Rosemary garlic chicken

7 05 2008

This chicken is not drool-worthy simply by looking at the picture, but let me tell you – it is GOOD.  And did I mention that it’s ridiculously easy?  And really delicious?  And something that you should make very soon? 

Yup – there’s the rosemary garlic chicken with roasted sweet potato slices and slices of cucumber.  I was even too lazy to steam a vegetable or make a salad, so sliced cucumbers it was.  I’ll tell you the recipe, but it will be in my words, because I already packed the cookbook in one of the many boxes ready for the moving truck.  Just dig out your slow cooker, and keep reading…

Here’s the general idea:

Rosemary Garlic Chicken
Healthy Crockery Cooking by Mable Hoffman (or something like that)

DISCLAIMER: This is not the exact directions.  It’s just what I remember doing… (But honestly – this would be tough to mess up.)

Ingredients:

1 roasting chicken (4 1/2 – 5 lbs.)
rosemary
garlic
salt
pepper

Directions:

1. Remove the bag of jibblets/organs (what are those called?!) from the inside of the chicken.  Remove excess fat.  I cut off the neck, too.

2. Carefully push your fingers between the skin and the meat.  Stick some rosemary sprigs and peeled garlic cloves underneath the skin.

3. Make a slit in each wing, and push a rosemary spring and garlic clove into each.  Put some rosemary and garlic in the body cavity, too.

4. You’re supposed to tie the legs and wings closely to the breast at this point, but I just stuck it in the slow cooker breast side down, as the recipe suggested.

5. Cook on LOW for 6 or 7 hours, or until the juices run clear when you cut into the breast.

6. At this point, the meat will just fall off the bones.  I used tongs to remove the meat and left the rosemary and garlic behind. 

If you want the real recipe, send me an email (go to the Contacts link at the top of the page), and I’ll locate the box that the cookbook is in.  Don’t worry – it’ll be easy to find, because I’m anal and like to label each moving box with exactly what’s in there.  🙂





Minestrone Soup

18 03 2008

There’s no real story behind this one.  I just felt like making soup, and Sundays are the perfect days to use my slow cooker – I just throw the ingredients in and spend the rest of the day being productive (or lazy, as the case was this past Sunday!).  Some of my wonderful colleagues gave me a slow cooker and recipe book for a bridal shower gift, so this is a huge thank you to them!  I especially loved the cayenne pepper in the recipe, because it gave the soup just a hint of a kick.  (And trust me – I am not a spicy food loving girl.)

(FYI: I had no picture taking patience since Sunday was also the day that the flu crept up on me and then smacked me in the face.  I’m sloooowly recovering.)

Old-World Minestrone with Shell Pasta
Complete Slow Cooker Cookbook by Carol Heding Munson

 Ingredients:

1 carrot, shredded
1 celery stalk, sliced
1/4 cup frozen peas
1 medium potato, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
2/3 sliced scallions
2 cans (14 oz. each) fat free chicken or vegetable broth
1 tsp. Italian herb seasoning or marjoram
1 can (28 oz.) Italian plum tomatoes, cut up
Pinch of cayenne pepper
1 T. red wine vinegar
1 cup chopped escarole
1/2 cup shell pasta
1/2 cup snipped fresh parsley
Parmesan cheese (optional)

Directions:

1. Combine the carrots, celery, peas, potatoes, scallions, broth, seasoning, tomatoes, pepper, and vinegar in the crockery pot.  Cover and cook on LOW for 6 to 8 hours or on HIGH for 4 to 5 hours.

2. During the last 20 minutes of cooking, stir in the escarole and pasta.  Divide the soup among four bowls and top each serving with the parsley and cheese, if you wish.

*** My take: Honestly, I didn’t measure things very carefully when I made this.  I just added what felt right to me, and I used what we had in the pantry already.  It came out perfectly. Gotta love foolproof recipes. ***





Beef Stew

9 03 2008

I feel like I’ve been eating a lot of sugar lately, and I’m usually pretty good at making/eating low calorie meals and avoiding too much white flour and sugar.  Needless to say, my body can feel it, and I’ve been a bit more sluggish than usual.  I decided to search for some healthy recipes, because:

1. My body/mind function much better when I eat healthy foods.
2. The Vermont City Marathon is rapidly approaching, and I need to fuel my body appropriately – all the time, but for those long runs especially. 
3. I have parent-teacher conferences all week long, and I need all the energy I can get to get through 39 kindergarten conferences in 4 days.  Eek! 

My friend Niki has been following the Eat Clean diet, and I bought The Eat-Clean Diet Cookbook by Tosca Reno a few weeks ago.  I figured this was the perfect time to dig into some of her recipes, and today I tackled two!  The first?  Stew!

This recipe calls for a Dutch Oven, and mine is packed away until we move into the new house.  I decided to turn this into a slow cooker recipe instead.  It’s still cooking away, but it looks great so far.  I’ll pop this in the fridge when it’s done cooking, and we’ll reheat it this week for a quick weeknight meal. 

This isn’t a great picture, but here’s the stew:

(It looks blurry because of the steam rising.)

And on a fun and RIDICULOUS note, here’s a funny story… As I mentioned in a previous blog post, I HATE chopping onions.  Burning, watery eyes are not fun.  I’ve tried all those tricks that people tell you about, like lighting a vanilla scented candle and splashing water under your eyes. Those helpful tips just don’t work for me. 

Well, today I started to dread chopping up the onion for the stew, and then a brilliant idea occurred to me!  I decided that I needed some eye protection, and I remembered that my ski googles were just steps away from the kitchen.  Yup.  I wore my goggles to chop the onions, and my eyes stayed tear-free and burn-free.  Ha! 

Canadian Stew
The Eat-Clean Diet Cookbook by Tosca Reno

Ingredients:

 1 1/2 lbs. lean beef tenderloin, cut into 1-inch cubes
2 leeks, whites and light green only, cut into chunks and well rinsed
3 or 4 medium sized cooking onions, peeled and cut into chunks
3 carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
3 parsnips, peeled and cut into chunks
1 – 10 oz. can whole plum tomatoes
1 – 10 oz. can small potatoes
Several cloves garlic
4 T. olive oil
1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
Sea salt and black pepper
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. dried basil
1 cup low-sodium, low-fat chicken stock
1 cup light beer

Directions:

1. Cut meat into 1-inch cubes.  Place whole-wheat flour, salt, ground black pepper, oregano, and basil in a large plastic container with a tight-fitting lid.  Shake the contents so they mix.  Now place the cubed meat in the container and shake until coated. 

2. Meanwhile, in a large Dutch oven heat the oil and saute the garlic and onions until soft.  Add remaining vegetables, except canned potatoes, and cook 5 minutes longer. 

3. Gently remove cubed and seasoned meat from container and add to the cooking vegetables.  Cook until meat is browed.  You will notice the mixture is getting sticky.  This is caused by the flour seasoning on the meat.  When it gets too sticky, add the chicken stock and the light beer.

4. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to a simmer.  Stir the stew until the sauce becomes evenly smooth.  Now add canned, drained potatoes.  Cook over low heat for another 30 minutes or until vegetables are tender.

Nutritional Value Per Serving:

Calories: 315 – Calories from fat: 95 – Protein: 20g – Carbs: 35g – Dietary fiber: 6g – Sugars: 8g – Fat: 10g – Sodium: 314mg

*** I used my slow cooker for this recipe and just threw everything in after I browned the meat first. ***





Old-Fashioned Chicken ‘N’ Noodles

9 03 2008

My fabulous teaching-partner-in-crime (and very good friend), Laura, gave me Mable Hoffman’s Healthy Crockery Cookery cookbook for Christmas this year.  I made Roasted Chicken with Garlic and Rosemary awhile ago, and we loved it.   I figured it was time to make another healthy, easy crockpot recipe, especially since I planned to spend the day cleaning but wanted to have a good hot meal for tonight. 

As most (all?) crockpot recipes go, this one was super easy, and the hardest part was chopping the onion.  Why, why, why do onions always make my eyes burn and water uncontrollably?!  Once I got past that less-than-desireable part of the prep work, everything else was simple. 

We liked this recipe, but I probably wouldn’t make it again.  It was one of those meals that was good, but it wasn’t anything that really blew us away.  The meal wasn’t too pretty to photograph (a ridiculously important part of blogging and attempting to entice someone else to try the recipe!), but here it is:

Old Fashioned Chicken ‘N’ Noodles
Mable Hoffman’s Healthy Crockery Cookery

Makes 6-8 servings

Ingredients:

2 1/2 to 3 lbs. chicken pieces
1 small onions, finely chopped
1/2 cup thinly sliced celery
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. ground black pepper
1/2 tsp. poultry seasoning
1/2 tsp. chopped fresh thyme
1 (10 1/2-oz.) can condensed chicken broth
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/3 cup cold water
8 to 12 ounces medium egg noodles
Chopped fresh parsley

Directions:

1. Rinse chicken and pat dry with paper towels.  Combine chicken, onion, celery, garlic, salt, pepper, poultry seasoning, and thyme in a 3 1/2-quart slow cooker.  Add chicken broth.  Cover and cook on low 4 to 5 hours or until chicken is tender. 

2. Remove chicken from slow cooker.  Discard skin and bones; cut chicken into bite-size pieces and set aside.

3. Turn control to HIGH.  Dissolve cornstarch in cold water.  Stir into juices in slow cooker.  Cover and cook on HIGH 15 to 20 minutes or until slightly thickened.  Stir in chicken.

4. Meanwhile, cook noodles according to package directions and drain.  Spoon mixture over cooked noodles.  Sprinkle with chopped parsley.

Per serving: Cal 477 – Carb 35g – Prot 45g – Total fat 16g – Sat fat 4g – Cal from fat 144 – Chol 83 mg – Sodium 638 mg