour cream

Pantry items you will need include:

Extra virgin olive oil
Apple cider vinegar
Dijon mustard
Brown sugar
Gluten-free BBQ sauce
Dried Italian herbs
Dried minced onion
Onion powder
Chili powder
Ground cumin
Smoked paprika

Have a great weekend! I look forward to posting throughout the week!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Crock Pot Tikka Masala with Quinoa

I swear I should not be aloud to blog until I've checked all spellings. I will admit I called this recipe "Slow Cooker Tikki Masala." I had a feeling I was maybe wrong, but posted my hodgepodge menu post anyway because I just wanted to get it out there to share with you all. Next time, I will further check my sources. Better yet, next week will be a little less exotic.

Regardless of spellings, this recipe is really simple and really good. I was even able to mix most of the recipe together, place it in a Ziplock bag, and freeze it until I was ready to cook in my slow cooker. When I came home, I took a look. Things were looking good. The comments on the original recipe said it was even better served over rice. I had no rice. I had quinoa. Being I post what I make, you will get the quinoa version with an extra dollop of fat-free sour cream to show you what all is in this Indian inspired dish. The spices will make you feel warm and toasty.

Slow Cooker Tikka Masal with Quinoa
adapted from Weight Watchers
makes 6 hearty servings, 5 points per serving

1 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
1 14.5 oz. can petite diced tomatoes
1 clove minced garlic
1 tablespoon dried minced onion
2 tablespoons grated ginger root
2 tablespoons garam masala
2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon salt
4 4 oz. boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/2 cup fat-free sour cream
1/2 cup dried quinoa
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

Place crushed tomatoes, diced tomatoes, garlic, onion, ginger, garam masala, cumin, and salt into your slow cooker. Stir until combined. Place chicken into the tomato mixture. Make sure the chicken is well coated. Cover and set on low. Cook for 6 hours. Uncover and stir. It is okay if the chicken begins to break apart. Stir in the sour cream and quinoa. Cover and cook for another hour. Stir before serving. Top with cilantro.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Quinoa with Roasted Root Vegetables

I haven't expressed my gratitude in a while on this blog. Today I am feeling incredibly grateful things are slowing down for a change. There are a few extra things at school I've finished up, meetings cancelled, and fewer appointments to rush off to lately. This has given me extra time to work out in the evenings. I'm grateful I have been able to work out this week because it makes me feel good. I'm grateful I feel good because I have more energy to help those around me feel better. Today we had a "store" where our students could purchase Christmas gifts for their families. All items were $1. Not every family has a dollar to spare, so I gave some of my students who did not have money a dollar so they could purchase something and feel good. I even got to take one student, who I am quite fond of in preschool (I don't teach preschool, but we've connected) shopping and bought him a gift. A toy just for him. Seeing his little face so happy just made so grateful for today.

Okay, now that I have all of that joy expressed, here is a really awesome recipe you will be grateful for if you try it. You can even roast the vegetables ahead of time before tossing it all together with the light and tangy vinaigrette.

The Bear teased me again about being on the kale kick. I had to laugh, but it is just so good right now! Here, I've taken plain and simple quinoa and tossed it together with some lovely seasonal vegetables. I took a few shortcuts by purchasing already chopped butternut squash and roasting the veg ahead of time. Feel free to serve as a vegetarian main for only 6 Weight Watcher's points per serving. It is wonderful and filling!

Quinoa with Roasted Root Vegetables
Makes 4 servings, 6 Weight Watcher's points
per serving

1 cup dried quinoa
2 cups water
4 cups chopped butternut squash
1 bulb fennel, thinly sliced
1 yellow or white onion, thinly sliced
2 parsnips, peeled and chopped (about 1/4 inch cubes)
1/2 teaspoon salt (divided)
1/2 teaspoon pepper (divided)
4 cups kale, hard stems removed and chopped
2 teaspoons olive oil (divided)
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons chicken or vegetable broth
1 clove minced garlic
4 tablespoon shredded Parmesan cheese

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or spray with nonstick cooking spray. Place the squash, fennel, onion, and parsnips onto the sheet. Drizzle 1 teaspoon of the olive oil over the vegetables. Toss lightly to coat all of the vegetables. Sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes or until the vegetables begin to turn golden. Remove from the oven. Sprinkle the kale over the vegetables. Place back in the oven for 5 minutes or until the kale begins to wilt a little. Remove from the oven. Set aside.

While the vegetables are roasting. Cook quinoa according to package directions. In a small bowl, whisk together the remaining teaspoon olive oil, the apple cider vinegar, chicken broth, garlic, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper until combine. Set aside.

In a large serving bowl, toss the vegetables and quinoa together. Drizzle the vinaigrette over the quinoa mixture. Toss to coat. Top with the Parmesan cheese before serving.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Chicken Caesar Salad Wraps

Who doesn't love a good Caesar salad? When I was thinking of sandwiches, I thought why not turn one of my favorite salads into a wrap? Thus, this week's Sunday Sandwich was born.

There are a lot of big flavors in this wrap that make it taste amazing! The best part, the sandwich's stuffing is only 4 points. My Sandwich Petal's wrap in Agave Garlic is only 2 making the entire wrap only 6 points. If you are using another brand, points values may vary. The end to my Sunday was pretty tasty and healthy:)

Chicken Caesar Salad Wraps
Serves 2, 6 points per wrap

1 boneless, skinless chicken breast, cooked and shredded
Zest of 1/2 a lemon
1 tablespoon lemon juice (about the amount from one wedge)
2 tablespoons fat-free sour cream
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
2 teaspoons mayonnaise
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
2 cups chopped romaine lettuce
2 gluten-free sandwich wraps (such as Sandwich Petals)

In a small bowl, mix together the chicken, lemon zest, lemon juice, sour cream, cheese, mayonnaise, mustard, salt, pepper, and garlic powder until combine. Layer lettuce onto the wraps. Divide the chicken mixture, spread over both wraps, and roll.

Hodgepodge Menu Post

After the Thanksgiving holiday and an impromptu Christmas get together Friday night, I've experienced my first 2 lbs. of weight gain. Boo! Both the Bear and I are still fighting some sort of lingering cold that is leaving us feeling zapped, so the lack of activity is not helping either. There's no stopping the amount of goodies that will be around work, parties to attend, and family gatherings. That's all fine until I looked at the calender and realized we still have 23 days left till New Year's. That could totally ruin what I've lost or even worse add to my original starting weight. Yikes! Oh well. All one can do is plan, plan, plan and practice portion control. I knew starting Weight Watcher's this time of year was going to be a challenge, but I'm not giving up! Just wait till you see what I have in store for this week. It is a bit of a hodgepodge, but carefully selected recipe ideas that have some secret little helpers. Sort of like those elves that help Santa.

Secret helper number one is no surprise, lean boneless skinless chicken breast. We purchased a big bag at Sam's Club to insure that we have chicken on hand. Chicken will be used in two lovely recipes. First in my Sunday Sandwich this evening. Second in a lovely Indian tikki masala Crock Pot recipe that I already have prepped and stored in the freezer. All I will have to do is thaw it a little before sticking it in the Crock Pot. My second little helpers are also not a big surprise; lots and lots of fruit and veg. I've bulked up my breakfast scramble this week with some chopped spinach. Serve with a banana and clementine on the side. Bam, three servings of fruit and veg already tallied in the a.m. For lunch, I've already cut and bagged veggie sticks for the Bear and I to grab on our way out the door. Finally, for dinners there will be roasted root vegetables which I've already roasted for Monday and plenty of veg on the side to accompany main dishes. My final secret helper is probably what may surprise you; spices. Yes, spices! There are all sorts of magic metabolism boosting powers with cayenne pepper, ginger, turmeric, even regular old black pepper. It may be cold outside, but if I can make it out a couple days to walk this week I think these added little helpers will help bring the scale back down! Here is the rundown:

Sunday 12/8            Chicken Caesar Salad Wraps with Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Monday 12/9          Quinoa with Roasted Root Vegetables and Sauteed Kale

Tuesday 12/10         Leftovers

Wednesday 12/11    Slow Cooker Tikki Masala with Steamed Broccoli

Thursday 12/12        Leftovers

No weekend meal plans for now as we will have two potential parties to attend next weekend. The list is short and sweet. While this is subject to change based on what I forget or may add to make things more alluring, here are some of the items you will need:

5-6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 bulb fennel
1 bag already chopped butternut squash (I purchased Green Giant)
2 parsnips
2 small sweet potatoes
1 bunch kale
1 bunch romaine
1 lemon
1 bunch cilantro
1 inch knob ginger root
1 onion
1 bulb garlic (if you do not have any from previous shopping excursions)
1 package gluten-free wraps (such as Sandwich Petals or Udi's)
1 box quinoa or 1 cup from the bulk section (I buy mine in bulk from Costco)
1 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
1 14.5 oz. can petite diced tomatoes
1 bag frozen broccoli florets
1 container light or fat-free sour cream
1 bag shredded Parmesan cheese

Pantry items you will need:

Extra virgin olive oil
Apple cider vinegar
Mayonnaise (only a small, small portion for some omega-3's)
Dijon mustard
Ground cumin
Garam masala
Garlic powder
Dried minced onion
Herbs Provence or dried Italian herbs
Salt and pepper

Have a great week! I look forward to sharing these recipes with you!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Make Ahead Kale & Sweet Corn Penne Bake

This is the one meal I am not making in my slow cooker this week, but it still was a make ahead dish. Over the summer, my sister's friend gave us mass quantities of shucked sweet corn. Yes, gallon size bags of pure Iowa gold. There is nothing like Iowa sweet corn kids. You other states might come close, but it will never compare to Iowa sweet corn.

Being I am one to savor and slowly use some of my favorite ingredients, I only pull this special corn out when I am missing the sweet flavors of summer. I had almost long forgotten about all of this corn until last week when my sister served up a large dish of none other than this very same sweet corn at Thanksgiving. My brain said, "Ding!" The lights went on. This recipe was born.

I'm sort of on a kale kick right now too. The Bear was not so sure about mixing kale with corn, but I think I won him over now that I've finally figured out how to properly cook kale. When I originally calculated the data into Weight Watcher's recipe builder this recipe tallied up to a whopping 10 points. Not so friendly unless you skimp on the rest of your meals for the day, use some anytime points, or swap activity points. I can't really teach while I'm hungry without turning into a crank. Something had to change. So, I cut the 8 oz. of cream cheese I usually use in some of my penne bakes to 4 oz. Voila! I cut out 3 points! This gluten-free, make ahead dish is now only 7 points per serving. Enough said my friends.

Make Ahead Kale and Sweet Corn Penne Bake
Makes 6 servings, 7 points per serving

Nonstick cooking spray
2 cups dry gluten-free penne pasta noodles
2 cups kale, hard stems removed and finely chopped
1 cup thawed frozen sweet corn
2 cups 2% milk
4 oz. 1/3 less fat cream cheese, melted (you can melt it very quickly in the microwave for 30-45 seconds)
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons dried minced onion
1 clove minced garlic
A sprinkle of salt and pepper
1 cup shredded 2% mozzarella cheese

Spray an 8-inch by 12-inch casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside. In a large bowl, toss together the pasta noodles, kale, and sweet corn. Set aside. In a small bowl, whisk together the milk, melted cream cheese, Parmesan cheese, dried onion, minced garlic, salt, and pepper until smooth and combine. Pour the sauce over the noodle mixture. Toss until coated. Pour and spread the noodle and sauce mixture into the casserole dish. Make sure everything is evenly distributed throughout the dish. Sprinkle the mozzarella over the pasta. Cover and store in the fridge or freezer until you are ready to bake and serve. Before baking, make sure you thaw the dish if you froze it. When you are ready to bake and serve, cover with foil. Bake at 375 for 40 minutes. Remove foil and bake for 5-10 minutes more or until the cheese begins to bubble in the middle and brown around the edges.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Slow Cooker Italian Chicken

Introducing the Sunday Sandwich Series for the month of December! I am also pleased to say that the bulk of this sandwich was all cooked in my Crock Pot yesterday while I prepped my other dishes for the week in freezer bags, got my breakfasts ready for the week, veggie bags made for lunches, cleaned, and did laundry. Hence the lack of posting last night when we finally sat down to eat, but I did get a lovely picture.

I made the chicken into this lovely Italian chicken sandwich by simply serving the chicken over bread with a little shredded 2% mozzarella cheese. I then popped the sandy into the oven and broiled it on low until the cheese began to melt. Easy, easy, easy. The total sandwich was only 6 points per serving. The chicken itself, only 3. Since breads can vary, I am only going to post the chicken recipe as it is super versatile and could be used in a pasta dish, served over rice, or over a sauteed kale as I did with the leftovers for my lunch today. One chicken recipe with tons of possibility. How great is that for the holiday season?

Slow Cooker Italian Chicken

1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast
1 145. oz can diced tomatoes
1 clove minced garlic
1/2 cup sliced banana peppers
2 tablespoons capers
2 tablespoons dried minced onion
1 clove minced garlic
Sprinkle of salt and pepper

Place all ingredients into your slow cooker. Cover and set on low for 6 hours. Remove lid and shred the chicken with two forks. Can be served as is, on a sandwich, over pasta, or whatever you like. The possibilities are endless!