Shredded Mexican Chicken

I’ve got pregnancy brain today.

No, no, no, I’m not pregnant. But have you heard of pregnancy brain? I’ve been watching a crap-ton of How I Met Your Mother lately, and there’s a whole episode dedicated to Lily’s pregnancy brain. For example, she leaves her wallet and keys in the freezer. For us non-pregnant peeps, I think I’ll call it Friday Brain.

Friday brain. When you’ve gone through an entire week of work (and play), are at the peak of your sleep deprivation, and your brain just doesn’t wanna work anymore.

Case in point: This morning, I spent 15 minutes prepping today’s lunch (Pesto Chickpea burger on top of a salad! Yum), because I’m meeting an old boss for lunch in the park. Then, immediately afterward, I spent 10 minutes preparing my gym bag to go for a jog at lunch because it’s finally cool enough to jog outside. Derp derp.

This is in addition to the half a dozen times in the past month that I’ve accidentally left either my makeup, cell phone, or lunch at T-Man’s house before he drops me off for work in the morning.

Let’s just say my brain has been out of it lately.

However, this tip I’m teaching you today is pretty much foolproof. Here’s the deal… T-Man has a Crockpot. I do not. In exchange for letting me try out recipes in his Crockpot, I let him eat the food I make with it. Back when he asked me to make him a meal plan, I scheduled in “Meat that Katie prepares for you”, because I was in the habit of making some kind of meat for him in a Crockpot on Sundays for him to have for lunch on Monday and Tuesday (if it lasted till Tuesday!).

(If anyone is curious, T-Man followed the meal plan pretty well for a few weeks! He definitely ate out less. But as his congressional campaign has really ramped up, time to prepare meals has decreased. Fortunately, people bring food into the campaign office [homemade and otherwise] so he’s been getting fed one way or another! With my recent reasons to reflect upon my own eating habits, it may be something we revisit together after November 6th)

This is the recipe I usually prepare in the Crockpot for lunches during the week: Shredded Mexican Chicken! It’s easy, super flavorful, and you can put it in a variety of things. Usually T-Man puts his in a burrito, I like to pile mine on a toasted tortilla and make a tostada!

I’ve been waiting to share this recipe for a long time, but as you can tell, it’s not extremely photogenic. I compiled pictures from a couple of different times I made it  – trust me when I say it is DELICIOUS! This recipe really came in handy this summer when we had 10 million cans of Coors Light in our fridge after our 4th of July party that we didn’t really want to drink.

It’s as easy as this:


Cover el pollo with the seasoning and veggies (they give it lots of flavor themselves!)

Then pour the beer over…

Cook on high for 3 hours…

Shred it all up with a fork, and enjoy!

Shredded Mexican Chicken
makes 3-4 servings

3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (thawed works best)
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp chile powder
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp cayenne
1/2 medium onion
1/2 bell pepper (I like to use a combo of red and green. If you only use one kind, use green)
1 tomato
~1 can of beer

Prepare vegetables by roughly chopping into chunks. (They will shrink while they cook.) Trim fat from breasts, if desired.

Place in Crockpot and season meat with desired amounts of cumin, chile powder, garlic powder, and cayenne. Use whatever Mexican spices you have on hand! Next, pile on the veggies. Add beer until the chicken is covered by at least 1/2 inch of liquid.

Cook on high for about 3 hours. Check on the meat once or twice while cooking to ensure it isn’t drying out. After 3 hours, use two forks to shred the chicken, and cook for 30-60 minutes longer with all the juices. After that, it’s ready! Drain extra juices if desired.

Notes: If you don’t have beer or would prefer not to use it (the taste doesn’t come out too much with all the other seasonings), I’m sure chicken stock or water would also work fine.


P.S. I’ve been fidgeting with my blog’s color scheme lately…there will probably be more tweaks to come! Let me know what you think!

Friday Faves

What a weird week. It was a 3-day weekend for most of us, which was nice! My 3 day weekend was kind of interrupted, but also kind of extended when I had to fly down to Santa Barbara Monday afternoon for work the next day. I got home Tuesday night (after 5 ours of travel each way), and all of a sudden my normal workweek was down to 3 days! It has still felt like a long week, with my new schedule and all, so I am actually seriously saying TGIF today!

Here are some things I enjoyed doing, eating, and watching this week!

1) SoCal Mexican Food

The closer to the border, the better the food. Shortly after landing in Santa Barbara, I went to La Super-Rica with my old housemate & friends. SO GOOD. You choose from a menu of about 20 items all priced under $5, each item comes with a taco “filling” and 2-3 HOMEMADE tortillas. I got 2 — guacamole as well as pinto beans with chorizo & bacon. And I ate it up in all 4 tortillas. For 6 bucks.

P.S. We found out when I checked in on foursquare that the famed restaurant has been on Man vs. Food…but what we didn’t know was apparently French foodie Julia Child loved it too!

2) Breaking Bad

La Tortuga. Nuff said. Workin’ my way through the end of season 2!

3) Breakfast

After I made oatmeal for myself, I then proceeded to make fancy breakfasts the next 3 days. I’m usually not much of a breakfast person — I made whole wheat french toast two days in a row, followed by a  perfectly fried egg on toast for T-Man! (I took the not as perfect one for myself :))

4) The DNC

I get the feeling politics are a little taboo to talk about in Food Blog Land, but I do work in state politics so it’s hard for me to stay away! My roomie (who also works in politics) and I were glued to our computer screens watching Michelle Obama, Elizabeth Warren, and Bill Clinton speak. I was impressed by and, as someone who also has college loan debts, related to the FLOTUS, but I was really blown away by Bill Clinton’s clear stating of the facts. All self-indulgent off-script rants and raves aside 🙂 I also watched the RNC and was impressed to a certain degree, but I’m overall feeling very good about the Dems.

5) Blind wine tasting

The night I was in SB, we also did a blind wine taste test with bottles of wine ranging from $10-$2 in price! Apparently, blind tastings are actually really hard to do with cheap wines that don’t always taste like they’re supposed to 😛 Greg got all 3 right though! I’m getting another chance this weekend when I go to a friends place in the Central Valley to stomp grapes and do more “white trash” taste tests!

6) Being “healed”

10 weeks after breaking my hand, this is what my bone looks like then vs. now. As you can tell, it isn’t exactly 100% healed. But it’s healed enough that my doctor says I can start wearing my splint less and start rehabbing my wrist and fingers! The bad news is, he thinks my long healing time is indicative of low bone density and wants me to get tested to see if I have osteopenia or osteoporosis. Seriously? I’m not even 24 yet!

Have a great weekend! I hope to not become this lady when I go grape stomping tomorrow: