The Blissful Blueberry

a journey into mindful living and wellness

Tag: nut butter

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

 

 

 

Homemade honey cinnamon almond butter

Homemade honey cinnamon almond butter

I’ve been obsessed with nut butters since pregnancy kicked into overtime. Visible belly, insane hunger and thirst – and all around happiness. :)

The problem: almond butter is expensive. Especially the all-natural kind that has no sugar – just almonds and salt. So I didn’t buy it for a while to “fix” my habit. 

But then I just got into the hub’s Peter Pan peanut butter. I finished a jar – almost by myself – in a week. I tried not to look at ingredients. I just had to keep peeking though. 

Blargh! To quote Peter Pan’s website: 

“Peter Pan Peanut Butter complies with U.S. Standards of Identity for peanut butter by containing more than 90 percent select roasted peanuts. It also contains extremely small amounts of vegetable oil stabilizers, which improve smoothness and prevent the natural peanut oils from separating from the product and rising to the top of the jar. To enhance the flavor, Peter Pan Peanut Butter also contains sugar and salt.”

But that vegetable oil stabilizer is hydrogenated oils.  Blech. And that sugar is corn syrup solids. More blech. And, oddly, soy. I looked it up: commercial peanut butter is 60% peanuts. Silly, silly peanut butter.

I needed to get back on the almond butter train. But now I was back on the sugar train. :( Time to wean! 

And here’s where this almond butter came in. 

Homemade honey cinnamon almond butter

I would normally have just gone straight to the pure form. Almonds, roast, salt, blend. But I had tasted the super-processed stuff and my brain had re-wired. 

The process is the same though if you want purity and sugar-free. Start with these guys. Or any almonds. Pre-roasted, raw, doesn’t matter much. 

Homemade honey cinnamon almond butter

Spread them out on a cookie sheet in a single layer. Steal a few off the sheet (you know, so they don’t crowd each other). 
Homemade honey cinnamon almond butter

Put them in a 350 degree oven for approximately 10 minutes. I used 2 cups’ worth. 

Homemade honey cinnamon almond butter

They’ll be a little darker and a little fragrant. Perfect! And steamy!

Homemade honey cinnamon almond butter

Toss them into your mixer of choice. I used a food processor so I could go hands free – as opposed to my Ninja blender. Throw in a bit of coarse sea salt. Or any salt. I’m not a snob. 

Homemade honey cinnamon almond butter

Do the processing in spurts. You don’t want to hurt your motor. This is phase 1 after approximately 2 minutes of mixing. REST the motor. Grab a drink. Pet the animals. 

Homemade honey cinnamon almond butter

This is approximately 5 minutes in. You could stop here and have super heavy, dry nut butter. But you shouldn’t. 

Homemade honey cinnamon almond butter

Here’s where I added some honey. But this is optional. I did approximately 1 tablespoon. Add or subtract based on your own sugar preference. You can also use maple syrup for low FODMAP, but I’d advise against any other kind of sugar because the liquid helps loosen the nut oils. 

If you skip the sugar, you might need to blend for a full 10 minutes. I was able to stop at 8. 

Homemade honey cinnamon almond butter

If you’re going and going and it’s getting past ten minutes and you’re getting impatient, you can add in a little oil. Liquid coconut oil or canola oil are best if you have those on hand. But that decreases the percentage of actual nut in the nut butter. Boo to that. 

Homemade honey cinnamon almond butter

I wanted mine a little textured so I popped in the rest of the almonds from the giant bag. I also tapped in some cinnamon at this point. About 2 teaspoons. 

Homemade honey cinnamon almond butter

Perfection! Creamy, but with a little crunch! Sweet, but not too sweet, with the perfect amount of cinnamon!

Homemade honey cinnamon almond butter

After a tablespoon or two of tasting (for quality control purposes), it fit into a tall mason jar glass and was ready to go in the cupboard!

So, if you have a processed peanut butter fetish, you must try this. Better for your heart, your gut and your soul! 

Don’t hide behind the fear that it can’t be done cheaply and easily! Get out and try it! :0 

Cat in a trunk

Homemade Honey Cinnamon Almond Butter

Homemade honey cinnamon almond butter
A homemade delicious, easy and inexpensive way to make your own all natural nut butter at home. Feel free to turn it into whatever you need: cashew butter, cocoa-flavored, etc.
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Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
20 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
20 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 cups almonds (or any kind of nut)
  2. Coarse sea salt to taste
  3. 1 tbs. honey
  4. 2 tsps. cinnamon
Instructions
  1. Roast almonds in a single layer in the oven at 350 degree for 10 minutes
  2. Place almonds and sea salt in mixer. Mix with frequent rests for 8 - 10 minutes adding in honey, cinnamon and extra nuts (if wanted) in final round of mixing.
  3. Enjoy!
The Blissful Blueberry http://blissfulblueberry.com/