The Blissful Blueberry

a journey into mindful living and wellness

Tag: carrots

Thai-inspired spicy chicken slowcooker stew

Delicious and easy Thai spiced chicken slowcooker stew

Couldn’t be easier. Those are the magic words when it comes to dinner lately. 

6 months preggos and feeling great, but the sleepiness holds. As does the 9 1/2 hour work day at the new gig. All of this -and more!- makes for a difficult dinner process. 

 

baby

But I must keep up with eating in general – even without time for it! This guy needs to grow!

doggie

But this guy wants to play, so I must make time for him, too! I even had time to give him a bath. He looks adorable and shaggy afterward. 

But, lo! The power of the crockpot. :) Fanciful magic in a tiny pot. No oven. No extra heat in the kitchen on these increasingly warmer spring days. No waiting for a preheat to ding. No making sure you’re home so the house doesn’t burn down. No slaving over a hot stove.

None of that. Why? Because you have a $25 crockpot, duh. And you use it. 

This particular meal I decided to use for my Sunday batch of cooking that suffices for my weekly lunch-at-my-desk food. Some comfort of a warm meal while typing away for the masses. 

Delicious and easy Thai spiced chicken slowcooker stew

Prepping veggies is the most time-consuming part, so I did that the night before. Some po-tay-toes. 

Delicious and easy Thai spiced chicken slowcooker stew

Some pretty big onions. (Note the use of “some.” I don’t measure. I just look into the larder and cupboards and cull.)

Delicious and easy Thai spiced chicken slowcooker stew

Some carrots. 

Delicious and easy Thai spiced chicken slowcooker stew

Presto.

Delicious and easy Thai spiced chicken slowcooker stew

Change-o. Chopped. 

Delicious and easy Thai spiced chicken slowcooker stew

The fun stuff was up next. All-natural peanut butter. Can do almond butter if full-on Paleo. I had run out at this point, so I pilfered from the husband’s supply of Peter Pan. 

I added some red pepper flakes and some chili pepper flakes. The “some” can be to your liking. :)

Delicious and easy Thai spiced chicken slowcooker stew

And the rest. Sriracha hot sauce. Thai fish sauce. Sesame seed oil. Tomato sauce. Coconut milk. Ginger! The best umami in the my fridge at that moment! :) 

Delicious and easy Thai spiced chicken slowcooker stew

With the luscious boneless (skinless optional) chicken thighs on the bottom, I added the chopped veggies from last night and the umami cocktail from the morning.  

Delicious and easy Thai spiced chicken slowcooker stew

Simmering divinity after 5 hours.  It’s not even the work week yet, but I want to eat it all! Well, of course it needing sampling before being packed away into 5 little glass containers. 

Delicious and easy Thai spiced chicken slowcooker stew

Sample size. I still got 5 little containers out of the rest, so this wasn’t a bad sample choice. :) 

If you need something to soak up the flavor and don’t mind adding in more carbs, you could put it over rice. Or if you want more vegetables to soak up the flavor, you could vegetti a squash and put it over that, too!

For non-gluten-free-ers, you could soak it up with some flax seed pitas or naan bread. But I just ate it as is, though, and was thoroughly full. 

Thai-inspired spicy slowcooker chicken stew
Serves 6
An easy way to have dinner ready on the table or meals for a whole week without slaving over a hot oven or stove this summer. Lots of ways to add vegetables from the garden, too! Spicy and creamy all at once!
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
5 hr
Total Time
5 hr 10 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
5 hr
Total Time
5 hr 10 min
Ingredients
  1. 4 large chicken thighs (I used boneless, skinless frozen thighs that were almost all-the-way thawed upon adding them to the crock.)
  2. 6 small carrots
  3. 2 potatoes
  4. 1 onion
  5. 3 tbs nut butter
  6. 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  7. 1/2 tsp chili pepper flakes
  8. 1 cube (1/2 tsp) ginger (not ground)
  9. 2 tsp sriracha
  10. 1 tbs fish sauce
  11. 3 tbs sauce or tomato paste
  12. 1/2 cup coconut milk
  13. 1 tbs sesame seed oil
  14. salt and pepper
Instructions
  1. Thaw or prep chicken. Add to bottom of crockpot.
  2. Cut up veggies. Add on top of chicken.
  3. Combine rest of ingredients in bowl. Make a saucy paste. Add on top of veggies.
  4. Cook on low for 5-6 hours. Enjoy!
The Blissful Blueberry http://blissfulblueberry.com/
Delicious and easy Thai-inspired spicy chicken slowcooker stew

 

 

 

Quinoa and salmon healthy fried “rice”

Quinoa and salmon healthy fried "rice" - delicious and easy meal or side dish that you can make with staples from your cupboard.

Oh.my.word. I can’t get enough food these days. Perhaps it’s the unrelenting winter or perhaps it’s the pregnancy. :) Who really knows? 

But, as I have been staying away from all grain for a while now and feel the need to sneak some back in comfort-wise, I thought I would try out something with the quinoa I had stored in the cupboard from a recent trip to the Little Falls Co-op. 

Something to stick to my ribs was what this frigid Saturday called for. It was 10 degrees if that, and, even with a fire going, I was all bundled up in two pairs of socks and the largest fuzziest sweater I could find (my husband’s). 

Quinoa and salmon healthy fried "rice" - delicious and easy meal or side dish that you can make with staples from your cupboard.

Sad to say how cold it has been–even though on the first day of Spring I was able to take this guy for a warm 30-degree walk without freezing my buttinsky off.

Back to food. I’m getting hungry.

Frequently, my meals center around what needs to be eaten up in the crisper. I buy a lot of vegetables during my weekly grocery trip, but have difficulty using them all up. Like a whole head of cabbage from St. Patrick’s Day. 

So, this meal was born. I call them garbage meals. Before things go into the garbage, cook them up!

I did a Pinterest search for quinoa and came across a recipe from Feed Me Phoebe for Easy Fried Rice with Quinoa

It had carrots in it, which I had, but that was about it. But, basically, all I needed was the timing and water ratio for the quinoa. So I used it! 

It called for one cup of quinoa and two cups of water, so I got that boiling and started a-chopping! 

I had carrots, cabbage and onions in the larder. Chop, chop, chop. 

I didn’t think I was going to blog this so I didn’t get a chance to do all of those fancy measured mise-en-place photos. Instead, I started with this one because I quickly realized it was going to taste soooooo good. 

Quinoa and salmon healthy fried "rice" - delicious and easy meal or side dish that you can make with staples from your cupboard.

All it took was some coconut oil going in the wok with the veggies and my head was spinning with possibilities. What else was in the fridge that could use some attention?

Quinoa and salmon healthy fried "rice" - delicious and easy meal or side dish that you can make with staples from your cupboard.

Well, hello jalapenos. :) My trusty meal kicker. 

The carrots were getting an excellent crust. Nicely sugaring.  Added some coarse sea salt in at this point. 

Also, tossed in two frozen ginger cubes I keep around with minced garlic. I never bother to measure the garlic–just tap the jar on the side of the wok and see what pops up. 

After this cooked down for a few minutes, I added in coconut aminos, sesame oil and Thai and True! A lucky find in a suburban Seattle grocery store. 

Quinoa and salmon healthy fried "rice" - delicious and easy meal or side dish that you can make with staples from your cupboard.

So, so glad I bought it. Well, I buy hot sauce while on vacation like people buy t-shirts or magnets. 

Quinoa and salmon healthy fried "rice" - delicious and easy meal or side dish that you can make with staples from your cupboard.

Now, I needed some meat. I buy frozen fish whenever it’s on sale, but I usually save it for fish tacos. Since I hadn’t eaten grains (including corn) in a long time, I knew there was some salmon in there at risk of developing frostbite. Perfect protein addition.

I actually had white fish I needed to use up, too, so I used both. :) Double fish. 

Quinoa and salmon healthy fried "rice" - delicious and easy meal or side dish that you can make with staples from your cupboard.

Once that cooked down, I added the quinoa back in to absorb some juices. Pushed that around for a bit–then pushed it to the side to cook up three beaten eggs. I did this really quickly so I couldn’t spare a hand to photograph it. :)

Quinoa and salmon healthy fried "rice" - delicious and easy meal or side dish that you can make with staples from your cupboard.

Once it started to set, I pulled it off the heat and plated it with those pretty little oranges that also needed to be eaten. 

Quinoa and salmon healthy fried "rice" - delicious and easy meal or side dish that you can make with staples from your cupboard.

So, whether you’re gluten-free, a health nut or just looking for a high-quality protein-based carb, you should check this recipe out.

Add in whatever vegetables and protein are about to “turn” on you and spice it with your favorite hot items. It’s such an easy, customize-able dish. :) 

It hit that hunger spot near my ribs right on. 

Quinoa and salmon healthy fried "rice"

 

And don’t forget to head over to the Battle of the Breads post to see which winning combination of ingredients (and delicious toppings) won this tasty battle.

Battle of the gluten-free breads

 

Q

Quinoa and salmon healthy fried "rice"
Serves 4
A fantastically healthy, gluten-free side dish or meal that can be cooked quickly and customized with whatever you have in your cupboards or refrigerator.
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
20 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
20 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 cup quinoa
  2. 2 cups water
  3. 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  4. 4 carrots
  5. 1 onion
  6. 1/4 head of cabbage
  7. 1/4 cup sliced jalapenos
  8. Coarse sea salt
  9. Some minced garlic
  10. Some minced ginger
  11. 2 tablespoons coconut aminos
  12. 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  13. 2 tablespoons hot whatever-sauce
  14. 4 filet of salmon or any fish
  15. 3 beaten eggs
Instructions
  1. In a medium saucepan, combine the quinoa and water and bring to a boil.
  2. Cover, turn the heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes, until the quinoa is done.
  3. Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large wok.
  4. Saute the carrots, onion and cabbage over high heat until soft and beginning to brown, about 6 minutes.
  5. Add jalapenos. Season with coarse sea salt.
  6. Add the garlic and ginger and stir fry until fragrant, another 2 minutes.
  7. Add the quinoa and stir fry until well-coated in the vegetable mixture and beginning to toast, 3 minutes.
  8. Stir in the coconut aminos, sesame oil and hot sauce.
  9. Add the fish of your choice and cook until nearly done.
  10. Push the quinoa to the side of the pan to create a well. Pour the eggs into the well and cook, stirring gently, until nearly set.
  11. Toss the quinoa mixture with the eggs.
  12. Transfer the quinoa to bowls and serve right away.
Adapted from Feed Me Phoebe
Adapted from Feed Me Phoebe
The Blissful Blueberry http://blissfulblueberry.com/

 

 

 

 

Slow-cooker Cocoa & Carrot Chili

 

Slowcooker Cocoa and Carrot Chili

The snow is falling fiercely today. The day before Thanksgiving–apparently Mother Nature wants to make sure everything looks festive for us! 😛 Looking out my window I can see no more grass. Luckily, I had this one garden project to finish this morning, which I did, just before the snow started falling. (I’m attempting a garden compost project I pinned on Pinterest forever ago.)

Snow bird

In spirit of this cold snap here in lovely Herkimer, I decided to make some chili. I had discovered a recipe in Practical Paleo that I wanted to make, but it needed some serious modifications to account for my budget, items in my fridge, and my low-FODMAP needs. But, it was a solid foundation. Not even the title will be recognizable though!

Thankfully, I am a traitor vegetarian because low-FODMAP calls for no beans. I lived on beans as a vegetarian; now, frozen chicken. Slightly more expensive. But less damaging gut-wise for sure. This recipe omits the beans and adds in plenty of veggies and lean meat to keep the health benefits high.

Ground-beef-for-the-chili

In the original recipe, it called for bison. I’m not sure even where to buy bison, but I wanted to keep it red meat, so I went with lean ground beef. I decided to keep it clumpy so it could turn out like little meat chunks when it was done. Mmm…meat chunks.

Carrots-for-health!

My carrots were starting to go a little south in the fridge, so I knew I needed to use them up quickly. The original recipe called for butternut squash and onions (high-FODMAP), so in went carrots, trusty ol’ spinach, and red pepper (hiding under the spinach).

Spice-blend-prep

Boy, do I love making spice mixes. I’ll sniff and sniff and sniff until I feel a little dizzy. So pretty. So fun. This was a mix of smoked paprika, chili powder, cumin (original called for chipotle powder [didn’t have it]), cinnamon, cocoa powder, sea salt and pepper. The original also called for garlic (high-FODMAP), so I omitted it. But, as most people love garlic, if you have it, add it (3 smashed cloves).

All of this lovely spice was added to a big can of crushed tomatoes. The original called for diced, but I was all out. That seems like it might hold up better in a slowcooker, but I really enjoyed the texture of mine, so go with what’s in your cupboard. In 6 hours, I’m sure it all looks like crushed tomatoes.

Pre-cooked-cocoa-chili

Plop it all into the slowcooker. And set it and forget it–or whatever that infomercial says! 😛 While it cooked, I tossed the frisbee with the dog, watched the kitties try to jump off of things, and watched the news. And probably a lot of other things because I let it go for 6 hours–although if doing ground beef (instead of cubed meat) and crushed tomatoes, you could probably do less time. I just got antsy to get it going.

Cocoa-Chili

Voila! Delicious and smoky (with a bit of heat) chili. My husband said it’s his favorite chili I’ve made so far. High compliments! Flourish with a cinnamon stick for prettiness and tortilla chips for crunch.

And to melt your heart with your mouth: here’s a kitty mouth! And kitty cuddle!

kitty-mouth

Kitties at rest-ish.

Slow Cooker Cocoa and Carrot Chili
Serves 4
A bean-free healthy, smoky, spicy chili that can't be beat!
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
4 hr
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
4 hr
Ingredients
  1. 1 tbs smoked paprika
  2. 2 tbs chili powder
  3. 1 tbs cumin powder
  4. 1 tbs cinnamon
  5. 1 tbs cocoa powder
  6. 1 1/2 tbs sea salt
  7. 2 tsp black pepper
  8. 28 oz. crushed tomatoes (or cubed or fresh [4 cups])
  9. 1 1lb. lean ground beef (or bison)
  10. 1 small package baby carrots (or 4 large, cut into smaller pieces)
  11. 2 cups spinach (instead of carrots and spinach, try sweet potatoes, zucchini--or anything yummy)
  12. 1 red bell pepper, diced
  13. Crushed tortilla chips (optional)
Instructions
  1. In a bowl, mix all of the spices.
  2. After mixed, add in the tomatoes.
  3. Place the beef and vegetables in the slowcooker, and cover with the tomato mixture.
  4. Cover and cook on low for 4-6 hours.
  5. Serve with crushed tortilla chips.
Adapted from Practical Paleo
Adapted from Practical Paleo
The Blissful Blueberry http://blissfulblueberry.com/