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February is all about hearts and in more way than one! It's true that Valentine's day is in February, but did you know that it's also Heart Health month? Heart health is something that affects each and every one of us. Everyone has at least one person in their life that has been or will be affected by heart disease in some way. For me, half of my grandparents currently have heart disease.
Just this past year my step-grandfather was diagnosed with heart disease. He's been put on medication and told to make some changes to his eating habits in an effort to slow progression of (and hopefully even stop) the disease.
Tomatoes can account for more than two-thirds of your lycopene consumption in an average diet. It's what gives vegetables and fruits such as tomatoes their bright red color. For the tomatoes here in my Chicken Cacciatore, I went with Hunt's 'No Salt Added' Diced Tomatoes. Hunt's will be donating $50,000 to the American Heart Association to support heart health month, which is absolutely amazing and definitely something I can get behind.
I've left this Chicken Cacciatore both delicious and also easy to make with the slow cooker doing almost all of the work for you. I chose to use diced tomatoes here, but you may also use crushed or whole peeled tomatoes in their place. The choice of tomatoes is entirely up to you. To make this Chicken Cacciatore even more wholesome, I loaded it up with plenty of bell peppers, carrots, fresh sliced mushrooms, onion, and a few kalamata olives.
One thing I love about this dish is that you can serve it over your choice of rice, noodles, or even polenta. If you're not feeling any of that, serve it 'stew' style with some crunchy Italian bread and call it a day.
Crock Pot Chicken Cacciatore
Servings: 6 • Size: About 1 1/2 Cup • Calories: 182.7 • Fat: 4.9 g • Saturated Fat: 1 • Carb: 16.1 g • Fiber: 3.8 g • Protein: 20.3 g • Sugar: 7.4 g • Sodium: 399.8 mg
3 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts, Halved
8 Oz. Sliced Mushrooms
1 Medium White Onion, Diced
1 Yellow Bell Pepper, Diced
1 Red Bell Pepper, Diced
1 Green Bell Pepper, Diced
2 Carrots, Peeled & Sliced
5 Garlic Cloves, Minced
1/2 C. Pitted Kalamata Olives
1 C. Unsalted Chicken Broth (or Dry White Wine)
1 (14 oz.) Can Hunt's 'No Salt Added' Diced Tomatoes
1/4 C. Tomato Paste
1 Tsp. Assorted Italian Herbs (I used basil and oregano.)
Salt & Pepper to Taste
**Optional: 2 Tbsp. Corn Starch + 2 Tbsp. Water (See note below.)
Place all of the ingredients into the base of a crock pot.
Give everything a good stir and cover to cook on high for 4-6 hours or on low for 6-8 hours.
Right now there's an Ibotta offer available for a 'Buy 4 Get $1 Off' Hunt's rebate.
Once done, remove the chicken to a cutting board and chop or shred the meat before placing it back into the crock pot.
* NOTE: At this point you may either leave the lid of the crock pot off and set it on high to cook down for an hour. Or alternatively you can mix together a slurry of 2 tbsp. corn starch and 2 tbsp. water to add into the crock pot to cook and thicken for another 10 minutes.
Serve right away, dividing evenly over noodles or rice, or even with crunchy Italian bread!
I topped mine with a sprinkle of reduced fat Italian shredded cheese blend and over some tai-colored rotini noodles.