Crockpot Green Chicken Curry

This week’s lunch was fantastic!

Despite the warming temperatures, I still busted out the crockpot for a simple and satisfying lunch.

 

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And to make an already easy recipe, even easier, I went with the frozen veggies.

 

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I threw everything into the crockpot…

 

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And waited for the deliciousness.

Usually, I eat leftovers all week long and am less enthused by Friday.  But not with this lunch!

 

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I was more than happy to reheat my curry for the 4th day in a row and everyone made a comment about how amazing it smelled (for the 4th day in a row).

 

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The BOY and I had a super fun Friday night date night at the tennis courts.  After a long week, I am more than happy to collapse onto my couch with a glass of red wine and a few squares of dark chocolate.

 

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Also…I added some of the professional pictures from my Aerial Yoga class to my blog post.  They are super cool, so check them out!

 

 

Crockpot Green Chicken Curry

From Eat, Live, Run

 

Ingredients

1 small eggplant, peeled and diced

1 green bell pepper, diced

2 cups green beans, cut into 2 inch slices (or 1 bag of frozen green beans)

1 bag frozen butternut squash, cubed (not thawed)

1 yellow onion

2 tbsp fresh ginger, peeled and minced

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

1 13.5 oz can light coconut milk

3 tbsp green curry paste

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

3/4 tsp salt

1 tsp fish sauce

1 tsp sugar

juice of 1 lime

 

Directions

In the Crockpot, place the diced eggplant, bell pepper, green beans, onion, ginger and chicken. In a small bowl, whisk together the coconut milk, cayenne pepper, green curry paste, sugar, fish sauce and salt. Pour this over the chicken mixture in the Crockpot.

Turn heat to high and cook for 3 hours. Right before serving, add the fresh lime juice. Serve over brown rice. And be prepared to share!

Freeze your leftovers.

What Does the Car Say?

I’m sure by now you’ve all seen this video (or at least heard the song) because let’s face it, I’m usually the last one to hear about these things.  And when I do it’s usually from the kids who think the fox song is so hilarious that they are laughing out loud, so I pretend to think it’s funny too because then they like me and that makes my job more fun.

 

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But I digress…in all honesty, the pictures of my car from 6:30 this morning didn’t turn out because it was just too dark and too snowy, so I took another one before work.  I think a lot of people heard ALL about the cold in Chicago during last night’s Bears game, but it seems the cold weather has surrounded us all.  As I went to turn on my car, I had this moment of…oh my gosh please turn on…and then of course the song…’What does the car say?’  This morning…mine said ‘burrrrr’!

 

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But I gave it some extra time to heat up and then drove to the gym.  After three days of yoga and barre workouts, I was happy to be running.  Check out the new shiny track surface!  I went with the descending track workout that I discovered earlier in the year and again combined my cool down with walking out the door to run home and shower for work.

 

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Although short, this morning’s workout was powerful and I was starving for dinner as I walked in the door.  I made this crockpot recipe yesterday, slightly adapted from a Pinterest recipe.  This hearty chili was exactly what I needed after the cold day, and I knew there would be leftovers for lunch.  The flavors of the squash are mild, but the spices are flavorful and aromatic.  And my car, now parked in the garage will definitely not be saying ‘Burrr!’ tomorrow morning.

 

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It was great to read through everyone’s comments after yesterday’s post. I hope I didn’t come across whiney!  I certainly understand that meal planning is not the most challenging task I face each week.  But it’s fair to acknowledge that sometimes it’s tough and sometimes when I am really tired, I just want to whine about it : )

 

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Meanwhile, are cats supposed to like avocado???

 

 

Alright, I just have to ask it…

What does your car say??? 

Feel free to add in the dance moves here!

 

 

Butternut Squash and Turkey Chili

*Adapted from Citron Limette

 

Ingredients

1½ pound ground turkey

1 chopped onion

½ green pepper, chopped

½ red pepper, chopped

1 garlic clove, minced

1 teaspoon diced jalapeno pepper (so my pepper got lost between the grocery store and home, but I would have added this)

2 teaspoon oregano

½ teaspoon ground red pepper

½ teaspoon ground cumin

¼ teaspoon ground coriander

⅛ teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes with juice (or 2 14-ounce cans…one of mine was garlic and the other salt free…random!)

1 (15-ounce) can no-salt-added beans, rinsed and drained (I used black)

2½ cups cubed peeled butternut squash (can buy prechopped)

 

Directions

Brown your turkey with oil or cookie spray over medium heat, using a wooden spoon to break it up.  When meat is cooked, place it on the bottom of a slow cooker, sprayed with cooking spray.

Add in the onion, peppers, garlic, jalapeno, tomatoes, beans, squash, and spices.

Stir well and set your crockpot.  Then sit back and enjoy the good smells.

 

*Note: I adapted this recipe based on what I had in the house and my desire to make it a crockpot recipe : )

Comfort Stew

After a rainy week and a mostly gray weekend, I felt like some soup was in order.

 

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Monday was a busy day in the kitchen…possibly more so since I was gone the week before and was looking forward to planning meals this week.  For week day lunches, I decided on Curried Lentil, Squash, and Apple Stew from Chloe’s Kitchen.

 

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It was quite an arm workout to cut the squash.

 

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I wasn’t much in the mood to take photos along the way, but I had to share the finished product!

 

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Almost on cue as I added the curry, the BOY appeared.  I had to laugh at his predictability!  I poured a bowl to take to work and saved the rest for later in the week.

 

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Dinners this week are going to be simple.  We have plenty of leftovers to get us though the week!

 

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This morning I am still trying to wrap my brain around yesterday’s tragedy.  What is there to say when I have so many questions?  Although I am building my skills as a ‘writer’, I can’t think of the words that will convey my grief and disbelief while capturing the significance of what happened.  In my opinion, runners (and triathletes) are the friendliest and most welcoming group of people.  They are supportive and empathetic…I can’t imagine anyone choosing to target such a group.  And maybe it’s because I know the elated feeling that you are supposed to have when you cross the finish line after running 26.2 miles that I feel even more sad for the runners, volunteers and spectators who will never look at the sport the same.

 

I know that this stew won’t bring with it real comfort, but there is no doubt in my mind that the blogging community (many of whom are runners) will ban together like it always does to offer support, encouragement, and love to those in Boston and beyond…and that is comforting to know!

 

 

 

Curried Lentil, Squash and Apple Stew

From Chloe’s Kitchen

Makes 6 Servigs

 

Ingredients

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, diced
1 carrot, peeled and diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1 tablespoon curry powder
1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
1/2 cup dried lentils
2 1/2 cups vegetable broth
2 tablespoons tomato paste
3 cups peeled butternut squash (1/2-inch cubes)
1 large unpeeled apple, diced
5 ounces baby spinach

 

Directions

In a large pot, heat oil over medium-high heat, and sauté onion and carrot until almost soft. Add garlic, ginger, curry and salt, and let cook a few more minutes until fragrant.

Stir in lentils, broth and tomato paste. Bring to boil, cover and simmer for 25 minutes. Add squash and apple, cover and simmer for another 25 minutes (because my squash cubes were so big, this was 50 minutes for me), or until vegetables and lentils are tender. Remove lid and stir in spinach until wilted. Add salt to taste and serve.

Meal Planning {Again}

Saturday after my run, I dragged the BOY to the grocery store before lunch.  The main reason was I needed to pick up my allergy prescriptions, but I also wanted some input on this mini week’s meals.

 

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Our thought pattern went something like this…

 

Saturday Night: Chicken Parm

 

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Sunday Night: Chili (most likely a similar recipe to this one)

With leftovers for week day lunches

 

Monday Day: Root Vegetable Tagine

For lunches and to freeze

 

Monday Night: Dinner at the RAM with my family

My aunt is coming in town for Thanksgiving…Hooray!

 

Tuesday Night: Pork Tenderloin (super easy for one of my busier work days)

 

Wednesday Night: Dinner downtown for my brother’s birthday

 

Thursday: Thanksgiving Shenanigans*

 

*I have fondly named this Thanksgiving since it is going to be a few full days of food, drink, and family.  My mom is working on the meal plan.  I am in charge of sweet potato pie, and I picked up a new red wine to have with dinner.  And let’s not forgot all of these cookies…I can’t wait for the holiday and of course a 5 day weekend!

 

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Are you already thinking about you Thanksgiving menu?

 

 

Because I’m sure you’d like more out of this post then just my meals for the week, here by request, is the ‘recipe’ for Butternut Squash Fries

 

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Start by cutting a butternut squash into evenly sized sticks.  As always with butternut, this is harder than you’d think.  Try pealing the squash first to make it easier to cut.

 

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Place on baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil and sea salt, rolling the squash around so that they are all fully covered.

 

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One of the reasons that this batch turned out so delectable is that I used fresh olive oil that the BOY’s parents brought us from Italy. 

 

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It’s amazing what a quality olive oil can do!

 

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Roast the fries turning once or twice until the edges start to crisp.

 

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Feel free to sample as you go.  I always do!

 

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You can serve these fries in your favorite dips, but I thought they were so amazing that I devoured them plain with a big bowl of hearty soup.

 

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Butternut Squash Fries

 

Ingredients

1 butternut squash cut into sticks

2 tsp olive oil

Sea salt to taste

 

Directions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with foil and non stick spray.

Place sliced squash onto baking sheet.  Drizzle with oil and sea salt coating everything evenly.

Place in oven for ~45 minutes, turning at least one time.

Serve warm.  Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge and reheat in the microwave.

Enjoy!

 

Note: Try adding in sweet potatoes or parsnips for some variety!

If you don’t like chopping up squash, Whole Foods, Costco, and Trader Joe’s all have precut squash!

All of the Ingredients

Finally…

I have collected all of the ingredients to make THIS SOUP.

 

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A few months ago, I made Jenna’s Curried Butternut and Red Lentil Soup.  This soup was outrageously good, and when I saw that Lauren made a modified version, adding kale, I was excited to try it!  Except…I have been unsuccessful at getting all of the ingredients together in my kitchen at the same time.  Until today, that is!

 

The first step involves roasting the butternut squash.  I didn’t read Lauren’s post carefully before roasting the squash and didn’t have the oven high enough to really roast them good.

 

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Lesson learned for next time, but my lightly roasted squash was still absolutely delicious!

 

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It was hard to keep my fingers away…

 

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I kept them busy by tearing up the kale into tiny pieces.

 

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I doubled my recipe since I had more than enough red lentils and could use the entire container of low-sodium vegetable broth.  Plus, I always like to have extra soup to freeze or share.

 

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This soup was worth the wait.  I love the combination of lentils, squash, and the kale was a fantastic addition.

 

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As soon as the soup was finished, I dug in for a pre-dinner snack.

 

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Despite adding handfuls of kale to my soup, I had some leftover pieces. 

 

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I drizzled them with olive oil, garlic, and chili powder.

 

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I baked the kale at 350 degrees for about 12 minutes turning them into these crispy kale chips.

 

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My kale chips made the perfect side for my real dinner…leftover maple plank salmon!

 

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Make this thick and healthy stew tonight!  I’ll be taking leftovers for lunch this week.

Here is the full recipe!

Chickpea Tagine

More and more people are choosing to go meatless for one or more meals per week.  The experts are suggesting this for health reasons and to decrease your carbon foot print.  I love veggies and find myself making more and more meatless meals.  This recipe for Chickpea Tagine comes from Fitness magazine.  As you can see in the pictures below, I find recipes that I like, cut them out, and put them into a notebook.  I have never made this recipe, but it looks colorful and delish!

The first step was chopping…chopping…and more chopping.

I had company in the kitchen.

But she didn’t prove to be much help!  At least she didn’t sit on top of the recipe this time.

After heating the oil, I added the red onion, carrots, butternut squash and spices.  I did not find the Harissa Paste, so I just omitted it.  And I accidentally added extra turmeric.

Add the tomatoes, zucchini, and apricots.  I found turkish apricots at the Whole Foods.  They were so good!  Not as sweet as your typical dried apricots and perfect for this recipe.  Add a little water and then simmer 20 minutes.  Look at the beautiful colors!

Then add the chickpeas and lemon juice.  Stir and heat for another 10 minutes.

I seasoned the dish with some extra Saigon Cinnamon.  The tagine smells amazing and tastes wonderful!  The butternut squash is a fun addition.  It adds nice texture along with the good taste.

The tagine is shown served over couscous but any whole grains (quinoa, barley, brown rice) will do.  Enjoy the unique flavors and the exciting colors of this dish.  Plus, it is easy to make and 4 servings is 4 week night dinners (or lunches).

Barley Bake

I have been sick for over a week and although my appetite is returning, I’m still not  feeling the meat products.  I found this recipe for a Baked Barley Casserole in Clean Eating Magazine.  It looked like the perfect dinner to have for the week.  The barley is a whole grain so it is healthy and filling, but easy on the stomach.  Just a heads up…I didn’t have the energy to go looking for leeks at the grocery store, so I just didn’t use one.  My casserole didn’t look as organized as the one in the picture, but it tastes great.  It reminded me of one the grain salads I love from Whole Foods.

I started by peeling and then cutting my butternut squash into cubes.

You can use any mushrooms, and I found these at the Whole Foods.  Saute mushrooms with salt and olive oil.

Add veggies and continue to stir.  I also used some extra celery since I had some around.

Add barley and garlic, stir to coat.  Then add chicken or veggie stock along with thyme.  I used dried spices since I didn’t have fresh thyme.

Transfer mixture into casserole dish.  I used my largest Pyrex.  Then cover with foil and bake 20-30 minutes until all the liquid is absorbed.

Add pumpkin seeds and cheese.  The recipe calls for goat cheese, but I had feta so I used that instead.  Return to oven for 10 minutes until seeds are toasted and cheese has melted.

Enjoy the casserole warm or cold.  It has fabulous flavor and the crunch of the seeds tastes great with the feta.  Yum!  Someone has already typed up the recipe on Spark People, so I am going to use that to save some time.

  

  

Baked Barley Casserole with Mushrooms and Squash

Ingredients

    1 tbsp plus 1 tsp olive oil, divided
    8 oz mixed wild mushrooms (shitake, oyster, cremini), sliced (about 3 1/2 cups)
    1/4 tsp sea salt
    1 cup butternut squash, peeled and cubed
    1/3 cup leeks, white and light green parts only
    1 stalk celery finely diced
    1 cup uncooked pearl barley
    1 clove garlic, minced
    3 1/2 cups low sodium chicken broth ( vegetable stock for vegetarian)
    2 tbsp parsley
    1 tbsp thyme leaves
    1/3 cup raw pumpkin seeds
    1 1/2 oz soft goat cheese , crumbled(I used feta)

Directions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a skillet or dutch oven, add mushrooms and salt and cook, stirring often, until mushrooms begin to release their moisture, about 2 minutes. Add squash, leeks, celery, and remaining 1 tsp olive oil, cook until everything is tender about 4 minutes. Add barley and garlic and stir until well coated and slightly toasted, about 1 minute. Add broth, parsley, and thyme and stir.
Transfer to an 11-cup casserole dish cover with foil and bake until barley is tender and liquid has been absorbed, about 35 minutes. Remove foil sprinkle with pumpkin seeds and cheese and return to oven uncovered for 10 minutes until seeds are toasted and cheese is softened.
Number of Servings: 6