Slow Cooker Honey Sesame Chicken Recipe

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Not too spicy but full of flavor, this healthy slow cooker Honey Sesame Chicken recipe serves a crowd!With slow cooker recipes, there’s not a lot of planning – you kind of toss it all together, turn it on (making sure it’s plugged in!) and walk away for half a day or longer. When I set out to make this slow cooker Honey Sesame Chicken recipe, that’s precisely what I had planned to do, with very few ingredients I didn’t already have on hand.

That is, until I took a walk through not one, but three grocery stores with Kim Galeaz, a registered dietitian nutritionist. And she encouraged me to try including a vegetable that I had never tried before.

Edamame.

Funny word, isn’t it? “Ed-a-mah-may” for those like me who need a little pronunciation help.

Edamame is a green vegetable soybean that looks like a pea pod. And when you pop the little guys out of the pod, then it’s called mukimame (“moo-ki-mah-may”). And these guys are packed with protein, dietary fiber and Omega-3 and -6 fatty acids. That’s nutritionist speak for “they’re good for you.”

Friends, you may recall I don’t like vegetables, but I try to set a good example for my kids (surprisingly 2 out of 3 of them do better at eating their veggies than I). So to add this vegetable into my Honey Sesame Chicken recipe was easy and a no-brainer. Call it edamame, call it mukimame, it’s easy to find in most grocery freezers and a cinch to toss into a stir-fry or slow cooker meal, and even eat fresh.

Slow Cooker Honey Sesame Chicken Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken tenderloins
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tbs vegetable oil
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 cup mukimame
  • 2 green onion tops, diced, for garnish
  • sesame seeds, for garnish
  • instant brown rice (served under as side dish)

Directions:

Place chicken tenderloins into slow cooker. In a large bowl, combine garlic, onion, honey, soy sauce, vegetable oil and red pepper flakes. Pour over chicken. Gently toss to combine. Cover and cook on low for 3 hours. During last hour, add in mukimame and stir to combine. Total cooking time 3 to 3 1/2 hours. Make rice during the last few minutes of the chicken cooking.  Serve warm over rice, garnish with sesame seeds and green onion.

Not too spicy but full of flavor, this healthy slow cooker Honey Sesame Chicken recipe serves a crowd!

Three-Store Grocery Tour

I’ve done this grocery store tour thing before. But what I haven’t done, even as passionate as I am about being ‘cent’sible, is a price comparison of the same ingredients, at three different stores. Indiana’s Family of Farmers invited me, along with farmer/blogger Heather Hill and nutritionist Kim Galeaz on a mission to check nutrition labels, price points and overall value when looking at recipe ingredients at three different grocery stores.

These results may surprise you, because I was SHOCKED. And when it comes to grocery store prices, really nothing shocks me all that much.

I don’t even use a grocery budget. {GASP]

Why? Because I’m in a grocery store at least 2-3 times a week, and I know prices.

I ask myself these four questions:

  • Is it on my grocery list?
  • Is it on sale?
  • Do I have a coupon?
  • Is there an Ibotta rebate?

If I answered “yes” to 0 out of 4, I’ll pass, and wait until they can do better.

If I answered “yes” to 1 out of 4, I’ll pass, but hem-haw about it a bit first.

If I answered “yes” to 2 out of 4, I’ll probably buy it, but feel a little guilty.

If I answered “yes” to 3 out of 4, I’ll buy it and feel good about my purchase.

If I answered “yes” to 4 out of 4, I’ll buy it, Instagram it, tweet it, Facebook it and tell my husband “You’re never gonna guess how much I paid for this…”.

Grocery store comparison of three stores, one recipe.

I highlighted lines to keep myself straight as to what was the best deal, worst deal, etc.

  • GREEN = It was the best price (per ounce or per serving) between the three stores.
  • YELLOW = Just an “ok” price, probably could do better with shopping around.
  • RED = Too high – without this exercise I wouldn’t have purchased it.
  • WHITE = Insignificant price difference when looking at the cost per serving.

Meijer

Meijer is the store I shop most often, especially when I need more than just groceries. I know the layout, I know the prices and availability of brands I prefer. Here, the best prices were on Minute Rice Brown Rice and on the crushed red pepper, under the Meijer private label. Chicken was not on sale this particular week, which resulted in paying the highest than the other two stores. Bummer.

Grocery comparison of three stores, one recipe.

Kroger

Kroger is my #2 store. It’s just around the corner from my house, and if I only need a few things or I’m needing mostly food with very little non-food, I’ll head to Kroger. Here, I had the best price on sesame seeds, a good price on the chicken, but the red pepper flakes were a good $1.20 higher than I paid at Meijer. And that was even the sale price! The regular price would have been $4.99.

Grocery comparison of three stores, one recipe.

Trader Joe’s

Trader Joe’s is not very convenient for me. I truly only head there if I’m in that area, if I want to pick up a specialty appetizer for book club, cheap (but good) wine, and always – always for Candy Cane Joe Joe’s. It’s 1/5 the size of Kroger or Meijer so they just can’t stock every ingredient you might need for a recipe. This was the case for sesame seeds and sesame oil – not available at Trader Joe’s. But that’s Ok. Because this store? Had THE BEST PRICE ON CHICKEN. {double GASP}! Tenderloins were not available, so this was for fresh chicken breasts, nearly two pounds for $5.35. Also surprising was the great price on my seasonings, although the package sizes were much larger.

Grocery comparison of three stores, one recipe.
I made some notations that I’ll clarify here, which you might find interesting:

  • Low sodium soy sauce – Although 30¢ higher, Meijer’s had only 450mg of sodium while Kroger’s had 530mg. And Trader Joe’s = humongo bottle, 17.6 oz.
  • Edamame – I wanted mukimame so I didn’t have to remove the beans from the shells. We didn’t find this at Meijer, only in-shell as edamame.
  • Honey – Interestingly enough, it was the exact same price at all three stores.
  • Brown Rice – At Trader Joe’s, we bought pre-cooked rice in vacuum-sealed bags. They didn’t have a similar version of Minute Rice. This meant the Trader Joe’s rice was 48¢ per serving vs. 22¢ at the other stores.
  • Chicken – Can you believe it? Trader Joe’s had the best price for fresh chicken. This was a regular price, not a sale price.
  • Fun factoid – Check the totals of Meijer and Kroger. Even though I didn’t purchase exactly identical items, it came down to precisely the same total, down to the penny.

Although in this Honey Sesame Chicken recipe the sesame seeds are added at the end as a garnish, they do still add a nutty flavor and crunchy texture to the dish. Kim told us that sesame seeds are very nutrient-rich. They contain copper and selenium, which is good for the immune system. Although you really have to eat a lot – like ¼ cup to get a significant amount of nutrients, Kim encourages that “Every little bit helps!”.

Take-away

What did I learn from this exercise? It truly does pay to check those sale prices, and if you have the time and energy, shop around. I will shop Trader Joe’s for more than just Candy Cane Joe Joe’s, because that sure was a good price on two pounds of chicken. And I learned to try a new vegetable – edamame – which can easily be adapted into any Asian dish, and popped fresh right into your mouth.

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Slow Cooker Honey Sesame Chicken Recipe
 
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken tenderloins
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • ½ cup honey
  • ½ cup soy sauce
  • 2 tbs vegetable oil
  • ¼ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 cup mukimame
  • 2 green onion tops, diced, for garnish
  • sesame seeds, for garnish
  • instant brown rice (served under as side dish)
Directions
  1. Place chicken tenderloins into slow cooker.
  2. In a large bowl, combine garlic, onion, honey, soy sauce, oil and red pepper flakes.
  3. Pour over chicken and gently toss to combine.
  4. Cover and cook on low for 3 hours.
  5. During last hour, add mukimame and stir to combine.
  6. Make rice during last few minutes of the chicken cooking.
  7. Serve warm over rice.
  8. Garnish with sesame seeds and green onion.

Recipe adapted from several sources that trace back to Baby Center. This post was sponsored by Indiana’s Family of Farmers, but all words and opinions are 100% my own.

Comments

  1. says

    Very interesting! I am usually a Kroger shopper and hardly ever compare prices. I am shocked about the Trader Joe’s chicken!

    I love edamame. I buy the steamer packs and just eat it right out of the box!

  2. says

    I love how easy this is and love that you have edamame in it – we love the stuff! I’ve always got a bag in the freezer. Will have to try this for an easy weeknight dinner soon – thanks for sharing!

  3. says

    Yum! Looks delicious! I must be hungry, because my stomach is growling. ;0) Thanks for sharing with us at the Merry Monday Link Party. Hope to see you again on Sunday!

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