Happy New Year! I hope 2017 is off to a great start!
If you’re a bit confused by the title of this post, apologies! These (TOTALLY DELICIOUS) Chicken Ranch Tacos are not Whole30 compliant, but they’re quick and easy and pretty healthy in that they’re low calorie and balanced – a little protein, a little carb, a little veg, and some healthy fats (to balance out that less healthy ranch, of course).
I wanted to start 2017 off with one of the best recipes I made in recent weeks, so that’s where the tacos come in.
The Whole30 comes in from a challenge. My mother-in-law and sister-in-law have done several rounds of Whole30 and have enjoyed lots of benefits from the change in diet. Through conversations starting back at Thanksgiving with my MIL and SIL, hubby and I joked that we would/could do Whole30…for 30 days, and somehow, it morphed into reality. We’re doing Whole30 and today is Day 1.
I wrote my second cookbook, a gluten-free cookbook, as both a challenge and a way to learn a LOT about gluten-free cooking and baking. What better way to learn a lot about a certain diet than through living it in your daily life. If you read my blog or follow along on my food-filled Instagram account, you know that I eat everything and fortunately, I have no food allergies.
So, what does the dietitian in me think about Whole30? A lot!
I personally feel that weight loss and healthy eating can be healthfully achieved a lot of ways and finding what works for each individual is hugely helpful. I also know through my work and through personal experience that weight loss occurs when a person is 100% ready to lose weight – not WANTING to lose weight, but willing to do what it takes to lose weight. Add to that a spouse who’s wanting to make a change and that’s a huge factor – I didn’t think I’d ever get him to give up diet soda and his nightly ritual of sitting down to ice cream/Reeses pieces/Twizzlers, you name it!
What do I like about Whole30? It’s easy to understand. I’m not a proponent of omitting entire food groups (i.e. dairy), but I’m willing to play along for 30 days. I appreciate that it includes healthy carbs like sweet potatoes and fruits, as well as healthy fats like nuts, seeds, oil, and avocado. I value the emphasis on whole foods and even I have found it eye-opening to see just how wide-spread sugar is in our food supply (broth!?). And I love that there’s no tedious measuring or counting.
What don’t I like about Whole30? It’s limiting. I will STRUGGLE to make it a month without any type of grain, sugar, dairy, or alcohol. Also, it’s EXPENSIVE. Eating healthfully isn’t necessarily costly, but eating all organic/grass fed/free range, et cetera, is VERY expensive. I joke that I knew Mark was committed to Whole30 when my very frugal better half picked out two Chilean sea bass filets for $37, 24 ounces of scallops for $28, and paid $10/pound for organic chicken breasts. The “Whole30 approved” convenience foods available (salad dressing, ketchup, etc) also taste pretty horrible, so to me, it’s not worth the cost.
So, we’ll see how these next 29 days shape up…until then, I’ll simply have to dream about these tacos. Mmmm!
- 1½ lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- ½ cup water
- 2 Tbsp taco seasoning
- 1 packet ranch seasoning
- 10 (6-inch) corn flour tortillas
- 10 Tbsp low-fat ranch dressing
- 3 cups cabbage slaw
- ½ red onion, thinly sliced
- ¼ cup cilantro leaves, roughly chopped
- 1 avocado, diced
- Place chicken breasts in slow cooker. Pour in water and sprinkle chicken with taco and ranch seasonings. Cover and cook on high for 3-4 hours or on low for 6-8 hours.
- Remove chicken to a cutting board and shred between two forks; return to slow cooker and mix well.
- When ready to serve, fill tortillas with shredded chicken, drizzle with ranch dressing, and top with slaw, red onions, cilantro, and avocado. Serve immediately.