I’ve talked before about the wonders of the crock pot. Or, the slow cooker. Whatever you call it, it’s damn convenient because you can pile all of your ingredients into what is essentially a giant bowl, press a few buttons, set a timer and forget it is there until you’re ready to eat or store it. This comes in handy for me because though I currently work from home, I find myself with a bit of a time management issue.
You know the expression, “the grass is always greener?” Well. Ha. Let’s talk about that. When I worked in a cubicle, I fantasized about working from a home office, where I could clean in between conference calls, start dinner at four pm if it would take an especially long time to cook and make the six o’clock classes at my gym since I wouldn’t have to slog through an hour commute when I was finished working for the day.
Let me preface this by saying that I love working from home. Though at times I long for the structure of a work day and an environment where there are, you know, other people to talk to, I consider myself quite lucky to set my own schedule and manage my own workload. However, the working-from-home fantasy that I derived when I worked in an office? Not so accurate.
When I worked at an office, I enjoyed my job but I felt that there were never enough hours in the day. I was constantly leaving things uncrossed on my personal to-do lists because I’d had to work later than I’d planned and no matter how hard I tried to cram everything in, I was falling asleep working on a freelance article or I was promising myself to volunteer for an organization I cared about knowing deep inside that I would never have time to fulfill my commitment. I thought that when I worked from home, the two hours I was no longer spending commuting would avail me of all the time in the world to keep my apartment spotless, my laundry folded, my good deeds done and that I would be able to fall asleep each night dreaming of my own productivity.
Not so much.
Those two extra hours from the non-existent commute? I don’t know exactly where they go each day. Sure, there are days when I’m focused on a writing project or media outreach for a client and the hours fly. No matter how hard I work though, I never feel like I’ve done enough. I never feel like I’m ready to sign off at 5, 6 or 7pm to close my computer for the night and enjoy a relaxing evening. I have a fervent need to be connected to the internet constantly, always in fear that if I disconnect, I’ll miss something important. What exactly? I don’t know.
Though a lot of people are comfortable leaving their crock pot on all day, my lack of renters insurance leaves me a little too paranoid to leave the appliance plugged in if I’m away for more than a quick errand or meeting. For homebound days, this is my favorite recipe to throw together. If you’re like me and the thought of leaving the house with a plugged in heat source on your counter for ten hours makes you anxious, make this in the evening so it cooks overnight and then pop it in the fridge in the morning before you leave work – just reheat in the microwave or stovetop when you’re ready to eat dinner. Bonus: it’s generally pretty healthy too, unless of course you add cheese, sour cream and avocado as I like to do.
Crock Pot Santa Fe Chicken
What You Need:
14.4 oz can fat free chicken broth
15 oz can black beans
8 oz frozen corn
14.4 oz can diced tomatoes with mild green chilies
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
3 scallions, chopped
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp cayenne pepper (to taste)
Salt to taste
24 oz (1 1/2) lbs chicken breast
Place chicken broth, beans, corn, tomatoes, cilantro, scallions, garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, cayenne pepper and salt in the slow cooker. Place chicken breast on top and cover.Cook on low for 10 hours or on high for 6 hours.
Thirty minutes prior to serving, remove chicken and shred into bite size pieces (the same way you would shred pulled pork). Return chicken to slow cooker and stir until chicken is combined with the rest of the mixture. Add salt and pepper to taste and serve with corn tortillas (pictured) or rice.Print This Recipe