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Monday, January 11, 2016

Recipe Review from 1/3/2016

A warm week.  A bitterly cold weekend.  Lots of hearty meals in between and all of them highly recommended for ease of prep and great taste!  

The Meal Plan:
Sun (L) leftover coddle   (S) Slow cooked Chicken Tikka Masala
Mon (yoga) leftovers
Tues - leftovers
Wed - Roasted Red Pepper Soup
Thurs (yoga) leftovers
Fri (yoga) take n bake pizza or Hot Sour soup
Sat - tbd

Lunches - Chipolte Butnut Squash Chili, fritos, fruit, yogurt, luna bars

Slow Cooked Chipolte Butternut Squash Chili  (Little Spice Jar via Pinterest)  vegetarian, vegan
This recipe was originally written for stove top assembly, and I thought it would be perfect in the slow cooker.  This comes together fairly quickly if you don't have to chop your butnut squash, a bit longer if you have to do the squash prep.

You could also totally skip sauteing the onions, red pepper and jalepeno and just do a chop and plop.  I took the time to bloom the onion and spices for a bit more robust flavor.  

I'm not a coffee drinker, so I found some Nestle instant coffee packets (6 for $1.40) and used one of those. I'll toss the rest into the freezer for another time.

This turned out awesome!  One chipolte added just the right amount of flavor and zing, I liked the pinto beans better than black, and cooking this in the slow cooker made it a snap!  This made enough for 5 lunches for two of us, so it can easily feed a crowd.  

  • 1 ½ - 2 pounds butternut squash, peeled and diced
  • 2 (14 ounce) cans fire roasted tomatoes
  • 2 (14 ounce) cans black beans, drained and rinsed  (I used pinto)
  • 2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, diced (I used one pepper)
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 medium red onion, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1-2 jalapeños, seeded and diced (see note)
  • 1 ½ tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • ½ tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder (or less)
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • ¾ cup coffee
  • 1 cup vegetable stock (I used chicken broth)
  • OPTIONAL: 2 tablespoons cornmeal

  1. To the slow cooker, add diced squash, tomatoes, beans, chipolte peppers and brown sugar.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a 12" skillet. Add the onions and cook for 2-3 minutes or until the onions just to soften.
  3. Add the red bell pepper, jalapeños, garlic and let cook 1 minute before adding in the cocoa powder, smoked paprika, chipotle peppers, chili powder, and cumin.  Stir until lightly fragrant and remove from heat and add to the slow cooker.  While pan is still hot, carefully pour in coffee and deglaze the pan, stirring to release leftover spices.  Pour coffee mixture over slow cooker mixture
  4. Pour in vegetable stock and stir mixture gently.  Cover and cook 6-8 hours on low or 4 hours on high, or until squash is tender.  
  5. Recipe author suggests: To make your chili heartier, sprinkle in 1 tablespoon of the cornmeal, stir to combine, and allow 5-7 minutes to thicken. You can add the second tablespoon and follow the same directions to thicken it further.

Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala  (Ckgn Lght Jan/Feb 2016)  gluten free option*
I dearly love Indian food.  I love Indian food that I can make at home and in the slow cooker.  This...was a smashing success!

One significant adjustment - use a standard 1.75 lb package of boneless, skinless chicken thighs.  There is so much sauce in this that the recipe can easily handle the larger package of thighs, plus by going boneless you don't have to fart around picking out the bones.  The meat will come out fall apart tender slathered in a fantastic sauce.   This will give you enough for 3-4 meals for two, depending if the Hubby goes back for seconds.      Highly recommended! 

1 tbsp evoo
1 cup chopped onion
1 tbsp minced peeled fresh ginger (I grate mine)
6 garlic cloves (I grate mine)
2 tbsp tomato paste
2 (14.5oz) cans unsalted diced tomatoes
1/3 cup water
3 tbsp flour or flour substitute
1 tbsp garam masala
1 1/2 tsp paprika (I used smoked)
1 tsp curry powder
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp ground red pepper
4 (6oz) skinless, bone-in chicken thighs (I used one 1.75 lb package boneless, skinless thighs)

1 cup light coconut milk
3 tbsp chopped cilantro
2 cups cooked brown basmati rice
1/4 cup plain yogurt (not necessary)

1) Heat oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat.  Add onion, ginger, and garlic to pan; cook 6-7 minutes or until starting to brown, stirring occasionally.  Stir in tomato paste and tomatoes, bring to a simmer, and cook 3 minutes.  combine 1/3 cup water and flour (or substitute) stirring with a whisk until smooth.  Add flour mixture, garam masala, paprika, curry powder, salt and pepper to pan; stir well.  Bring to a boil and cook 1 minute.

2) Place chicken thighs in a 6 quart slow cooker coated with cooking spray.  Add tomato mixture to slow cooker.  Cover and cook on LOW 7 hours or until chicken is very tender and sauce has thickened.  Turn slow cooker to HIGH, uncover and add coconut milk, stirring gently to combine.  Cook, uncovered 15 minutes.  turn cooker off, stir in cilantro.  Let stand 10 minutes.  Serve over rice.

Roasted Red Pepper Soup (Taste of Home via Pinterest)  gluten free, vegetarian
Easy enough recipe to assemble mid-week.  Just make sure to dice the potatoes small so they cook quickly.  I did not peel my potatoes - always seems silly to do so.   I skipped the green chilies because I thought they were for a different recipe and opened them earlier than I should have.  I didn't use vegetable broth because I just flat out forgot to add it to the grocery list.  Water is a fine substitute.

I realize typing this up I forgot the cilantro and lemon juice. Ha!  Didn't even notice.  This is another dish that was really good and is perfect for any kind of chilly weather.  Serve with a salad and or some homemade bread.   This made enough for three meals for two of us.

photo from Taste of Home
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 jar (7 ounces) roasted sweet red peppers, undrained and chopped
  • 1 can (4 ounces) chopped green chilies, drained
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 3 cups diced peeled potatoes
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup reduced-fat cream cheese, cubed
  1. In a large saucepan, saute onions in oil until tender. Stir in the roasted peppers, chilies, cumin, salt and coriander. Cook and stir for 2 minutes. Stir in potatoes and broth; bring to a boil.
  2. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 10-15 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Stir in cilantro and lemon juice. Cool slightly. In a blender, process the cream cheese and half of the soup until smooth. Return all to pan and heat through.  Yield: 6 servings.

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