Foods, Health and Disease, Lifestyle, Uncategorized

Crock pot Low-Carb and Gluten-Free Coq au Vin

Crock pot Low-Carb and Gluten-Free Coq au Vin

 

This tasty crock-pot or stove top coq au vin (chicken in red wine) recipe is low in carbohydrates and high in protein. It is a gluten-free and dairy-free dish that can be a one-pot meal, served with a green salad or steamed or roasted vegetables.

This is an excellent recipe through the winter months, starting it in the slow cooker in the morning so it is ready when you return home for dinner. It pairs well with sides of winter vegetables such as Brussels sprouts and broccoli. But if you are eating very low-carb, be sure to select the vegetables that are lower in carbohydrates. Carrot is often included in classic coq au vin, but is eliminated here because it is a root vegetable that is higher in carbohydrates.

If you are eliminating gluten, be sure to check that the chicken broth you use is gluten-free. Some brands may add gluten-containing ingredients such as wheat, but many are labeled as gluten-free for your convenience. Use real bacon bits or make your own crumbled bacon. If you use imitation bacon bits made from soy protein, ensure that they are labeled as gluten-free.

Cornstarch contributes most of the carbohydrate grams in this recipes. Most brands of cornstarch, including Argo and Clabber Girl, are gluten-free. Cornstarch is a common thickening agent used in gluten-free and dairy-free cooking.

Nutrition: Approximately 200 calories per serving, 34 grams protein, 2 grams fat, 3 grams carbohydrate.

Makes 6 servings

Chicken in Wine and Mushroom Sauce

 

Ingredients

  • 6 (5-ounce) boneless skinless chicken breasts (or equivalent amount of boneless skinless chicken tenders)
  • 1 1/2 cup chicken broth (fat-free and gluten free)
  • 3/4 cup red wine
  • 4 ounces mushrooms (sliced)
  • 8 pearl onions (or 1 cup of chopped green onions)
  • 1/2 teaspoon bacon bits (or artificial bacon bits)
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons cold water
  • salt and pepper to taste

Preparation

  • Crock-pot method: Place the chicken, chicken broth, wine, mushrooms, bacon bits, and thyme in a crock-pot on low for 4 to 8 hours.
  • Stove top method: In a large, deep saucepan, pot, or dutch oven, place the chicken, chicken broth, wine, mushrooms, bacon bits, and thyme and bring to a boil and then simmer for 15 to 20 minutes until the chicken is cooked through but still tender.
  • Remove the chicken, potatoes, and most of the mushrooms, keeping the liquid in the pan or crock-pot. If using a crock-pot, turn the crock-pot up to high.
  • In a cup, mix the cornstarch and cold water, then add it to the reserved liquid and stir.
  • Bring to a boil with stirring and cook the sauce until thickened. Season with salt and pepper as desired.
  • Serve each breast with one-sixth of the sauce.

Serving Suggestions and Notes

Serve with sides of steamed or roasted vegetables. Green vegetables such as broccoli, roasted Brussels sprouts, or snow peas make a colorful and appealing plate. If you prefer to serve it with a fresh salad, that makes a nice change of textures through the meal.

What you serve with this dish is very accommodating of different dietary needs. If you are eating gluten-free and are less concerned about carbs, you can enjoy this dish with rice or a potato to sop up the tasty sauce. Guests who are not concerned with gluten or carbs may enjoy this dish with a dinner roll as well.

Refrigerate any leftovers. You can enjoy leftovers for lunch or dinner the next day. Reheat them in the microwave for one minute or more per serving, until hot. The sauce may remain gel-shaped and less appealing in appearance, so it’s best for personal enjoyment rather than serving to guests or picky eaters.

You can freeze leftovers for later use, with the same caveat that the sauce may not be visually appealing once reheated.

 

Variations

If you are not aiming to reduce carbs, you can add 1 pound baby potatoes or potatoes cut into 1-inch cubes. Cook these with the chicken and other ingredients. This adds carbohydrates and calories but makes it into more of a traditional complete meal.

If you or your family or guests have an onion food allergy, you can leave them out. Fennel is a good substitute.

If you are using frozen chicken breasts or tenders, allow them to thaw in the refrigerator before adding them, especially if using the crock pot method. The frozen chicken might keep the temperature lower in the crock-pot for long enough for bacteria to grow.

 

 

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Diets and Weight Loss, Foods

Butternut Squash Soup in the Slow Cooker

butternutsoup

SLOW COOKER BUTTERNUT SQUASH SOUP

Enhanced by a bit of spice, this velvety soup gets its heft from the squash, onion and garlic, instead of relying on caloric cream and butter. Carotenoid-rich butternut squash is perhaps one of the most perfect fall superfoods, and any leftover cubes you might have are perfect for roasting and adding to salad.

YOU’LL NEED

8 cups butternut squash [peeled and chopped into 1″ cubes]

1 yellow onion, finely chopped

2 cloves of garlic, minced

32 ounces vegetable broth

⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper

½ teaspoon red chili flakes

½ teaspoon black pepper

½ teaspoon white pepper

3 sprigs fresh thyme

HOW TO MAKE IT

Peel and chop butternut squash into cubes about 1″ square.

Chop onion and mince garlic.

In a large crockpot, add squash, onions, garlic, thyme, and broth.

Add seasonings and use a spoon to stir them in.

Set temperature to low and cook for 4-6 hours, stirring occasionally. The soup is done when the squash is very fork tender

Using an immersion blender, puree the ingredients until smooth and all chunks have disappeared. If you don’t have an immersion blender, just pour the mixture into a regular blender [in 2 batches, if necessary] and blend until smooth.

Serve with fresh black pepper and a crusty baguette.

SERVES 6

118 calories, 1 g fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 489 mg sodium, 25 g carbs, 4 g fiber, 5 g sugars, 5 g protein

Foods

Crockpot Minestrone

springminestrone-3

Crockpot Minestrone

Yield: serves about 6-8

Total Time: 6-8 hours

Ingredients:

1 sweet onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
3 carrots, peeled and sliced
1 (28 ounce) can of diced tomatoes
2 (15 ounce) cans of cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
3 cups low-sodium vegetable stock
3 cups water
8 ounces of uncooked ditalini pasta
12 thin asparagus spears, stems removed and cut into thirds
1 cup of frozen sweet peas
1 (6 ounce) bag of fresh spinach
1/3 cup freshly grated romano cheese + more for topping
salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Add diced onions, garlic, carrots, the whole can of diced tomatoes, cannellini beans, stock and water to your crockpot. Cook on low for 4-6 hours, stirring once or twice if you can.

About 10-15 minutes before serving, add in asparagus (I like mine with some crunch, add it earlier if you want it softer), spinach, peas and pasta. Cook on low for another 10-15 minutes then stir in grated cheese. Taste and season with salt and pepper as desired. I used about a 1/2 teaspoon of each, but it will depend on the sodium levels in your stock, tomatoes, etc. Serve immediately with additional cheese on top!