Cooking Without Drama

Paleo Without Pity-Mango Curry Chicken and Tostones

I saw this recipe in Clean Eating Magazine with Beef and Peanuts, but I subbed in chicken and almonds, since I sometimes find stir fry beef to be a little chewy.

This meal is delicious and pretty easy to prepare.  With the exception of the plantains, I had everything in my freezer or pantry already.

Mango Curry Chicken and Tostones (Serves 4)

Mango Curry Chicken

1 teaspoon of olive or coconut oil.  (Add a little more or cooking spray if the pan looks dry)

1 large or two small yellow onions chopped

1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite sized pieces

3 Gloves Garlic, minced (I use a press)

1 C Frozen Mango

2 teaspoons curry powder

2 T sliced almonds

Sea Salt and Pepper to Taste

Tostones

1 T olive or coconut oil

2 yellow plantains cut into 1/4 in pieces

 

Chicken:

Heat oil in pan and cook onion for 5 minutes or until translucent

Add chicken and garlic cook for 5 minutes or chicken looks mostly cooked through

Add curry and mango, cook for five minutes or until the mango is warm

Remove from heat and add almonds, taste and adjust salt and pepper, cover to keep warm until serving

Tostones

Heat oil in separate pan, place tostones in pan with room for them to breathe and cook for 2-3 minutes.

Using Tongs, turn over, careful not to touch the hot tostone with your fingers, there by teaching your six year old new and exciting words.

Cook for another 2-3 minutes, please on paper towel to blot gently and serve with chicken.

Note: If using beef, drain in a colander before adding the mango.

This was a great dish.  I had it done from start to finish in less than 1/2 an hour.

Next time I make it I might serve it with a spinach salad or a touch of avocado to mellow the curry.

I did not attempt to serve this to my kids as they are not big curry lovers.  I also find that while I love and appreciate the value of a full family dinner, once a week its nice to feed the kids a little earlier and have a peaceful meal with just my husband.  Its nice to eat at a relaxing pace without having to worry about correcting table manners or watching people make faces when unfamiliar food is served.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Cooking Without Drama-Paleo Chili

Today I started a Paleo Diet Challenge at my Crossfit Box in an attempt to get healthy and lose weight.  My game plan for the challenge is to plan my meals for the week ahead of time and make sure that I have all the food I need so I don’t veer off plan.

In order to do this, I did some careful grocery shopping, hardboiled eggs, chopped up some veggies, bagged some produce, have some leftover meats in the fridge ready to pair with veggies and I made a batch of this awesome chili for my sweet hubs and I to have for lunches this week, with a couple to toss in the freezer for another week.

I have been making chili for years, but previously my chili always had beans, which is a paleo no no.  It also had sausage which is not necessarily a paleo no-no, but is not permitted for the challenge.

One of the fun things about the Paleo Challenge is that its going to really provide me with cooking challenges and get us out of a rut.  Since I can’t use white potatoes, flour, pasta, beans, grains or dairy, I need to totally rethink my cooking.

So it will be a discovery of new spices.

If you saute the meat and veggies the night before, you can toss this all in the slow cooker in the am and come home to dinner.  Have some sliced avocado with it to cool it down a little,

Paleo Chili (Serves 6)

2 lbs of mixed meat.  (I used chicken breasts, boneless short ribs, and stew meat)

1 Large onion

3 bell peppers (I used a green a red and a yellow)

3 cloves garlic (put through press)

1 15 oz can diced tomatoes and chilis

1 28oz can Crushed Tomatoes

1 6oz can tomato paste

1 Tablespoon cayenne pepper

1 Teaspoon crushed red pepper

1/3 C Chili Powder

2 Tablespoons of Chilis in Adobo

Instructions

1. Sear meat and put in slow cooker

2. Saute onion until slightly browned and translucent, put in slow cooker

3. Saute peppers and garlic until soft, add to slow cooker

4. Add tomatoes and spices, stir.

5. Cook on low for 8-10 hours.

This was spicy and delicious.  I made a batch and put some in the freezer for a later date and have some in the fridge for lunches and dinners.  Thank goodness for my slow cooker and all the yumminess it helps me make.

Dessert Without Drama-Slow Cooker Chocolate Cake

Many of you that know me, might know that I love my slow cookers.  All three of them.  I typically use them to make sauce, chili, or beer and onion chicken, but I keep seeing slow cooker desserts online and decided I had to try one.

I picked Slow Cooker Chocolate Cake from Recipe Shoebox, who found it in a Betty Crocker Book.   This cake was very easy to make, and super delicious.  The hardest part was waiting for the 30 minutes after cooking to end so we could dig in.  Vanilla ice cream is essential to this dish.

The only thing is this is an ‘eat it the night you make it recipe’ as I am not a big fan of nuking cake.

I made this in my 2qt slow cooker.  You need to use the small one for  the recipe as printed, otherwise the cake will be dry and you won’t get the sauce.

Slow Cooker Chocolate Cake

10-15 minutes prep time
2-2 1/2 hours cook time

The Cake
1 c flour (I snuck in whole wheat flour & I bet Gluten Free would be fine)
1/2 c sugar
2 Tbsp cocoa powder
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 c milk
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 package chocolate chips (6oz) I added more
1/2 c chopped nuts (optional)

The Saucy Part
1 c brown sugar
1/4 c cocoa powder
2 c hot water (If I was making this for adults, I would probably swap out a little water for kahlua)

SUPPLIES: Cooking Spray, 2 QT Slow Cooker, Mixing Bowl, 4 Cup Measuring Cup, Spatula, dry ingredient measuring cup, measuring spoons.

How To

1. Spray the inside of your slow cooker with non stick spray or rub butter all around inside the bowl.

2. Mix the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, and salt in a bowl.

3. Stir in the milk, oil, vanilla until smooth. At this point you can add chocolate chips/and or nuts.

4. Spread the batter evenly in the crock pot.


5. Meanwhile, heat up the water in a microwave safe measuring cup (4 cups size or bigger). [Takes 3-4 minutes]

6. Add the brown sugar and the cocoa powder and stir until smooth. You may need to use a whisk or fork to get out the     lumps of sugar.

7. Pour the liquid mixture carefully and evenly over the top of the cake batter in the crockpot.

8. Cover with the lid and turn the slow cooker on high for 2-2 1/2 hours or until a toothpick comes out clean. Then turn off the slow cooker. The longer you wait to serve this, the thicker the sauce will get.

You MUST serve this with the sauce.  Its completely essential.