Crock Pot Moroccan Chicken

Tried out a new crock pot recipe last week and OH MY YUM!  And easy!  Win Win!

I like to have dinner ready on football game nights, which is sometimes three nights a week!  In the rush of getting home post-game, getting showers done, homework checked, and boys headed to bed, I forgot to take a picture...but I got one of my yummy leftovers!


Here's the original recipe along with my modifications

Ingredients:
2 (15 ounce) cans chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 (28 ounce) can whole tomatoes drained and cut into 1-inch cubes (I used a can of chopped tomatoes, juice and all)
2 large bell peppers, chopped (I used green because they were cheapest)
1 red onion, chopped
1/3 cup golden raisins (the bites with raisins were VERY yummy, but there weren't many, so I think I will increase this a lot the next time I make this recipe)
2 T tomato paste (I just used the whole little can)
2 T water
1 T ground cumin
2 t ground cinnamon
2 t paprika
1/2 t salt
1.25 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1 inch cubes (I used a whole family package of thighs and put them in whole and shredded them with my handy shredder scissors after it was cooked)
3 T creamy peanut butter or other nut butter of your choice (I used peanut butter...forgot to put in until after I had served first helpings...everyone agreed that it was way yummier with the peanut butter)


Directions:
In your crock pot, stir together all ingredients.  Cover and cook on low 8 hours or 3 to 4 hours on high.

Stir in nut butter of your choice and serve over rice, quinoa, or couscous.  (I think this would be amazing with couscous, but the ease of the rice cooker won this week)

Tropical Slaw



Tropical Slaw          

          
I had some cabbage to use up, and was tired of regular slaw. I found a recipe similar to this, left out what I didn’t like, and voilà! Both Larry and I loved this!

3 cups shredded cabbage (1/3 – ½ a head)
1 can (20 oz) pineapple tidbits
1 can (11 oz) mandarin oranges
½ - 1 cup flaked coconut
1 6-8 oz carton piña colada or pineapple yogurt
½ cup chopped walnuts

Drain pineapple and oranges. (Won’t use the liquid, so feel free to use in other dishes if you care to.)  In medium bowl combine cabbage, pineapple, oranges, and coconut. Add yogurt and toss to coat. Top with walnuts. Refrigerate until serving.

Bacon topped Roasted Pumpkin and Cauliflower Soup

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This soup was so easy and delicious I have to write down how I made it so that I can make it again next winter! It all started because I didn't cook a meal I had planned which left me with half of a pumpkin and a head of cauliflower that really needed to be used.  I didn't really have a piece of meat or any potatoes to go with them so a roast was not on the table.  I didn't want to go to the shops ... you know, it was one of those days!  We all have them, right?! So, I scrounged around and this is what I came up with.

1/2 of a Kent pumpkin
1 head of cauliflower 
1 head of garlic
A couple of onions

I chopped the pumpkin and cauliflower, peeled and quartered the onions, and just peeled the garlic.  I put all of that in a large baking dish (lined with baking paper of course) and coasted with olive oil.  I roasted them in the oven on like 180C (350F) until the pumpkin was soft and the cauliflower was starting to brown. 

I put all of that into my blender, added a bit of chicken stock and blended it to a thick soup consistency. 

We love toppings on our soups too so while the veggies were roasting, I chopped up the following.

1 small onion
A couple cloves of garlic
A few rashers of bacon

I fried them all together ... starting with the bacon because it takes a bit longer ... then adding the garlic and onion and cooking til garlic is not longer bitter and onions are soft.

I served the soup in a bowl, sprinkled with the topping. 

I had intended to grab a few chives out of the garden as well to sprinkle on the top, but I forgot!  Oh well ... next time!

Garlic Prawns and Scallops - In the Thermomix

I had been craving prawns and decided to try Tenina's Garlic Prawn Recipe. I made that decision while I was at the shops but wasn't exactly sure what ingredients I had at home. I ended up having most of what I needed but had to improvise a little bit when I didn't have everything.  Also, Rory and I love scallops so I added those!  Here is my modified version.  PS ... this is done entirely in the Thermomix.


 


6 largish cloves of garlic
25g extra virgin olive oil
10 green prawns, shelled and deveined (I can buy them this way at my fish shop!
35g dry sherry
a pinch of pepper
35g cream
lemon juice, to garnish
a few branches of parsley, to garnish
 

Put garlic and olive oil into Thermomix bowl and chop 4 sec/speed 5. Scrape down sides of bowl and saute 5 min/Varoma/speed 1.  Add prawns and cook 5 min/Varoma/Reverse/speed 1 with MC off. Add scallops, sherry, pepper and cream and cook 2 min/Varoma/Reverse/speed 1 with MC off.  While this is happening, chop your parsley.  Stir through when cooking is finished.  I served this over a bed of rice, with a squeeze of lemon.


Fish Tacos - The Low Sodium Way

My cousin Liz (Jill, at the time) posted her fish taco recipe a few (like six!!) years ago.  It has been a favorite in our house ever since.  Rory wanted to have them the other night so I set about making them low sodium.  It wasn't difficult.  The high sodium portions are the tortillas and the mayo but I made both of those from scratch so no problem!

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I'll list the ingredients in bold in the actual recipe ... There's a few steps but they are easy and I'll put them in the order I recommend ...

Put rice in rice cooker (or cook on stovetop)  I do two cups of rice

In a bowl, mix ¼ cup lime juice, 1 TBLS water, 1 tsp sugar and 1 tsp chili powder.  This is your marinade.  Cut flakey white fish (I do two fillets for our family of four) (and I use Snapper) into into taco-sized pieces, about 1 ½” x 2 ½” (thin pieces work best).  Add to marinade and let stand.

Mix ½ cup homemade mayo,  ¼ cup cream, 1 clove garlic, and pepper to taste. You can add 1-2 Serrano chilies, seeded too if you want, but I don't.  Liz blends all this in her blender but I don't mind it chunky so I just mix it with a spoon.  Pop it in the fridge until you are ready to serve. 

I made the dough for the tortillas in the Thermomix but you could mix it by hand.  370g flour, 180ml lukewarm water, 40g olive oil, 1 tsp sodium free baking powder.  Add to TM bowl, blitz speed 5 for 10 seconds.  Knead setting for 2 minutes.  Tip dough out, roll into big ball then divide into 8 equal portions.  Roll with rolling pin and set aside.  Fry in hot, dry (no oil) flying pan for 1-2 minutes or until it bubbles, then flip.  The second side never takes as long.  AND the first tortilla never works!  (Roll out a tiny one to be 'first one' that goes in the trash!)

In shallow bowl, mix 1/2 cup flour, 1 tsp sodium free baking powder and 1 tsp chili powder. Add water until a thick batter forms.

When your rice is finished cooking, mix in the juice of one lime and a handful of fresh coriander.

You can decide whether to cook the fish or tortillas first.  I had help ... Rory cooked the fish while I cooked the tortillas.  If I had to do it on my own, I would have cooked the tortillas first.

Fry tortillas in a preheated (on medium low heat), dry (no oil) flying pan for 1-2 minutes or until it forms bubbles, then flip.  The second side never takes as long.  AND the first tortilla never works!  I always make a tiny one to be 'first one' that goes in the trash.  Place tortilla's in a stack under a clean tea towel until ready to serve.

Grab your marinated fish.  Dredge each pieces in flour then coat liberally with batter and shallow fry (you can deep fry but I never do!) until golden. (It is okay if your fish does not get completely opaque, if your pieces are thin enough, the lime juice will have already cooked them) Drain on a paper towel.

To serve ... top tortilla with rice, fish and sauce.  I often sprinkle with extra coriander.  And Rory adds Sriracha to his.


Breakfast Burritos ~ The Low Sodium Way

One wouldn't think that it was very difficult to eliminate the majority of sodium from a diet, but I'm here to tell you that it's harder than it sounds!  My biggest difficulty has been bready things ... you just can't find them on the shelves without high levels of sodium.  That's no bueno for this girl!  I've been a bit slack what with Christmas and New Years and the kids being on holidays.  But now that those are all but finished, I'm getting back on track.  I'm going to be revamping our favorite recipes into Low Sodium versions.  Tonight's breakfast burritos were a perfect start!  I loved having a big win!  And though there was no bacon involved, the homemade 'sausage' was a very tasty and quite acceptable substitute. 

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I used a few kitchen gadgets to accomplish this but you could totally make these without those gadgets ... it just might take you a bit longer than it took me.  There are lots of components, none of them complicated ... and no real measurements, it depends on how many you are cooking for ... you'll work it out !

Potatoes:  Spiralize potatoes.  (You could also chop or chip or whatever!) Shallow fry in hot olive oil til crispy.  Set aside.

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Breakfast "Sausage": 
To 500g pork mince add 1&1/2 tsp pepper, 1 tsp crushed sage (I would have used fresh if I had it), 2 tsp fresh thyme, 1 tsp fresh rosemary (chopped), 1 TBLS brown sugar, 1/2 tsp nutmeg, 1/2 tsp cayenne, 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes.  Mix.  You could make these into patties but I just tipped the meat as it was into the hot pan that I had just cooked the potatoes in.

Eggs:
Scrambled. Do these at the end so that they are hot when you serve

Tomato Salsa: For this one I diced two tomatoes, 1/4 of a red onion (finely diced), 1 clove of freshly minced garlic, 2 handfuls of fresh coriander,  pepper and the juice of one lime. Mix.

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Flour Tortillas
: I made the dough in the Thermomix but you could mix it by hand.  370g flour, 180ml lukewarm water, 40g olive oil, 1 tsp sodium free baking powder.  Add to TM bowl, blitz speed 5 for 10 seconds.  Knead setting for 2 minutes.  Tip dough out, roll into big ball then divide into 8 equal portions.  Roll with rolling pin.  Fry in hot, dry (no oil) flying pan for 1-2 minutes or until it bubbles, then flip.  The second side never takes as long.  AND the first tortilla never works!  Note to self: make a small one to be 'first one' that goes in the trash!

Top the tortillas with whatever combo of the above ingredients you want ... we add Avocado and Sour Cream too. Fold it up and eat it ! So good !!




Pecan Pie Energy Balls

I got a Thermomix for Christmas. Having been diagnosed with high blood pressure last year, I have had to make a lot of dietary changes ... basically needing to make EVERYTHING (processed) from scratch. I kept thinking that a Thermomix would really help me do that! I was given the opportunity to borrow one from a friend for a few weeks to see they are really all that they are touted to be. They are ... and more! And now, one lives in my kitchen. I'm still learning how to use it to it's full capacity but I use it A LOT!

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One thing I've been wanting to make is energy balls and when I saw a few recipes for Pecan Pie flavoured ones, I HAD to try them.  (I didn't use any one recipe but a  combination of a few.) I've made these a few times since!!  They are amazing.  Or should I say amazeballs? You know, since they are balls ... No?  Ok ... forget I said that.

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Now ... you don't need a Thermomix to make these.  You could totally make them in a food processor. (You might want to do the nuts and dates separately and then add everything else?)

Thermomix measures in grams (right in the machine!!) so I'll put the measurements in grams ... sorry, you'll just have to grab out your kitchen scales!

350g pitted dates
65g rolled oats
30g pure maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract (I use my homemade vanilla)
1 tsp cinnamon
180g pecans

Chuck them all in the Thermomix together ... 12 seconds on speed 7. 
Roll them into balls.  
And that's it!!

Keep in fridge.  Not that they keep very long ... they get gobbled up pretty quick in this house!