cooking the books 01


It’s the middle of January—how are those resolutions coming? This is usually the point of the month that I forget all my well-intentioned healthy eating and exercise goals and sit down with a sleeve of Oreos, a mug of milk and a fork and tell myself that I am winning at life. 

However, this year I’m doing better. But it’s hard. It’s really hard. I’m determined to lose the winter weight and stop snarfing McDonald’s cheeseburgers like I did when I was pregnant (it's been several years since I had a good excuse for craving those cheap but satisfying non-burger burgers). It’s hard not only because willpower is hard, but also because my time is limited. Eating healthfully means planning, shopping, cooking, and cleaning, and I only really like to do one of those things. Enter Slow Cooker Taco Chicken by the girls from Our Best Bites. 

I’m cheating a bit with this blog post because this is actually a cookbook that I own, but I feel like if you’re somehow someone who hasn’t tried an Our Best Bites cookbook yet I just need to convert you. Their recipes are generally easy to follow, don’t require crazy ingredients, and I’ve yet to have one fail me. This Taco Chicken is my go-to slow cooker meal, because even if I haven’t been shopping in a while I almost always have all of the ingredients on hand (well, I didn’t always have ranch packets in my pantry, but ever since I discovered this recipe I buy them in bulk). The fact that it’s also fairly low calorie is just a bonus—it’s super yummy, everyone in my family eats it, and I use the leftovers in quesadillas or taquitos or Latin-inspired quinoa salad. 

I’ll check back in next month with another healthy recipe. Or maybe a super indulgent dessert; we’ll just see where me and those resolutions stand. 

400 cals or lessSlow Cooker Taco Chicken
By Sara Wells and Kate Jones



2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts
1/2 cup Italian salad dressing (not low fat)
1 packet Ranch dressing
1/2 cup water
1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
1 1/2 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon coriander
6-8 cloves minced garlic
1 tablespoon dehydrated onion
Juice of 1 lime
Salt to taste
Hot Sauce to taste (optional)  


Place all the ingredients except for the lime, salt, and hot sauce in your slow cooker and cook for 5-6 hours on LOW or until the chicken shreds easily with a fork. When done, shred the chicken with two forks and sprinkle with lime juice. Taste and season with salt and hot sauce to taste. Serves 8-10.

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