Monday, February 24, 2014

Secret Recipe Club: Slow Cooker Coconut Curry Chicken

Okay, I really need to get my computer fixed gang.  Last time I posted was for last month's SRC reveal day, and I can't believe that a month has flown by and here we are again posting for Secret Recipe Club.  This month, we were assigned Without Adornment, a blog full of amazing gluten-free recipes, including tons of delicious baked goods. Bean is a smart cookie (she's an engineer), and aims to live life unadorned, meaning to be herself and to be alive! I love the honesty of her blog and her baking and photography skills are quite evident. If you have any food sensitivities, she has you covered with gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, vegan, refined sugar-free, etc. options.

As I flipped through Bean's recipe index, I admit, I was tempted by all the tasty baked goods, but this Coconut Curry Chicken jumped off the page.  After a bit too much indulgence over Valentine's Day weekend (hey, a single girl has to celebrate too!), I was craving something healthy and delicious, yet comforting at the same time.  Not only did I drool over the ingredients, I was also excited that it was a slow cooker recipe, because I honestly don't use my slow cooker enough.  It is a great timesaving way to make an easy and healthy meal, and this recipe from Without Adornment is definitely easy, delicious, and healthy!

For my version, I used light coconut milk and instead of adding the cauliflower florets to the curry, I put the cauliflower in a food processor to make "rice" to serve with the curry. (Just pulse in the food processor until all of the cauliflower is the size of rice, then sauté for a few minutes in coconut oil with salt and pepper over medium heat.) I also cooked mine on low, since I made it overnight and felt like sleeping longer than 5 hours haha.

Slow Cooker Coconut Curry Chicken

From Without Adornment

3 or 4 chicken breasts, fresh or frozen
1 red pepper, seeded and quartered
1 small onion, skinned and halved
2 cloves garlic
1 can coconut (light) milk
1 can tomato paste
1 tsp. turmeric
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. cardamom
3/4 tsp. ginger
1/2 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. cloves
1 tsp. salt
3 carrots, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
2 c. cauliflower florets, chopped (I used the cauliflower to make "rice")
cilantro or parsley

Add the chicken breasts, chopped red pepper, and carrots to the bottom of your slow cooker.

In a food processor, combine coconut milk, second pepper, garlic, spices, and tomato paste.  Process until smooth.  Pour the sauce over the chicken and vegetables.

Cook on either low for 7-8 hours or high for 5 hours.

Remove the chicken from the slow cooker and shred it.  It should fall apart easily at this point.  Set the chicken aside for a moment.

Create a roux with cold water and cornstarch.  Gradually stir the roux into the sauce in the slow cooker to thicken the sauce. Add the chicken back into the sauce. 

At this point, you can either steam your cauliflower florets and add them to the curry, or you can make cauli "rice" as described above.  Alternative serving options: rice, noodles, or nothing at all.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Blueberry-Banana Baked Oatmeal

Well, for the K and K family members, 2014 is the year we commit to healthy eating! Kelsey is leading the way for us as she switched to clean eating back in June and she finally convinced us to change our eating habits!  In December, Kelsey lead a group of seven family and friends in a Holiday Challenge of healthy eating and fitness to help us ward off the holiday weight gain.  I am happy to report that all of us were successful in actually losing weight in December.  First time ever that I came to the New Year actually losing 4 pounds instead of gaining.  So, we all committed to doing the month of January and we added more family and friends and we are a group of 30!  Some are using the Vemma Chris Powell Bode products and carb cycling and some are doing their own programs, but all are getting the fantastic daily emails from Kelsey and support of our FB group!  This month has produced even greater results with our average weigh loss over 4 weeks was 8 pounds per person.  Amazing to think at my age (50+) that I would be a part of the latest craze called social dieting.  It is so much fun.  Kelsey will be leading a new group starting on Feb. 7th.  If you are interested in learning about the February challenge, contact Kelsey. 

Tim and I just got back from five days of skiing with friends.  Each morning one couple was assigned breakfast for the group.  I knew that I wanted to make something that was hearty but healthy.  So this great recipe of Blueberry-Banana Baked Oatmeal was my choice.  The recipe contributor assured that it “would help power you through your day and guard against energy fluctuations.”  Our group of skiers agreed that it was delicious and indeed gave them lasting power until lunchtime. I made a few adjustments to recipe to up the protein level and served it with Greek yogurt and fresh berries!  It made great leftovers so your breakfast is ready for the week! 

Blueberry-Banana Baked Oatmeal

Elizabeth M. Ward, Muscle and Fitness Hers

2 cups rolled oats
½ cup walnuts, chopped
¼ cup honey
1 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt (optional)
1 ½ tsp. cinnamon
¼ cup of Vemma Vanilla protein powder or protein powder of your choice
¼ cup flax seed
2 cups non-fat milk or almond milk
2 medium fortified eggs, beaten
¼ cup butter or coconut oil, melted and slightly cooled
2 tsp. vanilla extract (I did not have with me so I just had the vanilla flavor from protein powder)
2 ripe bananas
2 cups fresh, or frozen and thawed, blueberries

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Grease the inside of an eight-inch square baking dish.  (I used a round one as we were skiing and I used what was available in the condo.)

In a medium bowl, combine the oats, half of the walnuts, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, protein powder, and flax seed.  Set aside.

In another medium bowl, combine honey, milk, eggs, butter or coconut oil, and vanilla extract.  Set aside.

Arrange the bananas in layers on the bottom of the baking dish.  Place 1 ½ cups blueberries on the top. Cover the fruit with the oat mixture. 

Slowly pour the milk/egg mixture over the fruit and oats, making sure it covers them completely.  Sprinkle the remaining berries and walnuts on top.

Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until golden brown and the mixture has set.  Remove from the oven.  Let cool for 5 to 10 minutes before cutting.  Storage leftovers in refrigerator. 

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