Saturday, 28 November 2015

Slow Cooker Chicken with Roasted Red Pepper & Goat Cheese Sauce

I haven't posted in a while, since I ended up with food poisoning last weekend. I couldn't eat much at all, never mind try a new recipe.

I made another big batch of my Slow Cooker Roasted Red Pepper & Goat Cheese  soup a few weeks ago and it went over well, so I thought similar flavours would make a great sauce for chicken. I used chicken thighs, but you could swap them for boneless skinless chicken breasts. The chicken and sauce can be served over brown rice or whole wheat pasta.

Serves 6

Ingredients

1kg boneless skinless chicken thighs
6 small Roma tomatoes, sliced, seeds removed
1 small onion, roughly chopped
2 garlic cloves
300g jar roasted red peppers
3 tbsp tomato paste
2 tsp sugar
1/4 cup fresh basil
Italian seasoning blend, to taste
Chili flakes, to taste
Black pepper, to taste
130g goat cheese

Directions

Place chicken in the bottom of the slow cooker pot. Combine all remaining ingredients (except goat cheese) in a food processor and blend until smooth. Pour over chicken and cook on low for 8 hours.

When 8 hours is complete, remove lid and add goat cheese to slow cooker pot. Stir to combine and allow goat cheese to melt into the sauce.

Nutrition

Calories 468
Fat 20.5g
Saturated fat 8.8g
Carbohydrates 12.8g
Fibre 2.6g
Sugars 8.9g
Protein 56.9g

Thursday, 12 November 2015

Pomegranate Muffins (Gluten Free)

When I get the urge to bake, it's often unplanned, so I just look around the kitchen and to see what I can add to the recipe. This recipe ended up being a little bit of everything. I planned to use almond flour and coconut flour, but then realized I only had 3/4 cup of almond flour left, so I threw large flaked oats in as well to make up the rest of the flour portion.

I'd never baked with pomegranate seeds before, but I kind of expected them to explode open like a cranberry or a blueberry. Out of curiosity (is it actually a seed? maybe it's a berry?), I looked up the parts of a pomegranate. It is a berry containing many seeds, the fleshy red part is called an aril, and the crunchy part inside is the seed. The more you know, right? Anyway, they didn't burst open, they stayed in their crunchy, seedy form, which gave them a Christmas-y look. I think these muffins would be a perfect snack for Christmas morning!

I don't require gluten free foods myself, but I like to bake gluten free snacks because the combination of almond and coconut flours is just so tasty. Those flours also add fat to the recipe, which means you don't have to add a lot of oil, and you will still have a moist muffin. Simon's favourite cake that I make is Almond Orange Cake, so I expected him to love these too. He said the muffin part was really good, but he couldn't get past the pomegranates in it. I had no idea he didn't like pomegranates until yesterday. I'll have to try this recipe with a different berry in them next time.

Makes 12

Ingredients

3/4 cup almond flour
3/4 cup oats
1/4 cup coconut flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
2 overripe bananas, mashed
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup coconut oil
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 large eggs
1 cup pomegranate seeds
Canola oil spray, for greasing muffin tin

Directions

Preheat oven to 325°F. Grease a muffin tin with canola oil spray.

In a large bowl, combine almond flour, oats, coconut flour, salt, baking soda and baking powder. Mix until uniform.

In a second bowl, combine mashed bananas, maple syrup, vanilla extract, coconut oil and lemon juice. Mash together well with a fork. Whisk eggs until frothy, then add to the mashed banana mixture.

Pour wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix. Fold in pomegranate seeds. Scoop even amounts of batter into muffin tin. Bake for 18 minutes, or until muffin tops are lightly browned.

Allow to cool for 3 to 5 minutes in muffin tin, then carefully remove (gluten free muffins can be crumbly before they cool), and place on a cooling rack.

Nutrition

Calories 162
Fat 8.9g
Saturated fat 4.7g
Carbohydrates 18.4g
Fibre 3.0g
Sugars 8.2g
Protein 3.5g

Sunday, 8 November 2015

Zesty Baked Chicken Wings

These wings were so flavourful and had a nice kick to them, but not super spicy. This is a great way to get a chicken wing fix without the breading, deep frying and a high sugar sauce. This might just be the best wing sauce I've ever had! We had a side of oven baked basmati rice and, of course, celery and carrot sticks with blue cheese dressing (I highly recommend Renee's).

This recipe came from paleoleap.com, but I adjusted it slightly by reducing the sauce. You can use this sauce on grilled or baked boneless skinless chicken breasts too if you want to reduce the calories per serving.

Makes 48 wings

Ingredients

2.0 kg chicken wings
2/3 cup Frank's Red Hot
3 tbsp pure maple syrup (or honey)
1/4 cup unsalted butter
2 garlic cloves, minced
Black pepper, to taste
Zest of 2 limes
Juice of 2 limes
Canola oil spray, for greasing

Directions

Preheat oven to 425°F. Line two baking sheets with aluminum foil and grease with canola oil. Arrange chicken wings evenly on the baking sheets. Bake for approximately 30 to 35 minutes, until browned (flip chicken wings over at the 20 minute mark).

While chicken is in the oven, combine Frank's Red Hot, maple syrup, butter, garlic and black pepper in a small saucepan and set over medium heat. Stir frequently, bringing the sauce to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and continue stirring for 2 to 3 more minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly. Add the lime zest and squeeze in the lime juice and stir.

Remove chicken wings from oven, then place them into a large mixing bowl. Pour the sauce over the wings and toss to coat before serving.

Nutrition (per 4 wings)

Calories 369
Fat 16.3g
Saturated fat 5.8g
Carbohydrates 4.9g
Sugars 3.3g
Protein 48.4g

Sunday, 1 November 2015

Slow Cooker Chorizo & Tortellini Soup

I saw this recipe posted on Noblepig.com and it looked fantastic, so I decided to try a slow cooker version. Tomatoes are a tough sell in our house, but if they are pureed, no problem. That gave the soup a nice thickness. You can swap fresh basil for dried if you don't have it on hand.

The three chorizo sausages I used were about 6 inch links, so you might need to use four of them if the kind you are using are smaller.

Serves 8

Ingredients

3 large chorizo sausages
Canola oil spray, for greasing pan
28oz can diced tomatoes, low sodium
1 onion, roughly chopped
2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
1/4 cup fresh basil, roughly chopped
1/2 can (3oz) tomato paste
1 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp Italian seasoning mix
1/4 tsp dried chili flakes
Black pepper, to taste
4 cups no salt added chicken broth
1 red bell pepper, diced
500g (2 packages) cheese tortellini
227g (8oz) fresh baby spinach

Directions

Slice raw chorizo into bite sized medallions, with casing still on. Grease a large frying pan with canola oil spray and set to medium heat. Brown the chorizo pieces on the outside (they do not have to be fully cooked through), and set aside.

Pour canned tomatoes into slow cooker pot, and add onions, garlic, basil, tomato paste, sugar, and seasonings. Use an immersion blender to puree the contents of the slow cooker. Add chicken broth, diced red peppers, and browned chorizo pieces to the slow cooker. Cook on low for four hours.

Cook tortellini according to the package, while it is cooking, remove lid from slow cooker, and add baby spinach. Allow to wilt.

Drain the tortellini, and scoop into large bowls. Stir the soup, then ladle soup on top of tortellini to serve.

Nutrition

Calories 409
Fat 16.7g
Saturated fat 4.6g
Carbohydrates 45.8g
Fibre 3.4g
Sugars 8.0g
Protein 19.7g