Apple Chicken with Stuffing

Oops!  This post was suppose to have been published with a picture but umm… the cat ate it!  The picture I mean… not the chicken.  Well… okay so he ate some of the raw chicken but… you know what I mean!  So yeah… umm… no pics, sorry!

One of my favorite autumn/winter dishes is Apple Chicken.  Aside from it being incredibly easy to make, it’s unbelievably tasty and can be made in large batches for freezing.

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. boneless chicken breast
  • 1 lb. boneless chicken thighs
  • Apple Cider
  • 2 cups apple sauce
  • 1 Granny Smith apple
  • Cranberries
  • Stuffing Mix

Directions:

  1. Place chicken breasts and thighs into crockpot.
  2. Add 2 cups apple sauce.
  3. Add enough apple cider to barely cover the chicken.
  4. Stir.
  5. Set slow cooker on high and cook until chicken is done (generally 3-4 hours).
  6. Add enough stuffing mix to absorb the apple cider and allow to set.
  7. Peel and dice your apple.
  8. Incorporate apple and cranberries into chicken/stuffing.
  9. Serve.

Quiche in the Slow Cooker

Ingredients:

  • 1 dozen eggs (this freezes wonderfully so I make a full dozen!)
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1 cup Bisquick
  • 16 0z. spinach
  • Optional: Baker’s Joy or equivalent cooking spray

Directions:

  1. Whisk eggs until thoroughly beaten.
  2. While still whisking slowly add milk then Bisquick until completely incorporated.
  3. Add spinach (if it’s still frozen, break apart before adding).
  4. -Optional- This recipe tends to stick to the cooker so a release agent here is helpful.  If you use one, apply it to your cooker now.
  5. Pour entire mixture into slow cooker.
  6. Set your cooker to high for 3 hours.
  7. Your quiche is done when it starts to pull away from the sides of the cooker and/or a toothpick inserted in the middle comes back dry.
  8. Serve with a dollop of sour cream and sprinkled with garlic powder.

This was the most moist quiche I’ve ever had and I plan on expanding on this recipe in the future.

Spinach & Ricotta Quiche with Seitan

I didn’t take pictures this time around (yes, I know, I’ve been so bad with that lately) but I have an excuse!  We had company last night and I get distracted whenever there is someone in our home.  Anyhow… I wasn’t entirely sure this would work as nicely because I was using Seitan instead of the traditional bacon or ham.  And… I kind of, sort of, didn’t measure everything because I was purposefully making a very large batch and sort of winging it.  So the below is guesstimates  Hey!  I said from the beginning that this blog was more so I could keep track of what I cooked than it was to help others cook.  You still love me, right?  RIGHT?!

Ingredients:

  • 1 dozen eggs
  • 1 & 1/2 cups Bisquick mix
  • 16 oz. package of frozen spinach
  • 32 oz. Ricotta cheese
  • 1 lb. mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 almond milk
  • sour cream
  • garlic powder
  • Beef Flavored Seitan – roughly the amount 2 cups of VWG can make

Directions:

  1. In a food processor, chop your spinach and cooked seitan into fine pieces then transfer it into a large bowl.
  2. Fully incorporate mozzarella, ricotta and Bisquick to the spinach/seitan.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk eggs and milk thoroughly.
  4. Add the egg & milk mixture to your large bowl and again, fully incorporate.
  5. Pour mixture into glass/ceramic casserole dish (this makes a large batch so you might need two) about an inch deep.
  6. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  7. Cook casserole for 30-45 minutes or until mixture starts to pull away from sides and becomes quite firm.  Careful not to overcook this as it becomes dry quite easily!
  8. Allow to cool, cut into squares and serve with a dollop of sour cream sprinkled with garlic powder.

How cooking can make you a Superhero!

With all the slow cooker recipes I’ve been posting, I’ve gotten a lot of questions regarding the huge 6 quart CrockPot I use and how many people I’m feeding here!  LOL!  Let me start by saying, there is only two people I’m cooking for and no, we don’t eat that much in a single meal.  But that’s sort of the point.  I’m not cooking a single meal.  On average, I can get about five meals from a single 6 quart batch of whatever.  I freeze the remaining portions.  Here’s some great reasons why you might consider this method of meal prepping at home:

  • It takes only minutes longer to prep several meals at once.  Generally my recipes are a half hour of prep per cooking session.  So naturally if I’m making enough for five meals, it might take me perhaps five to ten minutes longer depending on what needs chopping, cutting, blending, etc. but that’s it.  So either I spend ONE day cooking for FORTY minutes or I spend FIVE days cooking for THIRTY minutes each!  Large batch cooking saves me an average of two hours to four HOURS of cooking time a week. SAVE TIME!
  • When I don’t feel like cooking, we don’t have to order out.  I simply warm up an already home cooked, healthy meal.  SAVE TIME & MONEY!
  • I’m always ready for company!  I freeze the food in individual portions so I can feed just the two of us, or five of us with a single batch and not worry about all that time trying to cook for unexpected guests!  SAVE TIME, MONEY AND SANITY!
  • IT’S GREEN!  A slow cooker uses less energy than an oven even over the hours it sits cooking on your counter (I tested this theory myself as I have a meter that I can plug appliances into and it will tell me how many amps it uses over extended periods of time).  It’s a great way to save energy even if you don’t use the slow cooker because you are cooking five times the amount of food in a single electricity session.  Great way to help lower that electric bill.  Plus, less waste!  Not just less food wasted (because you are dividing it into individual meals and thus have less chances of leftovers being left to spoil) but also in actual trash.  Cooking in bulk allows you to buy in bulk and thus less individual packing to toss out.   SAVE TIME, MONEY, SANITY AND THE PLANET!
  • Less chances of food contamination.  If the food is already cooked, all you’re doing is heating it up.  You are far less likely to have insufficiently cooked meals and risking the chances of being sick.  SAVE TIME, MONEY, SANITY, THE PLANET AND YOUR HEALTH!
  • Lastly, and my absolute FAVORITE reason…. LESS DISHES!  I cook once for five meals.  That means it’s one or two pot, pan, casserole dish, whatever for every five meals!  For the meals I heat up, it’s only the container(s) the meal was in and the dishes used to eat it off of!  Got to LOVE that idea!  Plus, doing less dishes means using less water.  So now its… SAVE TIME, MONEY, SANITY, THE PLANET, YOUR HEALTH and WATER!
So basically… cooking in larger batches makes you a superhero.  Now all I need is a cape and a catchy theme song.

Slow Cooked Corn Chowder

This is a GREAT recipe for the winter months or rainy days.  It’s also freezes well, so you can store this in cup size containers to serve whenever the mood strikes you!

Ingredients:

  • 16 oz. bag of frozen corn
  • 15 oz. can of whole corn
  • 8 oz. or 1 cup of cream cheese
  • 1 qt. chicken broth
  • 2 cups shredded Colby & Monterey Jack cheese
  • 1 tsp Celery salt
  • 1 tsp Garlic powder
  • 1 tsp Onion powder
  • Pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. In a food processor, empty your can of corn and 1/3 of your bag of frozen corn with enough chicken broth to help it liquefy better.
  2. Hit the power button and let it run for a minute or two.  It doesn’t have to be pure liquid but more like a tapioca pudding looking consistency.
  3. Pour your liquefied concoction as well as all other ingredients into your slow cooker.
  4. Set temperature of low.
  5. Set timer for 6 hours.
  6. You know the drill.
  7. Come back and serve with a dash of pepper and/or a dollop of sour cream.

Note: Sampling during the cooking process may be bland but if by the last hour of cooking, you feel it “needs something”, add it then!  A can of creamed potato or celery is a good option!  Also, try adding some bacon pieces to it.  Have fun!

Turkey Taco Triumph!

My wife loves Spanish/Mexican food.  I’m not very experienced in cooking it.  Not that I don’t like it, because I do, but it’s never really come across my stove top other than the real basics.  So when I found a recipe to make what looked like a tasty Mexican style soup, I was all over it.  I say “style” because I don’t recall any Spanish person in my life using this recipe as a stew, soup or even taco filling!  But… it ended up quite tasty and I’m dubbing it a total success!  So here’s my first Mexican style dish:

Ingredients:

  • 1-2 lbs ground turkey, browned
  • 2 cans whole corn
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 2 cans pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 cans kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 packet taco seasoning
  • 1 packet ranch dressing seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • Water (if cans of corn and tomatoes don’t provide enough for a broth)

Directions:

  1. Toss everything in your slow cooker.
  2. Set the temperature level to high.
  3. Set the timer for: 4 hours for a non-spicy but flavorful soup, 5 hours for a mildly spicy soup, 6 or more hours depending on your tastes
  4. You know the drill by now…
  5. Come back after 6 hours and serve with shredded cheese and a dollop of sour cream on top with a side of tortilla chips.

Not So Spicy Tandoori Chicken

This recipe was quite the challenge for me.  Not because it’s difficult, but because my wife doesn’t like spicy (hot) foods and because I didn’t have many of the spices that would normally go into Tandoori chicken.  Also, Tandoori chicken is quite dry tasting normally and I REALLY wanted to see if I could make it a bit more moist.  The results were fantastic!  It was juicy, tasty and just the perfect amount of spicy.  Also, I realized that the gravy this recipe makes is perfect to use as the water when making quinoa (seen in the image and instructions below) which is an excellent and healthy alternative to pasta or rice.  I also made an amazing creamed spinach (seen in the image) that I will post the recipe for tomorrow.

Ingredients:

  • 2 chicken breasts, thighs and legs (see notes)
  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon ginger
  • 1 teaspoon fennel (see notes)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper (see notes)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon paprika (see notes)
  • 1 Tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice

Directions:

  1. Partially thaw your chicken pieces (or see step three for thawed chicken)  You want them a little bit frozen but not solid.  This allows the moisture from the chicken to keep it from drying out in the cooker.  Plus the mix of white and dark meat really adds to this recipe.
  2. Cut/dice your chicken and drop in the slow cooker.
  3. Pour lemon juice into cooker over chicken (you can also marinade your chicken in the lemon juice for an hour or two as the acid helps tenderize the chicken).
  4. In a bowl, combine all the dry ingredients and yogurt until fully incorporated.
  5. Add yogurt mixture to the slow cooker and thoroughly mix with chicken and lemon juice.
  6. Smother the other parts of the chicken and place on top of the chicken breasts.
  7. Cover and cook on low for 4 hours.
Quinoa:
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • gravy from above recipe
  • 1 cup water
I simply added 1 cup of quinoa to the drained gravy plus one cup water.  I heated the mixture on high until it boiled and then continued to cook it until the liquid thickened.  I then reduced the heat to medium and continued cooking until the mixture thickened greatly and the quinoa was cooked.

Notes:

  • Most recipes state to use a whole chicken, I find that pieces work better and are less likely to dry out.  I also normally use 4 thigh pieces and no drumsticks as we like boneless meat.
  • You can use coriander as a substitute for fennel.
  • You can use Cayenne pepper as a substitute for red pepper.
  • You can use cumin as a substitute for paprika and perhaps double this measurement for spiciness.
  • Regarding red food coloring: Most people know that Tandoori chicken is red.  To get this effect, many add red food coloring.  I do not add any coloring because I think it is an unnecessary ingredient.  Naturally it’s entirely your decision.
  • If this is still a bit too spicy, or even too lemony, you can add a 1/4 cup sour cream to the finished chicken and sauce.