Recipes

Slow Cooker Chicken Curry

Ever on the hunt for easy, family-friendly recipes, I tried to make a simple chicken and vegetable curry with minimal spice (to please Mr. Boring Meat and Potatoes Palate) in the slow cooker last weekend. Can I just say…wow! This is a definite winner! It’s officially added to our regular rotation.

IMG_6953

I kept it bland, but you can amp up the spice if you like, and serve over the rice of your choosing (or plain).

The original recipe called for cauliflower, which I love but Mark hates, so I doubled up the other veggies, in particular the Brussels Sprouts since they’re a fave in our house. You can really customize this however you like, though, and make it vegetarian by leaving out the meat. If you keep the chicken, though, I think you’ll be pleased to find that it cooks down into flavorful, really moist shredded pieces in this recipe. Perfect for spooning onto a sub roll for lunch the next day!

IMG_6733

Freeze leftovers or take them for lunch all week long. I paired this with a salad for lunch one day, and this veggie dish another. (Belgian Salad? Brussels Sprouts? Do we have some kind of weird theme happening here?) Again, this has no heat to it whatsoever, so fear not, wimps! Mark can’t even tolerate a hint of spice, and it didn’t hurt this dish one bit.

IMG_6772-1

Slow Cooker Chicken Curry

INGREDIENTS

I bought all mine at Trader Joe’s but all are widely available.

  • 1 lb. boneless chicken breasts
  • 1 medium sweet potato, peeled and cubed
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 2 cups Brussels sprouts
  • 1 medium white OR red onion, chopped
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1 can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained & rinsed
  • 15 oz. tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk, light
  • 2 TBSP curry powder
  • 2 TBSP lemon juice (about half one fresh lemon)
  • salt and pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS

Start by chopping all your dry ingredients: peel and cube the sweet potato, dice the red pepper, and chop the onion. Place all veggies in the slow cooker (including frozen Brussels sprouts) except the frozen peas and lemon juice. Pour in wet ingredients (coconut milk, tomato sauce, chicken broth) plus the beans, drained and rinsed, and curry powder. Stir, then place chicken breasts on top. I cut mine in half first, but that’s a matter of personal preference.

Set slow cooker for low and cook 8 hours, stirring occasionally if you are home. Or, cook on high for four hours. Just before serving, pour in the frozen peas and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper to your taste. Enjoy with rice on the side, or plain.

IMG_6766

If you are making this vegetarian, be sure to increase the amount of vegetables to compensate for the space the chicken would have taken up, and cook for less time (about 6 hours on low). If you decide to add the cauliflower back in, the original recipe calls for 1 cup chopped. If you’d like for this to be spicy, I’d recommend adding 1 tsp cayenne (or hot sauce to taste) at the beginning when you add the curry powder.

You really can’t go wrong with this one. I hope you like it! Great for having a crowd over, or just for stocking up for the work week and before all that cooking over the holidays.

My other go-to for weekend cooking, especially right before a week like Thanksgiving when your kitchen is focused on holiday prep, are these vegetarian stuffed shells. So easy, so yummy, so filling. So Italian (just like me! And Georgia, who is VERY interested in helping in the kitchen these days).

This year, I am making Balsamic Roasted Green Beans and Homemade Cranberry Sauce for Thanksgiving at my dad’s house (gotta climb into the Wayback Machine for that first recipe!) And Georgia can eat everything this year ~ how exciting! Here’s what she looked like last Thanksgiving at just three months old 😦 I would be sad, but I remember how poorly we were sleeping back then, and I’d much rather take the craziness of toddlerhood with everyone getting a full night’s sleep.

Chicken curry recipe adapted from SarahFit, who says each of the five 3-cup servings has about 300 calories. She also puts the total cost at less than $25, which sounds about right. Cheap, healthy and tasty ~ awesome!

Recipes

Coconut-Curry Lentil Soup

As soon as I saw this recipe from Delight Gluten-Free Magazine, I knew I had to try it! (I changed it up a little to suit what I had in my pantry).

I added a little more potato to compensate for the fact that I only had 1 cup of lentils on hand, and then used leeks instead of yellow onion because I had a cup of chopped leeks left over from making a batch of my spring risotto. I also made sure to use light coconut milk to keep all the flavor without quite so many calories.

This turned out really well, and we had tons of leftovers to eat for lunch all week. I served it with my Kale Salad — which is made with a simple avocado-lemon dressing — since I had half a bunch of kale leftover from making the soup, plus two avocados left from making some Lemon Pappardelle.

Coconut Curry Lentil Soup

Serves 8   Hands-on time 20 minutes   Slow cooks for 4 hours

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup dried lentils, rinsed
  • 1 cup sliced carrots
  • 2 good sized potatoes, diced (skin on)
  • 1 cup chopped leeks (white parts only) or use a yellow onion
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 bunch kale, or use spinach/collard greens, stems removed
  • 2 TBSP tomato paste
  • 3 cups vegetable stock, plus 1/2 cup at the end (two 14.5 oz cans total)
  • 1 can of light coconut milk (14 oz.)
  • 2 TBSP EVOO
  • 2 TBSP fresh lemon juice, to use at the end
  • 1 TBSP fresh ginger, or 1 teaspoon dried
  • 1/2 to 1 jalapeno, seeded (or use jarred slices)
  • 2 TBSP curry powder
  • salt to taste (about 1/2 tsp)

This looks like a long list of ingredients, but I actually didn’t have to buy anything besides the fresh kale. I think you’ll find that you have most if not all of these ingredients already on hand.

DIRECTIONS

In a skillet over medium, heat the olive oil, then saute the garlic, leeks, ginger and jalapeno for 5 minutes. Turn off heat. (note: if you have someone who really doesn’t like heat, just leave these out. It will taste subtle to people who like a kick, but in a slow cooker peppers can really broaden their spice).

Stir into the pan the tomato paste, coconut milk, vegetable stock and curry; stir together.

Pour into slow cooker and add carrots, potatoes, lentils and salt. Set on low heat for four hours. After four hours, stir in the kale or other greens and squeeze in the lemon juice, adding the rest of the vegetable stock and any additional water that looks necessary for desired texture. Let heat for another 15 minutes, then add salt and pepper to taste.

This dish freezes well and is very filling. It’s probably most suitable for fall, but I made it during a cold snap the East Coast weathered in between some summer heat, and it really hit the spot. Enjoy!

CSA 2011 · Recipes

‘Ribollita al Pomodoro’ soup

Looking for a way to use up leftover crusty bread? Throw it in this hearty soup with vegetables, beans and seasonings, and you’ve got major comfort food. My main reason for making this: to use up the remainder of a good-quality French loaf I’d bought to serve alongside my slow cooker beef stew. Also, I had lots of leeks from my CSA, so I used those where otherwise I might have included onions. I combined two well known Italian recipes, one for Ribollita (a thick Tuscan soup) and pappa al’pomodoro (a sweet tomato-based soup), into one mash-up with apples and curry that came out unexpectedly fabulous. Serve with freshly grated Parmesan cheese!

Ingredients

  • Day-old French bread
  • 1 can Cannellini beans, with their liquid
  • Parmesan cheese

Vegetables

  • Leeks (2, chopped)
  • Celery (2-3 stalks, chopped)
  • Carrots (1 or 2, chopped)
  • I can diced tomatoes (use fresh if available)
  • I large granny smith apple, cubed (unpeeled)

Seasonings

  • 1 minced garlic clove
  • Kosher Salt
  • Curry powder
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Red pepper flakes or cayenne

Wet ingredients

  • Almond milk (eyeball to achieve desired consistency of soup)
  • Veggie broth (1 can)
  • Olive oil & Butter (eyeball it to sautee the garlic)

Directions

Melt the butter with the olive oil and saute the garlic, celery and leeks until soft and fragrant, about 5 minutes over medium heat. You don’t need onion with all that flavor from the garlic and leeks!

Add the carrots, tomatoes and bay leaves and stir to combine well for a few minutes. Add the veggie broth, apple and other seasonings.

Cover and simmer for at least 20 minutes (the house will start to smell awesome). Add the cannellini beans and bread and continue simmering, stirring occasionally, for another 5-10 minutes.

Add the almond milk to taste at the end, when the soup is on low. You don’t really want to let the almond milk boil up. If the soup looks too thick, add a teeny bit more almond milk or water; don’t forget it’ll thicken even more as it cools. Test to make sure the carrots are cooked through; add seasonings to taste, and you’re done.

Top it with freshly-grated Parmesan cheese and enjoy!

Approval from a very discerning nose.

A few tips:

  • The flavors blend together even better as leftovers. Eaten the next day, I think this soup actually improves.
  • If you have it, a drizzle of good-quality olive oil will make an excellent topping here with the cheese. As for cheese, try parmesan, pecorino, or both. They’re each just salty enough.
  • If you don’t care for chunky soups, you can puree this to a smooth consistency using an immersion blender.
  • Increase the heat by upping your quantity of red pepper flakes/cayenne, or even by throwing in some good hot sauce.
  • The quantity of bread is very flexible. Tailor it to your liking and whatever you have on hand!