Buffalo Chicken Chili {5 WW+ Dinner}

When I saw this recipe it reminded me so much of the buffalo chicken dip I made for a friend's girls night in and I had to try it. Now as soon as I put it on my menu for the week I knew that my husband wouldn't like it. But there are quite a few recipes that I pass on because my husband won't like it. So while doing this challenge I figured why not try a recipe I wanted to eat. Something just for me. And this definitely was that recipe.

I was right. The hubs decided to order a pizza instead of trying a bite of this chili but I enjoyed a huge bowl. It was spicy, flavorful and creamy. I added greek yogurt and frozen corn kernels instead of the original recipe's creamed corn, and I also included some mozzerella cheese to the mix at the end for some added creaminess. I think I might try this again and add more chicken and some cream cheese to the mix . But I'll wait till I have my girlfriends over so my husband won't have to order another pizza.

Inspiration: Taste & See

Buffalo Chicken Chili
  • 2 frozen chicken breasts
  • 1/2 bottle Franks red hot sauce
  • 1 cup corn
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 cup salsa
  • 2 cans tomato sauce
  • 1 can beans of your choice (I used pinto)
  • 1 can diced green chilies 
  • 1/2 cup plain greek yogurt
  • 1 cup shredded light mozzarella cheese

Add all ingredients except yogurt and cheese to the slow cooker and cook on low for 8 hours. Take chicken out and shred, add back in and include greek yogurt and cheese to the chili. Stir well and let cook another 15-30 minutes.

Serve with celery, a nice baguette, tortilla chips or anything else you might have on hand. I enjoyed using my celery as a spoon to eat my bowl. Kept me away from the extra carbs...

Serves 6 | 5 WW+ Points

Slow Cooker Chicken & Dumplings {9 WW+ Dinner}

What's been great about this challenge so far is the fact that we've had dinner on the table by 6pm every night this week! It's totally awesome. And I know exactly what we're going to have without scavenging through the pantry and fridge to come up with a last minute meal. This has been helpful both in the weight loss department and in the stress department. When all of your family members are hungry at the same time each day and you don't have something to give to them to satiate that hunger you have a lot of whine to deal with.

What's not so great? The lighting in our house now that Daylight Savings Time has entered the picture. I used to be able to get semi-decent shots of my meals without the use of a light box or other contraption. Now it looks like I may have to invest in something in order to bring you delicious looking foods to crave... unless this does it for you. What do you think? Would you make this meal based on the pictures and title alone?

Oh, and a small word about the actual dish we ate... I don't recall ever eating chicken and dumplings before. Chicken pot pie, sure... but not chicken and dumplings (Mom, I'm sure you can confirm or deny this for me) and I have to tell you this was mighty tasty! Creamy, bready goodness. All of the great things about pot pie and biscuits and yummy warmth radiating from this dish. Mmmm!

Inspiration: Rachel Ray Magazine via Campbells

Slow Cooker Chicken & Dumplings
  • 4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
  • 1 medium Yukon gold potato, cut into 1-inch pieces (about 1 cup)
  • 1 cup whole baby carrots
  • 2 stalks celery, sliced (about 1 cup)
  • 1 can Campbell's® 98% Fat Free Condensed Cream of Chicken Soup
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves, crushed
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 cups Trader Joe's all-purpose baking mix
  • 1/3 cup milk
Place the chicken, potatoes, carrots and celery into a 6-quart slow cooker.
Stir the soup, water, thyme and black pepper in a small bowl. Pour the soup mixture over the chicken and vegetables.

Cover and cook on low for 6 to 7 hours* or until the chicken is cooked through.

Stir the baking mix and milk in a medium bowl. Drop the batter by spoonfuls onto the chicken mixture. Increase the heat to HIGH. Tilt the lid to vent and cook for 30-45 minutes or until the dumplings are cooked in the center.

*Or on high for 3 to 4 hours.

Serves 4 | 9 WW+ Points

The difference between daylight pictures and nighttime pictures in my house... The picture above is when I started my slow cooker (about mid-day) and the picture below is when we ate dinner at 6pm. Dark outside and no good light in the home :(

Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Sandwiches {8 WW+ Dinner}

When  I joined the slow cooker challenge I knew I wanted to try out a new pulled pork recipe. Pulled pork is one of those slow cooker dishes that our family just loves. And left overs are met with happy smiles! The reason why I love this recipe so much is the lack of barbecue sauce needed. You essentially make your own with all of the ingredients and are actually left with a little liquid in the cooker when everything is done cooking. This makes for a moist and very tender meat that is absolutely delicious! I usually brown my meat before cooking it to give it more texture but didn't have time and it still turned out great.

Inspiration: Two Peas and Their Pod

Slow Cooker Pulled Pork
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1/3 cup cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoons black pepper
  • 2 pounds pork loin
  • 8 whole wheat buns
Combine all of the ingredients except the pork and the buns in a large slow cooker. Stir together with a spoon until well combined. Add the pork and place the lid on the slow cooker. Cook for 8 hours on low or until pork is tender and easily pulls apart.

Take two forks and shred the pork. Place the pork back into the slow cooker with the remaining sauce. Stir well and serve on rolls or buns.

Serves 8 | 8 WW+ Points (includes bun)

Slow Cooker Red Wine Braised Short Ribs {6 WW+ Dinner}

On the last visit to Costco  we left with some boneless short ribs in our cart. I have no idea how they got there but knew I had to find a recipe to cook them up. My husband went in search of the perfect recipe and found a great one in our America's Test Kitchen cookbook. He kept mentioning it and finally I was ready to try it out. Too bad I didn't fully read the recipe before commiting to making it. I would have found out that we needed bone-in ribs, not boneless. And I forgot to cut the ribs smaller. And had no celery or carrots on hand. Oy!

In the end, with all odds against me, I was happy with what the end results was. The meat was tender, had amazing flavor, and was the perfect portion. I served the ribs over brown rice and included the veggies with the sauce instead of discarding them because they tasted delicious. But if you try the original recipe with carrots and celery you might want to discard and serve with your favorite steamed or roasted veggie (or a great salad!).

Inspiration: America's Test Kitchen via The Little Kitchen

Slow Cooker Red Wine Braised Short Ribs
  • 2 pounds boneless short ribs, cut into 3" pieces
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 onions, chopped medium
  • 1 zucchini, chopped medium
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup dry red wine
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 bay leaves

Dry short ribs with paper towels and season with salt and pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in 12‑inch skillet over medium-high heat until just smoking. Brown short ribs well on all sides, 7 to 10 minutes; transfer to slow cooker.

Add onions, zucchini, garlic, , tomato paste, and thyme to fat in skillet and cook over medium-high heat until onions are softened and lightly browned, 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in flour and cook for 1 minute. Slowly whisk in wine and vinegar, scraping up any browned bits and smoothing out any lumps. Bring to simmer and cook until reduced to 1 cup, about 5 minutes; transfer to slow cooker.

Stir broth and bay leaves into slow cooker. Cover and cook until beef is tender, 9 to 11 hours on low or 5 to 7 hours on high.

Transfer short ribs to serving platter and tent loosely with aluminum foil. Let braising liquid settle for 5 minutes, then remove fat from surface using large spoon. Strain braising liquid, discarding solids, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir in parsley. Spoon 1 cup sauce over short ribs and serve with remaining sauce.

Serves 8 | 6 WW+ Points

A Preview of My #SlowCookerChallenge Menu

Next week I'll be attempting something I've never done before. Using my slow cooker to make one meal every day of the week! That's right. 7 days in a row. No eating out, no "I don't know what we're going to have tonight." I'll have each day planned out. And hopefully lunch ready for the next day! Each meal will be turned into Weight Watcher friendly options and I'll try not to exceed 10 points per meal unless it's REALLY delicious and worth it.

I thought I'd share my menu with you before the challenge starts. That way if you're inspired and want to join in on the challenge you have time to prepare!The challenge will run from this Monday, November 7th to Sunday, November 13th and if you're interested in joining check out our Facebook group. I'll include a linky with the names of the other blogs participating in the challenge on Monday. You can check out their progress the following Monday when we all update with our results.

Stay tuned to see if I'm able to stick with it! This will be a monthly event so if you're not ready this month but want to participate next month jump on board!

Slow Cooker Challenge #1 Menu

Red Wine Braised Short Ribs 
Chicken & Dumplings
Barbecue Pulled Pork
Crock Pot Bacon & Cheese Chicken
Ham and Potato Soup
Slow Cooker Meatloaf
Buffalo Chicken Chili

Do you have any awesome slow cooker recipes to share? I'd love links and recipes to save for upcoming challenges! I've even started to add some of my favorites to my slow cooker Pinterest board.


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