Monthly Archives: November 2011

Stewed Chicken Thighs

I really struggled with what to name this! I should just call it “Delicious Chicken” and leave it at that!

ready to eat

The ingredient list is pretty simple, but the one thing you’ll want to do ahead of time is make the mixture of Ras el Hanout, a Middle Eastern/North African spice blend. I followed Melissa’s recipe from her amazing blog, and it turns out, I had all the spices on hand anyway! The Ras el Hanout gives this dish a smoky, amazing flavor but honestly, it would taste pretty darn good with regular old garlic, salt and pepper! Of course, this dish is done in the crock pot, but you could use a dutch oven and cut the cooking time down.

Ingredients:

  • 2.5 lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs (trimmed of all visible fat)
  • 6 cloves of garlic
  • 3 large red bell peppers
  • 1 large green bell pepper
  • 1 large yellow onion
  • 3 ripe roma tomatoes
  • 2 jalapeño peppers
  • 3 Tbsp Ras el Hanout spice mixture
  • 1 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 1-15 oz. can of diced tomatoes (I like Muir Glen organic fire-roasted)
  • Coconut oil
Directions:
1. Grease the inside of the crock with coconut oil.
2. Trim fat from the chicken thighs.
3. Prep veggies: mince the garlic, seed and slice the bell pepper, slice the onion, dice the roma tomatoes, and mince the jalapeños (you can add more jalapeños if you like, remove some of the seeds, or omit completely.
4. Add half the veggies to the crock pot. Sprinkle with 1 tbsp Ras el Hanout.
5. Layer the chicken thighs in the middle. Sprinkle with another 1 tbsp of the spices and the tomato paste.
6. Top with the remaining veggies and last tbsp of Ras el Hanout. Pour can of tomatoes on top.
7. Set to low for 5-6 hours. Before removing from pot, break up chicken thighs with a fork until it is shredded.

layer half the veggies on top

This would be great served over cauli-rice, roasted sweet potato or butternut squash or just plain in a bowl, topped with ripe avocado.

Apple Cranberry Sweet Potato Bake

apple cranberry sweet potato bake

Tired of plain, baked yams as your go-to PWO carb supplement? This is a nice change of pace with a bit of a Thanksgiving twist. So easy.

I don’t use dried, sweetened cranberries, especially Ocean Spray or the like. They are usually loaded with sugar and tossed in canola oil (yuck). The apple and sweet potato will more than offset the tartness of the berries. I usually stock up with several bags of fresh cranberry this time of year and freeze them for convenient addition to any dish throughout the year.

apple cranberry sweet potato bake

Ingredients:

  • 6 small sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 2 apples, diced
  • 1/2 cup fresh cranberries*
  • 2 Tablespoons ghee or coconut oil
  • 1-2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • A pinch of sea salt
Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 375°F (~190°C). Grease the inside of a large baking dish with coconut oil or ghee.
  2. Peel the sweet potatoes and apples. Chop into uniform pieces, ~1/2″ dice.
  3. Place half the chopped sweet potato/apple into the dish. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup cranberries, half the cinnamon, and a pinch of sea salt.
  4. Repeat with remaining sweet potato, apple, cranberry, cinnamon and salt.
  5. Dot the top with small pieces of ghee or coconut oil.
  6. Bake covered  for ~1 hour or until the potato and apple have softened.

What do you think about the combination of apple and sweet potato?

 

Pork Loin Roast

the finished product

I absolutely adore my CrockPot/slow cooker. It’s the ultimate in convenience cooking…gather simple ingredients, throw in the pot, set it and walk away. There is a bit of planning involved (as in it takes time to complete the meal), but I usually fill it up before I go to sleep. When I wake up, the house smells amazing and dinner for the night is already made. Invest a few extra bucks in a slow cooker that has a digital timer and a “keep warm” function.

This recipe is awesome for having a large amount of protein on hand for various uses throughout the week, and since it’s “just meat”, you can throw the pork into lots of yummy applications…street tacos, served with eggs, paired with a simple veggie side dish, poured over salad and topped with salsa….

Though I prefer to use boneless pork shoulder from US Wellness Meats, I didn’t have one on hand so I bought two lean pork loin roasts from the butcher at my local market and was sure to strip the fat off after cooking.

Ingredients:

Directions:
1. Rinse and dry pork. Season with ~1 tsp sea salt.
2. Mince garlic.
3. Grease inside of crock with coconut oil (baked-on meat is never fun to scrape off).
4. Sprinkle half the chopped garlic in the bottom of the crock. Add the meat, fat side up. Sprinkle the rest of the garlic on top.
5. Set the crock pot on low for 16-18 hours. Don’t open the lid. Patience is a virtue.
6. When done cooking, remove pork. Peel the fat away and shred the meat. Discard the cooking juice…it will be incredibly salty. It’s that simple :)

after 18 hours…mmm

ready to remove the fat and shred the meat

Apple Coconut Pudding

photo-175One of my favorite things to do while driving is listen to Robb Wolf’s Paleo Solution Podcast. While trying to catch myself up on back episodes, somewhere in the realm of episode 45-ish, I heard co-host Andy Deas describe a dessert that really caught my attention because it sounded, well, amazing. And easy. And Paleo. So, while I can’t take credit for this creation, here is my take on Andy Deas’s pudding. Bon appetite!

Ingredients:

Directions:
  1. Pour coconut milk into a small saucepan. Add chopped apples, coconut oil, and cinnamon.
  2. Halve the vanilla bean and scrape the tiny black seeds of yumminess out. Add to the saucepan.
  3. Simmer for about 30 minutes until the apples are soft.
  4. Puree in the blender until smooth.
  5. Refrigerate until chilled and the pudding is set.

*When I was in Bali, I bought a grip of vanilla beans at the Ubud public market. I treasure them because I bought about 500 grams of vanilla bean pods for roughly $10 American. This is ridiculously inexpensive. If you don’t have any vanilla beans, you can substitute with 1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract (but it won’t be as tasty, in my opinion) :)