Easy Shredded Chicken

If you like to cook in bulk, you'll love this! You can cook up a whole batch of boneless skinless chicken breast and have it shredded and ready to throw on a salad, in soup, or season up for whatever you'd like to eat.

Use your mixer! I use my kitchenaid mixer but a hand mixer will also work. I can throw the hot cooked chicken breasts right in and the mixer shreds them up easily. The key is to do quick bursts of the mixer, don't just turn it on full blast or it'll throw the chicken right out of the bowl. If you're doing a large batch, put just a few breasts in at once, pulse it until you like the level of shredding, then dump it into a large bowl to the side and do the next few breasts. Repeat until it's all shredded.

You can cook large batches of chicken in a crock pot, but it takes hours to cook them. Still better than boiling, but not super fast.

THEN I got my Instant Pot. Hello! Now I don't even have to deal with boiling chicken anymore OR waiting on the crock pot! I can cook 5 lbs of chicken at once - I just throw it in the instant pot with some water, set it to pressure cook for 15 minutes, and walk away.

I actually keep cooked, shredded chicken in my freezer now so I can use it in recipes as needed. I even keep some seasoned with taco seasoning to use on a taco salad or in a lettuce wrap. So convenient!

Some recipes from this blog that you can make with precooked shredded chicken:

Chicken Fajita (P3)
Chicken Apple Slaw (P2)
Chicken Spinach Tomato Soup (P2)
Enchilada (just sub chicken for beef) (P2)
Chicken Soup (P2)
Chicken Chili (P2)
Chicken Salad (P3)

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P3 Marble Cheesecake

My dad made this cheesecake and it is fantastic! He said it's important to taste the batter before you pour it, to make sure it's sweet enough. This recipe shows exactly what he did so hopefully it will turn out as good for you as it did for him.

Sugar-Free Marble Cheesecake

Preheat oven to 350.

For crust:

1 cup Pecans, chopped
1/2 cup Walnuts, chopped
1/8 cup Erythritol
2 Tbsp Butter, melted

Process all ingredients in a food processor and mix until well blended. Press into the bottom of a springform pan. It will be very thin.

Bake at 350 degrees for 5 minutes. Cool.

For filling:

2   8oz pkgs Cream Cheese, at room temperature
1 cup Erythritol
1 tsp Salt
1 ½ tsp Vanilla
1 tsp Lemon Juice
16 oz  Sour Cream
3 Eggs, at room temperature

Beat all ingredients, except the eggs, with an electric mixer until creamy. Add eggs one at a time until blended.

Reserve one cup of batter for marbling. Pour the rest into the springform pan.

Add 1 tsp Cocoa Powder and about 1/4 cup Erythritol (to taste) to the reserved batter. Spoon chocolate batter onto plain batter and drag a knife through to make a marbled pattern.

Place a pan with a couple of cups of water in it on the lower rack, underneath the rack where you will place your cheesecake. Bake cheesecake at 350 for 1 hour, then turn off the oven and leave the cheesecake in for one more hour before removing it.

Let it cool, and then refrigerate at least two hours until completely chilled.

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P3 Barbacoa-style Shredded Beef

I have fallen in love with Chipotle's barbacoa but it's so hard to go in there and resist the beans and rice, which are not HCG-Friendly. So here is a delicious recipe to make your own barbacoa at home!

Barbacoa-style Shredded Beef

Start with a chuck roast. Anywhere between 2-4 lbs is fine. I usually go for bigger because I like leftovers to make more meals. Cut it in half and trim most of the visible fat. Place in slow cooker.

In food processor or vitamix, puree the following:
1/2 Onion
1/4 cup Lime Juice
1/4 cup Tomato Paste
4 cloves Garlic
1 1/2 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
2 tsp Cumin
2 tsp Salt
1 tsp Oregano
1 tsp Cloves or Allspice
Pour the puree over the roast in the slow cooker. Pour about a cup of Beef Broth on top, and drop a few Bay Leaves.

Cook on low for 7 hours. When it's done, shred it with two forks and put it back into the amazing sauce in the slow cooker that was created during cooking. Keep on low for another couple of hours to really soak up the flavor of the sauce. 

Serve! I've had it plain, in a burrito bowl like Chipotle, on a salad, in soup, the list goes on and I will be blogging some of my ideas here in the future. Enjoy!

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P3 Creamy Garlic Salad Dressing

This dressing is very much like a caesar dressing, but it is vegetarian. I love it with lots of garlic!

I feel comfortable using this dressing on P2, in place of my milk allowance, but that it something you'll need to decide for yourself and test to make sure it doesn't cause a gain for you. It should be fine on P3 though for sure.

Creamy Garlic Salad Dressing

1 cup Mayonnaise (I use Hain Safflower Mayo)
2 Tbsp Lemon Juice (juice of one lemon)
2 cloves Garlic (or more) minced
1 tsp Worcestershire Sauce
1 tsp Dijon Mustard
1/2 tsp Salt (or more, to taste)
1/4 tsp Black Pepper

Mix all ingredients well and refrigerate. It tastes best if it's made a little ahead of time.

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Preparing Food in Advance for Phase 2 and Phase 3

Most of the recipes in this blog are for a single meal, but many can be made in larger batches and then divided up into multiples meals that will be ready to heat and eat.

Phase 2 is often one of the more challenging times since your portions and ingredients are so restricted that you are probably cooking your own food and then may also be cooking for your family.

You can go ahead and mix up a pound of ground beef into meatballs, and then either cook them all and save them to be reheated, or freeze them raw and then bake them until done for a meal.  The same goes for meatloaf.  I made a batch of chicken soup and saved enough for three more meals.  Chili would work well for that, and even the sauce for zucchini spaghetti.

One of my favorite time-savers is to portion out my meat ahead of time so I can just cook it up without having to weigh it out.

Ground beef is great because you can get a package of it and weight it out, form it into balls or patties and freeze it for later use.  Then take out a couple at a time and put them in the fridge to thaw so they're redy to go when you're ready to cook.

I have also cooked a roast, then shredded it up while still hot so the fat separates easily, and portioned it into containers for individual meals.  The same idea works well for chicken breasts.

I have a hard time getting motivated to make myself a salad - when not on P2 and restricting how many/much goes in, I want a really hearty salad with lots of different things. I like to chop up lots of veggies, but it's time-consuming to get them all out, chop, etc. I don't usually want to do it just for myself. BUT if I can make a bunch of salads at once, it's totally worth it. I saw this idea on pinterest one day and loved it. It works great for me and the salads easily last at least a week in my fridge.

What have you made ahead or in larger portions?

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P3 Chicken Parm Bites

The chicken parm recipe may be our family's most often-revisited recipe from this blog. It just tastes so good you'd have no idea it was low-carb if someone didn't tell you. I love to make spaghetti sauce, noodle up some zucchini with my awesome spirooli slicer, and have this with it. Delicious.

We started cutting the chicken into chunks to make them all about the same size to aid in cooking, and then our kids started calling them chicken nuggets, and eating them. I don't know why they aren't as into chicken strips but whatever works!

Chicken Parmesan Bites

~1 lb Chicken Breast tenders (I used nine) cut into bite-size chunks
1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese, grated
1/4 cup Almond Meal
1/2 Tbsp Oregano
1/2 Tbsp Basil
1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
1/2 tsp Onion Powder
1 Egg, beaten
3 Tbsp Olive Oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix all dry ingredients in one bowl, and beat egg in a separate bowl. Dip chicken pieces in egg, and then into breading. Set onto baking sheet while oil heats. Heat olive oil to about medium high. Brown breaded chicken on both sides in hot oil, then place in a baking dish. Bake until chicken is cooked through, about 20-25 minutes.

The trick to the zucchini noodles is this amazing spirooli slicer.  You don't have to peel the zucchini first but I prefer it peeled.  Stick it in the slicer with the smallest blade inserted, and spin!

Awesome zucchini noodles!  I slice my zucchini vertically, about halfway through so I get a bunch of half-curls.  Spoon hot sauce over them and you almost forget you aren't eating pasta.

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P3 Stir Fry Chicken and Veggies

This is one of those meals that makes me forget I'm trying to any sort of low carb diet! It's so tasty and filling. And with the cauliflower "rice" I don't even miss the white rice my family is eating.

Mix the following sauce in a glass bowl:
2-3 cloves Garlic, minced
2 Tbsp Oil
4 Tbsp Bragg's, Tamari or Soy Sauce

1/4 tsp Black Pepper

Cut up chicken breast into bite-sized pieces - I use about 5-6 chicken tenders - mix with the sauce and let it marinate while you prepare the other stuff.

Heat 3 Tbsp oil in wok or large pan on medium high. (I like to use sesame oil but whatever kind is fine.)  Stir fry veggies -I like to do onion, bell pepper and broccoli.  Remove veggies to a separate bowl. Stir fry the marinated chicken in the pan until the chicken is done. Throw the veggies back in and stir to coat with sauce.  Serve over cauliflower rice.

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