Crockpot Chicken, Sweet Potato and Cauliflower Curry

I love easy slow cooker meals that can be prepped ahead of time, are healthy, delicious and don’t take a lot of preparation. Slow cooker meals that require no cooking ahead of time (what’s the point of that?!) or browning of meat. Kid-friendly slow cooker meals. And, slow cooker meals that are just as good in the summer as they are in the winter.

That is why I love this dish. My husband, baby girl and I all love it. (Confession my picky toddler won’t eat any of it but the sweet potatoes) I can make it ahead of time AND it tastes good 1-2 days later! If you’re looking for an easy, healthy weeknight crockpot meal, here it is.

Crockpot Chicken, Sweet Potato and Cauliflower Curry

Here’s what you need:

  • 1 15 oz can full-fat coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth low sodium
  • 3 tablespoons curry powder
  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1/2 whole cauliflower, chopped (about 1 1/2 to 2 cups)
  • 1 medium onion thinly sliced
  • 15 oz can chickpeas drained and rinsed
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes, diced
  • 15 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup frozen green peas
  • Optional; for serving: Rice, cauliflower rice, quinoa

Here’s what you do:

  • Combine coconut milk, chicken broth and curry powder and add to the bottom of your slow cooker.
  • Add chicken breasts, cauliflower, onion, chickpeas, canned tomatoes and sweet potatoes. Gently toss together to make sure everything is coated with coconut milk/broth/curry.
  • Cook on Low for 7 to 8 hours or High for 4 hours.
  • OPTIONAL: Depending how much broth/juice you have after cooking, you can take out 1-2 cups of broth mixed with cauliflower and sweet potato and blend until mushy (yes that’s the technical term) before putting back in. I love doing this as it adds a nice thick sauce.
  • Stir in peas 5 minutes before serving. I like to serve mine over cauliflower rice for even more cauliflower goodness. But, you may enjoy it over regular rice, quinoa or even just with a side of naan.

Some questions:

  • What’s your go-to slow cooker meal?
  • Do you like curry?

Cherry, Strawberry and Rhubarb Crisp

When it comes to desserts, B is a big fan of anything strawberry-rhubarb related, especially pies, crisps and cobblers. I, on the other hand, are more of  a cookie fan – especially good chocolate and white chocolate chip cookies. Opposites attract? Perhaps (after all, as B says, I have more of a “sweet tooth” and he has a “meat tooth”). But that doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate a good crisp every so often.

Since strawberries, cherries and rhubarb are all in season (yay for summertime!) I decided to pair them all together for this recipe. The tanginess of the rhubarb goes great with the sweetness of the cherries and strawberries and the color of the fruit mixed together is simply gorgeous! Confession: I’ve now made a variation on this recipe THREE times this summer. Does that mean I’m now more of a fan of cookies than cobblers/crisps/etc? No … but this IS good! Definitely scroll down below the recipe for some notes to see other ways to make this delicious recipe.

Cherry, Strawberry and Rhubarb Crisp

Here’s what you need:

  • 8 Tablespoons cold butter, sliced into tabs
  • 2 cups pitted cherries, sliced in half
  • 2 cups strawberries, cut in half (or cut smaller if you have really big berries – I like all my fruit to be about the size of the rhubarb)
  • 2 cups of rhubarb, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • ¼ cup white sugar
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup old fashioned oats
  • ¼ cup walnuts
  • ¼ cup pecans

Here’s what you do:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease an 8-inch square baking dish with non-stick cooking spray or butter.
  2. Toss rhubarb, strawberries and cherries with white sugar and spread in baking dish.
  3. Put butter in a food processor along with brown sugar, flour, oats and nuts and pulse until it is completely combined, at least one minute. It will look like a dough and no longer be separate. This is the topping.
  4. Crumble and spread the topping over the fruit and bake about 40-45 minutes or until it just starts to turn brown.

Notes:

  • You can make this with a variety of fruits, just make sure that you have 5-6 cups of fruit total. Got more cherries than strawberries? That’s fine! A cherry rhubarb crisp is delicious on its own. And, cherries and strawberries together work nicely also. If you’re doing more sweeter fruits (like strawberries) than rhubarb, you may want to cut down on the sugar, though.
  • The topping can be made with just walnuts, just pecans or a mixture of both. I prefer a mixture of both or just pecans.
  • For the topping, you must mix it well enough so it forms almost a dough. A few times I’ve made something like this but made the topping more crumb-like and it does not hold up well in baking.
  • What’s the difference between a crumble, crisp and cobbler? Why is this a crisp? Because the topping contains oats! See more, here. #nowyouknow

Some questions for you:

  • Do you like rhubarb?
  • Prefer fruit desserts or chocolate desserts?

Disclosure: Northwest Cherries provided me some cherries to sample. All reviews and opinions are my own.

Chunky Chocolate Cherry Bars

I LOVE chocolate chip cookies, especially blondies. They’re one of my favorite things to bake because they not only taste delicious, but they’re so easy – just pour into a pan and bake!

So when once again Northwest Cherries reached out and asked if I’d like to try some of their cherries, I of course said yes.  I mean, look at these beauties.

This time, I was planning on doctoring up some blondies to include some of their delicious cherries. I used one of my favorite blondie recipes (found here) to come up with a chocolate cherry blondie. Because chocolate and cherries not only look good together – but they taste good, too!

And, I chose today to share these with you. Do you know why? Because it’s National Rainier Cherry Day! Did you know that was a holiday?

That’s right,  July 11 marks National Rainier Cherry Day, commemorating this sweet treat named after Washington state’s famous volcanic peak. Nutrient-rich volcanic soil along with more sunlight in the Northwest creates an optimum growing environment making for high-quality and extra sweet cherries. (So, maybe that’s why when I toss cherry seeds into our garden, they don’t grow into cherry trees?)

To celebrate, I highly suggest you make these. The chocolate + cherry combo is PERFECT.

Chunky Chocolate Cherry Bars

Here’s what you need:

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup chocolate chips – I like to do half chocolate and half white chocolate chunks
  • 1 heaping cup of cherries, pitted and cut in half  – I used this to pit the cherries and it works SO much better than doing it by hand!

Here’s what you do:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Line a 8×8 baking pan with foil or parchment paper.
  2. Melt butter. When we first moved into our new home, we didn’t have a microwave, so I had to do this on the stove. Now, it’s even easier because I can do this in the microwave in a microwave safe bowl.
  3. Add brown sugar to butter (if you did this in the microwave, use the same bowl – just add the brown sugar to this bowl!).
  4. Add in egg and vanilla.
  5. Incorporate the flour and mix until just combined.
  6. Fold in cherries and chocolate and white chocolate chips/chunks.
  7. Spread mixture into prepared baking pan. I like to set aside a few cherries and chocolate chunks to place on top of the batter because it looks nice 🙂
  8. Place in oven and bake for 32-38 minutes. (Mine were done in 37 minutes)
  9. Let them cool in pan for about 10-15 minutes. Then, let them cool completely outside the pan – I like to let them cool for at least 1 hour.  Cut them up into bars and enjoy!

Some questions for you:

  • Do you like the chocolate+cherry combo?
  • What’s your favorite cherry dessert? Least favorite? Believe it or not, I do NOT like cherry pie!

Disclosure: Northwest Cherries provided me some cherries to sample. All reviews and opinions are my own.

Summery Grilled Chicken, Avocado, Goat Cheese and Cherry Salad

Now that I’m no longer pregnant and I’m nursing, I’m trying to make a conscious effort to eat healthy again. What does this mean for me? It doesn’t mean cutting out sweets (sorry LM, but I have a sweet tooth!), but instead, it’s about balance. Which means finding ways to get my veggies in.

When I was pregnant, I was turned off by salads and a lot of veggies for some reason. But now that I’m not, I am happy to eat them again! There are only 2 things getting in my way:

  1. I’m turned off by boring food – if I’m going to have a salad, I want it to be FUN!
  2. I don’t have much free time lately. My hands are full literally most of the day (see: nursing a newborn) and then at night when I’m juggling 2 kids, one of whom is a needy and hungry toddler, I don’t feel like spending too much time preparing a meal.

That’s where this salad comes in. It’s anything BUT boring – look at it! It’s colorful! Doesn’t it just shout, “summer”?

AND it can be prepped in advance. I was able to prep all the ingredients throughout the day and then it only took 2 minutes to pull it together at dinner time. Plus, Half of the ingredients were things that I could put on FW’s plate, too, so we all could enjoy a similar dinner, which doesn’t happen often!

See FW’s food vs ours

I can barely call this a recipe because it’s just throwing a few foods together, but in case this inspires you – here it is.

Summery Grilled Chicken, Avocado, Goat Cheese and Cherry Salad

For us, this served 2

Here’s what you need:

  • 1/2 cup chopped grilled chicken – I got lucky and B had grilled the night before so we had leftover grilled chicken
  • 1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese
  • 1/2 avocado, chopped
  • 4-6 cherries, pitted and sliced in half – I used Skylar Rae cherries* because of their sweetness, firm texture and beautiful color
  • 3 cups lettuce
  • 1/2 cup other veggies of your choosing – I did roasted sweet potatoes and sliced carrots
  • 1/2 cup other protein of your choosing – I did chickpeas, hard-boiled egg and ham
  • Your favorite dressing – mine is an easy balsamic dressing with mustard (similar recipe, here)

Here’s what you do:

  1. Prepare your ingredients. Measure out your chicken, goat cheese, avocado and cherries. The Skylar Rae cherries are perfect for this salad because of their sweetness and nice crisp texture.
  2. Place on top of lettuce.
  3. Gather other ingredients of your choice – I also added roasted sweet potatoes, carrots, chickpeas, hard-boiled egg and ham. Some other toppings that would be good include tomato, sunflower seeds, mushrooms, edamame, etc. Also, this could easily be a vegetarian salad – simply swap out the chicken and ham for other proteins, such as lentils.
  4. Top with salad dressing.

See how easy that was? Enjoy!

*Disclaimer: Stemilt sent me some complimentary Skylar Rae cherries, and I loved them. I mostly just ate them, but also put them into this salad. All views are my own.

Meatless Monday: Gardein Veggie Burgers with Asian-Inspired Slaw

I recently was given a chance to try out some of Gardein’s meatless specialties, and wow, I really like them! I love how easy they are to make, the variety of products they offer (their products are all vegan and kosher AND they also have some gluten free offerings) and the nutrition info on them (for example, this veggie burger has 3 g. fiber, 5 g. protein and 6% of my daily iron).

Anyway, Memorial Day is coming up and that means it’s nearly the unofficial start to summer! Which means it’s also time to get those grills out (B bought a grill recently, too) and cook up some fun summer meals. Here’s a fun way to enjoy some veggie burgers – with a twist!

Gardein Veggie Burgers with Asian-Inspired Slaw

Here’s what you need:

  • 4 Gardein Garden Veggie Burgers
  • ½ lb. coleslaw mix
  • ¼ cup almond (or peanut) butter (NOTE: I make my own so it’s a little more watery than the kind you’d buy at the store. If you buy any kind that’s not natural and it’s thick, you may need to microwave it a bit to loosen it up)
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
  • 3 Tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon honey (for vegan, use pure maple syrup)
  • 1 Tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon Sriracha sauce (or more) to taste
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped honey roasted peanuts (optional)
  • 4 hamburger rolls (I like using challah buns)

Here’s what you do:

  1. Make the Asian-inspired slaw. This is SO easy.  To do so mix almond butter through Sriracha in a bowl with a whisk, or a jar. I like to use a jar and then just shake it up until combined. This will be your dressing.
  2. Pour dressing over the coleslaw mix.  Mix well so cabbage and carrots are coated in dressing. Let sit at room temperature.
  3. Prepare burgers according to package directions. I like mine grilled or cooked on the stove top.
  4. Assemble burgers by placing the Garden Veggie Burger patty on the bottom of the bun and top with the slaw. Cap each burger with a bun top. Serve immediately.

Optional: Serve with sweet potato fries with Sriracha mayo (recipe). It’s not vegan but you can use a vegan mayo if you like.

Some questions for you:

  • Do you like veggie burgers?
  • What’s your go-to meatless grilling recipe?

Disclosure: I was given samples of Gardein’s meatless entrees to try out. All reviews and views are my own.

Linking up with Meatless Monday.

 

Baked Sweet Potato Fries with Sriracha Dipping Sauce

At 37 weeks pregnant, there’s not much new that I’m craving these days. Fruit? Yup, still fruit. Especially all of the strawberries, grapes and pineapple. Desserts? Yup, even chocolate, which I’m not usually a huge fan of. Sweet and salty foods? Even better. Which is why I’m a fan of this snack/meal/side dish. Because sweet potato fries are – in my opinion – the ULTIMATE sweet/salty treat. And, they’re even good for you! Or at least better than the other ultimate sweet/salty treat – chocolate covered pretzels. Yum.

Now that the weather is finally warming up, I highly suggest you make these to pair with your favorite meatless (or meaty) entree on the grill. I’ll be sharing a recipe soon that pairs SO well with these, too!

Baked Sweet Potato Fries with Sriracha Dipping Sauce
For the Sweet Potato Fries

Here’s what you need:

  • 2 sweet potatoes
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon chili powder
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne powder
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper

Here’s what you do:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400. While oven is preheating, preheat a baking sheet as well.
  2. Slice the sweet potatoes into fry-like shapes. (Here’s the knife I use to get the cute crinkle cut fries) Toss with olive oil.
  3. Mix the spices (garlic powder through black pepper) and toss them with the sweet potatoes.
  4. Spread them out on the preheated baking sheets.
  5. Bake for about 15 minutes, or until starting to brown on the bottom. Flip and cook until the other side is brown, about 10 minutes.

For the Dipping Sauce

Here’s what you need:

  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • 1 Tablespoon Sriracha sauce
  • pinch of garlic powder (I probably used just under 1/8 teaspoon)
  • pinch of salt

Here’s what you do:

  1. Mix all ingredients together.
  2. Serve with fries!

Some questions for you:

  • Do you like Sriracha?
  • What’s your favorite sweet/salty combo?

Linking up with Meatless Monday.

Toddler-Friendly Foods: Spinach, Zucchini and Carrot Muffins

FW is a picky eater. He won’t touch any vegetables or meat*, and there are even just a few fruits he enjoys. His favorite food groups are: bread, bananas, plain Greek yogurt and cheese.

FW does, however, LOVE muffins. And anything remotely sweet. So, I’ve been making a lot of muffins lately, and trying to hide in as many veggies as I can. These muffins are a go-to in our house. You could probably omit some of the honey if you wanted them even lower sugar, but each muffin has about 9 g. of sugar, which is less than is in most non-plain yogurts.

These are easy, a fun color, and I enjoy eating them too! Try them out for yourself. They’re also FW (aka picky eater)-approved 🙂 AND, with their bright green color, they’d be perfect for St. Patrick’s Day!

Spinach, Zucchini and Carrot Muffins - i crashed the web - toddler friendly food and breakfast

Spinach, Zucchini and Carrot Muffins
Makes 18-20 muffins

Here’s what you need:

  • 6 ounces raw spinach
  • 1 small zucchini
  • 2 large carrots
  • 1 large banana
  • 1/2 cup milk (I’ve used unsweetened almond milk as well as whole milk, it depends on what I have on hand)
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 large egg, beaten (I’ve also used .25 c Egg Beaters)
  • 2 cups of whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Here’s what you do:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 F. Line a muffin pan with paper liners, or use silicone muffin cups sprayed with cooking spray (I have green and pink ones which FW loves to eat out of, so that’s what I tend to use).
  2. In a large bowl, mix together flour, cinnamon, baking powder and baking soda.
  3. In your blender or food processor (I put mine in my Vitamix), mix first 7 ingredients (spinach through butter) until completely pureed. Add in egg.
  4. Pour the wet ingredients into the flour mixture. Mix together until just combined. Do not over-mix or muffins will be tough!
  5. Spoon the batter into prepared muffin tins.
  6. Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into muffins comes out clean.

Spinach, Zucchini and Carrot Muffins - i crashed the web - toddler friendly food and breakfast

*Confession – FW did eat some meat somewhat recently – I snuck some ham into (you guessed it) a corn muffin!

Some questions for you:

  • Any tips for picky eaters?
  • Any favorite lower sugar muffin recipe?