Catching Katy

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Crock Pot Chicken & Butternut Squash

This may be my favorite Whole30 meal and it was one of the last of my official Whole30 meals. It was the easiest and the most filling! It was easy for me because I bought pre-cubed butternut squash….if you have to cut your own add some time. There isn’t much to it but the flavor was great. I also made some sweet potato “noodles”, but you can serve with any side you want!

The meal doesn’t make for pretty pictures, but don’t let it fool you. The crock pot bags also don’t help with pics, but man, do they help with clean up.

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cooked in the crock pot!

sweet potato "noodles"

sweet potato “noodles”

happy plate

happy plate

Crock Pot Chicken & Butternut Squash

Ingredients

  • 2 chicken breasts (or 3-4 if they are small)
  • 2 tsp. red wine vinegar
  • salt & pepper
  • 1 lb. bag baby carrots
  • 1 butternut squash peeled, seeded, and diced (I used 2 bags of pre-diced)
  • 2 tsp. Italian seasoning
  • Side: sweet potato (1 large per serving); or whatever side you want

Directions

Place chicken breasts in the crock pot and splash the vinegar on top. Season with salt and pepper.

Add the carrots and butternut squash around and on top of the chicken. Season with Italian seasoning and more salt and pepper.

Cook on low for 8 hours.

When chicken is done or close to done, make your sweet potato(es)

  • Option 1: peel the potato then use the straight blade on your spiralizer for a wider, flatter spirals
  • Option 2: peel the potato, then continue using the peeler on the whole potato. you end up with flat, kind of thin ribbons.

To cook, heat ~1 Tbsp. oil (I use coconut or olive) in a large frying pan. Toss in sweet potatoes, seasoning with some Italian seasoning, and sauté for about 5 minutes (or until potatoes are softened).

I served my chicken over my sweet potatoes or serve on the side!

*I obviously had leftovers, but the chicken was a little dry when reheated. I’d suggest saving some of the liquid from the crock pot when you store it (I think that’s ok, right??).

[from $5 Dinners]


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Whole 30 Wrap Up

My last week of the Whole30 was pretty uneventful – just chugging along at this point. Apart from my cheat, my breakfasts and lunches were pretty much the same as in week 3 (slight variation on the taco chicken to cilantro lime chicken). Told ‘ya I was keeping it simple! I did have a couple new dinners:

marinara sauce w/ ground turkey + zoodles. this was good and easy – I’ll definitely keep this recipe on hand.

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slow cooker chicken & butternut squash + sweet potato. this was delicious and I’ll post the recipe this week!

happy plate

And my final overview. I am ending my Whole30 a couple days early, but with good reason. Unfortunately I have not had such a positive experience with it as most people. Unfortunately, my digestive system has been off-kilter the entire time. I wanted to give my body time to adjust but it only did literally in the past 2 days. Although I figured out the Whole30 may not have been completely at fault for this, it is true that many veggies are more difficult to digest and I think the increased intake was just too much.

As I’ve said, I did feel mentally better simply eating better, but the other downside was that it was difficult to have the energy to do my typical workouts. I know it’s possible, since other people do it, I just don’t have the time or money or commitment to continue to keep dramatically changing my diet. I obviously don’t want to go back to eating a bunch of crap. The plan is this: limit my dairy, grains, sweets [as in never buying any myself, only indulging for special occasions]. And honestly, my typical diet is not that bad (apart from my long binge between Thanksgiving and New Years).

I don’t regret doing the Whole30, but if you’re considering it and know you have a sensitive stomach, consider it very carefully. It may help or it may hurt. I hope it helps! If you’ve been following my Whole30 journey – thanks! I do still post pretty regularly on my blog apart from these posts, so hang around and I hope you continue to follow!


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Crock Pot Marinara

This was super easy and has a good flavor. You can eat as is, or cook up some protein and add it in at the end! This recipe is good for Whole30 or non-Whole30, just change what you serve it on. For Whole30 I served over zoodles…..and threw in a sweet potato as I do to most meals. And don’t worry….I definitely went back for seconds!

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Crock Pot Marinara Sauce

Ingredients

  • 2 28 oz. cans crushed tomatoes
  • 1 6 oz. can tomato paste
  • 1 medium yellow onion
  • 1/2 Tbsp. minced garlic
  • 1 Tbsp. dried basil
  • 1/2 Tbsp. dried oregano
  • 1 Tbsp. brown sugar (leave out for Whole30)
  • 1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • optional protein: ground turkey, ground beef (I used ground turkey)

Directions

Chop the onion and mince garlic (or use pre-minced). Place in bottom of crock pot.

Add the remaining ingredients and stir well to combine.

Cook on low for 8 hours.

If adding a protein, cook the meat and season with Italian seasoning when it is close to 8 hours. Once cooked, pour into crock pot and stir to combine. Recover to let finish heating or let it sit on warm for 20-30 minutes.

[modified from Budget Bytes]