Slow Cooker Almost Paleo Thai Chicken

Sriracha – a sauce which holds a special place in my heart. Yes – it’s really not paleo (chili, sugar, garlic, salt, distilled vinegar, potassium sorbate, sodium bisulfite and xanthan gum) but I’ve yet to find a suitable replacement. You can certainly make this recipe with some other hot sauce, but I can’t. At least not for now.

This serves at least 6 and you can sub out the veggies however you like. (And yes, this is a little soupy, but I’m lazy and addicted to my slow cooker right now.)

Ingredients:
4 Cups Kale or other greens, washed & chopped
2-3 lbs of chicken thighs (boneless, or you’ll have to fish out bones later; don’t use breasts, though)
2-3 cups diced squash (both butternut & delicata have worked well)
32 oz of broth
1 can (15 oz.) coconut milk – not light
1 roasted red pepper (Trader Joe’s has these in a jar!)
1 cup almond butter
1/2 cup Sriracha (it can’t be that much sugar, right?)
3 Tbs. coconut aminos (or soy sauce)

Directions:
Put the kale into the bottom of the slow cooker. Put the rest of the ingredients into the slow cooker. Lid it and cook on low for 6-7 hours. It does best if you can stir about an hour before it is done, as the almond butter likes to settle in clumps (but I’m not always babysitting the slow cooker, so it doesn’t always happen).

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Slow Cooker Paleo Beef Stew

It’s been a while, huh? In the meantime, I’ve gone paleo, which seems extremely limiting but has done worlds of good for me. My fibromyalgia is in remission (if I was even correctly diagnosed in the first place), I’m off one inhaler & tapering down other drugs, and I feel amazing! Energetic, sleeping more soundly than I have in over a decade…I could go on and on but I won’t. As a consequence, I’m having reactions to soy and corn. Oh well – it’s still a good trade.

Sunday’s I cook up a storm – usually at least one of the slow cookers are going (I never use the word Crockpot – besides, mine are Hamilton Beach) and I’ve got something in the oven.

This stew is at least 6 servings, depending on the amount of meat you use (and we’re hearty eaters). It freezes well and tastes just as good on subsequent days.

Ingredients:
4 Cups Kale or other greens, washed & chopped
2-3 lbs of a cheap cut of grass-fed beef – the more fat the better – like chuck roast or rump
8 oz tomato paste
12 cloves of garlic, peeled
1/2 T cayenne pepper (adjust to taste)
Salt & pepper to taste
3 Tbs. coconut aminos (or soy sauce)
1 medium onion, diced
4-6 cups assorted root vegetables – carrots, rutabaga, radishes, fingerling potatoes (for the non-paleo boy), whatever you can get
32 oz of broth (I typically use Trader Joe’s vegetable broth because it has no sugar)

Directions:
Put the kale into the bottom of the slow cooker. Cut the beef into large pieces (I usually cut it into 6 – if you cut it into more, you’ll probably want to decrease the cooking time a bit. Spoon tomato paste on top of beef, and sprinkle the garlic cloves around the pieces. Put the rest of the ingredients into the slow cooker. Lid it and cook on low for 8-9 hours.

If you’re freezing some of it in individual servings, make sure you get a garlic clove or two in each container.

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Pancetta makes everything better

Energy levels have been sapped recently. I’m not sure if it’s a fibromyalgia flare, recovery from a glutening, or general malaise with the crappy weather we’ve been having. This meal has been on heavy rotation at this lazy household. It even got the boyfriend to eat edamame on a regular basis, which is no small feat!

I have the old-school rice cooker that has a steamer-insert on top. Part of why this dish is so lovely for me is there’s only one pot to clean afterwards.

Pancetta & Edamame Salad

Serves 4 or probably more (in case you hadn’t noticed, I’m a big eater)

Prep time – less than 5 minutes

Cook time – 35-40 minutes

(Yes, this picture is crappy. But I don’t consider myself a real food blogger, so go ahead and judge!)

Ugly photo of Panchetta rice casserole

Stuff you need to buy at the store:

4 tbsp. orange champagne vinegar (Apple cider vinegar or any other flavored vinegar would work just fine. I used balsamic once which tasted great but looked a little gray.)

2 tbsp. grapeseed oil (This is because I don’t want anything interfering with the flavor of my vinegar. Olive oil would be fine.)

About 1 1/2 cups of fresh spinach (or other greens – I’ve used chard, too)

1 8 oz. container of diced pancetta (it’s cheaper to dice yourself, of course, but did you forget where you were – this is the House of Lazy!)

1 bag (12 oz.) shelled, frozen edamame

6 rice-cooker cups of stock (4 1/2 american measuring cups – I use a hearty vegetable one from Trader Joes with half water to make up the rest of the liquid, though chicken is fine. To be even more cost-sensitive, you can use water to cook the rice, but I find the broth smells wonderful while cooking, and imparts more flavor on the rice. If you skip broth, you’ll likely want/need more salt & pepper.)

3 rice-cooker cups of brown rice (2 1/4 american measuring cups)

Instructions

Rinse rice, then put in pot, covering with broth/water. Place steamer insert on top of pot but keep empty for the time being. Plug in pot and let it begin its magic. When the lid starts to rattle (it depends on the rice cooker – it’s about 1/2 hour for mine), take off lid and pour edamame and pancetta into the steamer insert. (It only takes about 5 minutes for the edamame to be steamed to perfection – it can be done once the rice is fully cooked and it has moved into warming mode.) Once done, carefully remove steamer insert and dump the edamame & pancetta into the rice. Mix in oil and vinegar. To serve, place spinach at bottom of bowl. Place rice mixture on top – the existing heat will wilt the spinach nicely since it is still quite hot. I usually eat with the bowl balanced on my belly, while watching the telly.

How much money, honey:

$1.00 brown rice (I buy in bulk, so this is approximate)

$0.99 broth (half the box)

$2.99 pancetta (it’s cheaper to dice yourself, of course, but did you forget where you were – this is the House of Lazy!)

$1.29 frozen, non-GMO shelled edamame (I’m sure you could shell yourself, but why)

$1.50 fresh spinach (totally a guess)

$0.50 oil

$1.00 fancy vinegar (you could save here, too)

Total outlay = $7.77 – value of minimal effort for a relatively healthy, whole food meal = a meal that will please.

Losing my recipe-ginity

This creation was part of all my holiday cooking, and turned many of my red-neck family into quinoa lovers!

Quinoa stuffing

Ingredients:
2 cups of regular, red or black quinoa (I like to mix the colored with regular because the colored is more expensive
4 cups (32 fluid ounce) chicken or vegetable stock
2 cups sweet potatoes, diced
1/2 cup dried cranberries
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup champagne or apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 cup regular pepitas or sunflower seeds or pecans

Instructions:
Cook quinoa in vegetable or chicken stock, in rice cooker. In separate pot, sauté sweet potatoes & cranberries in olive oil & vinegar until liquids are reduced and sweet potatoes are soft. Season with salt and pepper. Add cooked quinoa to skillet. Stir. Mix in pepitas (or their equivalent) at the end.
Make ahead of time to let flavors mingle, serve room temperature or warm – you can even top with gravy!

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Eggs, Eggs, Eggs (to be sung to the tune of Girls, Girls, Girls)

Many of my favourite gluten-free bloggers have been posting omelette and casserole recipes lately. With my luck, I’ll test positive to an egg allergy soon…

Baked Eggs, Huevos Rancheros style (though I’ll likely continue using shredded cheese and not making my own enchilada sauce)

Mushroom, Spinach & Pepper Frittata (not much of a recipe, but I also can see myself making this often)

Oven Omlettes with Sweet Potato Crust (mmmm…sweet potato crust)

Or, which is entirely my style…microwaveable CedarLane Turkey Bacon, Vegetable & Cheese Omlette.

 

Meals I’ll need to help me get through the next two weeks (i.e. gluten-free comfort food)

None of the recipes are my own, of course.  My own recipe would be something along the lines of:

1 bg.  Food Should Taste Good Sweet Potato chips

1 ct. Seward Coop Red-pepper humus

Directions:

Take scissors and cut open top of bag of chips.  (Yes, there is a tear notch on top, but the hole it forms isn’t big enough to fit my arm through to reach bottom of bag.)  Open container of humus.  Remove chip from bag and dip into humus liberally.  Proper ratio of humus-to-chip means you will run out of humus before you run out of chips.  Enjoy!

So, instead I’ll be cooking these dishes.

- Gluten-free Sausage and Peppers from Simply Gluten-Free

- Gluten-free Stroganoff (with a kick) from Off the Wheaten Path

- Turkey enchiladas from Simply Sugar and Gluten Free

- Tomato Polenta from Gluten Free on a Shoestring

- Stuffed Peppers from Elana’s Pantry, maybe even stuffed with this “rice”

- Cheesy Rice and Beans from A Sugar & Spice Life

- Classic Pasta Carbonara (Gluten-free) from Celiac.com

- And several selections from Ginger Lemon Girl’s lovely feature 30 Days of Gluten-Free Quick & Easy Meals

I love gluten-free bloggers!

Variations on Quinoa, no. 5

I’ve been obsessed with quinoa salads lately…it is about my level of cooking:

- Turning on the rice cooker & putting in quinoa, water

- Using a knife a little, or sometimes even just tearing the food to throw in there

Here’s some of my favourite (no, I’m not British, I just like it that way) combos.

1.  Spinach, raisins, cashews, feta or goat cheese

2.  Thanksgiving dinner (Sweet potatoes, pecans, cranberry, maybe some turkey ), inspired by one frequently for sale at Seward Coop

3.  Tomato, black beans, lime juice, avocado

4.  Tofu, GF teriyaki sauce, red peppers, cashews (also inspired by a Kung Pao tofu rice dish sold at Seward)

5.  Portobello mushrooms, balsamic, goat cheese

And I’ll be trying this one soon!  6.  Pears and maple vinaigrette

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