Slow Cooker Chicken with Tomatoes & Onion

Slow Cooker Chicken with Tomatoes & Onion

I am a wonderful meal prepper…when I have the motivation to do it. Some Sundays, I am running and raring to go, at least three days worth of breakfasts and lunches made for work in a two-hour span, neatly stacked in my fridge in coordinated containers. Other Sundays, I’m exhausted and think aloud, “I am going to rack up a lot of points on my Sweetgreen app this week.”

With this slow cooker recipe, I have no excuses not to meal prep. It’s all too easy!

Slow Cooker Chicken with Tomatoes & Onion

There isn’t much else to say, so I’ll let the photos speak for themselves. Tomatoes + Onions + boneless chicken breast = an amazing shredded chicken that gets you four meals, easily.

Get down on your knees and praise your slow cooker. Give it a nice big kiss, though preferably wait until it’s cool enough.


Slow Cooker Chicken with Tomatoes & Onion
(Yields 1 average-sized boneless chicken breast’s worth of shredded meat)


– 1 boneless & skinless chicken breast
– 1 15-ounce can chopped or diced tomato, with juices
– 1 large white or yellow onion, roughly cut
– 1/2 cup chicken broth or water
– Salt & pepper, to taste


1.) Add all ingredients to slow cooker and turn on to High. Cover and cook for 3 hours.

2.) Remove chicken from slow cooker. Shred chicken with two forks. Add shredded chicken back to slow cooker and stir into tomato and onion mixture. Cook for an additional 15 minutes before turning off slow cooker.

3.) Eat immediately! If storing for meal prep, place chicken in container(s) along with some of the tomato and onion mixture to keep the chicken moist, and allow to cool slightly before placing in fridge. Chicken should stay edible for up to five days.

hello fresh product review

Product Review – Hello, Fresh!

If there is one thing that this blog and its accompanying social media outlets have proven, it’s that I know how to develop and create some great recipes. I’m not trying to be self-congratulatory (HA!), but I’m just stating a fact. Still, with recipe development comes the inevitable stages of trial and error. As much as I don’t want to admit this, I have definitely bought too many products that I have wasted. If I buy too much hamburger meat, I’ll wrap it up and freeze it, thinking to myself, “I can thaw this in a month and make some meatballs or toss it into some chili!” Six months later, I’ll come across that frozen aluminum-foiled covered brick beneath my pint of Sea Salt Caramel Talenti, heave a heavy sigh, and pitch it into my trash bin. So many zucchinis and avocados have met their unfortunate end in my kitchen, though I can only hope that my composting has given them a second life someplace else. I don’t like to waste food, and I’m sure I’m currently preaching to the choir. I try as hard as I can to buy what I use and use all that I have. Still…I’m not always perfect.

Hello Fresh, I welcome you with opened arms.

Hello Fresh is fantastic because it’s fool-proof and efficient. I recently received three meals from them: Steak and Brussels Sprout Stir-Fry, Spicy Pork and Kale Soup with Udon Noodles, and Cauliflower Pancetta Mac and Cheese.

hello fresh product review

Post-election, without getting too preachy, virtually all of my friends were feeling rather down and out about the state of our country. With all of these boxes of food and my stomach, unfortunately, not big enough to ingest it all by myself, I thought, “Wouldn’t a little potluck meal boost our collective spirits a bit?”

As for the Spicy Pork & Kale Soup, I kept that for myself. However, I decided to break out the Steak and Brussels Sprout Stir-Fry and the Cauliflower Pancetta Mac and Cheese to share with the masses, complemented with an array of roasted vegetables and additional jasmine rice on the side. Also…mimosas. We had a LOT of mimosas. Ha! (Hey, it was Saturday afternoon. It’s all good.) And should I mention the vegan apple cider donuts and (non-vegan) chocolate donuts I ALSO made? I think it goes without saying that my calves were killin’ me the next day! Cooking for multiple hours while entertaining is strength and cardio. *phew*

hello fresh product review

I am a very concrete person, so I loved two things about these Hello Fresh boxes. One, the colorful and informative instructions left little to question. I appreciate transparency and clarity in recipes. Hell, I’ve looked back at old recipes of mine on this blog and have edited them after thinking, “…wait? Does that make sense?”

hello fresh product review

Two, the ingredient portions were exact, so no ingredient was wasted. It was all down to a T! In the mac and cheese box, I literally got one tablespoon of flour to make the roux with! I appreciated exact vegetable and meat portions, especially. Nothing was wasted, which made me feel good.

hello fresh product review

As for the taste? Superb! Well-developed recipes with exact ingredients and precise directions beget a perfectly seasoned dish. If you follow what’s written, you’re guaranteed to consume a delicious meal!

hello fresh product review

My wonderful yet voracious friends ate all of the mac and cheese before I could photograph it, and I can’t even be mad at them. Ha! It was collectively inhaled! As for the stir-fry, everyone was very pleased, as well. The meat was tender, the vegetables obtained a nice smoky char, and it wasn’t overwhelmingly salty, even with the addition of soy sauce.

While I am all about making my own meals about 99.99% of the time, I don’t think I’d necessarily discount using Hello Fresh again in the future! Some of the meals they put together are unique and have ingredients that I can’t easily get at my well-stocked C-Town. (i.e.: My C-Town does not have a single udon noodle in sight. Ha!) As I type this, I’m perusing their menu for next week. I’m seeing gems like Pork Larb over Jade Rice and Tuscan Ribollita. Wow! Rather than search high and low for a single Thai chili pepper or waste money on an entire bottle of sesame oil that I’d rarely use, I could get it all, perfectly portioned, in one box.

Ahhhhh, wonderful simplicity! It doesn’t get much better than that.

hello fresh product review

A smattering of my friends digging into the Hello Fresh potluck, with mimosas and donut ingredients in the foreground, and one friend practicing her yoga n the background. It’s always good to stay centered prior to a big meal!

– – – –

DISCLOSURE: The fine folks at Hello Fresh provided me with complimentary meal boxes to cook and review. I’d like to thank them for their generosity and making the stomachs of quite a few people very full and happy. All opinions shared in this post are my own.

pork stuffed baked apples

Pork-Stuffed Baked Apples

Perhaps it was the fact that I was at my alma mater, Bay Path University, for 10 year college reunion this weekend – I’m an undergrad alum for the Class of 2006, a graduate alum for the Class of 2014, and $47k in the hole with SoFi. Ha! – but as I was taking that long boring bus ride back from Hartford to Manhattan, I was conjuring up all sorts of ideas for new recipes. Perhaps being back at school stimulated the ol’ brain synapses. I can’t tell you what spurred this idea. I was simply playing a matching game within my head. I thought, “Apples…pork…pork chops? No. That works, but I need to do something more interesting. Maybe sausage and apples? Maybe I could find ground sausage to stuff inside of the apples? YEAH!” Admittedly, I realized that I had started to talk aloud to myself as I caught a fellow busmate giving me a marginally amused sideways glance.

pork stuffed baked apples

As I arrived back in Manhattan 20 minutes ahead of schedule, I still had a long ride home; when you live above 168th Street and the A Train isn’t running above 168th, that makes for a fun commute home. *myeh* By the time I got to my beloved C-Town, there was no ground sausage to be found and the cheap price of ground pork made me say, “Whatever! I’ll dress this up my own way.” (i.e.: I was actually cranky, hangry, and not in the mood to shop around.) After I ascended the stairs to my 4th floor walk-up with my backpack, my overstuffed Madewell tote, and two grocery bags, I was feeling bushed yet inspired to create this recipe. I was surprised how quickly this meal came together! From start to finish, this took about 45-ish minutes, and its 30 minute baking time was perfect; I took a post-travel nap and let my iPhone’s alarm wake me up. Let’s be honest: What’s better than waking up to hot food?

pork stuffed baked apples

Okay, perhaps a few things, but this is what worked for me at the time. Ha!

pork stuffed baked apples

(P.S.: Please forgive the mediocrity of these photos. My professional camera’s card went a little wackadoo after I had already started to prep and bake, so I did the best I could with my iPhone 6S and decent-enough natural lighting. Haaa. I’m hoping to re-shoot more salivary gland-inducing photos in the near future.)

Pork-Stuffed Baked Apples
(Makes 4 – 6 servings)


– 2 – 3 large baking apples (I used Rome)
– 3/4 pound ground pork
– 3/4 cup carrot, finely diced
– 1/4 turnip, finely diced
– 1 clove garlic, minced
– 1 teaspoon salt
– 2 teaspoons honey
– 1 tablespoon olive oil or butter

Before We Get Started…

– I used turnip in this recipe merely to switch things up a bit; I would have probably used celery if I had any, but I didn’t, nor did I want to buy a big bag! That being said, you can switch up the turnip for celery, if you have it.

– I highest suggest using Rome apples; they yield a soft flesh when cooked for 30 minutes, but still hold their shape when cut into.

– If any pork mixture remains, store in the refrigerator for future use; if you don’t use it in apples, its great added into tomatoes for a makeshift tomato sauce!


1.) Preheat oven to 375°F.

2.) In a large frying pan, cook pork over medium to medium-high heat; allow to cook through completely and break up until finely crumbled. If there is excess fat, drain, if preferred.

3.) While the pork is cooking, cook carrot, turnip, and garlic in olive oil or butter over medium heat for approximately 5 minutes or until vegetables have softened. If vegetables start to turn brown, reduce heat.

4.) When vegetables are finished cooking, add to pork mixture, along with salt and honey. Mix until thoroughly combined.

5.) To prepare apples, leave skins on and slice in half. Scoop out seeds with a spoon, and continue to scoop out enough apple to allow pork to be stuffed into it. Once scooped, carefully spoon pork mixture into apples, being sure to fill the space.

6.) Place in oven and bake for 30 minutes. Remove and eat immediately; store any leftovers! (This is meal that does save well for some work day lunches!)

slow cooker carolina style pulled pork

Slow Cooker Pulled Pork

This Christmas, Santa blessed me with two staples of every amazing kitchen: A Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer and a slow cooker. Here I was, for years, mixing batters with an electric mixer, or by hand, like a sucker. Oh, and who knew I could just plop three pounds of meat into a metal pot, pour some broth and spices onto it, turn a switch, walk away, then have a meal six hours later?

Amazing times we live in.

I do have to laugh, because I am a person that adores cooking and going through the process, no matter how lengthy it may be. Trust me: I’ve spent 2+ hours on certain mornings just to make eight bagels. For years, I thought creating meals in a slow cooker was an easy way out. I’ve learned better. Just as I love to make soups en masse to freeze so I’ll have some lunches for the weeks ahead, I can use my slow cooker to make meals with purposeful leftovers at a low cost. For this recipe, the only items I needed to buy were the pork butt, apple cider vinegar, and tomato sauce. Those three items cost me $8.33, and with about six cups of pulled pork yielded, that knocks it down to about $1.38 a cup! (Note: In true NYC fashion, I got the vinegar and tomato sauce, both Goya, from my local bodega for $1.89 combined, the transaction completed while the new bodega cat weaved in and out of my legs.)

On the day I chose to take the ol’ girl out for a spin for the first time, this lil’ guy named Jonas came to visit, but he was kind of rude and made me spend a lot of my day inside.


Well, I really can’t complain about cooking this up, can I?

slow cooker carolina style pulled pork

slow cooker carolina style pulled pork

slow cooker carolina style pulled pork

slow cooker carolina style pulled pork

Props to my roommate Sally’s mother for sending along some ideas for rubs and sauces. This pig did not die in vain. Our stomachs gave it a very happy home.

Slow Cooker Pulled Pork
(Makes…a lot of servings [roughly 6 cups])


– 2 – 3 pounds pork butt (shoulder), bone-in or boneless

– 2 tablespoons chili powder
– 1 tablespoon ground cumin
– 2 tablespoons brown sugar
– 1 teaspoon garlic powder
– 1 tablespoon paprika
– 1 tablespoon salt
– 1 teaspoon ground pepper


– 1 & 1/2 cups apple cider vinegar
– 1/2 cup tomato sauce
– 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
– 1 tablespoon sugar
– 1 tablespoon brown sugar
– 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
– 1 teaspoon salt
– 1 teaspoon ground pepper

Before We Get Started…

– The measurements in this recipe can be adjusted; the measurements in this recipe are suited to accommodate those using a 3-quart slow cooker.

– The rub can be applied right before cooking, though I highly suggest applying the rub and letting the pork sit for at least four hours, preferably overnight.


1.) Place pork shoulder on cutting board; if using a bone-in pork shoulder and are planing to leave the fat layer on the pork, score with a knife. Otherwise, discard outer fat layer. If using boneless pork shoulder, cut into several large pieces, roughly fist-sized.

2.) Combine all dry rub ingredients in a small bowl. Apply rub to pork, thoroughly covering the surface. Allow pork to sit for at least four hours before cooking. (See note in Before We Get Started… for rub suggestions.)

3.) In a large bowl, combine all sauce ingredients and whisk until incorporated.

4.) Place pork in slow cooker; pour sauce on top of pork. Cover with top. Turn slow cooker on high and cook for six to seven hours.

5.) Carefully remove pork from slow cooker and place into a large bowl; allow to cool for 15 minutes. Use two forks to shred pork apart; discard of any larger pieces of fat. Bone, if bone-in pork is being used, can be discarded or saved for other uses (bone broth, et al).

6.) Ladle 1 to 1 & 1/2 cups of the remaining sauce remaining in the slow cooker onto the pork and allow to sit.

7.) Serve pulled pork as you please!

Roasted Brussels Sprout with Pancetta & Pomegranate Glaze

It’s amazing what a little high heat will do to a Brussels Sprout. It turns it from horrible to heavenly in a matter of twenty minutes!*

I do enjoy injecting my blog posts with the major food traumas of my childhood. This installment is as follows: When I was a child, my mother used to boil them. I hated them, but managed to eat a few to placate her, because, of course, I wanted to get dessert afterwards. I was trying to fulfill the role of the “Good Girl That Finished Her Vegetables at Dinner”. (Priorities.) I’d pull the leaves off, douse them in salt and butter, and eat the leaves individually. (My pickniess knew no bounds.) One time, when I was approximately seven or eight, I pulled off a leaf and found a small dead bug. I did not eat Brussels Sprouts again until 2011, when a trip to Jones Woods Foundry on the Upper East Side reintroduced me this mortal food enemy of mine. I soon discovered, at the then-ripe ol’ age of twenty-seven, that a different way of cooking said sprouts could transform them in ways I never could have dreamed up!


Loading them with crispy pancetta and roasted tomatoes atop a sizzling cast iron plate sure helped, as well.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts have turned into one of my go-to dinner staples when I’m cooking this time of year. They’re quick, they’re tasty, they go with virtually any meat or grain, and I can finally use my oven at high heat without my roommates and I sweating to death.


Pancetta adds a nice salty and savory bite to counter the smoky carmalizn of the sprouts. I’ve seen many people mix in pomegranate arils to their roasted sprouts, but, a few months ago, I whipped up a batch of pomegranate molasses after trying some at Semsom. (Back story: I was participating in an hummus-making contest. Ahhh, the life of a NY Food Lover…) It’s been sitting in my fridge since I made it last August. I’m glad I finally found a use for it, because a drizzle of it on your sprouts brings them to the next level.


At least, now, if there are still little buggies hiding in my sprout leaves, I’ll never know after I roast ’em. Haaa.

* – And perhaps that statement is a bit subjective, but I’m sticking to it.

Roasted Brussels Sprout with Pancetta & Pomegranate Glaze
(Serves 2 as a side dish)


Brussels Sprouts:

– 16 Brussels Sprouts, ends cut and halved
– 4 pieces of pancetta, cooked and crumbled
– Olive oil, enough to coat sprouts
– Salt and pepper to taste

Pomegranate Molasses:

– 4 cups pomegranate juice
– 1/2 cup sugar
– Juice of one lemon

Before We Get Started…

– There will be enough pomegranate molasses left over for other uses. (Lucky you!) After using the molasses for this recipe, place the remainder in a jar and refrigerate. Store chilled.


1.) To create pomegranate molasses, combine juices and sugar in a large pot. Cook on medium heat until sugar has dissolved. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 45 – 60 minutes, or until the mixture has reduced by approximately half. Remove from heat. Note: Cooking for 45 minutes will produce a thinner syrup, while cooking closer to 60 minutes will produce a thicker molasses.

2.) Preheat oven to 400°F. On large baking sheet, toss Brussels Sprouts with olive oil, salt, and pepper to taste. Place in oven and bake for approximately 20 minutes, or until sprouts are browned and tender.

3.) While sprouts are in the oven, cook pancetta in frying pan until crisp. Place on paper towel to drain, then crumble. Set aside.

4.) In a large bowl, toss sprouts with pancetta. Drizzle with pomegranate molasses to taste. Note: The flavor of the molasses is concentrated; start with a tablespoon and add more until optimal flavor is reached.