Category Archives: Slow Cooker

Slow Cooker Moroccoan Beef Tangine

I love this one pot recipe, so delicious and rich. You can make couscous or rice with this recipe. I many times eat is as a stew, nothing added! This recipe makes 4-6 servings of deliciousness.Moroccoan Beef Tangine

Ingredients
2 tablespoons oil
2 pounds cubed stew beef
1/2 tablespoon salt
1/4 tablespoon black pepper
1  tablespoon garam masala
2  tablespoons ground cumin
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1 tablespoon sweet paprika
1/2 tablespoon chili powder
1 large onion, diced
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1/4 cup coriander
1 16 ounce can of stewed tomatoes
1 6 ounce can of tomato paste
2 cups beef stock
1 small pumpkin, seeded and diced
1/4 cup dried prunes or apricots, minced (leave out if desired, for my low-carb meals I do not add this at all and instead use dried sugarless cherries)
1 16 ounce can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed (for low-carbers use soy balls that are soaked in hot water instead)
4 tablespoons slivered almonds

Couscous, a low-carb couscous alternative or rice

Directions
Combine the spices together and rub massage it into the beef and allow it to marinate in the refrigerator overnight or for a minimum of an hour.

Bring a large pot to medium heat, add oil and brown meat.

Throw all of the ingredients but the chick peas in the slow cooker and set on medium heat for 6 hours.

Add the chick peas and prunes and cook for another 30 minutes.

Serve with slivered almonds sprinkled on top for added crunch.

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To Brine or Not To Brine: ALWAYS BRINE!

Brining is the process of soaking anything in or saturate with salty water. This does not make the meat, vegetables or whatever you brine (I am not really sure what else you would want to brine) salty, it actually allows the water and flavor to flood every cell in the meat. It also takes any cut of meat that may be tough and tenderizes it. This easy technique can be used on ay cut of meat.
The Perfect Grilled Citrus Chicken

For all of the brines, immerse the meat in water and place in the refrigerator for a minimum of an hour, overnight or leave in the freezer labeled (cause it is very hard to tell what it is, duh!) Before you cook the meat, allow it to sit on the counter for 15 minutes out of the brine, pat dry. By patting the meat dry, you are removing the excess liquid which will allow the meat to brown.

You can watch my YouTube video on the topic here.

Thanksgiving/Christmas Brine
1 1/4 cup no-iodine added salt (2 cups Kosher or coarse salt)
1/2 cup brown sugar or sugar substitute (I love me some stevia)
1 gallon vegetable stock
4 sprigs rosemary
4 sage leaves
1/2 onion, sliced
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
1 tablespoon allspice berries
1/2 tablespoon candied ginger
1 gallon ice water

Chicken Wings Brine
6 cups cold water
1/3 cup no-iodine added salt (1/2 cup kosher or coarse salt)
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/3 cup sugar or sugar substitute (I love me some stevia)
1/4 cup white vinegar
1/4 red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons black pepper
2 tablespoons hot sauce of your choice
2-3 pounds chicken wings

Poultry or Pork Apple  Brine
1/2 gallon cold water
2 quarts apple juice
2 cup no-iodine added salt (3 cups Kosher or coarse salt)
1/2 cup brown sugar or sugar substitute (I love me some stevia)
10 whole cloves
1 1/2 teaspoons allspice berries
1 tablespoon ground nutmeg

Spicy Turkey Brine
2 quarts vegetable stock
1/2 cup no-iodine added salt (3/4 cup Kosher or coarse salt)
1/2 cup sugar or sugar substitute (I love me some stevia)
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
1 tablespoon dried rosemary
1 tablespoon dried sage
1 tablespoon dried thyme
1 cinnamon stick
2 quarts cold water

Apple Cider Poultry or Pork Brine
2 gallons water
4 cups apple cider
3 oranges, cut into quarters with peels
1 lemon, cut into quarters with peel
2 cups no-iodine added salt (or 3 1/2-cup Kosher salt or coarse salt)
2 cups packed brown sugar or sugar substitute (I love me some stevia)
2 tablespoons dried rosemary
5 cloves garlic, smashed
3 tablespoons peppercorns
6 whole bay leaves
2 apples, cut into quarters
1 tablespoon whole allspice, coarsely crushed
1 inch of ginger, peeled and sliced

Poultry or Pork Maple Brine
4 quarts water
2 cups dark brown sugar or sugar substitute (I love me some stevia)
1 cup soy sauce
1 cup maple syrup
1 cup white vinegar
1/3 cup no-iodine added salt (1/2 cup kosher or coarse salt)
8-10  cloves garlic, smashed
6-8 whole bay leaves
3 large sprigs of thyme
2 teaspoons whole peppercorns

Simple Fish Brine
1 gallon water
2 cups no-iodine added salt (or 3 1/2-cup Kosher salt or coarse salt)
2/3 cup brown sugar or sugar substitute (I love me some stevia)
2 lemons, quartered with peel on

Beer Fish Brine
4 cups light ale
1/2 cup sea salt
1/2 cup brown sugar or sugar substitute (I love me some stevia)
1/4 cup pickling spice
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon old bay seasoning

Steak Brine
6 cups water
1/4 cup sea salt
2 teaspoons whole peppercorns
4-6 cloves garlic, smashed

Sweet Poultry/Pork Brine
2 quarts chicken broth
1 cup white vinegar
2 cups no-iodine added table salt (non-iodine)
2 cups honey or sugar substitute (I love me some stevia)
2 tablespoons whole cloves
8-10  cloves garlic, smashed

Smokey Poultry/Pork/Steak Brine
4 quarts water
2/3 cup sea salt
2 teaspoons whole peppercorns
4-6 cloves garlic, smashed
1 onion, sliced
1 tablespoon liquid smoke

Hawaiian Poultry/Pork Brine
4 quarts pineapple juice
2 oranges, quartered with peel
1 lime, quartered with peel
2 cups brown sugar or sugar substitute (I love me some stevia)
1 1/3 cups soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke
1 cup maple syrup
1 cup no-iodine added salt (1 1/2 cups Kosher or coarse salt)
6 cloves garlic, cut into halves
4-6 whole bay leaves
2 tablespoons red pepper, crushed

Cornedbeef/Pastrami Brine
4 quarts water
1 cup kosher salt
10-12 cloves garlic, smashed
3 tablespoons pickling spices
1/4 teaspoons juniper berries
8 bay leaves

Italian Brine for Pork/Beef/Steak
6 cups water
¼ cup kosher salt
¼ cup red wine vinegar
3 tablespoons dijon mustard
1 cup fresh basil, chopped
1/4 cup fresh oregano, chopped
1 tablespoon rosemary, chopped
6 cloves garlic, smashed
2 tablespoons sugar or sugar substitute (I love me some stevia)
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Fourth of July

I love everything that Independence Day stands for: reaffirming your commitment to freedom, Fourth of Julyliberty and the freedom of choice. What a beautiful concept.

As I celebrate everything else in life, I celebrate this wonderful holiday with the fs: food, friends and family.

I have compiled together all of my favorite recipes to make your Independence Day gathering that much easier. You can find all of my recipes on Pinterest.

What about decorating? I like to keep it very simple when it comes to cookout decorations. Leave out huge bowls filled with raspberries, blueberries and whipped cream. This will run the center of the table and place the desserts and appetizers at the center on top of cake stands of varying sizes. This keeps the gathering communal because it forces everyone towards the food, then they can sit down and make some new friends. Also, this makes cleanup so easy because you don’t have to worry about pulling up the decorations and putting them away. I am a huge fan of simplistic beauty.

Regardless of what you make, who you spend the day with or what you do; please remember one thing. We are so fortunate to live in a country where we have so many rights that have been fought for and preserved by countless men and women. Remember to thank a veteran for their service. Happy Independence Day!

 

Father’s Day Brunch Ideas

Best Dad!Father’s day is right around the corner! Are you excited?? I always say that everyone goes all out for Mother’s Day but what about our dad’s? They deserve as much love and attention, so let’s try to make this Father’s Day the best yet!

Brunch out at a nice restaurant is always nice but I find that on holidays like this, everything is booked, solid. Also, do you really want to fight the crowds (love the traffic) to wait in line for 30-60 minutes for a reservation you made for sub-par food? On crazy days like this, restaurants are trying to push out orders so fast that sometimes the quality of food isn’t as great. Not only that, but you are stuck listening to kids cry, it is so loud you can’t hear yourself think and you feel rushed so the next person can be seated for their reservation. YIKES!

Why not avoid this all together and take dad and mom out the night before and then spend Sunday at home? Plan a great family brunch/bbq and serve dad his favorite foods. Lucky for you, I have compiled together a list of my favorite dishes for dad! Visit my Pinterest Page to see all of the recipes that I have compiled for this special day!

Now that the meal is planned, what about dad’s gift? If you still haven’t found dad the perfect gift, no worries! I done the leg work for you already and compiled together a list of great gift ideas any dad would love.

Cooking 101: Thai Inspired Slow Cooker Coconut Chicken Soup

Thai Inspired Coconut Chicken SoupYes, the theme of cooking 101 continues!

Ingredients
2 pounds whole boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs
2 tablespoons fish sauce
4 tablespoons lime juice
4 cups chicken stock
3 stalks lemongrass, peeled and smashed
the zest of the limes that were juiced, cut into long strips (you will pull this back out)
1 inch of fresh ginger, peeled and cut into strips
1 15 ounce can of unsweetened coconut milk
2 whole red chile
2 jalapeño, seeded and sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons chopped cilantro

Directions
Place all the ingredients but the last one in the slow cooker and allow to simmer for 6 hours.

When fully cooked, using two forks to shred the chicken, remove the lemon grass, add the cilantro and serve.

Cooking 101: Slow Cooker Herb Chicken Soup

Welcome to Cooking 101 series. I am going to introduce you to simple recipes that anyone can perfect and add their own touch to.Slow Cooker Herb Chicken

Ingredients
2 tablespoons olive oil, coconut oil, butter or bacon grease 9I prefer to use anything but olive oil in this recipe because the reason we use certain oils is to get the health benefit, olive oil’s heath benefits degrade in high heats)
1 onion,finely diced
4 cloves of garlic, minced
4 stalks celery, chopped
3/4 teaspoon fresh rosemary
3/4 teaspoon fresh oregano
3/4 teaspoon fresh tarragon
3/4 teaspoon fresh thyme
2 quarts  chicken stock
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts or 8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 2 lbs)
1/2 tablespoon pepper
1 tablespoon salt
3/4 teaspoon flat-leaf Italian parsley, finely chopped
1/4 teaspoon mint, finely chopped
1 tablespoon fresh chives, finely chopped

Directions
Place the rosemary, oregano, tarragon and thyme in a cheese cloth or any other safe cloth and tie with food-safe string.

Place all of the ingredients but the last three in the slow cooker and set to low and for six hours.

After the six hours, remove the cheese cloth with the herbs and add the two fresh herbs. Using two forks, tear apart the chicken and serve.

TIP: Use whatever fresh herbs you have on hand, if you don’t have any use dry herbs and leave them in, no need to fish them out. Just use 1/2 as much dry herbs because they are very strong.

What if you don’t have any? Then leave it all out, I have made this soup without any herbs and let me tell you, it is amazing! Cooking is about improvising and learning to use what you have. I have a herb garden so I love to grow my own organic herbs and use them in everything!!

I love to add additional veggies that are sitting around the house, one of my favorites is mushrooms. You can add any of the following: jicima, peas, carrots, potatoes, sweet potatoes or anything else your heart wishes or your fridge is filled with.

Slow Cooker Low-Carb Moroccan Lemon and Green Olive Chicken

This is an easy 1 pot meal that is flavorful and exotic, the perfect blend of spices is infused through the chicken and couscous. You can cook the chicken separately to create a low-carb meal or add the couscous to make it a complete meal for your family. This recipe feeds 4 very hungry people.Moroccan Chicken

Ingredients
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 lbs chicken thighs, drumsticks or any other piece of chicken that has the bone in and the skin still on
1 onion, medium, peeled, quartered
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 pinch of saffron
1/2 tablespoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon Hungarian paprika
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 lemon, juiced
the zest of 1 lemon
3 cups chicken stock
1 cup Couscous, a low-carb couscous alternative or rice
1 lemon, sliced into discs
1/4 cup pitted green olives
2 tablespoons cilantro, minced

Directions:Add all of the ingredients to the slow cooker and set to low heat for 6 hours.

Add the couscous to the mixture and keep covered for 7 minutes until it is fully cooked. If additional liquid is required, add more chicken stock.

Mix in the green olives, cilantro and lemon discs and serve.