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Creamy Chicken & Mushrooms with a White Balsamic Spinach Salad

Posted Apr 20 2011 6:48pm
This is my last major week of classes before finals! I have had tests, papers, and presentations, so I have been living off of leftovers for every meal. I wasn't going to have time to cook tonight, so I planned ahead for a crock pot dinner. I bought all of the ingredients on Saturday at the store, and since then I have been REALLY looking forward to this recipe. It comes from my new "Best Weight Loss Recipes" cookbook, the same one I got my recipe for  Goat Cheese Manicotti  from.

Three awesome things about this meal: 1. Creamy...enough said. 2. Mushrooms. I used to hate them, but now I think they're soooo good. I haven't cooked with them for a while, so I'm looking forward to it 3. Crock pot. I did all the prep for this before I went to class this morning (including my salad dressing), so tonight I can just throw everything on a plate and dinner is served.

I also threw in a recipe for a spinach salad that I love to make. If you've never tried white balsamic vinegar, I highly recommend you do. It is a lot lighter than regular balsamic, and it has a really fruity and sweet taste. I love vinegar (weird, I know), so it's a little bit vinegar intense. If you don't like it that acidic, just add some more oil, honey, etc.

Recipe Notes: I couldn't find quick cooking tapioca, but it just acts as a thickener. Corn starch was a good substitute. I also doubled the wine to get some more liquid in there. Fancy mushrooms are too expensive, so I just used plain white mushrooms. Since I taste everything before I eat it, I found that it was a little bit bland with the recipe alone. I added 1/4 tsp each of dried thyme, dried rosemary, and dried oregano leaves.

Creamy Chicken & Mushrooms

Ingredients1 Tbsp trans-free margarine
1/4 cup dry white wine
2 Tbsp quick cooking tapioca
2 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts, fat trimmed and halved
1 lb mixed fresh mushrooms (shiitake, cremini, or portobello), cut into smaller pieces if necessary
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
4 oz. fat free cream cheese

1. Coat 5 quart or larger slow cooker with margarine, leaving excess inside. Add wine and tapioca to cooker  and stir to dissolve.

2. Add chicken and mushrooms. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

3. Cover. Cook on low 7 hours. Stir well to combine and cook 1 hr more.

4. Stir in cream cheese and serve.

Servings: 4
Per serving: 359 Calories, 59 g protein, 16 g carbs, 2 g fiber, 6 g fat, 2 g sat fat, 571 mg sodium



White Balsamic Spinach Salad

4 cups fresh baby spinach
2 tbsp white balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
The juice from half a lemon
1/4-1/2 tsp honey to desired sweetness
A small squirt of dijon mustard (about 1/4 tsp)
S&P to taste
Any toppings you'd like. I love this one with chopped pecans/walnuts or toasted almonds and dried cranberries.

Combine all ingredients except spinach in a container that seals. Shake well. Pour dressing over spinach and toss to coat. **I think this recipe makes too much dressing, so just use what you like and save the rest in the fridge.

Taste Rating: 7
This has nothing to do with my taste, but my dish completely does NOT look like the picture in my cookbook. The one in the book is of course beautiful, with full pieces of chicken and a light colored sauce. My chicken completely fell apart when I added the cream cheese, so this turned into a sort of creamy shredded chicken mess. But aside from that, it tasted pretty good. Not my absolute favorite dish, but I would absolutely eat it again.

Easy Rating: 9
Crock pot meals are the best. Just throw everything into the pot, and let time do the rest. All I had to do was cut the mushrooms into quarters. So easy!

Overall Rating: 8
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