Crockpot Coconut Curry – SRC July

Crockpot Coconut Curry w/ Eggplant & Zucchini – for the SRC July

curry.jpg

I know that typically people whip out their good ol’ slow cookers in the dead of winter, but I am super happy I decided to try this out despite the fact that it’s (OMG… already?!?) July!  There’s absolutely something to be said about a recipe that takes zero effort to prepare and no time standing over a hot grill, oven, or stovetop.  And I just love having a “Meatless Monday” to start my week of right.

What I love so much about cooking -and blogging- is that I can find so many different recipes from different places.  This recipe happened because of a really awesome blogging club that I participate in, called The Secret Recipe Club.  Forget what my Secret Recipe Club is?  Every month, we are assigned a new blogger.  We get to pick ANY recipe that blogger has written about and cook it up ourselves.  We can make adjustments according to our tastes too.  All of the bloggers post their results on the same day and we all get to see who had who and more importantly, what delicious dishes were made!

Secret Recipe Club

This month, I was paired with the adorable vegetarian blogger, Amanda and her blog Dancing Veggies.  Despite being the opposite of a vegetarian, I totally fell in foodie-love with Amanda’s blog.  Her veggie dishes are super flavorful and complex, it was so hard to pick just one.  Amanda loves spicy food, like us, so this Crockpot Coconut Curry won out.  It was amazing!

Crockpot Coconut Curry – Eggplant & Zucchini

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 Sweet Onion, large
  • 1 Red Bell Pepper, seeded and quartered
  • 2 Thai Chilies, minced
  • 4 Garlic Cloves
  • 1 6oz can Tomato Paste
  • 1 can (14.5 oz) Light Coconut Milk
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher Salt
  • 1 Tablespoon Madras Curry Powder
  • 1 Tablespoon Garam Marsala
  • 1lb Zucchini, cubed
  • 1lb Eggplant, cubed
  • 1/2 cup Fat Free Plain Greek Yogurt
  • Fresh Parsley, chopped

Directions:

  1. Place the onion, bell pepper, and thai chilies into a food processor.  Pulse until finely chopped.  Add garlic, tomato paste, coconut milk and spices and process until smooth. 
  2. Place the veggies and sauce into the slow cooker.  Cook on LOW for 4 hours.  Serve over rice with delicious naan bread.  Top with a dollop of yogurt and some fresh parsley if desired.

Recipe slightly adapted from:  Slow Cooker Coconut Curry

Ready to whirl!

Ready to whirl!

Sauce is complete and ready to go.

Sauce is complete and ready to go.

Veggies chopped... so good!

Veggies chopped… so good!

The finished product!  yummy vegetarian curry over brown basmati rice

The finished product! yummy vegetarian curry over brown basmati rice

Dave and I were just dying over this curry!  The veggies become completely melt-in-your-mouth delicious, and the curry sauce is thick and packed with spice and flavor.  I served the curry over some brown basmati rice from Trader Joe’s and skipped the Naan this time.  This healthy dish should definitely make it into your weeknight repertoire!  ENJOY, and don’t forget to check out the other posts written below by the fabulous bloggers in the SRC!

Avocado Smoothie : BA Cleanse 2014

Anyone who isn’t living under a rock probably knows all about how the East Coast got slammed with another snow storm this week.  Dave, the doggies, and I got snowed in for two days!  Snow days just aren’t as fun as they used to be- both of us had to work 😦

I just had to do something to warm us up and remind us of the summer.  For our snack, I decided to make this awesome smoothie that I had tried during our Food Lover’s Cleanse.  This avocado smoothie is light and refreshing, and I loved using Coconut Water instead of milk or yogurt.  It might sound weird, but try it!  It’s delish and even dairy free!

Avocado Smoothie

Serves 2

Ingredients:

1 ripe Avocado

2 cups Coconut Water (original, not flavored or sweetened)

1-2 teaspoons Agave Syrup

2 teaspoons Fresh Lime Juice 

Directions:

1.  Combine ingredients into a blender and puree until smooth.  Add extra lime juice to taste.

Recipe from:  Bon Appetit

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Try some of my other smoothie recipes!

Kiwi-Strawberry-Mango Smoothie

Kiwi-Strawberry-Mango Smoothie

Pumpkin Pie Smoothie

Pumpkin Pie Smoothie

Tropical Green Smoothie

Tropical Green Smoothie

 

 

 

Thai Chicken & Green Bean Saute

It’s time I let you in on my little secret obsession:  my “Cookbooks”.

Besides cooking up a storm, taking pictures of everything anyone eats, and blogging about it all… I have spent over a year collecting recipes of all kinds and saving them into my “cookbooks”.  Instead of having boxes of old index cards or pages of crinkled up magazine clippings everywhere, I have made up my own system:

1.  Copy/Paste or type recipe (if it’s online) into a Word Doc

2.  Format to my liking, using columns for the ingredients to save space

3.  Print

4.  Cut and Paste (literally) recipes from the word docs and magazine clippings  into categories to fit as many on a page as possible, then stuff into a plastic page protector.

5.  They all go, into labeled categories in (what has now become 3) a 3-ring binder.

What’s so great about my system is that I can save magazine recipes, recipes from friends, FoodNetwork.com, My Recipes (my favorite being COOKING LIGHT! Obsessed…), and really ANYTHING all together in the same place.  They are organized and kept safe from spills, tears, and rips by the plastic.  I can also easily remove one page from the binder and take it to the kitchen with me when I want to try it out!  I love it.

I have saved so many recipes over the past year from blogs and magazines and tv shows that I am constantly overwhelmed… I never know what to try!  This week, being our second week in our new apartment seemed like the best time to go all in and try out some of my saved recipes in my cookbook.

This recipe is one that I’ve wanted to try for a while from a 2007 Cooking Light Magazine.  I made some changes, doubled the sauce to make it more like the style of a curry dish (but made with Sriracha… love) , and added a ton of veggies.  Dave and I both really enjoyed it and I have some for lunch today too!  YUMMY!

Thai Chicken & Green Bean Saute

Recipe inspired by:  Cooking Light

Ingredients:

4 Servings Rice (I used TJ’s Organic Brown Basmati)

1lb Chicken Breast, sliced into 1-inch strips

1 Tablespoon Cornstarch

1 Tablespoon Fish Sauce (or Low Sodium Soy if you don’t have)

2 Tablespoons Grapeseed Oil (or other), divided

2 teaspoons Minced Garlic

1/2 Sweet Onion, thinly sliced

1 Bag Fresh Green Beans

Other Veggies (I used 1/2 Bell Pepper, Celery, & Grape Tomatoes)

1 Tablespoon Fresh Ginger, minced

1 Can Light Coconut Milk

3 Tablespoons Sriracha 

1.5 Tablespoons Sugar

1.5 Tablespoons Fresh Lime Juice

A few Sprigs of Fresh Cilantro

Directions:

1.  Start to prepare your rice.  Mine would be done in 15 minutes so I made sure all of my chicken and veggies were chopped up first.  

2.  Combine the cornstarch with 1 Tablespoon of Fish Sauce (instead of the typical water you’d normally use).  Mix the cut up chicken with the cornstarch mix in a bowl.  Heat the first Tablespoon of oil over medium-high heat in a large saute pan or wok and when it’s hot, throw the chicken in.  Cook for about 5-6 minutes.

3.  Remove chicken from the pan.  Heat the remaining Tablespoon of oil in the same pan.  Add your onion, garlic, ginger and saute for one minute.  Add green beans and other veggies if you’d like and saute while stirring for a few minutes.  

4.  Stir in the coconut milk, Sriracha, sugar, and lime juice.  Cook for about five minutes to heat through.  

5.  Serve mixture over rice and sprinkle with some fresh Cilantro.  Use a ladle, you definitely want to get all that sauce in there!

I used our Wok that had been in storage all year... I missed it!

I used our Wok that had been in storage all year… I missed it!

The rice soaked up all of the yummy sauce... mmm!

The rice soaked up all of the yummy sauce… mmm!

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How do YOU keep all of your recipes?  

Berry Coconut Macaroons

After raving and raving over the fancy French Macarons I’ve been devouring all over NYC this year… I decided to try to make the good-ole Coconut Macaroon instead.

My Mom did buy me a little cookbook for Macarons, but we’ll have to try that later.  Coconut Macaroons are a staple as far as Passover desserts go.

These babies are delish!  It also couldn’t be easier to make.  They are even easier to  make than plain old Chocolate Chip Cookies.   I’m probably going to try out a million other flavors throughout the year.

Berry Coconut Macaroons

Recipe adapted from:  Smitten Kitchen’s Raspbery Coconut Macaroons
Makes:  50 Macaroons, 41 calories a piece.
Ingredients:
14 oz Sweetened, Flaked Coconut
2/3 cup White Sugar
3 Large Egg Whites
1/4 teaspoon leveled Table Salt (or 1/4 tsp heaping flaked sea salt)
1/2 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1/2 pint or 6oz Fresh Raspberries or Blueberries
Directions:
1.  Preheat oven to 325.  Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
2.  In a food processor, blend coconut for one minute.  Add sugar, blend for another minute.  Add egg whites, salt, and vanilla extract and blend for another minute.  You can scrape the sides of the food processor about half way through.
3.  Add berries (if you washed them… make sure to dry them really well) and pulse the machine until they are almost fully broken down.  The original recipe called for about 13 pulses, but you could probably do even less.  *When you open the machine, it will look like the berries only mixed into half the coconut.  Don’t stir it together!  It will look really cool if you let it be*
4.  With a teaspoon, scoop the batter into small mounds on the parchment paper.  They don’t spread out so they can be placed close together.  You’ll want to scoop a little of the colored batter and a little of the white batter together to make them look tye-dyed or marbled.
5.  Bake for 25-30 minutes until they start to toast on top and become just slightly browned.  Remove from oven and let them cool on the tray for 10 minutes.  They’ll become more firm as they fully cool.

I made this batch just a little too big... but you can how the raspberries aren't fully pulverized... so pretty!

See the separation between the blueberry mixture and the coconut that didn't mix? Don't stir it!!

The result:  WOWWWW!  These Berry Macaroons are fantastic.  They are much more moist and flavorful than the normal kind you buy in a can (i mean… duh).  I made both Raspberry and Blueberry ones, and the raspberry had a much stronger flavor.  I also thought they were prettier, they ended up being bright pink.  The original recipe also called for almond extract, which I didn’t notice and didn’t have… so I had to use vanilla.  Mine were definitely missing that almond flavor found in traditional macaroons, but I wouldn’t say it was worse for it… just different.

Ta-Da!! Beautiful macaroons! You can see the tiny spots where they got just a little bit toasty.