Tag Archives: Cantina Bowl

Two (Similar) Slow Cooker Chicken Recipes


When I was inquiring about what foods to have on hand after my surgery, a friend recommended throwing together this Crock Pot Santa Fe Chicken to have a bunch of leftovers on hand. I didn’t have time or energy to get things together that quickly, but decided that it still looked easy enough to put together after surgery. {Well, as long as I had everything in reach and had Rob pull out the crock pot!}

The recipe reminded me of this Slow Cooker Salsa Chicken that I’ve made in the past. However, I think the only real difference is that the Santa Fe Chicken recipe requires more ingredients than the Salsa Chicken recipe does.

Slow Cooker Salsa Chicken Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 cup salsa, homemade or purchased
  • 1 cup petite diced canned tomatoes ( low-sodium)
  • 2 tablespoons Taco Seasoning
  • 1 cup onions, diced fine
  • 1/2 cup celery diced fine
  • 1/2 cup carrots, shredded
  • 3 tablespoons sour cream, reduced fat

*This recipe is easy because these are ingredients that I have on hand most of the time. And when making leftovers, I can add anything else I’d like, including black beans, corn and any toppings such as cheese, sour cream or guacamole. Every time I eat it, it can be different.

Slow Cooker Santa Fe Chicken Ingredients:

  • 1.5 lbs chicken breast
  • 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes with mild green chilies
  • 15 oz can black beans
  • 8 oz frozen corn
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 14.5 oz can fat free chicken broth
  • 3 scallions, chopped
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper (to taste)
  • salt to taste

*This recipe has more substance. The additional ingredients are easy enough that you can just empty everything into the slow cooker, turn it on and in 6 to 10 hours, dinner is served.

In my Santa Fe Chicken, I  used these cans to change things up a bit and add extra flavor:


Here is a what my Santa Fe Chicken looked like after it was cooked and shredded:

Crock Pot Santa Fe Chicken

Crock Pot Santa Fe Chicken

I think it could have used a little more flavor and more tomatoes! {But you know how I love tomatoes.} Truth be told, these two recipes are pretty interchangeable. You can add more or less of one element to your liking. It’s just the amount of seasoning that you’ll have to decide for yourself.

Basically, you are making your own 

Chipotle Burrito Bowl or Taco Bell Cantina Bowl!

Either of these dishes can be served alone, over rice, in a tortilla, atop a salad or with tortilla chips. I didn’t think he would, but Rob said he’d even eat it if I made it with shredded pork instead of chicken.

And with that, here is my Monday Food Journal. Warning: I felt binge-y all day.



Grapes and 90-second Egg Sandwich with cheese and spinach


This is where the binge-y feelings began…

Weight Watchers Coffee Cake (individual sized)

South Beach Whipped Chocolate Almond Snack Bar – For the record, these aren’t that great. I got them because I had a coupon and thought they’d be a nice snack to tide me over. They taste a little bit like a Three Muskateers candy bar. However, this 100-calorie bar didn’t satisfy me like a piece of Dove Dark Chocolate would.

2/3 cup Neapolitan ice cream


Poor Man's Caprese

Poor Man’s Caprese

Just like Sunday, I enjoyed grape tomatoes atop cottage cheeze with a drizzle of Italian extra virgin olive oil, reduced balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper. However, my tomatoes were getting a little too ripe and I needed to finish them up. Therefore, my Monday portion size was about twice the size you see here.


It must be that I’m not at work. I felt a little binge-y in the afternoon, too. Sure, I didn’t have a big lunch, but I had already eaten a bunch of morning snacks! For the afternoon…

First I had an apple along with this fruit dip:

Mon-Fruit Dip

Fruit Dip made with 2 oz greek yogurt, 1 tsp honey peanut butter and a shake or two of cinnamon

Another handful of grapes

2 Dove Dark Chocolates (almond variety)

Another South Beach Whipped Choc Almond Snack Bar


Just as Biz would do, I put my Santa Fe Chicken atop a bed of spinach:


There is some brown rice under the mixture, too. Then I added some extra toppings: salsa, a little cheese, half of a Wholly Guacamole 100-calorie pack and a dollop of Greek Yogurt (added at the last second and not pictured):Mon-Toppings


1/2 cup Neapolitan Ice Cream

Well, then I finished off the carton of Neapolitan Ice Cream. Okay, so there’s a reason I can’t keep ice cream in the house. I think this post of Katie’s came just in time! 😉

I also found another reason why I shouldn’t be eating ice cream everyday. I woke up craving (and have been craving) sweets. And it’s obvious that my sweet snacks aren’t satisfying that. Good news, I woke up this morning, ate a clementine and put that craving to bed!

What is your favorite Slow Cooker Recipe?


A Cantina Bowl…


It was my mom’s birthday today!

Happy Birthday, Mom!

Unfortunately, I had to send her birthday wishes from afar since she lives a state away. But that didn’t stop me from celebrating in my own way… So how did I celebrate?

I ran 3.5 miles.



Because I have legs.

I have legs that work.

I don’t want to take them for granted.

Thank you, Mom, for giving me healthy legs!

I ran on the treadmill {thanks to Stacy} while watching an episode of Psych {thanks to Jen} in our basement room that houses a TV, DVD player and our workout equipment {thanks to my husband}.

Afterward, I didn’t cook. I wouldn’t make my mom cook on her birthday! Instead, I asked Rob to cook pick up some dinner. Truth be told, I haven’t eaten fast food very often in the past year. But recently, something has caught my eye. So I asked Rob to pick it up for me:

Taco Bell Cantina Bowl {Photo Source}

Yes, I asked my husband to pick me up some Taco Bell. It’s almost as if when they were putting together the commercial for this new product, that they had me in mind. They knewhow to market it just for me.

Fresh ingredients.

Fresh flavors.

Created by Celebrity Chef Lorena Garcia.

Yeah. The Marketing and Advertising Departments at Taco Bell know exactly what they are doing. They baited the hook and reeled me in. I first learned of Chef Lorena Garcia when I watched America’s Next Great Restaurant, a reality-style show where contestants competed to persuade judges to invest in their concept to open up the next great fast-casual restaurant. Chef Garcia judged the competition alongside Chef Bobby Flay and Chipotle Mexican Grill founder Steve Ells. Most recently, however, I’ve seen Garcia compete on the latest season of Top Chef Masters.

Here is the description of this menu item from the Taco Bell website:

“Experience our new citrus-herb marinated chicken, flavorful black beans, guacamole made from real Hass avocados, pico de gallo prepared fresh daily, roasted corn & pepper salsa and a creamy cilantro dressing, all served on a bed of cilantro rice.”

The flavors definitely sound like ones that I would enjoy. And If you’ve ever eaten at Chipotle, you’ll find that the description sounds oddly familiar, too.  I wonder how Steve Ells feels about this? Still, the “Next Great Restaurant” in which the trio invested failed within months, so Garcia and Ells are no longer partners.

Without even looking at the calorie/nutrition content, I asked Rob to pick up the Cantina Bowl.

And I enjoyed every bit of it.

Yes, this is definitely a step up from what you’d expect from Taco Bell. Actually, think Chipotle or Qdoba, but with a more manageable size. Of course, I’m not stupid. This is a mass produced item. The ingredients are not as fresh and natural as we’d love to believe. But you know what? It’s as good as it’s gonna get out there for fast food. And I’m glad I gave it a try.

But here’s a great sidebar:

My favorite kind…

And just in case you were wondering, the nutrition facts of the Cantina Bowl can be found at Fat Secret or on the Taco Bell website. It’s not too bad. Sure, I ate all of the calories that I just burned running. But it was tasty. And worth it.

But I have something else to look forward to:

My CSA box tomorrow is supposed to include both tomatillos and hot peppers! How can I not take advantage of this to find something wonderful to cook from The Homesick Texan? I have a feeling that these ingredients will be even better.

Have you cooked with tomatillos?

If so, what’s your favorite thing to make?