Saturday, February 23, 2013

Thai Green Curry Chicken

Here's an easy, delicious crock pot recipe for thai green curry chicken.  It takes minutes to throw together and is extremely satisfying.  You could really use any vegetables you want in this dish (cabbage, carrots, or pea pods would probably be good), but I highly recommend broccoli and mushrooms.  The broccoli soaks up the green curry sauce and the mushrooms give the dish richness.  

I found the green curry paste and fish sauce at Krieger's Health Food Market up in Stow, Ohio, but I've also seen them at Giant Eagle stores.  There are other brands of curry paste but many have artificial or harmful ingredients- the Thai Kitchen brand is purely spices.  For the fish sauce, make sure you buy a brand that is made of only anchovies, salt, and water.  Asian Gourmet and Red Boat are two good brands with only these ingredients.  

Thai Green Curry Chicken

2.5-3 lb. frozen boneless skinless chicken breasts 
1 can coconut milk (full fat)
3 heaping T green curry paste (about 3/4 of the jar if you're using the Thai Kitchen brand)
2 T fish sauce
lots of freshly ground black pepper
1 onion, chopped

4-5 cups of fresh broccoli
4-5 cups of fresh mushrooms, sliced

Sitr together coconut milk, green curry paste, fish sauce, pepper, and onion in crock pot.  Add frozen chicken breasts.  Cook on low 6-8 hours.  Thirty minutes before you want to eat (sometime in the 6-8 hour range), add the broccoli and mushrooms to the crock pot and stir together with chicken.  Turn crock pot to high and cook for 30 minutes or until the vegetables are cooked to your liking.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Turkey Sloppy Joes

I’ve made this sloppy joe recipe several times for potlucks or special occasions at school.  After being asked for the recipe by many co-workers, I decided I finally needed to post it!  This is my favorite version of sloppy joes.  If you like a sweet sloppy joe that doesn’t have any refined sugar, this is a wonderful recipe to try!  The veggies, tomato paste and honey add natural sweetness, and the turkey itself has a sweeter taste than beef.   It’s also great if you’re trying to serve more veggies to your kids because the pepper, onion, and carrots soften and meld nicely with the sauce.  If you try it out, let me know what you think!

Turkey Sloppy Joes

adapted from Paleo Mama

1 T extra virgin olive oil
1 red pepper, diced
1 small red onion, diced
2 large handfuls baby carrots or 2 large carrots, diced
2 lb. lean ground turkey (I use Harvestland Farms brand, which is antibiotic and hormone free)
2- 15 oz. cans tomato sauce (I use canned Muir Glen organic tomato sauce- it has no added sugar; don’t get spaghetti sauce, just plain tomato sauce in a can)
6 oz. can tomato paste (I used canned Muir Glen organic tomato paste)
2 T honey
2 T red wine vinegar
2 T lemon juice
1 T ground mustard
1 tsp dried thyme
1 T chili powder
1 T garlic powder
Lots of freshly ground pepper
A few shakes allspice
A few shakes ground cloves

Heat olive oil over medium high heat in large stockpot.  After a few minutes, add diced pepper, onion, and carrots.  Cook 5-10 minutes, or until soft and fragrant.  Add ground turkey, season with salt and pepper, and cook until the turkey is browned all the way through.   As the turkey browns, mix together the rest of the ingredients (tomato sauce through cloves) to create the sauce.  Once the turkey is cooked through, add the sauce to the pot and simmer 10-15 minutes to allow the flavors to meld.  Enjoy!

For serving a crowd, I doubled this recipe, cooking half of the turkey and vegetable mixture in a separate skillet then adding it to pot before adding the sauce.  I cooked everything the night before, refrigerated it overnight, then heated the sloppy joe in a crockpot for 4 hours on high the next day.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Sweet Potato Almond Butter Fries

The other day we were thinking about what to make for a snack and Rem commented that something with sweet potatoes and almond butter (some of our favorite foods) would be good.  He quickly found a recipe for sweet potato almond butter fries and we made them immediately.  They were addicting and crazy good, the perfect combination of sweet and salty.  We have already made them 3 times in the past 2 weeks... yeh, they're that yummy.  We found the recipe at The Paleo Project, which has a lot of other great paleo recipes as well.  

We took these to a party where they were enjoyed by everyone!  They're a little messy to make but don't take too much time at all.  I see many more batches of these sweet potato fries in our future...

Before baking.

Baked and ready to serve!

Sweet Potato Almond Butter Fries

Originally from The Paleo Project

2 large sweet potatoes, washed and cut into 1/4 in thick "fries"
2-3 T coconut oil
1/4 c almond butter (we used Trader Joe's raw, unsalted crunchy almond butter)
coarse salt (sea salt or kosher salt)

Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Cut potatoes and then toss with melted coconut oil.  Next, coat the potatoes in almond butter.  You will need to use your hands and it will get messy... just go with it.  Place potatoes onto parchment lined baking sheets and sprinkle liberally with coarse salt.  Bake for 45-50 minutes, or until potatoes begin to brown and get a bit crispy.  Enjoy!  Try not to eat them all in one sitting!

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Plantain Breakfast Hash

Birthday Breakfast!  Plantain Breakfast Hash served with steamed green beans and salsa. 

Lunch the next day.  Complete with beautiful flowers!

Last week, Rem made me THE BEST breakfast on my birthday: ripe plantain sauteed with ground beef and mushrooms!  We had some browned ground beef in the fridge and ripe plantains on the counter that Rem had been using to make this AWESOME hash for himself for breakfast.  I hadn't tried it yet, but every time he made it I wondered to myself why I didn't just make some too.  The night before my birthday, I mentioned that it sounded really good to make for breakfast the next day, and when I came downstairs that morning, Rem had already made it for me!  He is the best husband.  

This dish was so good that I made it again the next day for lunch.  The flowers in the background are ones that Rem sent to school for me on my birthday!  Again, he's the best!

Rem also made this today with ground pork instead of beef, and it was possibly even better.  The plantain gets nice and sweet, which contrasts nicely with the earthiness of the beef (or pork) and mushrooms.  Just make sure your plantains are nice and ripe.  Below is a picture of what they should look like when they're ripe.  You can cook with them when they're not as ripe (they'll be greener in color) but they don't taste sweet at all (more like a potato).  Do yourself a favor and wait until the plantains are ripe, because the sweetness they lend to this dish is part of what makes it so tasty.  

Plantain Breakfast Hash (Serves 1)

extra-virgin coconut oil (about 1 T)
1 ripe plantain, peeled and cubed
1/2 c fresh, sliced mushrooms
4 oz. browned ground beef
salt and pepper

Heat coconut oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat.  Add plantains and mushrooms.  Don't stir them too often, letting them get some color and letting the plantains get a little caramelized.  You want the plantains to become golden on all sides.  Once the plantains and mushrooms are cooked to your desired doneness, add the ground beef, salt, and pepper.  Since it's already cooked, you're just adding the ground beef to the skillet to get it warm.  Once the ground beef is hot, your meal is ready!

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Sweet Potato Cottage Pie

As I thought about what to make this weekend and browsed around the internet for recipe inspiration, I saw several Shepherd's Pies that looked really tasty.  Shepherd's Pie is traditionally made with a layer of ground lamb covered with a gravy, a layer of potatoes, and sometimes cheese.  I took the inspiration and thought about how I could make it with ingredients we love.  I decided to create a version with ground beef (the substitution which actually makes this a Cottage Pie rather than the Shepherd's Pie), a tomato sauce with rosemary and thyme, and a sweet potato layer on the top.  

I shot from the hip with this one and used Rem's cooking method: use ingredients you know you love and season liberally.  Well, it worked!  This turned out incredibly delicious!!!  You've got to try it.  

Sweet Potato Cottage Pie

Meat mixture:
3 lb. grass fed ground beef
1 onion, diced
4 celery ribs, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
handful baby carrots, diced
16 oz. fresh sliced mushrooms
1 T dried thyme
1 T dried rosemary
1 15 oz. can tomato sauce
1 6 oz. can tomato paste
coarse salt
freshly ground black pepper

Sweet Potato mixture:
3 enormous (that's what I used) or 6 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 tsp rosemary
1 tsp garlic powder
coarse salt
freshly ground black pepper
2 T grass fed butter
1 egg

1. Peel and cube sweet potatoes.  Place in a large pot of water.  Bring to a boil and cook until the potatoes are soft.  
2. Meanwhile, in a large dutch oven, brown the ground beef.  As it browns, chop the onion, garlic, carrots, and celery.
3. After the meat has browned, remove it from the pot with a slotted spoon.  Also remove most of the fat in the pot, leaving about 1 T behind to cook the veggies in.  It's also time to preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
4. Add onion and celery to the pot, cooking about 5 minutes or until it gets some color.  Then add garlic, rosemary, thyme, and some salt and pepper.  Stir untiil fragrant, about 1 minute.  
5. Add tomato sauce to deglaze the pan a bit.  Then add tomato paste, mushrooms, and carrots.  Add the ground beef back in as well.  Cook over medium heat 5-15 minutes, stirring occasionally, as you finish cooking and mashing the potatoes. Just make sure the ground beef mixture doesn't stick to the pot.  If it does, add a little water.  
6. Once the potatoes are soft, drain them, then put them back in the pot and add garlic, rosemary, salt, pepper, butter, and egg.  Beat with an electric mixer until mostly smooth.
7. Spread the meat mixture so it is flat on top. Then spread the sweet potato mixture on top of the meat mixture and smooth it out.  
8.  Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes, uncovered.
9. Enjoy!