Believe it or not, it’s officially January.
Cold, dark January.
I don’t know about you, but when the nights are long and the weather is cold, even someone like myself who absolutely loves to cook would rather curl up on the couch in sweatpants.
I’m just sayin‘.
In fact, lately when dinnertime rolls around, I often feel as if I literally don’t possess the energy to even scramble an egg — much less create an actual recipe.
Thankfully, the 1970s brought us the beautiful, life-saving invention that is the Crockpot (aka: the slow cooker).
Effortlessly pile in your ingredients, set it, and forget it! Until the amazing aroma of simmering goodness starts to waft around you, that is…
Then, when the dinner hour strikes, simply grab yourself a bowl and dig in!
- 1 T extra virgin olive oil
- 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 7 fresh Roma (aka plum) tomatoes, chopped
- 4 fresh garlic cloves, peeled and diced
- 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper (feel free to use more or less, depending on your spice-o-meter!)
- Pinch or two of sea salt
- 2 tsp. dried oregano
- 2 cups all-natural chicken broth
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 cup red wine
- 2 cups fresh baby spinach leaves
- 1 1/2 cups whole grain penne pasta
- 20 Kalamata olives, pitted and chopped
- Freshly grated Romano or Parmesan cheese, for sprinkling
Coat the inside of your Crockpot with the olive oil.
Place the chicken breasts in the bottom of the Crockpot, and then cover them with the tomatoes, garlic, and seasonings.
Pour the chicken broth, water, and wine into the Crockpot.
Cover and cook on high for 4 hours, or on low for 8 hours.
About thirty minutes before the cooking time is through, shred the chicken using two forks. Add the spinach, pasta, and Kalamatas to the Crockpot and cover.
When the noodles are tender, ladle the soup into serving bowls. Sprinkle each serving with a bit of the cheese.
Relish the deliciousness and ease of your meal (sweatpants optional).