In recent weeks, we've been back on a Tuesday and Thursday night gym kick by Andrew's request. Heading to the gym for a workout right after he gets off from work means that we get a late start on our evenings. By the time we get home, it's about 7 at night, and we still need to take the dog for a walk.
The first week we tried to get back into this routine, we found ourselves eating dinner at 9:30, which left us little time to relax before going to bed. I decided that in order to give us a little bit more time to enjoy in the evenings, I needed to be a bit more intentional with the way I planned meals for the week. Enter, my crock pot and this amazing coconut ginger chicken recipe.
This recipe was a little more time consuming than I tend to like for meals made in the crock pot. During Valentine season, I need all the time I can get during the day as well in order to stay on top of orders and the like, so I made some adjustments that make the recipe much more quick and easy. I also love a decent dose of ginger, so I upped the ante a little there as well. The final product is a delicious meal that also makes for very tasty leftovers.
What you'll need:
- 4 cloves of garlic
- 3 to 4 inch cube of ginger, peeled and chopped, depending on how much ginger you'd like
- 1 small onion, roughly chopped
- 2 chicken boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 2 cans coconut milk
- 1 can of baby corn cobs
- 2 heads of broccoli, chopped into bite sized pieces
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 1 Tablespoons butter
- 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground tumeric
- 1 teaspoon salt
In a food processor, puree the onion, ginger, and garlic into a paste and set aside. Place the chicken in the bottom of the crock pot. Open the cans of coconut and scoop off the solid coconut cream into a bowl. Cover the bowl and set aside for later. Melt the butter, and mix in the olive oil and spices in a small bowl. Cover the chicken with the ginger paste and the spice and butter blend. Pour the remaining liquid from the coconut milk over the chicken. Drain the mini corn cobs and cut in half before adding to the crock pot. Cook on low for six hours. After the six hour mark, use a spoon to slightly break up the chicken. Stir in the coconut cream that was set aside and then add the broccoli. Cover and cook for about an hour more, until broccoli is slightly tender. During this last hour of cooking, I also usually make a pot of rice to serve with the chicken.
Do you use your crock pot frequently? Do you have any good go to crock pot dinners? I'm trying this crock pot recipe from my friend Kristen this week.
There are a lot of recipes from my childhood that I continue to make as an adult. One of them is this delicious spinach pie. This recipe, which happens to be one that my aunt contributed to the More With Less cookbook, has always been a favorite. Growing up, I would ask my mom for spinach pie and corn for my birthday meal sometimes. While there's that stigma that kids hate spinach, I certainly had no qualms with this recipe that is packed full of deliciousness.
In the colder fall months, our farm share still seems to have a plethora of spinach. We love spinach, so this recipe has been on repeat. And the best part is that there are always leftovers for lunch!
What you'll need:
- 1 pie crust (I make my own, though I know some of you prefer not to)
- 2 quarts fresh spinach, chopped
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1 cup swiss cheese, grated
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet and saute the onion over medium heat. Add the chopped spinach and stir until wilted. Put the spinach and onions in a medium sized bowl, and mix in nutmeg, oregano, salt, eggs, and cheese. Spoon the mixture into an empty pie crust and press to fill out the crust. Bake in the oven uncovered for 35-40 minutes.
And as I requested as a child, I often serve the spinach pie with corn, but also will often add a salad to round out the meal. While fresh spinach makes this pie truly delicious, sometimes I use frozen spinach in a pinch, being sure to thaw and drain it first.
Do you still make recipes from your childhood? Are you a fan of spinach like me?
While taking a break in Philadelphia a few weekends ago, we ate dinner at Stateside in South Philly. They had amazing cocktails, one that featured a basil infused gin. In the summer, I love beer, but in the winter, I prefer wine and cocktails, preferably something gin based. With several stalks of fresh basil left in my garden, I decided to infuse my own gin with the hopes of capturing that summery flavor for the colder months ahead.
What you'll need:
- one pint sized canning jar with a lid
- enough fresh basil to lightly pack into the jar
- 1 1/2 cups gin of your choice (I used my old standby Tanqueray)
Pluck the whole leaves of basil from their stalks and place them in the canning jar, lightly packing them. Be careful not to muddle or tear the leaves, as this can result in the gin turning to a brown color. Pour the gin over the basil, seal the jar, and gently shake the jar a few times. Infuse the basil between 48 hours and a week, based on your preference, gently shaking once a day. After fully infused, remove the basil and enjoy!
Have you made any infused spirits? What is your favorite base for cocktail drinks?
We are seasonal cooks and eaters, and even more so this year as we joined a CSA. Since June, we've spent a portion of our Saturday mornings at one of the farmers' markets excitedly choosing that week's fruits and vegetables and crafting a dinner menu to incorporate them all. In the beginning, we selected strawberries, zucchini, spring onions, snap peas, and other spring items. As the weather has shifted, we have our choice of squash, greens, potatoes, and other root vegetables.
Recently, we opted for a butternut squash. We decided to pair it with some of the spinach we had picked while at the apple orchard along with some fall-like spices and a some sausage. The end result was a hearty fall dish that left us with full bellies and the sure feeling that fall had most definitely arrived.
This recipe makes two glass pans full of stuffed shells. I usually bake one pan and freeze the other pan before it gets baked.
What you'll need:
- 1 box of jumbo shells
- 1 butternut squash, peeled and cubed
- 1 pound of mild pork sausage
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 cup of chopped spinach
- 1 cup of ricotta
- 1/2 cup of heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon of ground sage
- 1/2 teaspoon of ground nutmeg
Preheat the over to 375 degrees. Place the butternut squash in a pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil, and cook until tender. While the squash is cooking, bring water to boil in a large pot and cook the jumbo shells. In a frying pan, fry sausage and onion together until browned. Add the chopped spinach and stir for several minutes until it wilts.
When the squash is tender, drain any excess water, and transfer to a food processor and blend until smooth. Place the processed squash in a bowl and add the ricotta, cream, sage, and nutmeg. Mix thoroughly and stir in the sausage mixture. Using a spoon, fill each of the shells with the squash and sausage mixture and place them in a greased glass baking dish. Bake the shells for about 30-40 minutes or until slightly browned.
Are you a seasonal foods eater? What are some of your favorite fall recipes?
It's no secret that I love tacos. After a meat heavy week of grilling, I wanted an alternative to anything but meat. For me, it's all about bold flavors for any taco recipe-- and lots and lots of cilantro! This recipe fit the bill perfectly and will definitely be back on the menu in the near future.
After a few requests to pass this recipe on, I'll gladly share it with you all. Its flavors are fantastic and the sweet potatoes could easily be roasted over a grill on those hot summer days that you'd prefer not to turn on the oven. While we served our with a healthy does of cilantro, you could easily top these with sliced avocado or some mixed greens for an extra pop of green
Sweet Potato and Black Bean Tacos
What you'll need
- About 3 small sweet potatoes, peeled, and cubed
- 4 Tbsp of olive oil, divided
- 2 tsp cumin, divided
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1/4 cayenne pepper
- 1/4 ground coriander
- Salt and pepper
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1 small onion, diced
- 3 garlic gloves, minced
- 1 can of black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 cup of corn
- 3 Tbsp honey
- 2 limes, juiced
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
- corn tortillas
- Monterey Jack cheese
Preheat the oven to 390 degrees. Placed the cubed pieces of sweet potato in a bowl, add 1 tsp cumin, paprika, cayenne, coriander, and salt and papeer with 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Mix well. Spread the sweet potato evenly on a greased cookie sheet and bake for 15 minutes. Stir the sweet potato and bake for another 10-15 minutes.
While the sweet potato is baking, saute the onion and garlic over medium heat in a skillet. Add the remaining cumin and chili powder. Add the black beans, corn, honey, and lime juice and heat thoroughly. At the very end, stir in the cilantro.
To assemble the tacos, use two corn tortillas, heated and warmed on a skillet. Scoop the black bean mixture onto the tortillas, place the roasted sweet potatoes over the beans, and top with the shredded cheese.