While I personally choose to refrain from eating animal protein on a regular basis, I realize that we are all different and that for some, eating meat makes them feel better compared to how they feel if they don’t eat meat. I am the opposite. I feel best when I don’t eat animal protein.
Just to make sure we are all on the same page – “animal protein” means any food that comes from an animal – eggs, cheese, milk, chicken, turkey, veal, lamb, you get the idea.
My fiancé prefers meat – not for every meal, but at least a few times a week. I get that. However, he has significantly reduced his intake these last few months – he’s lost weight, feels good and our monthly food budget is looking better than ever. I like it.
When we first moved to Asheville together I started cooking meat for the first time in a few years. I had completely forgotten what raw meat felt and looked like. I didn’t like it at all. In fact, at the very beginning I had to buy meat already seasoned and marinated from our grocery store (don’t worry, still high quality meat and ingredients because that’s just how Asheville rolls), plop it onto the pan without touching it and walk away. But I did it. Man, that’s love.
Well it got easier over time. Much easier. Sort of how most doctors will tell you how nauseous or ill they got the first time they ever saw a live surgery and within no time how they completely became immune to the idea of what they were actually looking at, cutting into, etc. Yea – it was definitely like that – minus the whole saving lives thing.
So anyways, now I don’t mind cooking meat at home. Anything and everything. As long as it’s good quality stuff, of course. I’ve always been curious by pulled meat and decided to give chicken a try. I didn’t taste it (I did however, dip my pinkie in a few times once the chicken was cooked to see how the sauce tasted), but my fiancé gave it excellent reviews – which is good, because there’s a few meals worth of pulled chicken in our refrigerator!
I paired it with a raw kale salad (recipe below) that was inspired by a segment I saw on TV earlier that day.
Round 1 in the Slow Cooker:
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 teaspoon hot sauce
1 tablespoon raw apple cider vinegar
3 tomatoes, diced (keep seeds and juice)
1 – 1.25 pounds boneless chicken breast
1 cup broth of your choice (check out my homemade bone beef broth)
Round 2 in the Slow Cooker:
1/3 cup soy sauce
1 cup Dijon mustard
1/3 cup honey
1/3 cup ketchup
2 teaspoons cumin
2 teaspoons chili powder
2 teaspoons paprika
If the chicken is thick, cut into thinner pieces – about 1’’ thick or less.
Place all ingredients from Round 1 in the slow cooker. Use a spoon to mix in the vegetables and seasonings evenly around the chicken.
Cook for about 3 hours or until chicken is white and cooked.
Remove chicken and use 2 forks to pull it apart into strings.
Place ingredients from Round 2 in slow cooker. Mix evenly.
Pour pulled chicken into slow cooker.
Add tomatoes and any other ingredients still in your strainer back into the slow cooker. Most of it should still be there except the broth.
Use a spoon to mix everything together.
Cook for another hour.
Serve warm or chilled.
The pulled chicken can be eaten on top of a salad, as a sandwich or with this raw kale salad featured below. Whatever sounds good to you!
Ryan takes a huge salad to work everyday with whatever veggies we pick up at the Farmer’s Market. Today I topped it with pulled chicken.
Raw Kale Salad
1 head of kale (I used the curly kale)
2 teaspoons raw apple cider vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste.
Wash kale and use hands to remove leaves. Tear leaves into bite size pieces. Pat dry with towel before placing in large mixing bowl.
Add lemon juice and raw apple cider vinegar.
Add avocado. It helps if you cut the avocado into cubes first.
Use your (freshly washed) hands to mix all ingredients together. Feel free to mash the avocado.
Season if necessary.
Place in refrigerator and let the acidity do its thing for at least 1 or 2 hours.