Prep and Plan

          During the winter months, sometimes it is hard to stay focused on healthy eating. Whether it is because of all of the holiday festivities, braving the harsh winter weather or stressing out about daily coming and goings, staying focused on simple health goals when it comes to eating habits can quickly fall by the wayside. So, how does one combat this phenomenon? Well, one way is to meal plan. This is when you plan out a menu for a specified period of time, prep and plan your cooking around that menu. This way you take the guesswork out of what you will be cooking and you look forward to your meals for the day.

            When thinking about your meals, think of foods that will warm you up and that are healthy and hearty. Below you will find a recipe for a healthier version of Tikka Marsala that can be cooked in a slow cooker. Though there are still many ingredients, the process is simpler and clean up is a snap. This healthy meal is not only delicious but will make enough for four hearty servings or more paired with some simple side dishes. Planning your meals ahead doesn’t have to be a chore. With help from websites such as, you can find many recipes with nutrition information and free downloadable meal planners to help get you started. When trying to start a new, healthy habit try talking it over with your therapist to help you gain insight and tips on how to be successful in your endeavors. You can also solicit the help of family and friends to help keep you motivated and focused. Whatever you do make sure you are happy with the choices you are making and you are enjoying healthy, delicious foods. Happy eating!

Healthy Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala


2 teaspoons olive oil

1 small onion, diced

1 jalapeno, seeds removed and finely diced

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger

1 jar (24.5oz) Mutti tomato puree

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1 tablespoon garam masala

1 teaspoon paprika

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric

1/2 teaspoon curry powder

Freshly ground black pepper

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts

3/4 cup light coconut milk

Additional salt, to taste

For garnish: Greek yogurt & cilantro


Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add in onion, jalapeno, and garlic; saute for about 5 minutes or until onions are slightly golden and translucent. Transfer to a large slow cooker. Add in tomato puree, lemon juice, garam masala, paprika, cayenne pepper, turmeric, and curry powder; stirring to combine. Add chicken breasts and spoon sauce over the chicken to make sure they are covered. Cover and cook on low for 6-7 hours or on high for 2-3 hours.

Once cooked, remove chicken with a slotted spoon and transfer to a cutting board. Shred the chicken with two forks, then transfer back to the slow cooker. Stir in coconut milk and allow to cook on high UNCOVERED for 15-20 more minutes to help thicken the sauce. Taste and adjust seasonings as necessary, including adding more salt, if desired.

Serve with brown rice, pita bread/naan or enjoy as is. Garnish with plain greek yogurt and chopped cilantro.

Nutrition Information

Serves: 4 servings

Serving size: 1/4th of recipe

Calories: 278

Fat: 9.2g

Saturated fat: 3.8g

Carbohydrates: 22.2g

Sugar: 9.5g

Fiber: 3.9g

Protein: 26.2g

Sourced from:

By Garcsa Brooks

Intern, Olive Branch Counseling Associates, Inc

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